(1) Damian Pacha Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19 at 9:52pm The album that I have chosen is the College Dropout by Kanye West. I would say that this album is definitely a product of the time it was released in, 2

(1)

Damian Pacha Jan 19, 2022 Jan 19 at 9:52pm 

  1. The album that I have chosen is the College Dropout by Kanye West. I would say that this album is definitely a product of the time it was released in, 2004, but it still is fantastic. It’s Kanye’s debut album, so there isn’t much for it to derive off of, more so other albums and music would be influenced by this album, such as Childish Gambino’s Camp. This album is a trendsetter and one of Kanye’s best albums in general.
  2. Trademark:
    1. All Falls Down: The use of the chorus to set up the rest of the song is considered “classic Kanye.” He uses this singing method multiple times throughout his career, such as in Jesus is King or his latest Album, Donda.
    2. School Spirit: The piano in the beginning and throughout the song is something that can be heard throughout older Kanye songs.
  3. The album seems to deal with many topics, but the main one that can be identified is in the beginning is school in general. This is noted with the beginning track starting off with a professor telling Kanye to give a speech, with the following song being “We don’t care.” This song can be about civil disobedience, telling kids to go ahead and sell drugs if teachers are going to put us down anyways.
  4. Kanye west is a very influential man, with his lyrics and lyricism being top tier, what else is expected? But the main point that many people such as I find so attractive about his music, is the sampling and beats. The rhythm is groovy and makes your heart pump. The use of samples is so very creative and fitting that it makes you appreciate the song even more.
  5. Comparison: Kid Cudi
    1. I would say that the creativity and rhythm that Cudi uses can be similar to Kanye, although perhaps a little more unoriginal. The expressional elements in both artists are also similar, with piano and guitar being used by both artists. Like with Cudi’s song “Pursuit of Happiness.” Which is one of my favorite songs by Cudi, only being beat out by either Mr. Rager or Simple As…
  6. Kanye’s music is very influential, as stated before. Kanye’s later music may now be considered more religious, with songs like Praise God,  and gospel like. So his newer stuff may be used for gospel, but his older music is much different. It was a way to express his feelings at the time, and it was beautiful. Kanye had been through a lot, with a bipolar disorder and a car crash that nearly took his life just 2 years before the release of this album. He had very conflicted feelings, and many people would judge him and call him crazy, which is especially apparent today, specifically with Taylor Swift fans.
  7. Song Choice: Heard Em’ Say by Kanye West
    1. Although it is hard to find similarities, it isn’t impossible. Both songs have a beat that you wish to follow and bop your head to. They both have a melody that they like to stick to throughout the song. Kanye uses much higher vocals with Adam Levine and more instruments. They both can also be seen talking about hard times, Kanye moreso on social issues and the other being more laid bakc. Kanye specifically about hard times living in the city being black, while the other talks about a girl living in the countryside and reading the newspaper to get the news, for she wouldn’t know what would be happening otherwise.

(2)Discuss the album as a whole – is it fresh or divergent from past albums by the singer/group? Support your answer with comparisons. (8 points):

News of the World (“NOTW”) was recorded in the heart of Queen’s most prolific and creative era.  Released in October 1977 it is arguably Queen’s most balanced album. It bridges the harmony-rich, virtuoso studio pieces of the era such as the 1970s, with the funk-influenced, rhythm driven hits of their near future, what was a preview to the 1980s. This was the band’s sixth album in just over four years total of recording.  The album was recorded in a period of about 4 months over the summer and fall of 1977.  NOTW is diverse with every one of its eleven tracks credited to a single composer within the band, each of the four band members composing multiple tracks, and a variety of genres explored within the songs themselves.

