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Avicii's 'Wake Me Up' hits 200 million streams in Spotify. Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 1st March 2014
  #91
Gear Maniac
 

I have never used spotify, but if legit this seems like quite the accomplishment, I guess. what I really wanna know is how much he got paid for this 200 million plays? I suspect in the 4 digits to aviciis team and spotify? more like $200k in traffic, ads, subscriptions etc. so why would any musician, artist, audiophile or wise consumer use a streaming service when its only hurting the very artist they enjoy listening to, not to mention the entire industry. pathetic I say.
Old 1st March 2014
  #92
I think you guys need to stop bashing artists and just make the music you love, that's all that's needed. It never helps to just put fellow artists down a peg, no matter how bad you think they are. The goal here is to make the best music you can make before you die.
Old 1st March 2014
  #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason West View Post
It's not evidence.
It functions as an arm (or branch) of a viral marketing campaign, just like the Katy Perry Roar thread, whether it was the OP intention or not. It's noise for the noisy bandwagon, drawing attention to it. Free advertising.

But if this is indeed a place of refuge for those who aren't easily herded onto the bandwagon via obligatory & mindless conformity, then that is a credit to this site, all those who run it, and it's longstanding members.
Old 1st March 2014
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celerity View Post
I think part of the problem is that some of these writers only know how to use certain chord progressions/melodies because they have hit a plateau in terms of their musical knowledge that limits the variety of songs they can write.
Knowledge is certainly one part, but don't forget that skill, imagination, individuality and courage are other parts.
Old 1st March 2014
  #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason West View Post
This is a fair point. It's plausible reasoning why some musicians make boring music. The "limited music knowledge" is a legitimate point as opposed to the others' claims about "pandering" which is nonsense and misunderstands why other musicians like what they like and do what they do.
Some obviously pander to the lazy lowest common denominator - chasing fame, fortune, and acceptance. Not everyone's impetus is the same.
Old 1st March 2014
  #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celerity View Post
I agree, and I'd even take it one step further and say that it's nearly impossible to "pander" as a songwriter (as far as the music is concerned).
Some would say Dr. Luke and all of these corporate writing teams (who have a monopoly on the pop music industry), clinically assembled to strategically construct frivolous hits, are perfect panderers.
Old 1st March 2014
  #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
I think you guys need to stop bashing artists and just make the music you love, that's all that's needed. It never helps to just put fellow artists down a peg, no matter how bad you think they are. The goal here is to make the best music you can make before you die.
I think you need to stop trying to get all people to have your (non-)standard of unconditionally accepting everything. For many, the dislike of the recently over-hyped mega-hit (remember Rebecca Black's Friday ?) is part of their artistic approach and vision : the rejection of the lowest possible common denominator actually fuels and propels their artistry.

But YOU don't have to live by those principles (in an attempt to climb the extremely crowded Billboard ladder alongside Katy Perry) and they don't have to live by yours. To each his own.
Old 1st March 2014
  #98
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GJ999x's Avatar
Gearslutz threads complaining about the quality of modern music were so much better a few years back.
Old 1st March 2014
  #99
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
I think you guys need to stop bashing artists and just make the music you love, that's all that's needed. It never helps to just put fellow artists down a peg, no matter how bad you think they are. The goal here is to make the best music you can make before you die.
Thats a fair point. I think the reason music like this gets bashed by other musicians is because they feel it doesnt represent the best of music - and if you are passionate about music - you want people to experience it in its best form. Of course - that is highly subjective - but still - I think there can be broad generalisations made. For instance - there clearly can be great pop music.
Old 1st March 2014
  #100
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Lago View Post
What bothers me are all the entitled musicians who think they are owed something because they are musicians. How about they start writing great music that people will want to buy?
Yeah, I'm always amused by musicians who knock especially mainstream pop, who seem to write it off as requiring zero talent, as being easy to do/facile/beneath them, etc., but who when you ask, "Well, why don't you try to make a few pop hits so that you make a ton of money and then you'll be set up for life and you can just concentrate on the music you really want to do?", they come up with a ridiculous, comical litany of excuses.

