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Old 10-26-2009, 10:32 PM   #31
rasputin
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that's all you're getting


what do you guys think is better, longer and thicker paragraphs, but less of them, or smaller paragraphs with only a couple of sentences, but more of them, at least twice as many

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Old 10-27-2009, 04:40 AM   #32
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the first one. too many little paragraphs seems messy.
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Old 10-27-2009, 07:20 AM   #33
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Jim is correct ofc
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:13 AM   #34
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you gotta find a balance

im not reading paragraphs bigger than my penis
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Old 10-27-2009, 08:19 AM   #35
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sometimes smaller paragraphs works fine - i've done both kinds before, and i guess it depends on which approach you're taking with the analysis. i do prefer denser paragraphs, but sometimes it's nice to have it short and blunt. if you know what i mean
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:16 AM   #36
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depends how long the review is for the most part. if its a 500-600 word review with 2 or maybe 3 paragraphs id prefer smaller ones...it really all comes down to the content within the paragraphs anyway
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:00 PM   #37
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250-500 words is usually pretty legit.
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Old 10-27-2009, 03:03 PM   #38
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Just realised I've never word counted any of my reviews. I agree about having longer paragraghs and less of them being better.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:03 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by MoisheTsipin View Post
Nobody seems to have posted on this thread in some time. Still, I would like some help revising my recent and controversial review of Circle Takes the Square's As the Roots Undo so that it's acceptable according to Sputnik's standards. I'd actually be more than happy to reform my past trolling ways if we could just get this worked out, because I did work really hard on that review and think it's an important contribution, at least stylistically.

The last couple times I tried to post it, I had edited out the "large bundle of sticks" references completely and all of its blatantly homophobic rhetoric. This might have been missed, since at first glance it could just appear identical to past versions. Even without this language, however, the review retains the use of "dogpoop" and "buttfucking complicity." It thus remains polemical, and I'd prefer for it to stay that way. Is it impossible for a review to be polemical without it being automatically branded as trolling?

Anyway, I'll post it here for suggested revisions if it's okay. But first, is the review even salvageable? I want to know that it's not just going to be rejected out of hand because of its past. I think it's valuable because it's formally innovative; to my knowledge, no other piece of music criticism has ever been written in the form of a geometric proof.
I'll proof your review if you proof my concept review. Ok...even if you don't proof my review, I'll still proof yours.

But be forewarned, if it's not hip-hop, I won't be able to tell you if it's sensible/agreeable or not etc.
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:08 AM   #40
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Bulldog - Sure, I'll proof your concept review. I'm a good editor.
Where do you want me to put it?
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:13 AM   #41
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Summary: Coke In da Dollar Bill is a beautiful contrast of light and dark: of an indulging life full of boundless pleasures and of shootings, setups, and drug deals gone wrong.

You’re putting on your best outfit, because tonight, you’re attending a VIP’s party with your girlfriend, who’s an ex-lover of rapper Raekwon. After getting all spiffy’d up, you and your girlfriend get in your 2008 Ford Fusion and head over to some wealthy neighborhood she’s directing you to.

Forty minutes later you pull up to an astounding two-story mansion that looks more like a museum than a residential dwelling. Luxurious Lexuses, Limos and Lambos are parked outside, and after finding an inconvenient parking space in the grass, you make your way up the long, white marble steps into the house. The large, open living room is full of crooks, corrupt politicians, hot strippers, and basically everybody in New York that isn’t on the up-and-up. Music is blaring, so your girlfriend yells in your ear “C’mon, I’ll take you to meet the chef.” After much careful maneuvering through the crowd and taking the time not to bump into anybody dancing or spill anybody’s drink, you make your way up the winding stairs to the second floor. She leads you to a door guarded by two rather large guards, and after patting you down they lead you through an associate’s club-esque lounge into a medium-sized room that’s akin to a study. You see a man dressed in a blue, custom-made Caraceni suit, reclined in a leather thrown adorned with bronze carvings, his snake-skin shoes casually tossed upon an oak table. Upon the table rests a tray of coke lines and an open briefcase full of one hundred dollar bills. With a glass of champagne in his left hand, and a fine Cuban cigar in his right. He takes a puff, and through a breath of smoke, he calmly says, “It’s good to see you again Rachel.” Setting the glass down, he gets up and saunters over to your girlfriend, and they exchange a quick hug. “Now who’s this guy?” he inquires. She introduces you to the man they know as Raekwon, and you both share a firm hand shake. Abruptly, he says, “I’m sorry I have to cut this meeting short, but I have more pressing matters to attend to, so if you’ll kindly excuse me.” He makes eye contact with one of the guards and makes a notion towards you and Rachel. The two men escort you out, and Raekwon turns back towards his window, and quietly stares out at the city…

