Poptimism diminishes the glory of music by declaring, repeatedly and insistently, that this is all it can do. But there is always more to the story. Critics of all stripes have the privilege of devoting their professional lives to hacking a path through the thicket of cultural abundance. There is, now more than ever, too much to listen to, too much to watch, too much to read. All we can do is point out some highlights of our journey. Criticism matters because its virtues are profoundly human ones: honesty, curiosity, diligence, pluralism. We should never sacrifice any of those in the name of an artificial consensus.