Tuesday, June 21, 2016

serving lemonade


Here’s the thing. I’m not a critic, I’m not a professional. So this review will be like Beyonce’s album. (too) personal. I started listening to the album while driving home from university and I had an hour and forty-five minutes to kill on the open road, trying to avoid driving into a biker or a jogger or a rollerblader. Ugh, sports. And I am a reluctantly emotional being so this review will be full of emotions and feelings and it will not feature technical terms. Let's get through this.

In Love drought Beyonce asks the question: If I wasn't me, would you still feel me? And indeed, if we took out Beyonce’s crazy cult like following would we still be “feeling” this album. If we put aside wanting to immediately google “the elevator video” to see the exact moment that Beyonce started writing this album in her head. If we put aside our overwhelming need to find out who is “Becky with the good hair” and why in the name of God would Jay Z ever cheat on Beyonce and her amazing-I-will-give-all-of-my-money-and-my-firstborn legs. If we put aside the fact that she made a goddamn movie to go with the album. To sum up my crazy rantings: if it wasn’t Beyonce would we think that the album is good?

For me the short answer is yes. The long answer is yes and no. The even longer answer is I don’t know.

The album is the emotional journey of a person and while driving I went through all of the stages with her. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, BEYONCE. The last one is something only she ever achieves, but one can try, right. The whole thing is versatile and not one song makes you feel like you’ve already heard it. For me this album is also a rare find because I can listen to the whole thing without skipping a song. However, some of the songs are still stronger than others. Here is the track-by-track.

Pray you catch me
Makes you feel: like breathing heavy; like forests during sunrises; like never wanting a significant other ever.

Pray you catch me made me think that I was not going to like this album. Even though Beyonce’s vocals are beautiful and this song showcases them well, the song itself felt like not enough. That being said, once you have listened to the whole album, the first track makes sense and it feels like it needs to be there. It starts off the album softly and easily like easing yourself into a hot bath. The first 33 seconds of the song actually do sound like Bey was getting into a really hot bath. But in a really musical and creative way that only she can pull off.

Hold up
Makes you feel: like you’re better than you actually are; like Elizabeth I – kind of crazy but badass.

Oh, we in the bath now. No more easing into it. And the water is freezing. Beyonce gets real personal and I love it.  The song features a tweet by Ezra Koening a song by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Beyonce serving some truth. What more could a person with no personal life of one’s own ask for?

Don’t hurt yourself
Makes you feel: like you could pull off wearing leather; like having a significant other just so you could tell them to get their shit together and treat you better; like cursing a lot; like walking into a club like what up I’ve got a big cock.

For some reason I decided that this was the song to introduce Beyonce’s new album to my father. It was probably the Jack White thing, I thought that a forty-something man might connect with him on the track? My motives aside, I played him the song and he said that it sounds like Jack White. Before he started singing. He was right in a way, the track doesn’t have that Beyonce-esque sound and feel that some of her other works but she fits in well with the older kids. Zeppelin and White that is.

Makes you feel: like getting pissed (both drunk and mad apply); like not caring about anything; like caring A LOT.

This song is not one of my favourites on the album even though it does have a quality to it which I would call “jammy”. I can just really picture some 14-year-olds failing their maths test and breaking up with their boyfriends of two months and posting an instagram with the caption that reads “middle fingers up” or “I ain’t sorry” and the image is too vivid for me to enjoy the song however jammy it might be.

6 inch ft. The Weekend
Makes you feel: again, like you could pull off wearing leather; like wearing 6 inch heels (regardless of gender I have found); like being a working girl is not that bad; again, like walking into a club like what up I’ve got a big cock; like smoking a cigarette that’s in a cigarette holder.

This is one of the less personal songs on the album and has already become an anthem for women who earn their own goddamn money. The song has a very cool ominous vibe that makes you think of smoky bars and slow motion movement. The Weekend fits the track like a glove.