  1. Pick at least two tunes to discuss further and analyze them for the “trademark” sounds of the performer. These are the sounds, the lyrics! (8 points)

Brian May wrote what some believe is the most iconic song of the Queen catalog: “We will Rock You”.  In this writing, May made a conscious decision to make the song a simple anthem in order to get the live audience more directly involved.  With stomping and clapping, the audience could be part of the song. As the NOTW opener, it would go on to become one of Queen’s biggest songs worldwide and a staple of arena and stadiums everywhere. It was said to be inspired by a past gig at Stafford’s Bingley Hall, when the audience sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to the band to pull them out for an encore.  Since its release it has become a regular “anthem” at sporting events.

The other song immediately follows “We will Rock You”, which is “We are the Champions”.  On radio stations at the time, they would play both songs together as one long anthology-type playlist and both songs became popular both separate and together.  “We are the Champions” has piano, and a very different sound.  It was released as its own single (a song released outside of an album, usually before the album for radio and to prompt sales for an upcoming album) that was the “A” side to “We Will Rock You” as the “B” side.  Some may say the B side was more popular overall than the A.  Again, these are played together so much, anyone listening after 1977-1978 may tend to think they are one long song.

  1. Listen to lyrics and see if they are consistent with other pieces. Describe any elements, or quote lyrics, that reflect political, civic, or social issues.  What might have been the artist’s motivation? (5 points)

The production of the NOTW is the reason the record became so successful. Each band member had their shot to bring a new style to the table in a song they wrote or inspired.  Another respected opinion by Classic Rock Review explains just how the albums range of styles came about, “News of the World is extremely diverse with every one of its eleven tracks credited to a single composer within the band, and each of the four band members composing multiple tracks, and a variety of genres explored within the songs themselves.”

When they began, Queen was a small band that was playing in cafes for twenty people. They got so big over the 4-5 years, that while they had their “classic” rock n’ roll style, they needed to recapture their audience and take the band to new heights in this new phase.  Queen added to their sound with new unique genres as if they were starting from ground zero and regaining their current fans along with thousands of new fans.  The many genres of the album come with many different cultures, which puts Queen’s talents and musical ability on a pedestal.  Not only did previous fans adore the album and continue their loyalty, but newcomers enticed by songs of their cultures, hopped on the Queen train and the band continued growing their audience and range. 

  1. Why are you drawn to listening to this group? Sell the group as if you are a used car salesman. (8 points)

I fell in love with Queen because of listening to their music in the car with my dad. I love the feeling that their music gives me.   The rhythms and beat make me happy, and it empowers me.  I really like Queen music from their early work to their music in the 80s.  My Spotify has Queen ready to always listen to when I need a pick-me-up, or I want to rock-out!  While I love the band, I really admire Freddie Mercury’s story and of how Queen came to be.

  1. Compare the group/singer’s sound to another, similar group singer using a musical element discussed in Week #3 (melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, texture, form, or expressive elements). Suggest your second favorite release by the selected group/singer. (8 points)

As I said, I love Freddie Mercury.  His voice, along with Queen’s sound is really one of its own.  Comparing Queen to other bands is difficult, but some bands had similar sounds (Sweet, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Elton John, The Beatles, etc.), but the stage presence of Queen would be compared to KISS or Led Zeppelin.  All of these acts were influenced by the same sounds of rhythm and blues, early rock ‘n roll and ethnic music.  Each band’s sound can also have influence from Queen and especially Freddie.

  1. Describe how this music is/was used by society. Describe what cultural, political, or societal challenges the artist/band might have faced. (4 points)

Queen’s impact on the music industry, and the world in general, is undeniable. The band, who originally formed in London in 1970, has garnered a cross-generational legion of fans, and has also made a multi-cultural and global lasting effect, not only in music, but in sports, fashion, popular culture, and beyond. In November 2018, the movie Bohemian Rhapsody hit theaters nationwide. The movie is centered around Queen beginning from their early days — especially how Freddie Mercury broke barriers and stereotypes to become the beloved performer the world remembers him as — leading up to the band’s iconic performance at Live Aid in 1985. The movie is named for one of Queen’s most epic musical works of art, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a rock odyssey of a song that has touched the lives of fans and artists across genres since its release in 1975.

