Who Will Be Queerty’s Music Reviewer? You Decide!

walking_on_a_dream_coverLast week, we asked you, our esteemed readers, to vote on the 10 semifinalists of our “Who Want’s to Be a Queerty Music Reviewer?” contest. This week, you’ll choose a winner from our five final contestants.

For their last challenge, our contestants received an advance copy of Empire of the Sun’s debut album, Walking on a Dream, and were given twenty-four hours to turn around a review. We’ve really put these guys through their paces and any one of them would make a great reviewer, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide. Read em’, think about who you like and make your pick below. Voting ends 12am EST Monday.

Walking on a Dream (Capitol) will be released in the U.S. on April 21st.

Andrew Hickey

andrewUpon viewing the video for Empire of the Sun’s single “A Dream” one may feel they have witnessed the bastard child of Disney after a drunken evening with the film Blade Runner. It’s over the top and feels cheesy due to how serious they are taking it. Yet, this is how the band has presented themselves, as characters taken from a Hipster Olympics’ held in space, dressed up in costumes that are a clash of the Baroque period and science fiction. The music on the other hand doesn’t compare to their over the top images. Not living up to their image doesn’t mean it’s a bad album, it’s just straightforward in comparison.

Taking a combination of electro-pop and psychedelic rock, Walking on a Dream is full of slow burners filled with synthesizers and disco bass lines, only on a few songs does the pace pick up. Keeping in touch with the cheesiness found in the video on “A Dream,” Steel, singing in a falsetto voice that has drawn comparisons to MGMT, delivers lyrics that show they aren’t taking this too seriously (hopefully): “Is it real now when two people become one?”

There are standout tracks such as “We are the People,” and “Standing on the Shore” that will get stuck in your head but it seems EotS spent more time on their image then their songs. If nothing else EotS seem destined to become a hipster guilty pleasure or at least major contenders in the next Hipster Space Olympics.

Robert Maril

robertDressed like long-lost members of Dead or Alive, Australian duo Empire of the Sun prime listeners for what to expect long before they ever press play: 80s-revivalist synth pop with an edge, new wave that isn’t too dangerous to be sold at the mall or played on VH1. And, for the most part, that’s exactly what they deliver on their debut album, Walking on a Dream.

The production is lush, fleshed out with thick, rich arrangements, as if Tears for Fears had lasted into the digital age. With the first half of the album consisting of mid-tempo dance numbers, the tracks are neither offensive nor very memorable, competently treading a well-worn path. Midway through, though, the album takes a sharp turn with the track “Delta Bay.” The ready-made new wave drum kit is replaced by a four-on-the-floor beat worthy of LCD Soundsystem, and Luke Steele’s vocals shift from melody-driven to vocoder-filtered patter. The track that follows, however, a five minute long instrumental whose lead guitar riff suspiciously resembles Angelo Badalamenti’s theme from Twin Peaks, destroys whatever momentum “Delta Bay” had built.

From there, the album flounders, each song a different genre–one that captures the essence of Prince, another Erasure, later The Soft Pink Truth–never drawing on these disparate influences to create something new or exciting. There’s something to be said for pastiche when it works (Vampire Weekend or Hercules and Love Affair, just to name a couple) but this isn’t pastiche. It’s a mimeograph, somehow the same as but less than what came before it.

Joe John Sanchez III

sanchezLuke Steele and Nick Littlemore are no strangers to success. After fronting two successful groups, The Sleepy Jackson and Pnau, the indie-gods are totally over “the band-thing”. That’s precisely why their new project, Empire of the Sun, isn’t a band—it’s an amorphous theatrical experience. Musical silly putty, if you will.

This free-spirited outlook may intrigue theoretically, but their debut Walking On A Dream is consequently incoherent. While the first four songs flow effortlessly as a series of ‘80s-tinged pop gems, everything comes to a screeching halt with the strikingly odd stomp of “Delta Bay”. It’s inappropriately followed by “Country”, a mostly instrumental track reminiscent of “Laura’s Theme” on Twin Peaks. From there, the remaining songs recall everything from Basement Jaxx to Prince’s cheesier ballads, impressive when isolated but collectively failing to recapture the earlier magic.

The psychedelic elements and falsetto vocalizing may elicit comparisons to MGMT, but a deeper listen indicates that the androgynous duo conjure their flamboyant image from older influences. Their mix of outer-space antics, soul searching and appropriated culture calls to mind George Clinton’s P-Funk mythology and David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, with pitch-shifted vocals on some songs eerily evoking Bowie’s minions in Labyrinth. But unlike Jareth the Goblin King, Emperor Steele and Lord Littlemore act as benevolent leaders fixated on spreading peace, joy and colorful imagery. As contrived and idealistic as their goals may sound, they resonate heavily in our distressed times, making these boys as close to indie-pop Obamas as humanly possible.