Daddy lessons   
Makes you feel: glad that Beyonce’s dad is not your dad; like you understand Beyonce a little better now; like you might actually get into county music; like you could pull off wearing denim on denim on denim.

Beyonce does country! Yes, that’s right. There’s nothing like acoustic guitars and trumpets and the sounds of (older?) men hollering gibberish to make you feel like you’re in a southern state of the USA. Daddy lessons also gives a slight insight into Beyonce’s childhood. I’m assuming. And if my assumptions are right then she did not have it too easy. She was made into a diamond by sheer pressure from the people around her. Again, I’m assuming.

Love drought
Makes you feel: like the whole significant other thing might not be all it’s cracked up to be; like being really needy and really not needy at the same time; like you’re stuck in honey.

Love drought is feathery and airy but really draggy and heavy at the same time. That’s all I’ve got.

Makes you feel: not good; sad; like taking a bath.

This song is one that everyone who has never had a terrible breakup can’t really relate to. I know that the other songs are also about love but with great willpower one could imagine that they apply to other life problems such as: unstable mental health, unstable bank balance, unstable weight gain, unstable relationship between their love for ice-cream and their lactose intolerance. That sort of thing. The song feels raw and emotional and unedited and real but what takes away from it is the fact that we know it’s not that real and unedited.

Forward ft. James Blake
Makes you feel: not much; like maybe looking up James Blake.

Forward a minute 20 second track that acts as the part in a mental journey when one decides to let go. It’s the part where Beyonce gets out of the bath. She is moving forward. James Blake is singing for the most part and it sounds…. nice? Sad? Weepy? Powerful? All of them, I guess.

Freedom ft. Kendrick Lamar
Makes you feel: your white privilege; like having Beyonce sing to you before every exam; powerful; like you might get a tattoo and not regret it; like wearing only black clothes for the rest of your life.

Freedom is the song Beyonce makes after she gets out of her bath of her own tears because she realises that people are looking up to her and she has the power to speak up on social issues. This song is becoming the anthem for the Black Lives Matter movement and not without reason. Beyonce’s powerful vocals and Kendrick Lamar’s rap verse make the song catchy without being annoying, beautiful without being sappy, powerful without being crude.

All night
Makes you feel: like maybe you do want the whole significant other thing; good but confused.

The song has a good baseline, upbeat tune, good lyrics, great vocals, cool brass instruments. Yes.

Makes you feel: like you just heard the essence of Beyonce in a song; like getting in formation; like slaying.

This song is very much Beyonce-esque. It has confidence, it boosts one’s mood, it makes one feel more powerful, it has politics in it, it has something personal and it has vocals. Beyonce.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

I Killed The Prom Queen – Beloved (2014)

I Killed The Prom Queen or IKTPQ is an Australian metalcore band that was formed in the year 2000. Like many other bands IKTPQ has gone through a few changes in members but currently they are as follows: Jona Weinhofen, Kevin Cameron, Jamie Hope, Shane O'Brien and Benjamin Coyte.
Beloved is IKTPQ’s latest album. Before that they released When Goodbye Means Forever... (2003) which put them on the map. It was well received by the metal community. The success of their first studio album inspired them to issue another one 3 years later. It is named Music for the Recently Deceased (2006). Some say that the band peaked with that album and they are never to return. The rumours began to spread even faster when the band lost their former vocalist and split up in 2007. Luckily for us, Jamie Hope joined IKTPQ. They immediately started working on the album Beloved. This got fans positively hyped and eventually satisfied. Beloved received positive feedback from all over the world and is their most successful album yet.

Beloved has 11 songs, 2 of which are collaborations with other bands. To me, listening to this album is a story. An emotional and fictional journey through the feelings and meanings of the author’s words. I will do my best to describe everything I felt the first time I heard this album.

1    1.  Beginning if the End” – This song is considered to be the intro to the whole album. Whenever is hear this song I start falling into a blissful abyss. It feeds me with positive anger. This anger has a physical manifestation. 

