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 (32 votes)

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.

Submitted by byroncp32 on Thu, 07/12/2023 - 17:03

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With different music exponents 2022 was marked by the pop music industry, nevertheless there was a new artist incorporated to the big leagues of the music and her name is Rosalía. The self-denominated “Motomami” is a Spanish singer and composer of 31 years old. She came to change the music paradigms by including melodies as “flamenco” to the pop music style, being awarded by Billboard with the Rising Star prize.
In 2019, we came listening a catchy soundtrack called “Con Altura” where She got a Latin Grammy Prize in collaboration with the urban artist J. Balvin. But it was not until 2022 where she becomes internationally renowned and will lead the chart-topping in all over the world with her album “MOTOMAMI”. It’s essences an incredible and curious mix of different melodies which including flamenco, jazz, reggaeton, bachata, among others. This is an innovative and gripping album oval by both the criticism and the die-hard fans, where the imagination flew to make some fast-paced soundtracks like DESPECHÁ, SAOKO and, CHICKEN TERIYAKI. With her unmistakable voice, she has delighted several packed-halls on “MOMOMAMI WORLD TOUR (MWT)”, where the atmosphere has been electric and thrilling. While some of her songs have these characteristics, others have moving and touching rhythms, such as HENTAI and SAKURA.

Many theatregoers to MWT said that she was lived up to expectations, and it was a treat to watch. At the end of each concert, deafening applauses were heard in the halls. This year, Rosalía has known how to exploit his musical career with MOTOMAMI album and MWT. Giving these results, we expect the next year She obtains new music and greater success in the music industry.

Submitted by stellamarysl on Thu, 30/11/2023 - 17:44

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Caetano Veloso, 81, released his most important album in 1972 called "Transa" and it's an album made when he was in exile in London due to the dictatorial government Brazil was under at the time, he among other artists were exile due to their active criticism of the political scene at the time.

Transa is an album full of experiments with sounds and instruments and it reflects on Caetano's life away from his family and country.

Submitted by Ensiye on Tue, 03/10/2023 - 20:42

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Yanni is a Greek composer, keyboardist, pianist, and music producer. Yanni's music is composed of jazz, classical period music, soft rock, and world music And most of his songs are made up of musical instruments.
Yanni became famous with his live concert at the Acropolis. The album Live at the Acropolis is the second best-selling concert video of all time with more than 7 million copies. This concert was broadcast in 65 countries and more than half a billion people watched it.

In addition, Yanni is known because he has performed in historical places such as the Taj Mahal in India, the Forbidden City in China, the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, and so on.

The song Acroyali/Standing In Motion was considered by the Royal Society of Medicine Journal (April 2001) because its composition is similar to Mozart's Sonata No. 448 and is thought to be effective in reducing epileptic attacks.
Most of his songs don't have lyrics, so the whole message is delivered through beats, melodies, and sounds. Yanni's artworks are a reflection of his soul, his experiences in life, and his relationships with other people and cultures.

Submitted by Angela Martínez on Sun, 12/03/2023 - 14:21

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The 10th Studio Album of the singer and compositor artist Taylor Swift is called “Midnights”, it’s, in fact, the best-selling album of 2022 and the most successful in her entire career. During her approximately 15 years of career, this singer has caught many die-hard fans that have been supporting her music during this time, and this was because of the emotional lyrics and melodies she puts into her work.

Taylor Swift’s latest smash hit came from this new album, and it’s called “Anti-Hero” which stayed top-chart up to 4 weeks, and it talks about the feeling she went through during difficult times in her life and career when people made her think that she was the problem, and the magic he puts into her songs it’s the ability to tell us a story of her own life and make people relate to her songs, building up an emotional attachment to her work and becoming fans, we can see this happen on “The Eras Tour” which got sold-out immediately during the pre-sale all around the US, the rationale is the big well-build fanbase she created throughout the years. Also, we can notice the catchy pop melodies on this new album like she did years ago with her successful recording “1989” and experimenting with new songs again as she did on “Labyrinth” and “Midnight Rain”.

This album, as well as her entire career, has made an impact on how the feelings can build up a die-hard fanbase and how she creates her success by being listened to here and there and making a mark on the new generation of people becoming the most successful singer of the last decade.

Submitted by rebecca_bl on Sat, 21/01/2023 - 03:59

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I’ve heard many songs of Billie Eilish since she debuted but I officially become a huge fan of her after listening to the Happier Than Ever album. This album obviously remark her change of style, taste of music and personality, from such melancholy and spooky vibe to bright and powerful style. With the meaningful lyrics and angelic voice, Billie’s music truly helps people speak out their feelings and overcome the tough time in their life. Billie even add some rock, jazz and electropop melodies to this album, which makes her music more diverse and strongly prove her a really talented singer and songwriter.

After going through a period of depression due to being famous at such a young age, Billie Eilish was back on her feet with her brand new album released in 2021 called Happier Than Ever. This album threw back a long journey about how much she has grown up with every track carry different emotions. I love almost all songs in this collection, I can feel the depth of every word she puts into her songs. Some have a slow and gentle rhythm show nostalgia and a little bit sadness for the past but still happiness for her growth. Among these tunes in the album, I truly appreciate the effort she made to create the song “Happier Than Ever”. This is such a masterpiece because how therapeutic it is. The story behind this song and the lyrics are so relatable that helps many people get over their toxic and abusive relationship. This song starts with a soft and slow melody at the beginning but the transition to make it more energetic then finally become a rock one is just incredible. You can feel the flow of emotion which turns from happiness to sadness and anger in rock and electric guitar theme. The whole album is my favorite but this piece of art “Happier Than Ever” just hits different and even harder everytime I listen. I love how she allows music to inspire her to do these extraordinary forms of art. She breaks the rules and let her creativity define her music in her own unique style.

Some people used to say that Billie’s music is dull and meaningless but I find the beauty in her music and respectfully look up to her. She didn’t try to avoid those negative feelings and wasn’t affraid to sing them out loud. Now Billie comes back with her powerful “Happier Than Ever” album. Upon release, the album received acclaim from music critics, who praised its stylistic, restrained production, and insightful lyrics. This artwork is really worth listening once in your life.

Submitted by DanithePrieto on Tue, 03/01/2023 - 19:50

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I don't have such a thing as a favorite album but if I could choose I can go with something from Nujabes. His songs are always so catchy and calm.