Bradley Stern

bradleyAustralia is good for only two things: Kangaroos and Dannii Minogue. However, it seems the country can now add another element to the list: Glam-rock dance-pop.

After trailblazing efforts made by fellow Sydney artists The Presets and Sneaky Sound System in 2008, Empire of the Sun is now charting their way into a reg’lar Australian Invasion.

Luke Steele (The Sleepy Jackson) and Nick Littlemore (Pnau) comprise Empire of the Sun, a glam-dance-rock outfit on the brink of something brilliant. And judging by the eccentric garb the duo dons, the word “outfit” isn’t to be taken lightly–The band’s bringing the Bowie like no one’s business.

Single choices are obvious here, including “Walking On A Dream,” a soothing, synth-fused stroll between Arcade Fire and Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time.”

“We Are The People” is another standout; a summery, ’90’s-esque rush of energy recalling Jennifer Paige’s “Crush.” (Remember her?!)

Most of the album flourishes within a seductive landscape of vintage electro-swagger and guitar strums. It’s only on the final moment, “Without You,” that the band teeters too far into nostalgia, playing like the background song from every prom scene in every 1980’s teen comedy–ever.

Still, not everything’s so serious: “Delta Bay” lifts the robot from Daft Punk’s “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” and adds a few hand claps, while the plop-happy “Swordfish Hotkiss Night” and its hook-heavy contents promises to slosh ’round your mind long after the album fades.

So board up the windows and hide the vegemite. The Aussies are coming.

Daniel Villarreal

danielMake-out music must have the right combination of sluttiness and ambiance to work. MGMT, for example, sounds too self-consciously slick to arouse anything but suspicion. Bowie’s too queer (not in a good way), Fleetwood Mac betrays your drug-fueled emotional problems, and Prince’s whoredom will get you slapped before first base. Luckily, Empire of the Sun’s debut, Walking On A Dream, recycles the best of these musicians’ stylings into a playful, unpretentious toybox of dancey synthpop (“Walking on a Dream”), spaced-out ambiance (“The World”), and heart-driving ballads (“We Are The People”). Luke Steele’s nasally, high-pitched vocal loops and Nick Littlemore’s eerie synths and steady acoustics have already helped millions to get laid in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. So if you’re not making out by “Country”, the ambient instrumental midpoint, or “Swordfish Hot Kiss Nite”, a bonkers rap track with nasty 1980’s drum and bass, you’ll know it’s not the music’s fault.

Though this theatrical Australian duo—dressed in cosmic mullets and raccoon makeup—spins seductive songs from retro fare, they make a fun first date rather than a committed long-term relationship; namely because they relive the past without redefining its future. The appropriately titled “Half-Mast” features latent keyboards stolen from Doogie Howser M.D. and ho-hum lyrics (“I’m on my knees and praying… baby please… make amends and I will stand until the end”). Their forgettable finale, “Without You,” will either seal your post-coital drowsiness or sound unfittingly sentimental as your date gets dressed and you finish the remaining wine.

Now, get voting! Polls are open until Monday, Feb. 23rd at 12:00AM.

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    oooh i lovveee empire of the sun!

    discuss them @ my pop music forum :D


    PS you guys have to check out their song ‘standing on the shore’- its amazingggg



    bradley stern is NOT getting my vote merely based on what he wrote in the first line. i come from australia and i have a lot of pride in my country – it would be like saying “america is only good for…errrr….errrrrr….ummmmm”

    so robert is getting my vote cuz he has a cute smile :D


    so board up and hide the vegemite huh bradley? puh-leaseee i dont even eat vegemite loser. how about you board up and paint your nails, if we’re going to use stereotypes. bitch!

  • ggreen

    The music reviewer must know who the following are:

    Marcia Raven
    Cissy Houston
    Precious Wilson
    Dan Hartman
    Edwin Starr
    Bonnie Pointer
    Ian Levine
    Tom Moulton

  • Paul Raposo

    Robert Maril

    A music critic’s job is to explain what’s on the album and interpret for the potential listner, what to expect when they play the record at home. In the end, they are the guardian of the music store gate and must help the buyer decide whether to spend their money, or save it for something else. Mr. Maril’s review has caused me to decide that I don’t want EOTS’s album and for that, I give him my vote. Good luck, Robert.

  • Anon

    Bradley really?
    oh god….


  • rick

    damn i should have tried out for this gig. i can usually sum up an album with two words, it sucked!

  • rick

    @ggreen: i knew who most of those were right off the bat. i used to love dan hartman.