…meanwhile, across the city, four Colombians pile into a brand new Escalade EXT, while two men wielding AK47’s rest in the bed. We aren’t talking about the collegians, either.

After almost an hour of enduring your girlfriend’s incessant babbling with some old girlfriends of hers, you excuse yourself quickly for a restroom break, after getting directions to the bathroom, you enter the hallway at the back of the living room and turn left after three doors, encountering a bathroom that would be more suited for a 4-star hotel than a house. Trying to ignore the inebriated intercourse occurring in the stall to your right, and the models sniffing cocaine to your left, you eke out your piss, wash your hands, and right as you exit the bathroom. Shots are fired, you hear people screaming, and windows shattering. The people that aren’t ducking for cover are pulling guns and shooting back at intruders, you run up the hallway and to your right, stray AK47 bullets whiz by you. A security guard pops out from behind the bar, nine millimeter gun drawn, and begins firing at the Colombians. He manages to hit one before getting his brains splattered all over the wall by a tech. Lying on the floor behind the bar, you wipe the blood off your face, and you pray to God to stay alive.

Meanwhile, upstairs, Raekwon and two other men are discussing something about shipping and distributon, completely oblivious to what’s occurring downstairs, on account of the loud music.

After about five minutes of complete mayhem and a disasterous shootout. Three Colombian gunmen stand and about a half-dozen of Raekwon’s men lie dead on the ground. A woman whimpers, shaking on the ground, and one of the intruders wearing construction site attire and a cowboy hat puts a magnum bullet into her brain. Stepping over people, the men make their way to the stairs…

One of the guards in the private lounge tries to walky-talky into one of the guards, but no good. He loads up his gun, and exits the room, making his way to the main part of the mansion. He’s greeted by three men, who quickly cover his mouth, and slice his throat with a knife. They enter the lounge, opening fire on anybody in site. Some people are diving for cover, others are pulling weapons. A shootout ensues, alerting Raekwon and his associates. Drawing guns they enter the lounge, to find a Colombian with a shotgun awaiting them, one of Rae’s associates is killed, the other winged. The chef quickly runs back into his room, grabs his briefcase full of money, he’s going to attempt to jump out the window, but he’s a step too slow and after blasting through the glass he’s winged by shotgun spray as he leaps from the window. He falls hard and hits the ground, fracturing a leg and breaking a couple ribs, but he limps to his Lamborghini, hops in, starts it, speeding off, shotgun pellets slighting his fender. He should probably see a doctor, but he can’t take that risk, drug lord Raekwon races off into the night, to God knows where, living to see another day, and live the good life, but at what cost?
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:18 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by MoisheTsipin View Post
All right everyone, bear in mind that I'm only posting this here so that it can be edited to the point that it's acceptable by Sputnik's standards. Please, offer suggestions.

Bulldog - Post your concept review, I'll take a look at it.
That was the best music review I've ever read. Why the hell do you want to change it?
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Old 01-02-2010, 12:34 AM   #43
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Thank you. My worry is that concept reviews are either EPIC WIN or EPIC FAIL, generally either people get absorbed by the story/concept that they enjoy reading it and forget it's a review, or say "this doesn't describe it all." But mine sort of is because there's a light and dark side to the album. But I'm slightly timid to post it, and thanks for proofing it, I'll be sure to edit it.


