A music review

A music review

Learn how to write an album review.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and tips and do the exercises.

Preparation

Reading text

Want a job as a music journalist? Here's your chance. We're looking for a new lead reviewer for Hot! Magazine but we're not interviewing for the job. Instead, write a review of your favourite album ever. We want to know why you love it and why you think everyone should listen to it. Convince us and you've got the job!

I'm certainly not alone with my choice of favourite album. In fact, Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA has sold 30 million copies worldwide since its release in 1984. Nearly 30 years later, in 2013, Springsteen performed the complete album in concert to the delight of some of his many die-hard fans.

A fast-paced, foot-tapping rock album, Born in the USA's lyrics nevertheless carry emotional weight. Behind the catchy rock melodies that drive these powerhouse classics are stories of the dark side of the American dream. Many tracks deal with the struggles of hard-working ordinary people and the bitterness and anger they feel as life doesn't bring them riches or glory. The song Glory Days, for example, is about people in a small town looking back at when they were young and had the world at their feet while Downbound Train tells the story of a young man whose life is ruined when he loses his job. It's not hard to imagine that the artist is channelling real people he knew and the life he might have had if he hadn't become a star. The album will leave you in no doubt of the unique and extraordinary talent of the Boss.

Unlike many other best-selling album artists, Springsteen is still releasing chart-topping, stadium-filling new music and remains at the top of his game in his late 60s. It doesn't surprise me at all. This is a man who tells us our most fundamental stories about ourselves and, when you listen to Born in the USA, those stories are as relevant today as they ever were.

Tips

  1. The first paragraph should be a general introduction to what you're reviewing. Include the title, artist, and an interesting fact about its success or how it was made.
  2. The main body of the review needs detailed observations. Use specific vocabulary (e.g. lyrics, fast-paced, catchy melodies) to comment on particular songs and parts of the music.
  3. It is also important to give context. Link the music to the artist's life, or what inspired them, and the political or social context of the album.
  4. Try to make the review interesting and relevant to the reader. You can relate the artist's work to real-life experience (yours or that of people in general).
  5. Use compound adjectives (e.g. fast-paced, foot-tapping, best-selling) to make your writing highly descriptive.
  6. Finish off with a summary of why this album/concert, etc. is important.

Task 1

Task 2

Task 3

Discussion

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Average: 4.3 (31 votes)
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Submitted by dianamoreno03 on Fri, 17/05/2024 - 20:44

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I am not a die-hard fan of any kind of music, but if i have to choose one, I can say "One Direction" could be my favorite band, they have this catchy melodys and I love to listen their music in my free time.
They were a pop band with incredible personalities and talent
They started on a TV show "The X Factor" but now they are a single artists
Their songs had emotional weight and a particular lyrics that we all love

Submitted by _icandoitandiwill_ on Sun, 28/04/2024 - 20:32

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The person I look up to is Jennifer Lopez who wrote many albums, yet on the SuperBowl in Miami presented her song called 'Born in the USA' which is one of my favourite.

That music event was beyond words. There were vivid melodies and lyrics which I knew by heart which made this experience much more enjoyable. She also wrote the song called 'Let's get loud' to increase woman's power. It relates to a singer and Latinas, and inspired her to make her voice heard about their situation. 

Submitted by Until_i_got_band_9 on Wed, 24/04/2024 - 11:17

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As a hardcore K-pop fan, my ultimate favorite album is the last Big Bang's work as a full group called M.A.D.E. It was published in 2016 and has sold more than 3 million copies since then. The piece served as a goodbye to fans before the scandal ruined it all.

Combining a diverse range of music types, from EDM, and hip hop to ballads, and R&B, Big Bang never failed to deliver top-notch music to their fan. The most well-known hit of this album, Bang Bang Bang, with a fast-paced and rocky melody, can mistakes to others about the meaningful message the album conveys. Generally, they tell stories of young people's love, and their struggle with it, along with the existential crisis. The slow ballad and R&B of Loser, Last Dance, If You, and Let Not Fall In Love get us through the lenses of the demise of relationships, which leads to self-doubt and sorrow. Then they brought us back to life with Fxxk It, mid-tempo melodic resonated with playful tones that set us with the spirit of 'don't hesitate and just go for it'. Lastly, We Like 2 Party, with a joyful melody sets a tone to celebrate the hyper part of youth. When I first heard those songs, I couldn't relate much, as life was still easy for me at that time, now they are my comfort space to go back and get consoled through the hardship of my 20s.

Even though one member had to leave the group and they no longer make music together, Big Bang songs in general, particularly this album, still hold a special place in my heart. And fans hope one day we can meet again at their concert.

Submitted by I_AM_HULK on Mon, 01/04/2024 - 19:03

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Though this album comes out of controversies in the artist's life, it does not back off from showing her talent and knowledge of the music industry. The album I am referring to is ‘Eternal Sunshine,’ and the artist is the famous Ariana Grande. Soon after her divorce, the album was released, and doubtless the contents of the marriage were not spared. Her most famous song of the album is ‘Yes, and?’ addressing the rumors and gossip about her and unapologetically saying yes, and? to them all. The song came out with a new look of the artist and also a slight departure from her popular voice, but not the style. If not easily by the voice, then by the lyrics, you can guess the artist. All of the songs on the album are catchy and stay in your head for a long time, including ‘The Boy Is Mine’ and ‘Boy Bye.’ Despite it being my favorite album, there is space for criticism as well. There are not many deep lyrics in the songs, rather a collection of rhyming short repetitive lines, but the melody and the artist's voice make them catchy to listen to. These songs are more of dancing and rising songs, songs you listen to make yourself feel better, but after a while, they get irritating for their lack of meaningfulness and diversity. The subject in all the songs is highly related to the artist's life and past or current events and her feelings towards them. Most of the song themes are already covered by the artist in past albums. Having said that, the talent and creativity are nonetheless not in doubt. The songs are a great hit in the pop music genre, just what is intended.