  1. Compare and contrast any piece by your performer/group to the recording of “Mora Na Roca (I Live on a Farm)” using a musical element discussed in Unit #1 (melody, harmony, rhythm, timbre, texture, form, or expressive elements). What cultural differences can you point out (besides language)? The recording is found in the discussion forum for the CD Reviews. (4 points)

Song used:  “We Will Rock You” is a song written by Brian May and recorded by Queen for their 1977 album News of the World.

Other than the last 30 seconds of the song, which contains a guitar solo by May, it is generally set in a cappella form, using only stomping and clapping as a rhythmic body percussion beat. While “Mora Na Roca (I Live on a Farm)” doesn’t even compare to the upbeat rhythm of the Queen’s most known songs.

In summary, I love Queen and the two songs I have highlighted from the album News of the World.  I rank Queen as one of my favorite bands and as I said, their music is always cued up and ready to play.

(3)

Amor Prohibido (Forbiden Love) Album by Selena y Los Dinos

This album offers a fresh look at Tejano music which fuses European, Mexican, and American music styles to create a one-of-kind harmony of sounds. This Album contains a complete list of Spanish songs that people all over the world can all come to understand and relate to, especially Mexican American women. What I love about this album is that it offers a fast-paced captivating rhythm compared to Selena y Los Dino’s famous yet slower-paced album Entra a Mi Mundo. All in all, I truly love how this album places itself in its own category of music being neither fully Mexican nor American but rather a bit of both.

Both famous songs “Amor Prohibido” and “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” are the perfect example of Selena’s trademark sound which mixes Banda instruments including percussion and congas with European and American instruments including the guitar and electric keyboard. These instruments combined create a unique rhythm that captures the listener and makes you want to move your body. Both songs also contain a similar melody which can be heard throughout the Album. Altogether, the modern harmony of sounds merged with Selena’s strong vocals interflow to create Selena’s trademark sound that made her the “Queen of Tejano music”.

Selena’s lyrics from many of her songs are consistent with the idea of love and heartbreak. Her motivation for singing so many songs about the topic of love could be from her personal experience of love and her observations of how love could positively and negatively affect an individual.

This group offers a captivating rhythm that is almost impossible to resist. By combing mainly two different styles of music, including our standard American music with Hispanic music, this album became one of the most popular modern rhythms of the ’90s and still remains popular in today’s Latin culture. Selena y Los Dinos will offer you new love songs that combine new technology with old cumbia rhythms. So don’t wait and experience something different with this beloved sound made by Selena y Los Dinos Album Amor Prohibido.

Selena y Los Dinos group is similar to the Kumbia Kings which were also another famous Mexican American group that combined Mexican and American music. The Kumbia Kings were an all-male group that was mostly known for combing cumbia with hip hop and R&B. However, the rhythm and melody of the group are very similar to Selena y Los Dinos group as both used similar instruments to make their songs. My second favorite release to recommend would be Selena’s Dreaming of You Album which offers bilingual songs that both English and Spanish listeners can enjoy.

This music was used to connect two different cultures and helped become the foundation of music for Mexican Americans. Since Selena was one of the first women to be the star of this type of music being Mexican American herself, she faced mainly gender challenges while helping to establish the distinct sound of Tejano music for other artists to come. She also was a role model for the people of her culture and motivated women to express themselves through style and song as Selena was famous for her dazzling outfits and outgoing personality. Her band also featured a female drummer which was rare but motivating to women all over the world.

Both Selena’s Album and Mona La Roca use Latin beats especially the drums to create their distinct rhythm. Cultural differences include that Mona La Roca primarily contains traditional Brazilian sounds and instruments while Selena y Los Dinos contain a mix of sounds and instruments from different cultures. Overall, both have a strong female vocalist and Latin influence on the rhythm and melody of the songs.

  1. Share a story/personal experience about the artist(s) in reply to the peer.
  2. Explain how and why you agree with the peer’s comparison of the artist to either “Mora Na  Roca” or another contemporary artist.  Recitation of facts is not enough. Be critical and reflective to earn the points.