Liner Notes

A Quarter Century... And Beyond

Celebrating The Daily Vault At 25

by Jason Warburg

25large_300_300Twenty-five years. A generation. A quarter century.

However you choose to measure it, it’s a long stretch of time, long enough for evolutions of all kinds to take place. The world has changed, the music industry has changed, The Daily Vault has changed, and I’ve changed (for proof, just check my hairline).

Yet some things have remained the same. I still subscribe to the philosophy laid out in My Heart Sings The Harmony: Twenty Years of Writing About Music:

My job is to narrate my experience as a listener, to explain how the work was received on my end, which buttons it pushed and which it didn’t. Any given review might contain both criticism and praise, but my default setting is positive, not negative. I do what I do because I love music, not criticizing those who make it. And on special occasions when I’ve done my job particularly well, I may also have the privilege of assisting the artist and the audience in achieving the only goal that really matters in art—connection. A shared moment of communication.

That’s what it’s all about, the fuel that still propels me after 25 years of reviewing. The Daily Vault serves a purpose and occupies an increasingly unique niche: we review albums. They’re a minority of the pitches we get daily from artists, publicists and labels these days, which are full of singles and videos and tour news—and we don’t care. We believe in the album as an art form, and reviewing them is what we do. It’s really as simple as that.

I’m excited to share the raft of album-centric features we have in store for you today. But mostly I’m excited by a feeling that feels like 2022 in a nutshell: WE’RE STILL HERE. Through all the changes and upheavals both around us and within our ranks, The Daily Vault has persisted, and that in itself is worthy of celebration.

I’d love to take this opportunity to thank every single person who’s contributed to the Vault in one way or another over the years, but let’s face it, that list would take us both hours to get through. Suffice it to say that I’m grateful to every single writer whose work has ever graced our pages, as well as every single artist, publicist, or label that has shared review material and helped us to spread the word.

Special thanks are due and offered, along with a virtual high-five, to assistant editors Melanie Love (2006-present) and Benjamin Ray (2004-07), social media managers Tom Haugen and Vish Iyer, DV Podcast guru Jeff Clutterbuck, and former DV Publisher / current Staff Writer Duke Egbert.

Finally, everlasting gratitude to the man who made all of this possible for all of us when he launched the site back on January 13, 1997, Daily Vault Founder Christopher Thelen. Chris, you are quite literally “The Man Without Whom” for every single person mentioned above.

As for the future, I don’t know what it holds any more than you do. (Who had “two-year global pandemic” on their 2020s bingo card? Not me…) But I know this: we’re nowhere close to done. The stack of “to-be-reviewed” discs on my desk is as tall as ever and I can’t wait to get back to it.

Y’all take care and we’ll aim to see you in another five years—or better yet, tomorrow.

All content © The Daily Vault unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article or any portion thereof without express written consent of The Daily Vault is prohibited. Album covers are the intellectual property of their respective record labels, and are used in the context of reviews and stories for reference purposes only.