  • Jason

    Sanchez and Villareal’s reviews are the only ones that have any depth, if you read closely. The rest consist mainly of some flowery language around “this is ok/has some good beats.” Anyone who can write–whether they know much about music or not–can do that. Sanchez and Villareal seem like actual music critics.

    Voting because of “who is cutest” and being nasty to boot is really not the way to proceed. Too much is done that way as it is.

  • Cyd

    Mr. Maril’s review is the only one that doesn’t read like an 8-year-old’s book report for Reading Rainbow.

    But you don’t have to take MY word for it!

  • musicmmm

    Robert is the only person that actually reviewed the album. The rest just sound bitchy.
    Good luck to Robert

  • Ben

    Joe’s review definitely seems the most informed, giving the most accurate examples and descriptions. Plus it strays from saying whether it’s good or bad in an overly opinionated manner, which I think is kind of essential in music reviews. It’s a good overview of the music and some of it’s particulars, giving me a good example of what I’m going to hear when I listen.

    Plus I think he’s the cutest. (Everyone else is picking, I can too right?)

  • JoeJosh

    @Cyd: I sure hope 8th graders aren’t writing, “Make-out music must have the right combination of sluttiness and ambiance to work,” but who knows these days.

    @Jason: I couldn’t agree more. But I’m going with Daniel V. for the humor factor. He’s 2 for 2 on getting a laugh out of me. Both tell me, in their own way, what’s on the album. So I’ll take the added benefit of funny.

  • Jill

    @POP MUSIC FORUM: He was clearly joking. You’re really going to take offense to someone just being silly? And I almost wish he HAD said that about America, because then at least no one would have been all “wahhh wahhh he said something mean about my country in a silly joke in a silly music review!!!!”



    actually jill, its not just a silly music review, it more or less represents what americans know about the rest of the world – abso-fucking-lutely nothing. i would be complaining about the education system if i was an american, but alas…im not…and ignorance is certainly bliss in american schools.

  • mosquito

    Sanchez wrote the best review by far.

  • Jill

    Sanchez isn’t even that good, he just uses big adjectives so that people think he knows what he’s talking about. Just typing up a review and saying “I didn’t like this” and then listing people who the band reminds him of ISN’T a review. I almost feel like he opened the album in Genius on iTunes and was like “oh, so these bands are supposed to sound like EOTS? Gotchya.”

    Personally, I didn’t really like any of them. But I think that’s because the ALBUM is bad, not the reviewers. Well, a couple of them at least.

  • Dan

    The mere imagery of David Bowie’s package just popped into my head. My vote goes to the fuzzy four eyed freak!

  • Jill

    @POP MUSIC FORUM: Seriously? That had nothing to do with anything we’re talking about, you just wanted to try to be a bitch and failed. But that’s okay. And it is a silly music review…it’s literally JUST a music review, but you’re being all whiny and complaining about it. Just sit back and chill out.

  • akn

    I voted for Joe, but I think I’ll stick to No Depression for finding new music.

  • anon

    @Jason: i donno, bradley clearly likes the album, therefore giving him a difinitive standpoint like sanchez and villareal. his is also witty. i’m having a tough time deciding between stern and villareal personally.

  • Ben

    Joe FTW.

  • Ben F

    Empire of the Sun is so great… I can’t believe it hasn’t come out in America yet, seeing as it was out in Australia many months ago.


    hey ben f … america dont usually see many releases from aussie artists. even kylie stiffs over in america lol so theyre lucky theyre getting this one.

  • aubreylc

    I have been loving this album for some time now. “Tiger by my side”, “Country”, and “Standing on the Shore” are highlights for me. Good luck to Joe John Sanchez III! How could you not reference Labyrinth?

  • DonkeyTrot

    Let’s face it. This contest is about which reviewer is the best self-publicist, not which is the best writer. Joe John Sanchez will win because he’s got his own and other music blogs getting people to vote for him, not because he’s the best writer.

    But if Queerty wants a mediocre music reviewer, so be it.

  • Heather Molsbee

    Thank you Jason! This is not high school and voting for who is the cutest is lame! I repeat lame…and radiates immaturity and a true lack of any depth and knowledge. Vote for the one who gives you a good idea of what you’re getting FROM THE MUSIC and not who’ll give you the best wet dream!! Daniel all the way baby!

  • Matt Marr

    @QUEEN BEE: Daniel V. is very attractive and he’s great in bed. Yes I said it. It’s true.

  • JoeJosh

    @DonkeyTrot: Agreed. Though the “Who ‘SHOULD’ win Queerty’s Music Reviewer Contest?” gives me some hope with the choice of “should” that they will actually take more into consideration.

  • mygaythought.