Which is not to suggest that I'm at all putting mainstream pop on a pedestal above everything else, or that I feel that anyone should only concentrate on it or anything (after all, mainstream pop is not what I concentrate on, but I do like it), but don't knock it as a musician (or composer, etc.) unless you can demonstrate that you're able to successfully do it, should you desire to do it. And the same thing goes for any other genre that's commonly knocked, including (especially mainstream contemporary) country, dance music, etc., and for pop musicians, the same thing should go for non-mainstream stuff like lo-fi indie, noise, technical death metal, avant-garde stuff, etc.

It would be nice if folks would try to understand different "modes" rather than knocking them just because they personally don't care for them that much (or just because it's not what they choose to do themselves) . . . and that doesn't just go for music, but things like lifestyle choices, religious and political beliefs, etc. as well.

When I was younger I went through an anti-pop/anti-mainstream music phase (although I was ridiculously inconsistent about it, because the stuff I had liked previously got a pass), but a number of things got me out of it, including gigs I ended up on where I had to play some stuff that I had been dismissive of--being immersed in those styles and seeing just what went into playing them successfully helped prompt me to be less stupid (and snobby, etc.).
Old 1st March 2014
  #101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
Yeah, I'm always amused by musicians who knock especially mainstream pop, who seem to write it off as requiring zero talent, as being easy to do/facile/beneath them, etc., but who when you ask, "Well, why don't you try to make a few pop hits so that you make a ton of money and then you'll be set up for life and you can just concentrate on the music you really want to do?", they come up with a ridiculous, comical litany of excuses.

Which is not to suggest that I'm at all putting mainstream pop on a pedestal above everything else, or that I feel that anyone should only concentrate on it or anything (after all, mainstream pop is not what I concentrate on, but I do like it), but don't knock it as a musician (or composer, etc.) unless you can demonstrate that you're able to successfully do it, should you desire to do it. And the same thing goes for any other genre that's commonly knocked, including (especially mainstream contemporary) country, dance music, etc., and for pop musicians, the same thing should go for non-mainstream stuff like lo-fi indie, noise, technical death metal, avant-garde stuff, etc.

It would be nice if folks would try to understand different "modes" rather than knocking them just because they personally don't care for them that much (or just because it's not what they choose to do themselves) . . . and that doesn't just go for music, but things like lifestyle choices, religious and political beliefs, etc. as well.

When I was younger I went through an anti-pop/anti-mainstream music phase (although I was ridiculously inconsistent about it, because the stuff I had liked previously got a pass), but a number of things got me out of it, including gigs I ended up on where I had to play some stuff that I had been dismissive of--being immersed in those styles and seeing just what went into playing them successfully helped prompt me to be less stupid (and snobby, etc.).
That's funny.

I'm always amused by people who seem so naive as to suggest that it is songwriting merit alone that creates these mega-pop hits -- rather than carefully constructed and very expensive productions that frame the marketable assets and perceived draw of the talent-of-the-moment supported by even more carefully constructed and even more expensive promo/hype/payola campaigns that essentially buy exposure and airplay for the product in question.

And if one surveys some of the stuff at the top of the pops, it rapidly becomes apparent that songcraft is near the bottom of the list of concerns. In many of these tracks, the production is the star and the song a vague and simplistic frame of cliches and well-worn phrases upon which a carefully contrived production package is draped.


So, sure, gimme a hot star, an experienced production and marketing team, and a couple hundred thou to get the song media exposure and into daily rotation in key pop markets and I'll see what I can do, thanks.

