"Writing about music is like dancing about architecture"
It's unclear who originally uttered this infamous quote. It's been attributed to Frank Zappa, Martin Mull, and, most authoritatively, to Elvis Costello. (For an in-depth look at its cloudy citation history, go here.) In any case, it is a profoundly true and correct statement.
Alex Ross is the "classical" music critic for The New Yorker, and is one of the best dancers about architecture I've ever read. He can make me interested in music I thought was decidedly uninteresting, like say, Shostakovich, simply through his sharp erudition, enthusiasm, and eloquence. Plus he's not a snob and can write equally thought-provoking articles on, say, Bob Dylan.
Alex Ross, along with Peter Schjeldahl, who writes about "art," are the best reasons to subscribe to The New Yorker (besides the cartoons). They are the finest critics working in America today.