    Sanchez: “flow effortlessly” and “eerily evoking”
    Villarreal: “spins seductive songs” and “sound unfittingly sentimental”.

    I like Villarreal’s use of language better

  • Lola

    Daniel V. slept with my fat cousin. SHES a porker.

  • Guillaume

    GO JOE !!!

  • Sara


    Arguments about deficiencies in the American school systems, while valid in most cases, are generally strengthened by not having stupid grammatical errors. Here’s a tip:

    pop music forum: “i would be complaining about the education system if i was an american”

    educated person: “i would be complaining about the education system if i were an american.”

    Stop crying because you have to live in Australia. You questioned what America is good for? Kicking your sorry ass. To be honest I’m sure Australia is great, and I’m not such a huge fan of the U.S. despite living here, but you’re just asking to get punched in the face.

  • Chris

    Australia was intended to be a giant Alcatraz… a place to send degenerates.

  • Sebbe

    @chris – LOL.

    @pop music forum – Clearly anyone who has traveled to Australia is in love with the country and people. You make valid points in regards to the state of the public school system in America. If Australia wishes to be more in the spotlight of the American populace, it must also learn to laugh at itself to a degree as well though. For examples/advice please speak to our Canadians neighbors to the north.

    That said I love Australia and Australians, save maybe the weather.


  • Sebbe

    Oh yeah – vote for Bradley, his reviews are awesome, after his first post here I’m addicted to his website and I think he is adorable to boot. Yes boys and girls a trifecta.

  • Chelsea

    This is absurd! Daniel Villarreal’s percentage doubled in an hour. Something is very fishy.

  • Sebbe

    @Chelsea – I’m also suspect that all of the sudden 41% of the votes went to Villarreal, and even more suspect that 41% of the readers want to not only read him, but possibly even worse look at him. “Music reviewer” + “old” is a horrible combination.

  • MaybeYes

    @Sebbe: He’s 29, you morons.

  • Sebbe

    @MaybeYes – oh i stand corrected, even worse.

  • JoeJosh

    @Sebbe: How old do you think he is? Looks like late 20’s to me.

    @Chelsea: Maybe the useful comments above about his sexual exploits have been persuasive. Joe John’s vote did the same thing in the first round.

    I still think the way they do this is crazy, but I’m happy the best reviewer is in the lead right now.

  • MaybeYes

    Villarreal also writes LGBT book reviews for Publisher’s Weekly and does pop-culture write-ups for a gay porn blog, BTW. Pretty well-rounded.

  • Cody

    I really appreciate that Daniel Villarreal guy. He is probably the most creative of these contestants. I’ve read his work and it is simply amazing. He would add a wonderful spin on how we, as a GLBTQ culture, chose our music. So…vote for him. He’s a whore too so he’ll sleep with you.

  • Jeremy

    @QUEEN BEE: Wow, someone’s got the anorexic, neurosis induced bitch-fits today.

  • Moi

    Dear Villarreal,
    Stop Cheating. Thank you.

  • Steve

    @Moi: Dear MOI,
    You’re rude.
    Daniel’s funny.
    I hope he wins.
    If he wins, he earned it.
    If he loses, he earned it.

  • Moi

    Steve: Well duh if he loses he earned it. He’s very obviously cheating.

  • Patrick

    @Steve: Dear Steve,
    Moi’s not rude for telling the truth.

    THE END.

  • BayouBabe

    @Patrick: Dear Patrick,
    Now I remember why I don’t read comments anymore. People who assert “truth” with nothing to show for it and then take their ball and go home by declaring end to debates because they have spoken and their word is the law.
    How very Republican.

  • Sebbe

    It is clearly him or his fans cheating. It is a good thing we don’t use this method for voting for elected office. Hopefully David/Japhy will take their ethics (or lack thereof) into consideration. I found my one vote sufficient, but again ethics.

    Plus – the dudes only 29 and his hair is receding that much already?

  • JoeJosh

    @Sebbe: I remember Joe John’s numbers doing the same thing in round 1. He was way behind, but then he was suddenly way ahead. Someone mentioned Daniel writes in a lot of other places, so maybe he has a ton of traffic and posted some links. I assumed that was the same of Joe John in round 1, but I guess he could have cheated his way into the 2nd round.

    But seriously, if the only evidence is a bunch of people suddenly voting for the dude, and we can come up with 3 or more alternative explanations, because we know or can assume these guys have decent exposure on other online sites and/or large networks of friends they can contact through email or facebook or whatever, then you’ve got no solid case to stand on, I’m sorry. See what happens between now and Sunday and just relax a little. It’s just a music reviewer. These guys will be posting stuff no matter where they land. Sheesh.