Old 1st March 2014
  #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
Yeah, I'm always amused by musicians who knock especially mainstream pop, who seem to write it off as requiring zero talent, as being easy to do/facile/beneath them, etc., but who when you ask, "Well, why don't you try to make a few pop hits so that you make a ton of money and then you'll be set up for life and you can just concentrate on the music you really want to do?", they come up with a ridiculous, comical litany of excuses.
Some simply don't want to due to aesthetic reasons & principled differences while most who try to (like Chris Lago) find they have about the same rate of success as those dreaming of becoming major league football, baseball, basketball or hockey players. The odds are like 1 in 1000, and it only becomes slightly greater if you really dumb things down / sacrifice all remnants of artistic depth trying to enter that narrow, constrictive Billboard corridor .... and this is after you climb the ladder, with dozens right above you.

How many ambitious young musical artists (with the right image, easily digestable material, willingness to slave away, obey the producer, sign restrictive contracts) can you fit into a straw anyway ?
Old 1st March 2014
  #103
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Triscuit's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
So, sure, gimme a hot star, an experienced production and marketing team, and a couple hundred thou to get the song media exposure and into daily rotation in key pop markets and I'll see what I can do, thanks.
And unfortunately, this is what it takes to get 200 million plays on Spotify.

I dunno, guys - I've been following this thread, and I definitely get all sides of this. The inherent issue I see is that we are just living in 2014 and an insane amount of people really love that Avicii song (and many others like it).

If you aren't one of the 200 million plays, then that's cool; if you are, that's great, too.

My friend sent me this email yesterday with "Truisms" in it:

Hip-hop is the rock and roll of the Millennials. With a dollop of Gen-X'ers thrown in.

Rock and roll is the music of the baby boomers, who believe everything they're into should last forever, but it doesn't, just like them.

Albums are for the creators, no one else cares, except for a cadre of extremely vocal fans.

Here today, gone tomorrow, welcome to the twenty first century. You can only combat this by constantly producing. U2 released a single during the Super Bowl, it's already been forgotten, assuming you knew its name to begin with.


It's all pretty accurate stuff when you zoom out and really look at it all. I still live in a world where the "album" as a whole reigns; I AM a fan of musicians. I latch on to musicianship, showmanship, skill - overall presence in an artist or group. I admire and learn from these people. I do not look to Avicii for this, but I cannot cut him down for figuring it out (or at least being a part of a BRAND that has figured it out). So much of it is branding and backing; y'all know this!

I have a feeling that lots of us feel that way, which is why we defend what we hold near and dear to us. The way I see it is that everything comes and goes.

As a pianist who likes to play with samplers and synths, I really hope the next wave caters to the music I like to write.
Old 1st March 2014
  #104
I just make the music I make.

Having come up on the small, airless side of the glass, I've seen what the biz does to musicians who get caught up in the machinery. One of the reasons I got out of the service sector -- I didn't like being part of that machinery. And I certainly have no interest in putting myself through that meat grinder.

I love music. I don't want that love ground out of me as I've seen happen to far too many real world musicians I know.
Old 1st March 2014
  #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Triscuit View Post
Hip-hop is the rock and roll of the Millennials. With a dollop of Gen-X'ers thrown in.

Rock and roll is the music of the baby boomers, who believe everything they're into should last forever, but it doesn't, just like them.

Albums are for the creators, no one else cares, except for a cadre of extremely vocal fans.
Let me correct that for you...

Hip Hop is dead.

Rock 'n roll will never die.

Albums are necessary. Without an album you can't tour. You can't show up in a town for example, charge $100 for a ticket, and play 3 minutes worth of your latest 99 cent download and walk off stage. You have to have a substantial collection of music to do anything worthwhile. Real artists make albums.
Old 1st March 2014
  #106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Let me correct that for you...

Hip Hop is dead.

Rock 'n roll will never die.

Albums are necessary. Without an album you can't tour. You can't show up in a town for example, charge $100 for a ticket, and play 3 minutes worth of your latest 99 cent download and walk off stage. You have to have a substantial collection of music to do anything worthwhile. Real artists make albums.
Oh, Frank, you know that's not true.

Rock hasn't seen a significant stylistic development in more than a quarter century -- unless you count the introduction of obvious auto-tune. The rest of the most 'recent' developments? Rap-rock, cookie monster vocals, mic-swallowing shock lyrics, et al? That all goes back to the early 80s.