As for yours - I believe in civil disobedience (when it is necessary.) It was extremely funny and creative, and it got the point across. Different is (more often than not) better. I think you should retain your ideas and such, just re-word them. Although it's more funny when it's controversial and offensive.

Last edited by Bulldog; 01-02-2010 at 12:34 AM. Reason: Had something else to include.
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Old 01-02-2010, 01:15 AM   #44
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I am also accepting of other critiques of my review. Please and thank you.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:25 AM   #45
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both of those reviews are pretty dumb. just write real reviews with fun extended metaphors instead.

also, bulldog, that doesn't sound like your writing.
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Old 01-02-2010, 11:48 AM   #46
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both of those reviews are pretty dumb. just write real reviews with fun extended metaphors instead.

also, bulldog, that doesn't sound like your writing.
Yep, people are telling me I'm too formulaic and all my reviews read the same, so I'm trying to mix it up a bit.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:29 PM   #47
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NEW review for Raekwon, saying screw the concept review. If somebody could proof it, that'd be great. Thanks

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary: Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill sets expectations for hip-hop in 2010.

Review
His debut Only Built for Cuban Linx, was a blessing as well as a curse. A classic in many circles, OBFCL went gold, but also set the standard for which the rest of Rae’s discography would be subjected to. After releasing two albums following OBFCL that were considered to be disappointing, Raekwon released the much-hyped sequel, and it received rave reviews from the masses. But that was 2009, and with a new decade comes a new release, a New Year’s day present from the Chef, Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill is a contrast of light and dark, of the luxurious life of a celebrity, and of the trying times of a street crook.

As any good chef would know, anything worth something is more than its individual parts. Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill is a perfect example of this. Dark Mafioso rap is assisted by light bravado rap – which would normally be considered filler – and the result is the tale of a cartel kingpin delivered by Raekwon.

The dark parts of the album are comprised of dreary beats made one way or another (whether it be the melancholy piano sample and twinkly synths of “The Set Up” or the rapid bloop synths and the violent guitar breakdown of “Heat Rocks”); soulful brooding (or aggressive rapping); and tales of shooting, drug deals, and setups (“…the door opened, three niggas walked in…”)

The light side is made of upbeat, elevated instrumentals (take your pick of the female soul singer sample and siren synths of “Happy New Year” or the White Lines sample of the title track); uptempo flows, and indulging boasts (“The strawberry joint with tha glass of hen-…”)

The scarcity of punchlines and mixtape tom****ery (DJ Scream’s shoutouts, DJ Whoo Kid’s played-out gun sounds and rewinding) is compensated by the storytelling and ability to conjure up images by the chef. Raekwon is able to portray his image as that of a successful drug lord in such a short time, which is enough to propel this album to greatness. Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill may not end up being the greatest album or mixtape of the decade, or even the year, but it sure sets the pace for 2010, much like OBFCL did his career.
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:41 PM   #48
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NEW review for Raekwon, saying screw the concept review. If somebody could proof it, that'd be great. Thanks

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Summary: Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill sets expectations for hip-hop in 2010.

Review
His debut Only Built for Cuban Linx, was a blessing as well as a curse. A classic in many circles, OBFCL went gold, but also set the standard for which the rest of Rae’s discography would be subjected to. After releasing two albums following OBFCL that were considered to be disappointing, Raekwon released the much-hyped sequel, and it received rave reviews from the masses. But that was 2009, and with a new decade comes a new release, a New Year’s day present from the Chef {{Redundant, you can remove this}}, Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill is a contrast of light and dark - of the luxurious life of a celebrity and of the trying times of an street crook esteemed Chef. And as any good chef would know, anything worth something is more than its individual parts. Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill is a perfect example of this. Dark Mafioso rap is assisted by light bravado rap – which would normally be considered filler – and the result is the tale of a cartel kingpin delivered by Raekwon.