1    2.To the Wolves” – This is the song where the physically manifested anger really starts to make me move. It is impossible to stay still. My hands start flailing, my feet begin to rise higher and higher. I can feel the temperature rising.

1    3.Bright Enough” – My blood is boiling, my hair is whipping and my energy level just keeps on rising. I have become completely oblivious to the outside world. I close my eyes and imagine myself in an empty field.

1    4. "Melior” – The field is in flames. This is where I lose my mind completely. I roar like a bear and I fly like an eagle. I have become everything I fear. I am invincible. This flow of emotions has made me into something I should have been since birth.

1    5. "Thirty One & Sevens" – I open my eyes. The field is still in flames but I am no longer the fearsome beast I was before. I am engulfed by the fire. Suddenly I realize….I am the fire. The fire is me. I am the last creation of mankind.
      6."Calvert Street" – Everything around me goes silent yet my mind is still in turmoil. I can’t hear my own thoughts. This seems like a battle within me. My eyes are open but I cannot see. From a distance I can hear a soothing voice. 

      7."Kjærlighet" – This soothing voice is creeping closer. I can feel its warmth. It takes form as a ball of light. I just stand here. Slowly my mind clears. I can hear it now. I can hear what the light has to say.

        8."The Beaten Path"–FIND YOUR WAY!! FIND YOUR WAY!! The light screams!! I begin to feel malice. A new kind of hatred courses through my veins. Everything I detest and despise is now surrounding me. I must find a way through it all. I feel lost and yet I feel at home. There must be an escape….

      9."Nightmares" – I begin my quest. I must find a place where I can be at peace. Every step I take is either closer to my Heaven or another trap of aggression. I start running. I no longer care where I step or what I am headed to. I know I can’t stand still. I must keep running. I must fight.

      10."No One Will Save Us" – With my two fist pumping through the air I make my way. I make my own way. I now know that I am alone. I had a shred of hope before but now it is gone. This is my life, my journey and my end. I let out one last warcry and prepare myself.

      11."Brevity" – This is my resolve. I shut my eyes and feel the fire inside. I burn!! Everything around my burns. The flames eat away all my anger. My fears are gone. My enemies are done. It is just me in an empty field. I am exhausted and fall asleep. I wake up in my room, still flailing my hands and kicking my legs.

Like I mentioned before, this album is a journey. Every person experiences it differently and that is how is should be. However, I failed to mention how important are the instruments. The lyrics create the journey but the music creates the setting. When you start to feel anger, it is not just because there were a few bad or angry words. It is because the guitars are speeding up, the drums become relentless and the bass keeps  hitting the lower chords again and again. Ignorant people might think that all metalcore music is full of hatred and anger just because there is a person “screaming” throughout the song. That is a very short-sighted opinion and vision. Most people do not know how much practice and skill it takes to achieve such vocal abilities without hurting and damaging your throat. 

I just wish that more people would appreciate the time and effort it takes to produce this kind of music. Nowadays it is just one guy behind a laptop. He klicks his mouse and presses spacebar – song complete. But IKTPQ, they have band practice daily, even when they are on tour. They actually know how to play an instrument, most of them know more than one. They invest themselves into their music. That is why I think every person in the world should at least listen to them once.

Signe-Renate Saar

Bullion - Loop The Loop (2016)

The album can be freely streamed in its entirety here. (Highly recommended listening to on a decent pair of headphones, smashed. –MR)

“Pop, not slop!” proclaims the tagline of DEEK Recordings, London-based indie label run by Nathan Jenkins AKA Bullion.  Indeed so. Since its establishment in 2012, in-house producer and mixing engineer Jenkins has developed a distinctive brand of sophisticated off-kilter pop, a unique and uniform “DEEK sound”. Home to underdogs such as electric oddball Never, funky techno wizard Thool and the immensely talented singer-songwriter Laura Groves, DEEK has evolved into a kind of refuge for West London’s eccentric pop masterminds under Bullion’s watchful guidance.

