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Linguistics and Ideas for Analysis Paper

Styx, 'The Mission' Roundtable Review: Our Writers Tackle Four Big Questions
ultimateclassicrock.com

Styx, 'The Mission' Roundtable Review: Our Writers Tackle Four Big Questions

The author's atypical approach to an album review instantly draws the audience in better than any average music analysis. Instead of jumping directly into the merit and quality of the album, the author introduces four questions that introduces a way for YOU to think about the album. He then inserts music professionals' opinions in to give you the critical view of the album from a professional. Later in the article, the author transfers back to the more conventional style of analysis. He has successfully drawn you in with an unconventional intro and then directly handed you what you should be thinking about when you reach the pure analysis.

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Lennon's Music: A Range of Genius
rollingstone.com

Lennon's Music: A Range of Genius

Though the article does not directly focus on Lennon's influence and progress he added to the Beatles, it does show it. By zoning in all focus on one aspect of a musical group, the author can indirectly show what he or she brings to the table and how it could be different without them. It places a microscope on their performance and individual style and what makes it theirs. Instead of using using broad linguistics, the author gives direct evidence of the artists impact, such as citing Lennon's divergence from the regular "I-IV-V" chord progressions on rock at the time. By showing what an artist has done, we can see where we'd be without it.

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What’s the strongest 3-song run on an album?
music.avclub.com

What’s the strongest 3-song run on an album?

What draws me to this album is it's question tagline, "What’s the strongest 3-song run on an album?" The interest I have is not toward the fulfillment of the question, but rather what that question implies. From the need to ask this question, anyone can infer that it is a sight to behold when an album provides three great songs in a row. To expand on this idea and draw it to my topic, I could introduce the question and lead the reader to inevitably conclude that RUSH does this with practically every album they release. By tying RUSH to this ability, it will instantly help identify as an extremely successful band.

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Jack White, 'Boarding House Reach': Album Review
ultimateclassicrock.com

Jack White, 'Boarding House Reach': Album Review

In order to prove a sense of honesty and objectiveness towards Jack White, the author holds nothing back in his criticism. Instead of hailing the artist as a god, he brings out White's good side by revealing his flaws as well. This total transparency does not directly harm the audience's opinion of him to any ridiculous manner. In fact, the transparency helps convey the artists genius in showing his success despite these negative things. Instead of dragging the artist down and holding him back, his contrasting qualities of greatness and musical intellect raise him up out of the pit of failure he would otherwise find himself in.

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Beatles Albums Ranked
stereogum.com

Beatles Albums Ranked

The authors deep analysis of each individual album instead of a broad-strokes approach helps provide a backstory for the band's past and thought process, while also simply proving which of their works is truly superior. The author uses specific language such as to build each album up as the list progresses. This helps solidify the band's genius and musical fortitude without seeing some work as "less-than," but rather as a tremendous outlier. In these passages, the author also gives hints and clues of what makes a band truly great and accomplished, then proves to the audience that the Beatles fit that criteria. The use of providing the audience with a guide to what is is premium content in the beginning of the article allows for the author to simply guide the reader along the history and qualities of an artist, allowing the reader to get to that realization himself.

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The Persistence of Prog Rock
newyorker.com

The Persistence of Prog Rock

The author's introduction of the Progressive Rock genera gives a perfect into into understanding the genera as a whole. While the genera is well established and clear cut, there is always room for interpretation. This leniency regarding certain generas in the music business allows artists to step over the lines and create something new while also sticking to the guides. The mention of this is genius in that it allows the author the perfect window from which to analyze music, picking out what separates the good from the great and ultimately, how they got there. By defining what the music should sound like, you are able to put the music and what people say it should be side by side, showing what matches up and what goes over the top.

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How The Sound Of Country Music Changed
npr.org

How The Sound Of Country Music Changed

These may be the best two sentences I have read in the countless articles I have looked over, "Evolution follows a familiar pattern in plenty of popular music genres. Fearless newcomers or agile established stars with credibility to burn veer from the dominant aesthetic, adopting approaches to music-making that come off as savvy correctives to what everyone's used to hearing. And if what they're doing really begins to catch on, bits and pieces are absorbed into the mainstream, subtly or significantly shifting the genre's center, before something completely different comes along to catch the public's ear." It completely and accurately describes how generas are changed and established. It takes risk to be able to achieve success if your goal is off the beaten path. This type of successful transformation can be tied along with Geddy Lee's unpredictable transition from a pure guitar, kit, and base ensemble into a strange, synth-heavy band that prove a group can pull a complete change of their genera and still thrive in the music industry. It takes innovation to propel a genera forward. It takes a musical metamorphosis to switch generas almost completely and not skip a beat.

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The Stooges, Nico, and Swamp Dogg were the underground heroes of 1970
avclub.com

The Stooges, Nico, and Swamp Dogg were the underground heroes of 1970

What I find great about this article is it's attention to the unsung heroes of the generation. It brings attraction to the ideas that just because a song or band is not the defining musical piece of a time does not mean that it isn't good or did't have an impact on modern music. The 70's was one of the greatest times for rock, featuring the release of amazing albums such as Led Zeppelin III; Black Sabbath; Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother; The Who’s Live At Leeds; Santana’s Abraxas; The Kinks’ Lola Versus Powerman And The Moneygoround, Part One, yet "the singles charts largely ignores them in favor of shag-carpet soft-rock staples by the likes of Bread, Vanity Fare, The Carpenters, and Neil Diamond, plus smug, Up With People glurge like Ray Stevens’ “Everything Is Beautiful.” These bands that were looked over were not inherently bad at all, they just had the misfortune of bad timing. Sometimes premium music gets left behind just because of circumstance.

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20th Century Timeline
classicfm.com

20th Century Timeline

The thing that interests me about this article is it's focus on the dynamical quality of the 20th century. The outline of a rapidly changing world and society help account for the constant changes in public opinion over good music and bad music. I would like to expand on this idea of constantly changing music and hold it partially responsible for the success of RUSH. By showing the extent and status of music growth at the time, you can account for how certain music succeeded where in most other times, it would not. Instead of focusing solely on how the music was made, I plan to shed light on the environment that allowed it to flourish.

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Faith Under Fire: Jay Z's 'Spiritual' Is A Modern Song Of Sorrow
npr.org

Faith Under Fire: Jay Z's 'Spiritual' Is A Modern Song Of Sorrow

In the interest of including the audience in the music directly, I plan to add MP3 snippets in my analysis. Grouping this with a 1 : 1 approach on analyzing the lyrics and then immediately breaking them down to form a better understanding of the music will be a main focus. The article also uses Jay-Z's ideologies of non-conformity to show how this sets him apart from his peers. This language the author uses of "difference" and "non-conformity" also describes the band I will be analyzing, RUSH. Both artists have taken the risks of diverging from the original formula of their work in order to hopefully stand out and have a leg up on their competition.

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