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June 28
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I Can't Stand Lazy Reaction Videos to Music

:iconsaikyoryuuougi:
saikyoryuuougi Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020

One of my favorite kinds of videos are reviews of media, including music. It is interesting to hear a well-thought out perspective of somebody’s unique experience.

However, one of the most disingenuous, lazy, and fakest forms of this concept are the “reaction” videos. These reaction videos are supposed to be somebody’s “first viewing” and initial experience to a song they claim they have never heard before. What I’ve primarily found in these reaction videos, specifically music ones in this case since they’re the ones I’ve had the most exposure to, is just somebody sitting mostly in silence as they play a song in its ENTIRETY and have absolutely nothing of substance to say regarding the music they just listened to outside some exaggerated, performative response. No edits, very few pauses, and any commentary is short and generic.

These reactors typically have much more to say about how you can subscribe and give them money to bootleg music on their channels than they do about the music itself. I don’t know why they can’t edit out the obvious dead air when there is no unique reaction, commentary, or anything outside some unconvincing head-bobbing. That would make these videos more justifiable in my opinion.

My only guess as to why anyone would unironically enjoy these kinds of reaction videos is for confirmation bias. They want to hear people who claim they have never heard a song before echoing their sentiment. And an overwhelming number of reaction videos give them just that, since they often begin saying the song of the video was by request, and it's always met with glowing praise of the music.

I know there are ways to do a reaction video that isn't just playing something in its entirety with little commentary, but damn there are a lot of videos that are guilty of doing those things.

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:iconfaeorain:
faeorain Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2020  Student Traditional Artist
I like the BethRoars channel, although she mostly is reviewing vocalists for bands, she does add some commentary about the band/music altogether. She also provides insight into vocal techniques being used.
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:iconsezzac155:
sezzac155 Featured By Owner Edited Jun 28, 2020
I actually do think it's mostly confirmation bias it's the main reason why I watch them anyway, but my secondary reason is the hope that I will find a new old band to listen to.

I think it's a hit-or-miss for me when it comes to people just listening to the whole song and not pausing it and not saying anything until it's done. On one hand it is kinda boring to watch it if you want to hear an indepth review but on the other hand that's also a genuine way to react to a new song, at least for me I can be pretty apathetic when hearing a new song for the first time- there is usually something that i like on the first hearing but that might just be the musical hook of the chorus or something (it depends) it's not until the the second or perhaps third listen when I go 'oh' as my understanding of the lyrics kick in that I can tell if I fully enjoy the song or not. So a similar thing might be happening to them.
As long as they say why they like it at the end I'm cool, but then I rarely subscribe to these people. What you are referring to is a trend, you are not wrong. 


Someone who I think breaks the trend is this person www.youtube.com/channel/UCEvHj… It probably helps that he says he is a a producer because then the flavour of his videos is less first-time-review and more of a breakdown on why a song or album is good. And what the artist/band is actually doing. As someone who doesn't play a musical instrument that can be really interesting because it puts words to the little intricate bits of a song that I tend to find myself enjoying after iv'e zeroed in.
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:iconsaikyoryuuougi:
saikyoryuuougi Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020
I certainly believe there is some merit to an initial reaction, but when it comes to a video about it, I think there should be a higher standard than playing something in its entirety unedited with little or even no reaction. I don't believe cutting those parts out diminishes the reaction, if anything it does a service to the audience who are looking for the reactions and not just the song. At least, I hope it's not just for the song...
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:iconsezzac155:
sezzac155 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020
It probably works for them too in actually pausing the song on screen, because of how YouTube works it may help them avoid their videos from being taken down. You see that from people who do movie reviews and try to use a clip from a film to help them explain a point.
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:iconsaikyoryuuougi:
saikyoryuuougi Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2020
I agree. It might not be bulletproof, because even videos that have a higher review/commentary to music/video ratio get claimed, but it certainly would do them much better.
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't really have a problem with these types of videos unless it's clearly overacted. It's pretty obvious whether they actually listened to the song beforehand or not. When it's genuine though, I love it. Whether the person ends up actually enjoying the music or not, you can see them walk away from it with a better appreciation for the style in question. Though I guess the majority of my enjoyment comes from watching other musicians reacting to these things. A vocal couch reacting to Devin Townsend, a jazz drummer reacting to Dark Funeral; anything that allows for a more in-depth analysis of what's going on, as opposed to being solely "OHMYGOD, THAT WAS SICK."
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:iconidib01:
IdIb01 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020  New Deviant
I thought this one was pretty interesting: www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSWEl3…
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2020  Hobbyist General Artist
Ooh, I forgot about this one! I loved seeing it from his perspective. A great watch. :D
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:iconsaikyoryuuougi:
saikyoryuuougi Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020
Those who have some musical credibility, such as a coach or a musician, definitely have more going for them than just random guy or "hip hop head listens to Led Zepplin", mostly because, as you said, they have the prior knowledge to articulate a more engaging perspective.
But do you really not take issue with the dead air and playing music in its entirety in place of a review or commentary?
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020  Hobbyist General Artist
Again, that depends on the video. I'm the type of person who liked to see how a person reacts in real time. Like if I'm hanging out with a friend and I go to show them something, I'm watching them and seeing how their reacting, usually through changes in their facial expression, minor or otherwise. That's what some of these videos feel like to me.
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:iconsaikyoryuuougi:
saikyoryuuougi Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020
I wouldn't mind if they would at least edit out the parts where there is literally nothing going on. Maybe I'm too used to reviews and reactions being of higher production. I don't think they reduce the genuine reaction when you are cutting out the parts that aren't a reaction, for a video at least.
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:iconblackbook668:
blackbook668 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020
I've come across these videos. Christ, the ignorance of the people in them, the lack of musical experience... fucking wow.

One odd thing I've come across with them and reaction videos in general... absolutely overwheming amount of black people doing them, like the music reactions are pretty much nearly all black people reactions with one or two white guy reactions thrown in. It's pretty bizarre.
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:iconsaikyoryuuougi:
saikyoryuuougi Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2020
The ignorance isn't something I particularly take issue with, although their claims of ignorance is met with some skepticism when it's the uber-famous stuff like Queen and Pink Floyd, stuff that topped charts regardless of cultural differences. It's the laziness and lack of any kind of truly unique insight or articulation. Everyone has they're own reaction to music, but if they want me to believe their reactions are so worthwhile that I need to subscribe or donate to Patreon or whatever, it needs to be better than what they're giving.
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