Ever since being first exposed to Groves’ brilliant Committed Language EP early last year, the label has become the object of my ongoing fascination. Looking into the history of its steersman, I was delighted to discover that Bullion is a not-at-all unknown name in the underground electronic circles. His 2007 bootleg Pet Sounds: In the Key of Dee garnered significant online attention, mixing snippets of well-known Beach Boys motifs together with sampling and drum programming not unlike the late hip-hop legend (who had passed away the year before). Since then, Jenkins has produced a string of releases on various imprints before settling on his own label. His chillwave-influenced 2009 EP Young Heartache stands out as an example of the early Bullion sound. The idiosyncratic, playful and adventurous style of sample processing is complimented by Jenkins’ natural knack for groovy and danceable beats, all the while drawing inspiration from the likes of Frank Zappa, Robert Wyatt, Steve Hackett, John Martyn and who knows what other 70’s one-man-bands nobody has even heard of. Judging by his radio shows and mix-tapes, the man's frame of reference is tremendous. (By the way, can anyone who is reading this identify the vocal sample used here? MR). As a production nerd myself, I could not help becoming obsessed over the technicalities of how he sculpts his signature sound.

2011 saw the release of the critically acclaimed “non-LP” You Drive Me To Plastic, which showcased the now experienced producer’s trademark style of sample-orientated musical composition, yet also signalled a change in direction. A previously unknown facet of the Bullion character was revealed when he began using his voice in songs and devoted more time to getting better at singing, writing lyrics and recording instruments. His first release under DEEK – Love Me Oh Please Love Me EP – unveiled Jenkins’ remarkable gift for songwriting and melody, while Rooster EP from 2015 reassured his fans that he has not forgotten his roots in quirky club music. I suppose a proper full-length album was a long-awaited natural conclusion to such an impressive track record. After having followed Bullion’s and his label’s doings with near-religious fervour for over a year, Loop The Loop was indeed of my most anticipated releases this year.

Still, even though it came out in February, I kept postponing giving the album a good start-to-finish listen until only a few days ago. A teaser of the title track was made public mid-winter, but I had ambiguous feelings about it. Instead of the sample-based trip-hop producer I knew of, this masked Bullion character, I suddenly came face to face (or mouth to ear?) with a flesh and bone human being, a sensitive soul with genuine feelings to sing about:

When you went loop the loop
The spiral stopped the fly
The people looking at you
All you can see is the sky
People talk down to you
All you know is sky

The second "single" – Get To The Heart Of It – had a similarly melancholic vibe. Jenkins’ frail voice singing about things like “striving to be a part of it” and “constantly thinking over it” in a kind of self-deprecating r’n’b slow jam was not how I would have expected the record to sound like. At least he still knows how to craft a decent sub-bass, I thought to myself. So I tried to escape getting disappointed. I was afraid the album was going to be s**t.

Despite everything, I eventually gave the whole thing a go and was amused to find that sunny mid-June Tartu turned out to be a strangely fitting environment in which to experience the album. The opening track – Dip Your Foot – features the talented violinist Sarah Anderson, a frequent Bullion collaborator, whose brand of oriental string melodies have adorned DEEK releases since the first single of the in-label band Nautic (Jenkins, Groves and bassist Tic Zogson) back in 2012. The Far Eastern themed tribal beats bear a striking resemblance to the kind of music Ratatat used to produce six years ago. Still, with a sense of nostalgia for Nautic’s signature sound (Jenkins’ best work to date in my opinion), I could not dislike the song even if I tried.