  • Sebbe

    @JoeJosh – point well taken. My point is just that its sort of disheartening to think of people voting that will never visit this site again. Like I said, point well taken and I concede.

  • Ian

    I just voted for Daniel V because:

    1) He definitely knows how to write smart, funny and unpretentious reviews.

    2) He has a great taste in music.

    3) He’s hot

    4) He’s hot

    I’m totally posting a link on my blog.

  • JoeJosh

    @Sebbe: I concede your point as well about having loyal readers doing the voting. Makes sense to me. Though perhaps that’s the point of this exercise–they want to bring more readership. Oh well.


    hey guys if you like empire of the sun and other pop music, please join up to my forum! i want to see lots of queerty peeps there :D

    just click on my name to go to the forum

  • Distingué Traces

    Bowie’s too queer?

    Bowie’s too queer??


    Well, there went my vote, chump!

  • sprinkles of glee

    If everyone is so worried about cheating, why dont we have an anonymous vote-off? Right now it might as well be another version of a bad prom debacle. Have the top 3 write another review, this time with no picture or name, and see what happens…

    I already made my vote, and I now that I would vote for the same person again. I know and like their style. We all have a pull for who gets it, so why not actually make it a bit more interesting?

  • Ben

    @sprinkles of glee:

    That’s a great idea. Because coming back this does seem to be a little skewed!


    stern: the (lack of a) knowledge base by stern is embarrassing… australia the next big thing? where has he been the past five years? and if Dannii Minogue (not even the good Minogue sister) is his jumping off point then there is real trouble here…. i bet his music collection consists of cher, every single madonna release ever, and some “edgy” stuff like crystal waters.

    hickey: misses the point… “hipster music” is a cop out and not a real review.

    maril: not bad — at least knows what he’s talking about though the writing doesn’t exactly flow.

    villarreal: decent — but lost me with the first couple sentences… why does this have to be make out music or what is the point about that? otherwise pretty spot on… though a little too negative for an album that has been playing in my ipod non-stop for the past year. lost my vote.

    sanchez: the first paragraph is a bit rough but would be good with a little more editing. the rest of the review is totally spot on with the album. gets my vote.

  • Chris

    Travis you would like the (dirty) Sanchez.

  • Arlen Rothberg

    This is one of the more constructive posts I have seen on Queerty.I think a weekly or monthly critique-commentary music column would be a welcome addition to this site.

  • DonkeyTrot

    Huh, just watching the late night polls, and I see young Bradley’s racked up about 100 votes in a matter of minutes… all by himself, I’m sure.

    What a sham.

  • Wret

    This whole process is rediculous. Open polling available to the entire internet? I don’t even read this website and I can vote.

    There’s really only two people up there with any real skills and Bradley Stern is not one of them. The Administration of the webpage needs to look at these numbers.

  • DonkeyTrot

    Yeah, I sat here and watched Brad go from 28% to 33%, a matter of several hundred votes in just over an hour (2am – 3:30am EST). Congratulations, Brad. I’m sure it’s all his fans (either that or he’s real big in China).


    ok WTF

    bradley was losing by a HUGEEEE margin this morning – and deservedly so – his review could have been written by a child. EVERYONE VOTE FOR DANIEL PLEASEEEEEEEE





    *end of rant. hey guys lol




  • anonymous

    Complaining because the reviewer you want to win isn’t winning is just plain stupid. Of course this is a popularity contest… whoever has the most fans (which is determined by the quality of their writing) will win. Just because Stern has a lot of fans doesn’t mean he’s cheating.

    And writing all in caps is foolish.


    ^ hi bradley…

    so im quite intrigued…how DID you get so much traffic to your site? did you advertise on some scummy porn site?

    most of the readers on ur blog probably only go there for a laugh…but i wouldnt. i find ur writing bland, boring and completely lame and unfunny. nice try @ anonymity bitch

  • anonymous

    at pop music forum, if I was Bradley, I’m sure I would have reacted more strongly to your comments than simply writing a few lines as to why your statements made you sound like a whiny child. Complaining that one of the contestants has a website and is intelligent enough to gather his fan base is analogous to advocating that the contestants shouldn’t be proactive about introducing their writing to the public.

    “most of the readers on ur blog probably only go there for a laugh…but i wouldnt. i find ur writing bland, boring and completely lame and unfunny.” I would expect nothing less from someone who is unable to capitalize the letter I.

  • DonkeyTrot

    I don’t think the issue is so much him posting the survey right on his site (that’s just smart), but that his 500 some odd votes in 1.5 hours last night didn’t come from 500 or even 300 readers. Real voting like that is sporadic. He (or someone on his behalf) just figured out one of the a very easy ways to submit a lot of votes from a single computer.