That's not to say that hip hop doesn't seem to have a serious case of hardening of the stylistic arteries, as well, but its far more dominant cultural influence is all but impossible to ignore.

I love blues, roots country, string quartets, hot jazz, reggae... but let's face it, each style has an arc: a period of expansion, experimentation, growth, and then a long period of ossification into classicism.

Rock long ago passed into that final stage, seems to me. Long live it.
Old 1st March 2014
  #107
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm always amused by people who seem so naive as to suggest that it is songwriting merit alone that creates these mega-pop hits -- rather than carefully constructed and very expensive productions that frame the marketable assets and perceived draw of the talent-of-the-moment supported by even more carefully constructed and even more expensive promo/hype/payola campaigns that essentially buy exposure and airplay for the product in question.
That would be funny, but I don't know who is doing it. Certainly not me. Hence why I wrote, " . . . why don't you try to . . ."

The songwriting is just part of it. But it is part of it.

You can't do it without writing a song that will work for it.
Quote:
And if one surveys some of the stuff at the top of the pops, it rapidly becomes apparent that songcraft is near the bottom of the list of concerns.
How would that work, exactly? That is, determining that songcraft is near the bottom of the list of concerns?
Quote:
In many of these tracks, the production is the star and the song a vague and simplistic frame of cliches and well-worn phrases upon which a carefully contrived production package is draped.
First off, every sound that winds up in the finished product is part of the composition. Saying that just part of it is the composition, and other parts are not, does not really make any ontological sense.

But since you think it's so "simple", it should be easy to write those tunes, right?

So let's hear some from you that we can try to market to be a hit.

Start the excuses now.

"Oh I could, but I don't want to . . ." etc.
Old 1st March 2014
  #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldon2975 View Post
Some obviously pander to the lazy lowest common denominator - chasing fame, fortune, and acceptance. Not everyone's impetus is the same.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eldon2975 View Post
Some would say Dr. Luke and all of these corporate writing teams (who have a monopoly on the pop music industry), clinically assembled to strategically construct frivolous hits, are perfect panderers.

Dr Luke and Max Martin clearly love what they do and aren't being ingenuine in any way.

If you want to critique their music and songwriting that's fine, but you're here criticizing peoples underlying motives, which is a bit out of line. Most musicians immediately stoop to this, which is exactly what I find so distasteful in many of these discussions and is exactly what I'm attempting to encourage people not to do. You're essentially imposing a thought process onto musicians who find success and then ridiculing them for it (myself included, with that neat little "characterization").
Old 1st March 2014
  #109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm always amused by people who seem so naive as to suggest that it is songwriting merit alone that creates these mega-pop hits -- rather than carefully constructed and very expensive productions that frame the marketable assets and perceived draw of the talent-of-the-moment supported by even more carefully constructed and even more expensive promo/hype/payola campaigns that essentially buy exposure and airplay for the product in question.
That would be funny, but I don't know who is doing it. Certainly not me. Hence why I wrote, " . . . why don't you try to . . ."

The songwriting is just part of it. But it is part of it.

You can't do it without writing a song that will work for it.
Quote:
And if one surveys some of the stuff at the top of the pops, it rapidly becomes apparent that songcraft is near the bottom of the list of concerns.
How would that work, exactly? That is, determining that songcraft is near the bottom of the list of concerns?
Quote:
In many of these tracks, the production is the star and the song a vague and simplistic frame of cliches and well-worn phrases upon which a carefully contrived production package is draped.
First off, every sound that winds up in the finished product is part of the composition.

But since you think it's so "simple", it should be easy to write those tunes, right?

So let's hear some from you that we can try to market to be a hit.

Start the excuses now.

"Oh I could, but I don't want to . . ." etc.
Your post pretty much argues to my point by implicitly suggesting that production and stylistic concerns independent of the underlying song have become such a big part of the marketed product that they are largely inseparable from it.

