…denn aller Schmuck versteckt das Geschmückte.
Because all adornment conceals the adorned.
And here is William Gibson again, comparing influence to weather:
But that’s material. “Influence” is something else. Influence is more like weather, when you’ve been writing for a while. It blows in from somewhere. You can’t say exactly where weather *is*, but you can say that it’s present.
(Via Gibson Blog)
This, I feel makes a good music critic: the ability to put his/her nose in the air, take a few good sniffs, and guess where the weather came from, where it had been before it blew around and through the artist in question. This requires more than an ear for music, or a way with words, it requires a certain amount of experience, an understanding of history. And by history I mean the many movements, or to stay with the metaphor, the many winds that have blown in the valley before. Saying I like it, although perfectly sufficient for regular folks, is not enough, coming from a critic. S/he has to tell us what direction the weather blew in from, what the shift in barometric pressure means and so on.