However, Bullion’s introspective narrative is firmly established in track number two – Health:

I'm so passive I hate to be
Things keep making their way past me
Missed those chances that I should take
I must be clever it's for my own

It is clear that Jenkins is eagerly trying to convey a personal emotional message on his debut. It almost feels like a story of the man’s quest for self-transcendence. Escape the loop of fruitless rumination. Get out of your head and start making changes in reality. Pass down the valuable lessons learned in life. You can hold the key! However, the type of surfy and plastic sound Bullion is striving for makes for an odd companion to the lyrical content. The emotion does not have the kind of authentic impact that for example Morrissey's voice has when singing things like “I never had a job because I’m too shy”, partnered with Johnny Marr’s moody guitar riffs.

Nevertheless, the album continues with a beautiful sequence of two minimal, mostly instrumental pieces. The first of which – My Lar – sees Anderson’s distinctive string passages explode into a glorious 80’s synthesizer pop celebration reminiscent of True Blue era Madonna. Unless, the next track, is my personal highlight of the first half of the album.  Its hauntingly alluring synth hook comes back around in the song’s final third in a superb exercise of the ABA musical form.

In Self Capering, Bullion returns to the self-examining tone set out in Health. Again, the careless summery vibe of the track creates a strange yet captivating dichotomy with what the author is attempting to say. On the other hand, Never Is The Change, the truest dance song on the record, is a ridiculously catchy rhythmic journey, featuring a keyboard solo that would make Donald Fagen proud (performed by label-mate and multi-instrumentalist Jesse Hackett). Its energetic beat beautifully compliments Bullion’s positively life-affirming message:

Rarely is the change you make from A to B
Try a different groove to see
You can hold the key

Speed begins with the most simplistic hook on the album, nearly crossing the border over to the senseless land of novelty music (that Jenkins himself claims to hold in disdain). Todd Rundgren’s over-the-top synthesizer experiments from the early 80’s come to mind. Still, in a way that is developing into a kind cyclically reoccurring phenomenon on his debut, Bullion keeps inserting into his music something of such unusually inventive quality, that it forces the listener to reinterpret the whole song in a new light. In this case, the playfully blunt words of Speed, introduced in the track’s breakdown, transform something that began as a mildly annoying novelty etude into a fully credible dance-floor adventure.

The album starts losing pace at this point, as the solemn Get To The Heart Of It is followed by perhaps the weakest link of the album – Palm 2. As Jenkins continues with his life observations, the pun-driven Peep Hole ("What did you expect to get from them?”) treads dangerously close to slapstick territory. Yet again, however, he manages to meticulously navigate his way around it with some unexpected chord changes and clever command of harmony. The album’s title track pulls the listener back to a more serious ground again.

As his debut nears its end, Jenkins finally demonstrates his full potential with It’s No Spirit, the album’s most authentic representation of the classic Bullion sound that earned him his reputation. The heavy, brooding atmosphere and dream-like vocals (aided by Groves), weighed down by the relentless energy of the drums, make this my personal favourite track on the record. In another sudden change of tone, Jenkins draws his personal journey to a close with FoYoC ("Float On Your Own Cloud"). The youthfully innocent and uplifting tune, complete with a soundscape of ocean waves gently caressing the tropical coast, provides a fitting resolution to the momentum that the whole album had been building up to. Brian Wilson would nod approvingly as the spiritually awakened Jenkins ties the knot:

Live on your own land
Take all that you can
Soak up your own love
Sell out your own self

It’s the sound of the summer.

To the ones who are still reading this painfully analytical deconstruction of Bullion’s debut, I have to admit that Loop The Loop is a strange album. Its quirky pop melodies and novelty instrumentation combined with the Jenkins’ introspective musings make for an unusual listening experience. It does not come as surprise that the man spent at least two years fine-tuning and readjusting the record before settling on its final form. Possible (or projected?) feelings of inadequacy may have made their way into the musical. Some of the album’s wilder excursions still leave an uncomfortable sense of inconsistency and there could have been better ways to glue the tracks together into a coherent whole.