[I combined those first two paragraphs and changed street crook because that's not the image he's portraying]

The dark parts of the album are comprised of dreary beats made one way or another (whether it be the melancholy piano sample and twinkly synths of “The Set Up” or the rapid bloop synths and the violent guitar breakdown of “Heat Rocks”); soulful brooding (or aggressive rapping); and tales of shooting, drug deals, and setups (“…the door opened, three niggas walked in…”). Conversely, the light side is made of upbeat, elevated instrumentals (take your pick of the female soul singer sample and siren synths of “Happy New Year” or the White Lines sample of the title track); uptempo flows, and indulging boasts (“The strawberry joint with tha glass of hen-…”).

[Using transitions goes a long way. You see how I combined those two paragraphs?]

The scarcity of punchlines and mixtape tom****ery*** (DJ Scream’s shoutouts, DJ Whoo Kid’s played-out gun sounds and rewinding) is compensated by the storytelling and ability to conjure up images by the chef***. Raekwon is able to portray his image as that of a successful drug lord in such a short time, which is enough to propel this album to greatness. Coke Up In Da Dollar Bill may not end up being the greatest album or mixtape of the decade, or even the year, but it sure sets the pace for 2010, much like OB4CL did his career.

*** this is a stupid word. find something else to say.
*** An ability to conjure up images is called "imagery". work that in instead and describe it.

not bad, you just need to work on your writing more... vocabulary, awkward syntax, awkward organization. it gets better with time and practice. Remember... when you make an opinion on an aspect of music, be prepared to say "why"... by giving some kind of termanology or descriptors.

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Old 01-02-2010, 02:57 PM   #49
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Thank you very much. I appreciate it.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:40 AM   #50
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Sup, I wrote this for an album that isn't released for awhile soooooooo... anyone wanna critique it for me? I'm pretty horrible at editing my own writing
-------------------------------------------
Beach House - Teen Dream

_________________________________


The new decade doesn’t start with a bang, but instead with a wistful melody and some charming vocals. Beach House’s third full-length is a bittersweet jumble of ups and downs that provides ample listening material for both casual listener and the hipster. The young duo’s dream-pop latest is very aptly named, as we’ll soon find. Both gloriously youthful and joyously ruminative, Teen Dream is definitely a noteworthy listen to begin the decade.

You see, Teen Dream is delightfully bittersweet. With soaring female vocals and dream pop galore, Beach House takes your mood way above the clouds with its atmospherically beautiful aesthetic. While it may be considered by many to be strictly hipster music collection material, Beach House distinguishes Teen Dream despite itself. Instrumental variety runs rampant all over the record. Single “Norway” is easily one of Beach House’s best to date, and Victoria Legrand’s vocal unique and powerful vocal style. As she belts away, “Don’t you know it’s true...” (emphasis on the tru-oooooo), a cool and richly textured melody flutters by. While they definitely strike a chord with “Norway,” Beach House isn’t afraid to add a little variability to Teen Dream. Whether it’s “Lover Of Mine” that finds a niche for some organ input or the optimistic “Better Times” with its Far-East vibe going on, Teen Dream doesn’t lack compelling material. The guitar isn’t as prominent here as on previous works, and instead there’s a more shoegazey vibe present on a few songs. It’s certainly complex- the mish-mash of instrumental harmonies and ideas in each song, and it creates for a free-flowing and dynamic experience. Near the end, with “Real Love” and “Take Care,” Beach House slow down this pace a little, relying much more on Legrand’s superb vocal work.

Because of its lush, dream pop atmosphere, Teen Dream falls victim to an appearance of homogeny. While I maintain that this is a false appearance, it’s certainly easy to understand. Instrumentally and vocally, Teen Dream is exciting and compelling, but the album’s continuous and overpowering atmosphere (one that is true to its name- a bit day-dreamy, carefree, and optimistic) tends to dominate Teen Dream. It becomes easy to forget that there are other musical ideas at work on Beach Houses’ latest.

