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


Advertisements

Permalink 1 Comment

Music Reviews…Why Take So Long?

May 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm (Music Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Hey y’all, if you took the time to read this thanks! I’ll just explain my rationale for writing music reviews.

1. I want to write quality music reviews that will be respected by musicians as well as easy to understand/digest for the regular music fan. So far I have written about 10 music reviews, and it takes me about 2 hrs. minimum each. Why so long? You got to listen to the music at least 2 times, if not more. Also, to add in the embedded videos and correct all the grammar issues (so that it is professional – i.e. linkable to major websites), takes a lot of time. Therefore, quality not quantity is what I’m aiming for.

2. I will focus on the positives of each musician/band, however I will write constructive comments when necessary (things that I think if improved upon, would greatly help their chances of enlarging their audience).

3. I only have limited time as well, so I have to choose very carefully of who I’m going to write about. I try my best to focus more so on the unsigned/indie/underground music (they need the publicity), but I do have to throw in major artists as well. So half my battle is sifting through all the bands/musicians and choose who I’m going to write about. Something that I keep high on my list: If the artist is releasing something new right now. It is then my priority to review that soon, for the fans and everyone else.

4. I do this currently for personal enjoyment, and love almost nothing as much as hearing new music because I have a super high degree of respect for musicians and the craft that they do. I’m not doing this for fame or anything to do with that, and I’m not doing this to become friends with musicians. It’s about the quality of the report/review (if it’s good, people will take what you have to say…seriously, they’ll give you respect!).

5. What makes me qualified to write a music review? I don’t know, other than I’m a mega music fan, that knows what is quality. I have very diverse music tastes, just ask my friends, it would be hard to pigeonhole my musical tastes. I have also been a music teacher at a school (taught almost the whole school music), I’ve been in a rock band, jazz bands, I can play the piano, bass, guitar, sing in a choir, steel drums, saxophone, baritone/tuba, basic familiarity with soundboards, editing, and I know music theory as well.

Hope this gives you more information on the specifics of music reviews, the rationale, and purposes for writing them. Please contact me at the links below, if you have further questions! Remember #1: It’s never about You! It’s ALWAYS about the musician/band & their music…FIRST!!!

~ Jason Chu

www.myspace.com/chodidee
www.youtube.com/Chodidee
Twitter: Chodidees

Permalink 2 Comments

Rubberheadbanditz

May 30, 2009 at 1:05 am (Music Reviews, Unsigned Artists) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

http://www.myspace.com/rubberheadbanditz

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

Name:  Rubberheadbanditz (Hovedstaden, Denmark)

Genre: Electro/Pop/Rock

Major/Indie/Unsigned: Unsigned

Album:

Released:

Overall Rating (out of 4): 3

Musicality – They produce a very rhythmic sound, with thudding punchy basslines, weaving guitar lead licks, and catchy vocals. I love the variety of sounds that mix together from real instruments to synthesized sounds. For example, they use the tambourine (works well!), in other tracks they use monkey sounds and even a cash register opening closing. Very creative songwriters!

Singing – Clear vocals make all the lyrics simple to hear. They have strong singing vocals, but not only that, they mix it up with rap rhyming, talking, and even a little beat boxing. You will not be bored by the vocals.

Lyrics – Entertaining, humorous, and witty. These guys sing about regular issues that everyone deals with (i.e. money problems, stress, etc.), however, these guys put a fun spin on these themes. Just listen to a their songs, you’ll know what I mean.

Flow/Rhythm – Rubberheadbanditz definitely have a funky groove that is very catchy. I’m sure it would get a whole lot of people dancing, jumping and partying to.

Freshness – Oh yeah, they have a fresh sound. I would say their sound is pretty unique and the closest similar musician that I can think off the top my head would be: Fatboy Slim and maybe Beck. It calls down to would listeners want to listen to their music repeated times, and I’m pretty confident they would playing it over and over in their Ipod’s.

Technicality/Recording – A very professional sound, especially considering all the effects, samples, and real instruments that they had to mix together.

Visuals – Rubberheadbanditz are just beginning their marketing and branding on the internet. They have a good Myspace page, however, they could spruce it up with some more graphics and visuals, but a good start. As well, they just started their own Youtube channel in April 2009. So, they are getting their music out there, it’s just a matter of time before people catch on. I just encourage them to keep performing, writing new music, putting more music on the internet, and maybe start an internet “street team”.

