Friday, December 16, 2005

Will Anyone Miss Robert Hilburn?

Hilburn to hang up his earplugs * Just where does the LA Times' Robert Hilburn rank in the pantheon of Rock Critics. While most of the big names: Christgau, Marsh and Marcus (who later worked from the West Coast) worked out of the East Coast, Hilburn stuck to the left coast. One reason Hilburn doesn't rank with the above names is all he did was write for the Times. With no books to his name, you never got the sense of his musical knowledge the way you would from a Greil Marcus or a Robert Christgau. And while its admirable that he gave good reviews to latter day work by Elton John and Neil Diamond, when every other critic wouldn't pay them attention, most of his favorites were too predictable: U2, Springsteen popped up way too much. The guy never had a guilty pleasure he could plug. I still cringe at his dissing of Cher's "Believe". Hilburn is a member of the RRHOF's nominating committee, but what influence he has at their annual get-together's isn't known. Maybe with impending book deals coming, we'll get to know the extent of Hilburn's musical mind. But his place in the Rock Critic's Hall of Fame? Let's just say he won't get in on the first ballot.
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