When it comes down to it, Teen Dream is absolutely charming; little more, and little less. With a few hidden intricacies and complexities that aren’t quite detectable at first, the melodies are sure to have you grinning. Beach House’s second full length distinguishes itself from the realm of Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” by providing apt listening material for music enthusiasts that don’t subscribe to the typical hipster stereotype. Teen Dream is sure to impress those that shop exclusively at Urban Outfitters, own In The Aeroplane Over The Sea on vinyl, and read Bukowski at Starbucks, but be wary because this record is more than that. Give Beach House a chance, even if you weren’t impressed by the dull Devotion, because this has a missing piece that Devotion was devoid of. Chalk it up to charm or pure likability of you will; but whatever it is, Teen Dream has it.

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Old 01-03-2010, 09:46 AM   #51
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you say dream too much in the first paragraph

i would take out the 'and' in the first sentence, or at least say, "and so, the new year...'
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:50 AM   #52
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thanks/edited
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Old 01-03-2010, 02:27 PM   #53
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Sleepingdog - Polar Life
____________________________
4 or 4.5

----------------------------------------

My favorite time to ponder life is right before I go to sleep. I wouldn’t describe it as full-on meditating, but I love tracking down some suitable music, grabbing my brand new headphones (Sennheisers for Christmas, what else?), and just concentrating on what comes to mind. Albums- usually post-rock - have come and gone as my staple listening material for this crucial point of my day. Lift Your Skinny Fists, Enjoy Eternal Bliss, Spiderland, and The Glow Pt. 2 have all graced the top ranks of these “near-sleeping albums” with their presence. I wish I could tell you that Polar Life is just as amazing no matter when it penetrates your cranium; but for me, it’s not. Because of its intrinsically pleasing nature and the eeriness about Sleepingdog’s Polar Life, I’ve found it to be extremely suitable for this particular facet of my life.

Sleepingdog achieves a rare quality throughout Polar Life- making a very slow-paced and calming record while maintaining the same level of absorption. Instead of extravagance and production being the vessel that allows Chantel Acda a pathway to utter serenity, Polar Life subscribes to a sense of purity and simplicity. The album in its entirety feels untainted and it allows Acda to sing (with her slight Belgian accent) songs that create a wide, clear soundscape- as pure as snow. While acceding to this particular order, the absolute chillness on Polar Life is achieved predominately through two different methods:

First is the simplistic ambience of pianos and drone created skillfully by Adam Wiltzie (better known of his [L]Stars of the Lid[/L] fame). The melodies are superb; very soft and fragile, as to not ruffle any feathers. They create a lull, a valley of empty space for Chantel Acda to spill her austere voice. The notes are very sparse and they create a dessert-like musical landscape - much like Iceland, where Polar Life was recorded and influenced greatly by. Sleepingdog’s particular take on folk music is beautiful The defining quality is particularly the subtleties at work behind the vocals- the rich string arrangements, the repetitive pianos, and soft electronics, namely. Together, they create a tranquil atmosphere that perfectly complements the voice that graces Polar Life.

Perhaps it’s because of her soft, soothing voice, or maybe it’s every phrase she utters sends a little chill down my spine, but there’s something special about Acda’s alluring vocals. It’s unique, definitely, and even though it always feels like Acda is holding back the true power of her cute and subdued singing, it’s very gratifying. Her simple imagery in “The Sun Sinks the Sea” is elegant even when her voice wavers on the longer notes. Whether she’s describing a walk down a snowy street or tales of lost love, I’m entranced. Drifting off to sleep becomes all the better experience with an enhancing supplement like Polar Life. Sleepingdog, through entrancing and minimalistic methods, create a serenity and pensiveness that could make a hyper-active 12 year-old sit down and ponder the meaning of life. The absolute pinnacle of this sublimity comes at the cessation of Polar Life. “If Only” is a testament to the beauty and power of simplicity. Every song is enjoyable in its own right; but because of the interconnectedness of the instrumentals and the overlapping themes

