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This project seeks to undertake a musical review through evaluation of composition, lyrics, content, diction, execution, delivery and instrumentation in the music produced. It is mainly based on emotional appeal and seeks to highlight one of the key leading singers in their performances.
The themes addressed in these songs are clear and include an emotional reflection and discovery of an inner meaning of the songs. In my research, I considered three songs written by acclaimed songwriters and musicians. The choice of these songs was influenced by the message which is accompanied by the sweet music. (Scott 17).
This criticism is based on a number of factors, For example, my preferences of music styles. As for me, I am accustomed to several genres of music. Thus, the opinion on the quality of music is subjective as it depends on someones’ musical taste. Seldom will one find two people with similar musical tastes.
Overview of choice of songs
The first song, which I consider very inspiring, is by a Christian contemporary band, Six Pence None the Richer called ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’. The last two are by British nationals, Adele, for her spectacular song ‘Rolling in the Deep’, and James Blunt, the author and performer of the song ‘Wise men’.
Six Pence None the Richer is a band which leading singer has an enviable vocal prowess and instrumentalists understand their instruments very well. Adele and James Blunt, both solo artists, are respected for uniqueness of their voices and their richness in composition of lyrics.
‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’ by Six Pence None the Richer
The first song by Six Pence None the Richer, ‘Don’t dream it’s over’ is from their album Divine Discontent. The theme of the song pertains to renewed relief and rejuvenation. It serves as a reminder that there is hope no matter in what situation one finds himself.
It elaborately brings out the idea that there are brighter days to come. Personally it gives me a reason to ‘come alive’ and push on through the obstacles of life as it gives a renewed purpose for life. The lyrical content or message is rich and relates to any audience. It is a form of soft rock that is music to the soul.
The execution of the song is spectacular bringing in a voice that is husky yet expressive. The instrumentation brings out a harmony and rhythm that adds musical flow to the song. The lead vocalist, Leigh Nash, has one of the rarest voices. Layered with variations, Leigh has a distinguished voice that makes one believe in the lyrics she sings out. Leigh Nash has been acclaimed on international media for her sterling voice that adds vibrance and pomp to all performances by the band.
The instrumentation layers the performance of the song in a manner that displays solid mastery of the instruments in the creation of melody. Nash draws inspiration from her Christian life and country artists who have previously done well including Tanya Tucker and Loretta Lynn. Leigh Nash started singing country music and learning the guitar at a tender age of twelve. She is also a songwriter.
Nash spent her childhood in Southern Texas in the town of Braunfels where she sang in local cafes. Despite growing in the country side, she never developed an accent. The band lead guitarist is Matt Slocum while T.J Behling is the bassist. Dale Baker serves as the drummer.
The composer of this song must have taken into perspective the general hassles of life that may make one let go of their dreams. It serves as an encouragement to push on despite all the signs showing one has reached a dead end. The song is enriched mostly by the acoustic guitar and drums that are outstanding in the execution of the song. Use of lower registers of voice and tempo adds style (Sloboda 361).
In the song ‘Don’t dream it’s over’, the structure of the song is polyphonic involving blend of voice and instrumentation. The song has a lot of repetition but I believe emphasis of the lyrics is important for the message to be passed along to the listener.
‘Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele
The song ’Rolling in the Deep’ by Adele is a song of heartbreak and brings out the theme that relationships can be sour. Adele reminds us of the simple nature of relationships which are a major component of everyones’ life. The song mimics everyday relationships by unfolding the harsh reality of how bad things can turn out to be.
In my opinion, Adele has a very expressive voice, simple yet complex. She does not disappoint with a stellar execution of the song which displays versatility beyond lyrics. The content is deep as it sends a strong message on anger expressed over a guy a girl must have seriously loved and now she is left heartbroken and lonely (Tate 2008).
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The song has flow and perfect harmony as her voice brings out the tempo with style. The video is equally captivating with an unusual concept of glasses filled with water and a room that depicts a deserted house. This expresses how the girl feels, alone, yet she can rise above hurt and pull the small pieces of her life together. Adele’s instrumentation is simple adding harmonization to melodies.
