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Twitter Music Reviews: Criticism As Haiku

Twitter, as we've seen in the protests in Iran, is becoming something of a force for democracy. It's proving useful not only for organizing street demonstrations, but also for bringing down the walls around that most rarefied of communities: the world of music reviews. More and more everyday people are using the 140-character limitation of the forum to tweet the briefest of thoughts on their favorite — and not-so-favorite — recordings.

Morning Edition host David Greene decided to put Song of the Day editor Stephen Thompson to the test: Review an entire album in just 140 characters. Thompson rose to the challenge, but imposed his own restrictions.

"I approach Twitter as a science," Thompson says. "I think Twitter should be perfectly punctuated, should be in complete sentences. Words should be spelled out, and it should be exactly 140 characters." (You can follow Thompson's thoughts on music, cheese curds and the TV show Wipeout here.)

But can 140 characters really say anything? Thompson says they can.

"You're not necessarily going to make a grand statement," he says. "But at the same time, I like to think — I hope — that it's a little bit like haiku. I don't think anything should necessarily replace an extremely well-thought-out long-form opinion from somebody who listens to thousands and thousands of records. I'm always going to be interested in those people's opinions. But, at the same time, I want to know what my friends think, as well."

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