So try it out- turn off the lights, clear you mind, find your nicest headphones and listen to Sleepingdog inhabit your inner ear with Acda’s mesmerizing and beautiful melodies. As such, Polar Life is a very complete experience. It leaves you with a fulfillment that’s hard to find. As you drift off to sleep after the engrossing Polar Life, it’s difficult to feel discontentment- it just won’t happen. And in my personal, humble opinion, I feel like that’s the mark of a truly superb album- something so affecting it doesn’t leave you after you’re done listening to it. So don’t be surprised if you wake the next morning to wisps of dreams of a snowy plane, or the remnants of an entrancing voice still fresh in your mind.

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Old 01-03-2010, 03:25 PM   #54
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Thinking of submitting a review and I wrote a paragraph that played off of some of the song titles, it's kinda corny and I don't know if I should include it in the review:

“Lend Me An Ear” an listen to this album. “The D.O.C. & The Doctor” have “The Formula,” with it’s “Mind Blowin’” lyricism and the production? Well “It’s Funky Enough” to make you want to listen to it over and over. This album is the “Portrait of a Masterpiece” and it’s been sadly overlooked, because he never had a proper follow-up in a sense this was “The Grand Finale” for the D.O.C. His battle Rhymes are “Beautiful But Deadly,” done with such skill that “No One Can Do It Better.”

tell me what you think
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:05 PM   #55
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“Lend Me An Ear” an listen to this album. “The D.O.C. & The Doctor” have “The Formula,” with it’s “Mind Blowin’” lyricism and the production? Well “It’s Funky Enough” to make you want to listen to it over and over. This album is the “Portrait of a Masterpiece” and it’s been sadly overlooked, because he never had a proper follow-up in a sense this was “The Grand Finale” for the D.O.C. His battle Rhymes are “Beautiful But Deadly,” done with such skill that “No One Can Do It Better.”
In my opinion, it's pretty cool. But - as you said - it could come across as "corny" in the opinions of others. And the way you wrote it makes it sort of awkward reading with abrupt stopping, as the bold lettering in quotes suggests to the reader to pause and read loudly. It will work, but you might want to write it this way. Turn caps off, too, to make it more subtle and people may say "OHHH I GET IT NOW," which eliminates the "OH THAT'S CORNY" because it appears as more of a gimmick.

Try this....

"Lead me an ear and listen to this album. The D.O.C. and the doctor have the formula with mind blowin lyricism and production. Well, it's funky enough to make you listen to it over and over. This album is the portrait of a masterpiece and it has been sadly overlooked, because he never had a proper follow-up, and as a result, this was, in a sense the grand finale for the D.O.C. His rhymes are beautiful but deadly, done with such skill it will make you say "No one can do it better."
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:15 PM   #56
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sorry man, no offense but in my opinion it doesn't work. if you're going to incorporate a more original style of writing than your standard review you have to make sure you describe the music well, or at least the feeling it gives you.

-my two cents
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:43 PM   #57
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It's his intro/conclusion. Oh yea, somberlain, forgot, if it's NOT going to be your intro/conclusion, then don't include it.
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Old 01-03-2010, 05:53 PM   #58
SeaAnemone
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I know, it just sounds very gimmicky and doesn't add anything to the review. Creative idea, but doesn't say anything about the music and should be left out.
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Old 01-03-2010, 06:17 PM   #59
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I'll leave it out.
I was almost certain that I wasn't going to include it and you just reassured me that I shouldn't.
thanx guys
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Old 01-05-2010, 10:17 PM   #60
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I need help editing down my review on the complete Mahler. It's way too long. Unfortunately I did not know about this message board thread before or else I would have posted it here first
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