So why do critics love the word “grower” so much? They often use it to justify their stance when the merit of a work isn’t immediately apparent, in anticipation of dissent. Which sounds perceptive and admiral at first. But there’s also the underlying implication of a certain lack of awareness, either inner or outer. As in, they either didn’t know music well enough to know the work was impressive right off the bat, or they didn’t know themselves well enough to realize they’d end up liking it after all.
Ha ha, OK. (And of course, issuing corrections, once you've had your breakthrough and realized the album you thought sucked actually rules, is a good idea, as the post points out.)
I don't recall ever calling anything a "grower," at least not in print, but I think we've all developed a love for albums we didn't "get" at first. I'd say On the B-side, so to speak, are albums that seem way awesome on first listen, then lose their luster over time. What should we call those? "Shrinkers"? As in, "This Sleigh Bells/Broken Bells/School of Seven Bells record may be a shrinker, but it sure sounds great right now in the summer of 2010."