Yes my friends, it's that time of the week again, and so I bring you: Shipping!
Don't look at me like that, one shot ships are abound in this fandom, and this one isn't even about the ship, it's about the moral choices. It's a bit somber, but a good read nonetheless. The review of What Really Matters? after the break!
(Well, I can't get drunk, don't do drugs, and am fine with being broke, so I'll take the pony!)
Lyra prepares a birthday party for Vinyl Scratch, her marefriend, but it is ruined when Vinyl comes home reeking of alcohol and in a sour mood. She ignores Lyra's worries, going straight to the studio, where Lyra confronts her about her bad attitude for the last few weeks, and she shrugs it off before responding... negatively, shall we say? After their row, Vinyl searches her mind about what is more important: her career, or her marefriend.
Spoiler alert: She makes the right choice.
(It's a 4000 or so word one shot with the whole plot laid out in the description, it wasn't going to be overly deep, complicated, or tricky.)
Vinyl Scratch, the ever present DJ P0N-3, is characterized as a sex, drugs, and music pony who, after finding love, settled down a little, not going around or doing as many shows. This causes the main conflict, as her old persona is missed by her fans and her label, even though her music is still amazing. This causes much of the reflection on the question of the title, and actually has some deeper moments. Lyra gets the short end of the character stick, being given the personality of a supportive, slightly scatterbrained musician and teacher of many of the foals in town who very much loves Vinyl and wants to help her through whatever issue is there and make her birthday a special day.
As far as typos, the only flaw was one issue of your/you're confusion.
However, there is one thing about the story that is not exactly a 'flaw,' per se, but is something that broke me from full enjoyment, and that is this: I have seen this story before. Not just once or twice, or something similar, I have seen this exact story told and retold a million times in movies, stories, books, what have you, with the same characters and scenario. The characterization, while done well, is not particularly deep or interesting, falling on old archetypes, while the story walks the well told path of “will they give up their life in pursuit of love, or lose true love in pursuit of fortune?” It just feels very much like a retread of quite a few other stories' and/or movies' main characters who go through the same things, but this one stars a DJ and a musician. Oh, and they're ponies.
It's no fault on the story, archetypes exist for a reason, as does the conflict and even the resolution, but it does lead to predictable, bland characters and a predictable ending. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It's a good scenario, and there's a reason it is retold so often. But me? I'm tired of it. Leave predictability to summer movies and pulp fiction, and let's leave fan fiction to really imaginative, interesting, complex tales, crossovers, and bad shipping fics.
I liked the story well enough, though the fake version of Journey's Small Town Girl was just... it hurt. Reading that actually hurt. I don't care if you're in Equestria and you need to make them horse puns, you do not mess with Journey's songs. Ever.
Rock and roll blasphemy aside, it was a good read, if not life changing, and while it is the author's only fic so far and falls into traps of convenience, they have potential, and I expect their next work to be even better.
A well told story about the importance of love vs. fame starring an unusual shipping pair. It's worth a read, but you may get the feeling you have seen the story before.
And that's it for this review, my friends. Have a wonderful day everypony!
Your innovative writer,