Nevertheless, Bullion delivered a strong selection of avant-garde electro-pop, that keeps growing on me more and more. It should certainly be listened through repeatedly to be able to fully appreciate the intricate details and nuances hidden inside the complex crevices of Loop The Loop. Jenkins has succeeded in honing his trademark “DEEK sound” into perfection with this one. Years of personal exploration and effort put into finding his distinctive musical language have finally blossomed and borne fruit. In his own record company, free from any external pressures or restrictions to creative self-expression, Mr. Jenkins has accomplished something oddly beautiful.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Music Review of 2016 Eurovision Song Contest

FLGR.01.336 Analytical Reading of Music Criticism - Final Music Review
Music Review of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest
Hiu Wing Tsang, Chloe
Hong Kong

描述: https://oikotimesofficial.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/eurovision-2016-logo.jpg
"Heal the world, make a better place. For you and for me. And The Entire Human Race. " . Messages Can Be Easily to past though and media arts. Among all, music and song is regardes as one of the most power tool to express and share human thought. There is an Annual Music Competition Which Combines all the European Countries to sing from on their heart, Which is Called The Eurovision Song Contest. The competition has started from 24th of May, 1956, aimed at restoring Which Relationship Between European Countries and spreading the message of "Love and Peace" after the Cold War. It gained lots of support, response and popularity all over the globe Throughout the Year. This year in the 61 from the Eurovision Contest,  it took place in the previous winner's country Sweden and widely broadcasted all over Europe, China, Kazakhstan, Australia, New Zealand and, for the very first time, the United States. The international event gathered 42 Countries to sing for peace and love and Continued The Legend of pop music in Europe.

It is goes without saying "Music makes by some reason" and inquires Significant social or against the current values. In a Similar wine this year was regardes as one of the most social and political contest since the Participant Controversial songs were more than never before. Judging is the opinion Above, the music Following analysis will discuss about the five songs in the 2016 Eurovision Contest Which will be based on their music is a style, lyrics and message, music videos, live music performances as well as the fashion style of the contestants. In an attempt to discovering about the intention and Innovation of the songs with the theme of "Love and Peace" and the formula of pop music, the analysis will make use of Different music clips, viewers' criticism and multi-media resources Before and after the event.

Ukraine- 1944 (Jamala)

Music Style
The song was sung by Jamala of champion, who is a singer, song writer and the most importantly, a Ukrainian Tartar. The song is in a middle-paced and dynamic, Which Made up with the traditional Tartar style music by the winding instruments. The entrant was Performed in a traditional Tartar singing tone, lean Which didnt have much harmony and extra musical effects. Not only did the powerful symbolic and chorus delighted theme of the songs, but it also successfully innovated a Mixture Between the pop music and ethnic minority traditional music.    

Lyrics and Message
The song in 1944 was undoubtedly the most critical one in the Eurovision history. In the rule of the contest, songs with strong political intention or specifically criticize the country were CERTAIN Prohibited. But I, this song was Sinbad point to Russia's invasion in Ukraine. First of all, the name of the name "1944" When symbolize the year the Soviet Union mistreated ethnic minority groups in European Countries During the Second World War (1939-1945). Suffering from the deportation, many people Including Tartar lost on their home, jobs and sent to be slaves in The Last Century.

"When strangers are coming
They come to your house
They kill you all
and say
We're not guilty
Not Guilty "

At the same time, this implied song about Russia's annexation of Crimea in the year of 2014. [1] Suffering from this crisis, Jamala was forced to leave her hometown and her family from Separate Especially her 90 years old Grandfather. In one of her victory interview, she Claimed That,
"Imagine - you're a creative person, a singer, but you can not go home for two years. You see your grandfather is Skype, who is 90 years old and ill, but you can not visit him. What am I supposed to do: just sing nice songs and forget about it? Of course I can not do that. " [2]

As a result, she wrote this song to condemn and express her own feeling about the rival government and Russia behind the lyrics.