Top 2 Songs:

1. Revolution! (Crazy beat boxing with funky sonic jumping track, with Zack de la Rocha sounding vocals) Unfortunately no videos or live performances of this song yet!

2. Stress (Super catchy tune, rhythmic bass & beats, and the vocals tell an interesting story)

2. Remember Me (Funky synth bass groove, catchy vocals, and of course tambourines!)

~ Jason Chu

@Chodidees

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Permalink 2 Comments

Elyse and the Aftermath

May 24, 2009 at 3:01 am (Music Reviews, Unsigned Artists) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

http://www.myspace.com/elyseandtheaftermath

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

http://twitter.com/Elyse411

Name: Elyse and the Aftermath

Genre: Pop/Rock/Alternative

Major/Indie/Unsigned: Unsigned

Album: Shut up and Listen!

Released: August 2008

Overall Rating (out of 4): 2.5

Musicality – The band plays in an understated way, but it’s solid. Nice keyboard work in the songs, I would encourage using them more! The vocals definitely take center stage with Elyse and the Aftermath. The sound of the band sort of reminds me of “Heart”.

Singing – Elyse has a great voice, very strong & clear for rock bands (Her singing sounds a bit like Bif Naked, just less edge though). The background vocals are good, but they could use some more and maybe even add in harmonies.

Lyrics – Straight forward, no hidden agenda to the songs. Crystal clear rock lyrics!

Flow/Rhythm – This one is tricky, they are mid – tempo rock (neither too fast/heavy, or too slow/ballad-like), that can make it tougher to breakthrough (my observation is that the heavier rock or pop-like bands have an easier way).

Freshness – It’s good! I just would probably spruce up the backing band sound, maybe add a little more distinction on the guitar leads, and punch up the riffs.

Technicality/Recording – Excellent, a good clear mix.

Visuals – Elyse has a good Youtube channel set up with a lot of videos, which is great for fans. The band’s Myspace page is really good, and has all the features that any major label artist would have! As far as image, the Myspace page made think they were going to be goth band, which they’re not, however, that’s minor quibbles! Plus Elyse has a Twitter account, so you can keep up with the band and their next moves!

Top #2 Songs:

1. One Photograph (Very catchy, love the singing lyrics, and it is just a good rock song!)

2. Damaged (Great song & lyrics, they perform it well!)

~ Jason Chu

@Chodidees

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Maria Z – Maria Zouroudis

May 16, 2009 at 11:00 pm (Music Reviews, Unsigned Artists) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

http://www.myspace.com/mariazouroudis

Name: Artist Maria Zouroudis (Maria Z)

Genre: Pop/R&B

Major/Indie/Unsigned: Unsigned

Album:

Released:

Overall Rating (out of 4): 2.5

Singing – She has an amazing voice! Her voice has a very pure sound, and you emotion carries through her voice to the listener. Check out my links to the top #2 songs below. She has a wide range, and I look forward to her future music.

Lyrics – The lyrics are alright, nothing too heavy or too light. The themes relate with stuff that you go through in life, nothing too fancy here. With Maria Z, I’m listening because I just want to hear her sing. That being said, she needs to focus on writing more original music, even though her cover recordings are outstanding.

Flow/Rhythm – Versatility is the word. Slow piano ballads, mixed with acoustic songs, and a hip hop number on top of that!

Freshness – She definitely has the talent, however, I get the sense she is still trying to find her sound/voice/style to break into the mainstream with. Will it be pop (ie. Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera), acoustic (Jewel) or R&B?

Technicality/Recording – Variable quality, but for the most part, pretty good.

Visuals – Amazing set up on her Youtube channel, probably could use some sprucing up of her Myspace site, but otherwise she’s doing a great job marketing herself (I heard she’s got twitter too! )

Top 2 Songs:

1. Extraordinary Love (Just a beautiful song, that needs to be heard!)

2. You’re Not Sorry – Taylor Swift Cover (The depth, sensitivity, and strength of her voice is showcased in this one)

~ Jason Chu

@Chodidees

http://www.myspace.com/chodidee

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Permalink Leave a Comment

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

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

Permalink Leave a Comment