At that point -- and the point where you have provocative, insightful, original lyrics like those below [yes, that was thoroughly ironic] -- the actual composition (as we conventionally think of it song composition in terms of publishing, copyright, and any continued life it may have being redone by others in different fashions and contexts) really does end up looking like a fairly negligible part of the whole package.

Quote:
Wish that I could stay forever this young
Not afraid to close my eyes
Life's a game made for everyone
And love is the prize
-- Wake Me Up

Quote:
Go dear boy, I wanna follow you,
You're a wild boy, I am a wild girl too.
Go dear boy, I wanna be with you,
There's a time for everything and I call you.
-- Dear Boy


EDIT: I should add that it's not really fair to pull selected verses out of a song to hold up as negative examples. And, for sure, some profoundly beautiful or irresistably ingratiating songs have simple, sometimes even flat-footed lyrics or perhaps the opposite, over-clever lyrics. (I'm thinking of some Cole Porter stuff on that last; the guy loved quirky rhymes enough to have been a third wave rapper.) But the songs have worked for many. Like someone said way above (no doubt), ultimately, there's no objectively good or bad, there's just stuff you like or don't like.
Old 1st March 2014
  #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Oh, Frank, you know that's not true.

Rock hasn't seen a significant stylistic development in more than a quarter century -- unless you count the introduction of obvious auto-tune.
Rock is still much alive. Much has gone underground on the internet. Much has morphed into modern country. What killed rock as we knew it was constant use of power chords and growling voices. It got too heavy without being artistic. It lost it's way but never died. It will be back one day in a big way.

And these things go in cycles. A lot is about youthful rebellion. The next generation of youth will rebel against rap and girly pop, and then will embrace rock as the "new" thing. None of this ever stays static.
Old 1st March 2014
  #111
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

theblue1, okay, before you just blow over this, though, do you realize that I was not saying in the first post that you criticized that the song is the only factor, yes or no?
Old 1st March 2014
  #112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Rock is still much alive. Much has gone underground on the internet. Much has morphed into modern country. What killed rock as we knew it was constant use of power chords and growling voices. It got too heavy without being artistic. It lost it's way but never died. It will be back one day in a big way.

And these things go in cycles. A lot is about youthful rebellion. The next generation of youth will rebel against rap and girly pop. None of this ever stays static.
Frank, we already did the rock revival with Sha Na Na and Daddy Cool.

35 years ago.
Old 1st March 2014
  #113
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
You can't do it without writing a song that will work for it.How would that work, exactly? That is, determining that songcraft is near the bottom of the list of concerns? First off, every sound that winds up in the finished product is part of the composition. Saying that just part of it is the composition, and other parts are not, does not really make any ontological sense.

But since you think it's so "simple", it should be easy to write those tunes, right?

So let's hear some from you that we can try to market to be a hit.

Start the excuses now.

"Oh I could, but I don't want to . . ." etc.
Sigh...you and your ontology. All songwriters (who aren't producers themselves) think of songs as being separate from production. When they talk about songs, they are talking about chords, lyrics, rhythm and melodies. Everything else is a production choice.

We know that you are a special cookie, but the above description is exactly how songwriters view songs. Just accept it.
Old 1st March 2014
  #114
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaOmega1 View Post
Sigh...you and your ontology. All songwriters (who aren't producers themselves) think of songs as being separate from production. When they talk about songs, they are talking about chords, lyrics, rhythm and melodies. Everything else is a production choice.

We know that you are a special cookie, but the above description is exactly how songwriters view songs. Just accept it.
I'm not a songwriter? (And that's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I'm expecting you to answer it.)

Anyway, my comment had nothing to do with how anyone thinks of it, but with what makes ontological sense.
Old 1st March 2014
  #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldon2975 View Post
It functions as an arm (or branch) of a viral marketing campaign, just like the Katy Perry Roar thread, whether it was the OP intention or not. It's noise for the noisy bandwagon, drawing attention to it. Free advertising.
Oh please get a grip on reality. The mere existence of a thread in which the OP complains about a song that's 9 months old heading down the charts with bad vocals is a viral campaign?

