It seemed like a good idea at the time. (It always does. So did “New Coke,” breaking into the Watergate, and credit default swaps.) When we decided a few months back to decrease the frequency of The Week’s music reviews, we had a perfectly sensible rationale. We needed to make room for our new Puzzle Page—the creation of which, judging by reader feedback, actually was a good idea. Our reviews of music CDs seemed less and less relevant, since so many people were now procuring music directly through the Internet, usually by downloading individual songs, not albums. CD sales have plummeted in recent years. So if we had to sacrifice one page on the altar of expediency, Music it would be.
Then the e-mails started coming in. “I am addicted to The Week,” said one, “and the first thing I turn to is the music reviews.” The Music page, said another, “is how I find out about ‘new’ music. How could you discontinue it?” You stupid blithering morons, said quite a few. Fine. We get your point. So as you can see on Page 29, music reviews are back. Most weeks, we’ll divide one of our Arts pages, and devote half to three music reviews. Sometimes, we’ll have a full Music page. Yes, I know, music fans, you’d rather we just kill Properties or Stage or Art in favor of a full page of your favorite stuff, but each of these pages also has its own rabid constituency. So you’ll have to share. I’d hate to have to start another one of these editor’s letters by saying, It seemed like a good idea at the time.