"Where is your heart?
Humanity Rise
You think you are gods
But everyone dies
Do not swallow my soul
Our Souls "

In the chorus of 1944, it sang in traditional Tartar language. Jamala used her mother tongue and sang from her heart sincerely with her innocence and hardship. Not solely did this special when you try to strengthen the nationalistic message inside the music, but it also aroused audiences' sympathies to towards this ethnic rival. 

"Yaşlığıma toyalmadım
Men bu yerde yaşalmadım
Yaşlığıma toyalmadım
Men bu yerde yaşalmadım "

Although this song is undeniably political-based, it still matched the contest's theme of "Love and Peace". In the second part of the song, it shows an ideal living of the ethnic minority, Which Is Getting rid of war and invasion. But I, this message can Actually in use all around the world. Different Facing many international rivals nowadays, the only way to peace is love and Maintain Avoiding wars and invasion. This anti-war Underlying Meaning touched audiences and juries, Which paved the road to the championship year and like what the contestant received a "ready to hear about the pain of other people and are ready to sympathize" [3] .

"We could build a future
Where people are free
To live and love
The happiest time "

Analysis of Live Performance
There was no official video of the song in 1944 but the live performance was more worthy to discuss. In the semi-final contest, it was dereference That Jamala didnt put her power and technique to the limit, but she got more experience and are performed in an excellent level in the Grand Final. In Addition, the effect of stage depicted an important role to the overall performance. In the beginning of the contest, the blurred shot Increased the mysterious and intense atmosphere of the song. About the Visual Effects stage, it was a wise option to use tone contrast color like blue and red to match with the theme song of blood sacrifice. Another interesting thing was the design figure in the Grand Final. Starting from the second chorus, there was a tree displayed on the digital screen, WHO Continued to connect the power from the voice of the singer. It made the audience think of the message of "The Tree of Life" and the message of the true definition of living and freedom. The stage effected totally worked with the songs and the entrant Even, Which delighted the performance.
One must not forget to discuss about the performance technique of the singer. In the Grand Final, not only did Jamala are performed with her professional singer and flawless technique, she also used APPROPRIATE facial movement as well as body language to impressed audiences. Her action addresses audience to really put into her shoes and touched by the song and the lyrics, Which is One of The Reason Why Could she be the one to hold the crystal microphone back to home finally.

Fashion style of the contestant
Jamala is a folk song and pop music singer in Ukraine. As a result, one is not a artist who emphasizes outfit and branding so much. Matching with her image and music style, the performance in clothing was simple and plain style. The white dress in the semi-final and blue trousers in the Grand Final Could Totally show her elegant and simple style, Which Highlighted Characteristics her music and personality as well.

Australia- The Sound of Silence (Dami Im)

Music Style
The song of the second runner-up was a complete song than the former one. It is a song tempo pop song with middle and anthemic chorus [4] . Regarding the use of music instrument, percussion and wind instrument like piano and bass depicted the important role of the songs. Differen from the previous song, Sound of Silence put more effort in the electric music recording and post-production. It is a song Which caught all the attention from the other 41 Countries since it was not only the second song made ​​by a non-European Australia, but it also thanks to the nationality of the entrant. Dami Im is a South Korean-born Australian singer and songwriter, who becames famous after Participating and winning the contest in the fifth season of The X Factor Australia. An Asian artist sang in English and represented Australia to PERFORM in the Eurovision contest. Such kind of nationality and political background: Become one of the high light and controversy in this year contest. Another criticism about the usage of the song is the lyrics. Apart from political messages in the songs, all the music Which is related to commercial business branding and promotion of Prohibited are also in the Eurovision contest. On the contrary, there is one line in the Sound of Silence "Try to feel your love through FaceTime ' was criticized of its video chat technology promotion. The song was allowed to join the contest after discussion by the International Jury.