Once again, you're seeing a theme in the thread that's not there.

There are some members here who detest pop music and I still enjoy reading their posts because they have some common sense. On the other hand, your writings of manufacturing paranoia conspiracy are making a caricature of the fight for "artistic in depth" music.

Oh look, did you notice that all these posts on gearslutz are in English?! English! No French, Spanish, Russian, or Arabic language postings. You know what that means don't you?! It's a fvcking white man's neo colonialism that's infected this board. Anyone writing ethnic lyrics are targets for slavery. Let's all be self-congratulatory of seeing what others can't see: that gearslutz members' music is the tool of oppression!

And did you notice that all the lyrics threads are about topics of love, relationships and what not. No songs about people with birth defects or rejected orphans. Well obviously, it means music makers are about eugenics! The proof is perfectly clear in these threads!

Hey, it's perfectly ok to hate this kind of music. As someone else already pointed out, it can be argued that we need more people like you who hate it so that it promotes diversity. (The people who hate it can be triggers for new music that the world can love.) However, you can't let your dislike for music distort how the world looks to you with nonsense conspiracies.

Oh look, there's a Beatles thread here too. It's existence means another brainwashing to make us buy their latest greatest hits CD.

Quote:
But if this is indeed a place of refuge for those who aren't easily herded onto the bandwagon via obligatory & mindless conformity, then that is a credit to this site, all those who run it, and it's longstanding members.
Unless it's a J Bieber fan forum, being against pop music is the default mode. It's always the pop music defenders who are apologetic and defensive. It's like rule #101 of internet participation: don't say you like pop music unless you preface it with some disclaimer to get some street cred first. E.g. "I'm mostly about Afro-Cuban progressive cerebral polyrhythm jazz, but I like this pop song."

There always has to be some weird "coming out of the closet" vibe about pop music. Gearslutz being hostile to pop music is not particularly unique in this regard.
Old 1st March 2014
  #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
I'm not a songwriter? (And that's not a rhetorical question, by the way. I'm expecting you to answer it.)

Anyway, my comment had nothing to do with how anyone thinks of it, but with what makes ontological sense.
Sure, you're a songwriter. Like I said, your views are..."unique".
Old 1st March 2014
  #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank_Case View Post
Let me correct that for you...


Albums are necessary. Without an album you can't tour. You can't show up in a town for example, charge $100 for a ticket, and play 3 minutes worth of your latest 99 cent download and walk off stage. You have to have a substantial collection of music to do anything worthwhile. Real artists make albums.

I have to disagree with the album comment. Quite a few successful artists of the last few years have toured extensively over big singles or 4 track eps. Skrillex for example hasn't made an album and pulled 15 million in 12 months.

It's back to old school Motown at the moment, where the hit single are the key.
Old 1st March 2014
  #118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
theblue1, okay, before you just blow over this, though, do you realize that I was not saying in the first post that you criticized that the song is the only factor, yes or no?
Yes, of course. But I wasn't really criticizing your post, just arguing a different position. I think your post was fine.

I don't think there are any black-and-white distinctions here, though my manner of discourse may make it seem that I stake more in my positions than is actually the case: I come from a background in persuasive writing and sometimes I fear I lapse into making my case of the moment at the expense of giving a well-rounded view of all my views.

Those views don't -- by a long stretch -- fit neatly in one point-of-view package, I'll rush to say that.

Old 1st March 2014
  #119
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaOmega1 View Post
Sure, you're a songwriter. Like I said, your views are..."unique".
Thanks for answering.

Okay, so that's not how every songwriter thinks of it.

And I'm not the only songwriter I know who thinks of it as I do.

I would say that maybe most think of it so that some aspects of which sounds occur where (and just what sounds, etc.) are not part of composition or songwriting, but I wouldn't say that the fact that most folks think of it that way helps it make ontological sense. ;-)
Old 1st March 2014
  #120
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

cool--thanks, theblue1
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