The song depicts a unique flow and harmony of voice, instruments and tonal variations to blend them. Adele is a rare diamond acclaimed world over and the highlight of the uniqueness of her voice was revealed in Sky fall, the James Bond movie, signature song.
A background check on Adele reveals that she is a multi-instrumentalist who plays the keyboard, bass guitar and percussion instruments. She is a songwriter, composer and arranger with distinguished contributions to adult contemporary pop music.
In the 2009 Grammy Awards, Adele received awards for ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best Female Pop Vocal Performance’. Adele was born in Tottenham, North London and she attributes her love and passion for music to the ‘Spice Girls’. Her vocals are well developed and she is well known for soul genres touching on relationships and heartbreaks.
Adele showcases a melody that is initially slow but rises steadily and gets faster with the drum beats to the climax of the song. Evidently, the dynamics of the song merge as the instruments match the increasingly aggressive voice of Adele. The tempo of the song is enhanced by the distinct drum beats making the melody of the song catchy and indicating a level of dynamism.
The depth of this song cannot be underestimated. Adele has proven to have arguably one of the deepest lyrical prowesses. Adele has not only displayed success in her British hometown, but equally earned acclamation around the world for her songs hitting the charts. I believe many people relate with the lyrics of this song.
Music by Adele and Six Pence None the Richer are therapeutic giving listeners a sense of hope in the midst of life’s wild storms. They both break through the clutter and give a sense of meaning to life by assuring that things will get better. This is one of the themes that truly inspire me as a listener. These two pieces undoubtedly add flavor to life.
‘Wise men’ by James Blunt
James Blunt production of ‘Wise men’ is a form of pop rock. The quality of sound adds to the richness of the overall composition. His voice evokes feelings of triumph in breakups and the lyrics touches on housewives undergoing turbulent marriages. The song is an allegory to the Biblical three wise men. In my opinion, the song shows original talent and the execution is superb. The diction is equally appropriate making James Blunt a compelling artist. The texture of the song is even as the guitar plays a lead role in the instrumentation.
James Blunt writes his own music hence gaining respect in lyrical composition. He has won two British awards and has previously been nominated for the Grammy awards five times. James Blunt quit the army in 2002 and unleashed his debut album ‘Back to Bedlam’. The song which catapulted him to fame, ‘You’re Beautiful’, earned him worldwide recognition (Griffins 1).
James Blunt carries a self-conscious demeanor and elicits an attitude of ‘not afraid to be different’. He is a talented songwriter with well crafted songs that exude style and earn charisma. Stage presence is convincing accompanied by his favorite instrument, the electric guitar, and in fact he has the ability of moving an audience to tears of joy.
His name, Blunt, is considered in the English language as somewhat ‘boring’. However, James has risen above this stereotype and numerous criticisms to conquer hearts and souls of men by moving audiences and receiving acclamation in the music fraternity. James Blunt, no doubt has an admirable gift for Music (Moore par.2).
However, James Blunt recently announced that he is leaving the music fraternity. I believe that through his music, many will remember his distinguished voice and cleverly mastered lyrics.
These three artists have served as a great influence in my life and changed my perception of music in so many different ways. My selection of these three pieces, not only highlights diversification as an individual, but equally displays that music from different genres make one connected to other cultures and styles from around the world. Content is key in music pieces, but execution in terms of instrumental accompaniment and charisma, distinguishes good music as extraordinary and unique (Kramer 51).
Two words for my all my favorite musicians, rock on!
Summary of choice of songs
- Song : Don’t Dream it’s Over
Composer: Six Pence None the Richer
Album: Divine Discontent
- Song: Rolling in the Deep
- Song: Wise Men
Composer: James Blunt
Album: Back to Bedlam
Griffins, Ian. “James Blunt- Review“. The Guardian. 2011. Web.
Kramer, Lawrence. Musical Meaning: Towards a Critical History. USA: University of California Press, 2002. Print.
Moore, Mark. James Blunt-Wise Men Single Review. n.d. Web.
Scott, Miller. Music: What Happened? United States: 125 Records, 2010. Print.
Sloboda, John. Exploring the Musical Mind: Cognition, Emotion, Ability and Function. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print.
Tate, Joseph. The Music and Art of Radiohead. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005. Print.