    Hail to the thief… as I said, if Queerty set up a system to allow a mediocre writer to win, then they deserve the reviewer they get. Though it does make me regret what I said about Joe John earlier; at least his review was intelligent.

  • JoeJosh

    The reviewer that wins is the reviewer that Queerty gets. Whether he wins “fairly” or not if he’s good, I’ll read him. If he’s not, I won’t. And none of us can prove he doesn’t just happen to have a big fanbase in Australia. 2AM is, what 6PM there? So they all got home, the first thing they do is read their email, see this email blast from this guy and vote for him because they like him. I don’t, and if he wins, I’ll go elsewhere for my music reviews. But that’s fine. Daniel V. will continue writing cool shit whether he’s on queerty or not.

    I still hope he wins, though.


    i live in australia and australians have taste.

    therefore they wouldnt be voting for his blog.

  • Sebbe

    wow – are people (casual readers/posters) really that into this that they are constantly monitoring this. I only noticed when someone writes a new comment and I receive an email.

    That said. I only found out about or heard of any of these people after the first post by Queerty. I read them all and sought out all of their sites.

    I was personally most impressed with Bradley’s site, style and writing. I have been visiting daily since that post and have been pleasantly surprised. But, I don’t intend to assume my music taste are better than anyone elses reading this post.

    I also disagree with some of what was said above. The few times I checked back yesterday during the day when there was a new comment, Stern was always in a strong second, with Daniel leading.

    But, no, I also do not necessarily agree that this was the best method to choose someone. Is there a better method? Who knows, but it is clear why Japhy didn’t want any part in choosing the person personally along with the other editors at Queerty.

    What is there now over 4000 votes. Get this many lgbt together and try to find a consensus on music? haha. Good luck.

    I will post stern’s website if anyone wants to check it out. Like I said I am a new fan and have been personally and refreshingly satisfied with it.

    Lighten up people. We are talking about the site adding a new feature in a music reviewer. THIS IS A GOOD THING.

    @pop music forum – regardless of your choice or mine on this issue, the best way to drive traffic to your site might not be in the way you are commenting here. Just something to think about as I wish success for everyone.

  • Sebbe

    One more thing I noticed and was surprised at before I leave this issue. Stern obviously has a significant fan base if you look at the quality of advertisers on his site, aka real companies.

  • *Spoiler Alert*

    News flash, geniuses: Stern’s votes aren’t coming from traffic from his blog. They are coming from some dude sitting at a computer, manually deleting cookies, closing his browser, reopening it, and voting again. Go ahead, try it – you’ll see. Either that or he has a bot set up. Stern’s vote count went up by 60% between 2-7 a.m. EST. No blog’s traffic is that consistent, especially at that time of night – unless it is, indeed, a porn site. But then the tourists are typically more interested in the scenery than in some kid hawking Chiclets. It is clear from the reviews that the best writers are Maril, Sanchez, and Villarreal. It is no coincidence that the other two are the ones with glaring grammar/punctuation/capitalization errors as well as the only two who use the very cliche, very boring description of songs as ones that “get stuck in your head.” Thanks, ambassador, that tells me nothing. Stern went on for three grafs at the beginning without saying anything about the music on the album, except calling it “Glam-rock dance-pop.” (And will someone please tell this kid that you don’t capitalize the first word that comes after a colon or a dash?) Villarreal, however, is the only one who put the album into some sort of social context in which it might actually be played. The analogy is amusing and efficient. Thus, he gets my vote. Maybe a few times, depending on how anti-cookie I feel. At least the election rig can be on a more even playing field now! I like the idea of an anonymous review vote-off, but sadly it won’t prevent the delete-cookie rigging possibility.

  • Alexa

    Oh look, it’s like American Idol, just keep on voting over and over and over. I guess we know which reviewers’ friends are most adept at clearing cookies.

  • Sebbe

    @spoiler alert – it is always suspicious to regulars when commenters that have never commented anywhere else on the site are all of the sudden soooooooo interested in one particular post. Keep that in mind people.

    Anyone sitting there doing that with their cookies, needs to get a life. We are not working on world peace here people.

