Revisions to my Music Reviews

July 27, 2009 at 12:13 am (Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

What I’m come realize over the past two months, is that my music review templates are great in theory, but difficult to apply in practice. Why? I guess I get too detailed and than the review becomes wordy, and takes away from probably the best part of review, which are my song picks & links to those videos. The main reason is that I cannot put out as many music reviews as I would like using this format (ie. I have a waiting list of reviews to do!)

So recognizing changes were need, here is what I propose to do:

1) I will cut down on the artist/band information portion because that is already covered in the links I provide.

2) Each category of analysis will be just given a mark versus descriptive feedback.

3) The marks will be eighth notes: ♫ = 2 eighth notes represents one full mark; ♪= 1 eighth note equals a half mark

4) A perfect score = ♫♫♫♫ ( or like 4 stars in a movie review)

For example – Sample Review:

Chodidee Band

Musicality:

♫♫♪

Vocals:

♫♫♫

Lyrics:

♫♫♫

Flow/Rhythm:

♫♫♫♪

Freshness:

♫♫♫♫

Technicality/Quality of Recording: ♫♫

Visuals/Marketing: ♫♪

Overall: ♫♫♪

At this point I give a brief (one paragraph max) descriptive review of the most important points I want to share about that artist/band.

After my brief summary, I continue on with my favorite 2 songs, & video links to those songs.

This will allow me to do quicker, easier, and frankly more music reviews while keeping it relevant and entertaining for you. I realize that in today’s internet saturated world, everything must be quick, relevant, to the point, and worthy of your attention (the song choices/video links).

So that’s it, that will be more format that I use for music reviews and we’ll see how it goes!

P.S. I haven’t given up on my “Top 15 Underground/Indie/Unsigned Songs of the Week”. I’m giving it a name change that makes it easier for me. I will call it “Recommended Underground/Indie/Unsigned Songs” and I will have the date of that week in brackets.

O.K. everybody, I’m excited about the changes, and hoping that I bring music reviews to you quicker, more effectively, and on a “consistent” basis in order to improve my blog.

Sincerely,

Jason Chu

http://twitter.com/Chodidees

http://www.youtube.com/Chodidee

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee


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The Myriad

June 7, 2009 at 11:25 pm (Indie Artists, Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

http://www.myspace.com/themyriad

http://www.themyriad.net/

http://www.youtube.com/user/themyriadmusic

Name:  The Myriad

Genre: Indie/Rock

Major/Indie/Unsigned: E1 Entertainment (Formerly Koch Records)/Epic Records

Album: With Arrows, With Poise

Released: 2008

Overall Rating (out of 4): 3

Musicality – This is a band that likes to challenge themselves with their music. They create interesting variations and layers to their songs, which add a delicious texture and makes the music always interesting. Also, you notice they mix with some sampled electronic sounds, but never overdo it to take away from their indie rock sound.

Singing – Jeremy’s vocals are subtle, but have a distinct character in his voice, almost a bit like Thom Yorke of Radiohead (meaning softer sounding breathy tenor vocals). I like how he doesn’t try to over sing, but has a good voice and knows how to use it. I would find it a little more interesting if he could vary his vocal dynamics and tones, just to bring some variety and liven up the vocals at times. As well, in the few tracks where they made the keyboard a focus, it really added a missing element (middle) with it’s melodies and chords. I wish the keyboards would be in more songs.

Lyrics – Their lyrics are very poetic and you need to search a little for the meanings to make sense to you (thinker’s lyrics). Even with the lyrics on a sheet, it would still take a few listens to adequately understand what “The Myriad” is saying. That’s a compliment.

Flow/Rhythm – Mellow/chill/cool/indie rock is what comes to mind when I think of “The Myriad’s” music. It’s music you would chill to, or even study to, and read a book to. I would almost think they are a slightly more rock sounding “Coldplay”. So, they do have a quieter vibe, but it works.

Freshness – It is pretty decent, but I think you need to be careful with the chill rock/alternative/indie sound. There are just so many people doing that style that you need really have some strong qualities in different areas to stand out.

Technicality/Recording – I’m not sold on the recording here. I think the engineers could have done a better job with the mixing. For example, i think most songs mix the instruments in a way that doesn’t maximize the best sound for the listener. The drum cymbals completely drown out the vocals, and the instruments cover the vocals a bit, which isn’t the greatest if you are a “lyrics” listener. But I’m just being nit-picky! All in all, great music!

Visuals – Top notch Myspace page. Excellent Youtube channel. Their homepage for the band is very good! No complaints on the online presence/marketing. The only thing is if they get twittering/tweeting, it will help them even more!

Top #2 Songs:

1. A Thousand Winters Melting (Just a great song, musically, lyrically, and it makes you feel good when you hear it!) – Unfortunately there was no video/live performance that I could find of this song. So I’ll choose a third.

2. You waste time like a grandfather clock (A great mix of rhythms, effects, dynamics, and amazing lyrics – just a compelling song; one that I would want to listen to multiple times).

2. A Clean Shot (A well balanced track, a bit New Wave-like, driving drums & bass, catchy vocals)

~ Jason Chu

@Chodidees

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

http://www.youtube.com/Chodidee

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Music Reviews – How I Write Them

May 13, 2009 at 4:26 pm (Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Name: Artist

Genre:

Major/indie/unsigned:

Album:

Released:

I will rate it “Overall” out of **** (including halves)

Musicality – the musicians ability to play cohesively (together/tight)

Singing – voice quality, confidence, best fit – with band, versatility, appealing to fans

Lyrics – depth and meaning; interesting and worthy of multiple listens

Flow/Rhythm – Is it crisp and clean, does it make people wanna hop, jump, nod their heads, step, waves their hands like they just don’t care (O.K. You get it!)

Freshness – Is this original, a new sound/style, or song, that gets me outta my seat!

Technicality/Recording – Quality of the recording

Visuals – Videos, advertisements, on Myspace, or elsewhere – does it help enhance or detract from your music/image

Top #2 Songs: I pick my fav’s

Just so everybody knows where I’m coming from, the rubric above is what I will use to review the music/musicians that will be seen here in this “Music Reviews” category in this blog. I will not be able to comment on every category for each artist because it would take too long, however, I will focus on the important ones. If you have any questions, please leave a comment, tweet, or talk to me on Myspace.

~ Jason Chu

@Chodidees

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

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