This is the short-reads crux of the argument in the latest Pitchfork Reviews Reviews post, which is a very good piece: PRR himself never comes across as passionate, but he is always “voicey”.
Like most binaries, the claim here mixes the recognisable with the unfair in tantalising ways. All the Pitchfork writers I know adore music, but I think it’s fair to say few worry about perfoming passion in their writing. I’ve not read any DeRogatis in years, so I don’t know how accurate the piece is about him.
What I am certain of is that the idea of “passion” has gone through catastrophic devaluations in the last decade or so. It’s become a cornerstone in the language of the small businessman and the twitter biography. At the same time the signifiers of passion in pop writing have come to seem awkward, imitative, phoney - in stand-alone pieces at least (there’s passion aplenty below the line!). It’s worth pointing out that the clear-lined tone of ’10s Pitchfork is hardly the only or main benefactor of this - scorn and snark have done at least equally well.