  • *Spoiler Alert*

    @seebe – And I’m a little suspicious when someone who posts three times in a row hobbing Stern’s knob gets so defensive when the next poster calls Stern out. You clearly now count yourself among his “fan base,” and your “get a life comment” should be directed at him and his cookie trashing. Or if his website is so sophisticated, it is entirely possible that he has sufficient knowledge to set up a vote-bot. Incidentally, I am sure queerty.com is interested in drumming up new traffic and regulars – attacking new posters isn’t exactly the best way to do that. I was merely making a legitimate point about a concern raised by earlier commenters. I mean, come on – do you really think that Stern garnered 500 votes in the wee-est hours of the night?


    do i have to repeat this?

    with over 1, 000 votes yesterday avo, bradley was in 5th place aka last place with 5% of the votes.

    fast forward 12 hours and he’s in first place with 36% of the vote. obviously he’s been mass voting for himself, cuz his review sucks shit and shows no depth or understanding about anything what so ever.

    also, his blog only has real advertisers because he pays them to advertise on his site to make it look legit lol

  • Sebbe

    @pop music forum – I disagree (specifically about who was in what place from what I saw when reading new comment), but I respect your opinion. I just think we all need to take a step back. This is not the most serious issue out there.

  • Impartial

    On American Idol, the most talented person does not always win. It is the person with the most persistant fans who vote over and over. Thia contest is set up the same way. Yesterday people were angry at Villarreal who had an early lead, today it is Stern who had someone stay up all night voting. This is not a life changing contest. It is what it is. The person with the craziest fan or fans will win. By the way, I did not vote for anyone because it does not matter. I will continue to read the people I like whether they win or lose….

  • Blacktress

    As an American currently living in Australia, I vote for Joe and think everyone needs to stop hating on the foreign land.

  • Steve

    @Impartial: Yes. I’m not impartial, and Daniel V.’s writing has earned him a good shot at winning this. But if he doesn’t, he will continue to be interesting and hilarious wherever he ends up. I hope it’s here, but if not, I hope he does it somewhere else, so he can continue to entertain me. He’s 2 for 2.

  • Tom

    Well, at the very least the game is even again. Before all this craziness started I saw Dan and Brad were fighting for first anyway, and then Dan’s points flew up by like 50%, and now Brad’s votes have done the same thing. So everyone needs to stop flipping out. Just let the game play out the way it’s supposed to play out.

    Think of it like this: this is an online music blog (and the internet is serious business!). It’s not some life changing gig or the ultimate dream job: if one of them really has to win this THAT badly enough to actually find a “vote bot” or whatever then let them. They obviously have bigger fish to fry in the “what really matters in my life” department.

  • Amanda

    @POP MUSIC FORUM: You’re starting to make me angry. Daniel’s votes have skyrocketed faster and further than Brad’s. You’re not Pop Music Forum, you’re just some sad little boy sitting in his room, that probably goes to school with Brad and is in love with him, but you’re too scared to say anything because you’re a coward. So, instead, you come online to something Brad’s trying really hard for and try to bring him down. Does it make you feel like a bigger person to try to ruin something someone’s doing? I hope so, but I wanted you to know I feel sorry for you, and after knowing Brad for 12 years I can honestly tell you he’s wonderful and you’re a just a pathetic little gnome.

    @EVERYONE: That being said, everyone needs to calk down. Just step back and see what happens. Here’s how I take it: every time I looked at the site it was BRAD/DAN/BRAD/DAN (I won’t lie, most of the time Dan did have a 3% to 4% advantage on Brad but that’s an easily flexible distance); therefore, it was probably going to be one of the two of them anyways. Now it still is, just there might be some foul play. Good thing this isn’t like “vote for your quadruple-bypass surgeon!” or something. You know, something important. And I don’t see ANY of the contestants calling foul on it. None of them have posted comments and for all we know none of them have even told the webmaster what’s going on. Hell, the WEBMASTER hasn’t even said anything. And if the contestants and the man who set up the poll aren’t sweating about it, why should everyone else?

    That’s all.

  • Amanda

    @Amanda: *everyone needs to calm down…

    Oops :(

  • Moi

    it’s run to reload and see the vote go up literally every second. Hate to break it to the editor, but I don’t think this site’s that popular. And look, Marill’s suddenly pulling ahead out of nowhere! If people honestly think this is based on individual votes, they’re out of their minds. now it’s just a battle of wills

  • Joshua

    LOL @ Dan V’s votes going up four times a second. Way to cheat your way to the top. Find something better to do and stop purposely beating the rest of the entries like your name is Chris Brown.

  • Michael

    @Joshua: Heh, four votes a minute would get him 2400 votes in ten minutes! I think whoever said it was like American Idol was a little closer to the truth, mistah Joshuah.

  • Michael

    @Michael: per second*

  • Joshua

    @Michael Joshua*

  • ssean

    “bowie’s too queer?”

    one must never speak His name in vain. what a fool.

    vote jj III

  • *Spoiler Alert*

    If someone is getting multiple votes per minute, it is more likely to be actual voting. Actual voting will be more random and in spurts. It’s the tallies that go up by about a vote a minute that are suspect and most likely due to cookie death. And about this pouting over the “Bowie’s too queer” comment – that line refers to his MUSIC being too queer to MAKE OUT to, not to him in general. Can’t you people read?