 

P.S. Feel free to post comments.

Submitted by myatsoe101 on Sat, 24/02/2024 - 07:27

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I’m certainly not the only one with my choice of best album. In fact, “NEW JEANS” album which debut album of k-pop girl group, NewJeans received great attention as soon as it came out.

At first ,  NewJeans is interesting because of being the junior girl group of BTS who is the most popular k pop group all over the world. After I listened to the debut album, i felt like this is the music what K-pop is really needed nowadays. There are four songs in the album. Each song have chill melodies which is really different main current of K-pop market. This kind of music attracts a lot of fans and the debut album helps NewJeans to become one of most popular K-pop girl group. I really like the song”Hype Boy”. The name and lyrics make the audience to think the high school life and the melody is so chill and relax. The whole album maintain the same style. Because of this album, NewJeans got a lot of scores and awards.

Submitted by Fernandoo_21 on Fri, 26/01/2024 - 03:14

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Junior H has a total of 8 albums, and I couldn't choose just one as my favorite. I've been listening to him since the beginning of his career in 2019. The start of his singing career wasn't easy; he faced many failures with his compositions to the point of contemplating retirement. However, one day, in his last attempt, he composed "No he cambiado," a song he sent to a promoter named "Mexicano music," who uploaded it to YouTube. Junior H thought about asking him to delete it because he felt sad about his previous failures, but he decided to give it a chance. After 2 weeks, the song had 2 million views, which motivated him to release more music.
One of his most listened-to albums, "Mi vida en un cigarro," features melodies with deep lyrics, such as the song "Extssy Model," which talks about the reunion with a past love, causing him great pain because he still feels immense nostalgia for that relationship. In conclusion, Junior H's albums have very good songs, mostly addressing heartbreaks, and they explain the consequences of the suffering caused by these experiences.

Submitted by edgar Leyva on Mon, 22/01/2024 - 21:30

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I think my favorite album of all time is Punto y Aparte from Panter Belico is about corridos and romantic music in banda.

Submitted by Gallegos_03 on Wed, 17/01/2024 - 18:57

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In 2024 where in Mexico you listen to a lot of corrido, raps and "rock", there is a singer that I really like more than the others and I could call him my favorite, he is known as junior h and he recently gained power in the music scene, the album that I could say is my favorite is called "atrapado en un sueño" which had an average of 87 million listens, his most listened song is "el hijo mayor" with 245 million listens.

Submitted by Toshka on Wed, 17/01/2024 - 15:42

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One of my favourite boybands ever is Backstreet Boys. It is an American pop group that ran popular in the midst of 90s and 2000s. I’ve made a research to learn about their background, so originally they come from Orlando, Florida and their band was created in 1993 with a help of a producer Lil’ Shy. I know names of all members of this band: AJ, Howie, Kevin, Nick and Brian. They were incredibly famous at that time and were exploding all the charts with their foot-tapping songs.
The song “I Want It That Way ” was always a chart-topping single all over the world and was considered as their calling card that was recognized everywhere they went. It goes without saying, their album “Millenium” became the best-selling album of 1999 in the U.S.
And surely, I was also in the line of those die-hard crazy fans who knew most of their songs by heart and were singing along. Every time when I listen to their songs it channels memories of my youth.
The Backstreet Boys are still serving the world’s boyband fans today. Recently BSB have performed in Dubai and they still fill stadiums. I wish I were there too.

Submitted by csantiducey on Fri, 05/01/2024 - 21:04

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In times where lyrics seem to not have relevance with people’s deepest values or experiences, Spanish catholic music group Hakuna sets itself apart as a genre-defying music group thanks to its heartfelt lyricism, soul-stirring melodies, and liturgical-profound messaging. Of all their albums, the third one “Sencillamente” really accounts for the popularity this group has had in the past 5 years, bringing about 230k monthly listeners worldwide.
Hakuna shapes up together and blends melodic rhythms with captivating religious messages. All of the group’s songs have come from the members’ prayers, hence the profound and deeply meaningful lyrics that each of the songs brings up. As an example, one of the most enchanting and emotional songs from the “Sencillamente” album, is the one called “Colombia”. This song was released in 2019 and talks about how even though many times we may not feel God’s presence in our lives, following and trusting him represents the purest love act we can give to him, as the thought-provoking phrase that says: “Loving without feeling; now that is true love” demonstrates. Likewise, the “Sencillamente” song digs into the beauty of adhering to God's promise despite passing through moments of despair, sadness, and fear. Furthermore, the song blends in the splendid lyrics with a high-energy, deep-feeling rhythm which makes you live what the author is singing, causing you to identify in a personal manner with the song.
So, where did this group come from and how were they able to come up with such a unique and unmatched music style? Well, Hakuna was born back in the days of 2013, after World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro. Afterward, the group established itself in Spain, and since then, it has produced 5 different albums, all of them sharing exceptional liturgical ballads and eucharistic harmonies. One of the most remarkable attributes of the group is that while most of their success comes from the music group songs, Hakuna represents something bigger than just a catholic band, it represents a lifestyle-following truth as the result of being loved by God.
In conclusion, Hakuna’s album “Sencillamente” is a game changer because it breaks through the long-established conventional boundaries of what is considered a religious-themed song. Also, it sets itself apart since it brings together enchanting melodies, devotional lyrics, and a mystical atmosphere all together, thereby playing out life-inspiring songs that certainly will touch the deepest of your soul and heart.