  • BillS

    It doesn’t say anywhere 1 person, 1 vote. I’ve got 10 PCs at my disposal, so I’ve got 10 votes. Stern is twice as good as Joe John, who is three times as good as Daniel. So Stern gets 6, Joe John gets 3, and Daniel gets 1.
    If you don’t like it, take it up with the management. Or, get a tech job, so next time you won’t count for 1 tenth of me.


    ew fugly stern is winning again. he must have the day off from doing nothing since all this voting is obviously coming from him

  • Sebbe

    Holy crap. 24 hours later and there are over 10,000 votes.

  • Sebbe

    @Pop Music Forum – I think Stern is HOT!! I don’t find it plausible that any one person equaled the vote of “every” other voter on the site. I also don’t find it likely that “every” other voter caste their ballot for Daniel V. either.

    I personally wouldn’t because his writing sucks and I find his receding hairline quite disturbing for an alleged 29 year old.

    On a side note, and I mean this as a supportive critique and not an attack, I would suggest that since you are actively (over actively?) pursing new users to your forum, that you may wish to post comments in a more diplomatic fashion.



    lol i think i’ll just stick to saying whats on my mind. i could give 2 shits if someone doesnt join cuz they dont like my opinion :)

  • I want Brad's nut

    vote for brad S i did


    fugly stern pulls ahead again – poor thing must have no life. bless her heart.

  • Hector

    How does the worst reviewer have half the votes? My favorite writer still needs over 7,100 clicks to win. I’d like to see someone I can trust doing reviews here, not someone who name drops the Minogue no one even cares about.

  • robert

    as i sit here, watching the counter literally spin–400 votes in the last three minutes–i’m disappointed to say that this contest wasn’t played fairly.

    may the spoils go to he who cheated best.

  • Michael

    Maybe this epic needs a sportscaster. Some time earlier today, Villareal and Stern seem to have brought together their friends for a voting binge, and it hasn’t let up since (more than tripling the total votes in one day). After many ups and downs (Team-A was more than a thousand votes ahead when this madness started), they were neck-and-neck for a couple hours. Now it looks like Team-V is taking a “slight” lead. But with so many voters, it can change any second!

    Take your pick and help out Team-S or Team-V! Or just laugh at it all and be glad Milk won best screenplay.

  • Wret

    wow. 1000 in less than five minutes. they both must really know a lot of people.

  • Van der Graaf

    I can’t say I really know what exactly is going on votes wise, but Villarreal’s review was best so I voted for him. I hope he wins.

  • Michael

    UPDATE [~11:15]
    Team-S: 22301
    Team-V: 23008

    It’s been a steady 700 difference for the past half hour.

  • Michael

    UPDATE #2[~11:30]

    Team-S: 23422
    Team-V: 24317

    Each team gets over a thousand in fifteen minutes!

  • Michael

    UPDATE #3[~11:45]

    Team-S: 24227
    Team-V: 25476

    Both teams have slowed a bit, though Stern & Co. more so. CNN calls it for Villarreal, FOX and MSNBC say it’s too close to call.

  • Michael

    FINAL UPDATE [~12:00]

    Team-S: 24802
    Team-V: 26792

    Obama wins by default, followed by Villarreal, then Stern, collectively taking over 93% of votes on a marathon Sunday night.

  • Love Byte

    Glad to see my pick, Daniel Villarreal won — by nearly 2000 votes! — at 12:00 am EST. I guess wit and strong verbs win the day. Can’t wait to read his reviews on the site…

  • *Spoiler Alert*

    Congrats to Danny V. It’s nice to see that the guy who was legitimately in the lead at the beginning of this thing is still ahead at the end, even if it’s through ballot box-stuffing. It’s only a shame that this doesn’t give justice or full credit to how well the other two decent writers did (Maril and Sanchez). Kudos to them as well. I see Brad’s team of cheaters is still at it. Give it up, boys, everyone knows this party is over.

  • rob

    Daniel Villarreal gets my vote. His writing is fun and smart and sexy. Hmm, kind of like him. And he goes to my alma mater.
    uh, huh.

  • Greg

    @*Spoiler Alert*: Actually, Maril was in the lead at the beginning of this thing (before anyone started ballot-stuffing).


    OMG can’t you ban fugly stern’s and daniel’s IP addresses? Srsly…

  • Sebbe

    Who won? No official announcement?

    & that logo is horrible PMF, the colors are straining. I have asked for clarification if that is considered spamming or just bad taste.

  • anonyme

    viva daniel

Comments are closed.