Lyrics and Message
When we first look at the name of the song, finding "The Sound of Silence" is such an irony to chase for something Which is impossible in reality. The tracks writers Anthony Egizii & David Musumeci, also Known as DNA Songs, stated in a music analysis That ' "Sound of Silence" is about feelings of nostalgia, distance and missing the one you love. It's about how chasing your dreams can sweep you up in a wild rollercoaster ride and take you away from Those Closest to You. It explored the irony in how the ride can lose its luster if you can not share it with the person you love the most. " ". Living in an private with well-development of technology and the Internet, people are lean communicating with mobile apps and different kinds of online or social platform.

"Growing tired and weary, brown eyes
Try to feel your love through FaceTime
Symphonies of dreams and Highlights
Caught up in this crazy fast life
But baby you're not here with me "

When times gone by, people used not to chat with the apps for chatting or voice messages Instead of seeing and communicating with each face to face. On the surface, this kind of convenience undeniably connects thronged all around the globe with no mobile signal or boundary of the jet lag. But In fact, the Relationship Between Human beings is loosened When they take the technological Advances for and granted. 

"One theme that I related to in The Sound of Silence is that of disconnection and being away from the people in my life that I love. We live in a world Where It is easy to be connected every minute of the day but along with this connection you can feel alone and isolated. " Said Dami Im after the Grand Final on the 16 th April, in 2016.

The song used powerful music and lyrics to discuss about "technological anxiety" nowadays and how a person live under this plights and try to find a way to get rid of this mental torture and technological relationship with people overdose.

"Getting hard to break through the madness
You're not here, it never makes sense
Tidal waves of tears are Crash '
No one here to save me Drowning '
Cause baby you're not here with me "

The themes of the songs in the Eurovision Contest must be related to "Love and Peace". But how did the "Sound of Silence" connect with the topic? Love Actually is a people based relationship. If this kind of bounding breaks down, love can not be existe and people are not Able to pursue people in Seoul and me without love. In the lyrics, although the person was at a loss about the disconnection thronged with people, he kept finding to way to Smoothen the bad feeling and think positively.

"I know I'm stronger and I'm Capable
I know it's all in my head
But I keep calling, calling
Calling, calling '

Teenager Until the very children the lyrics of the songs, audiences may I discover that not only did it fool the worry of one person, but it also shows the problem Among all the human being in recent year. It goes without saying that we are all facing the problem of human disconnection and technological addiction. As a result, it aimed at reminding people from all over the world to be realized this social disorder and try to find a way back to human communication with love and Especially, in face to face, but not in the "FaceTime" and "silence" mode from Instead the mobile notification. Under no Circumstances That would deny the Sound of Silence successfully and wisely express the theme "Love and Peace" in an innovative and alternative way in such a powerful and encouraginf song.

"Now my heart awakes to the sound of silence
And it beats to the sound of silence
And it beats to the sound of silence "
Analysis of the Music Video

The video started with Several drum beats, Which Made listener to think about the sound of the heart beat. It feels like the music is composed by the true feeling from the soul wholeheartedly. About the setting of the music video, it first took place in the car WHERE Dami Im setting was inside of her own and was looking out of the window. All the place Appears in the video, for instance, the car, the basement, the ground floor of the skyscraper were all in the cold color tone. They gave people the impression of indifference, but modernized and Professional Designed dehumanized but alienated from human nature and at the same time. Besides, all the shots in the music video Mainly Focused on the portrait of the singers with two gay male dancers behind. Regrading the dancers in the clip, they acted as an atmosphere activators. Dancing in the modern style with simple clothing, they were Similar with the movement of the heartbeat, simple but strong, Which matched with the theme of the song. Overall, the video was full of smoke and light effect, Which definitely goes along with the message of the song.

Analysis of Live Performance
It is a universal consensus That the live performance can popularize and ruin the songs in one second. The case of the "Sound of Silence" must belong to the former one. In the beginning, Dami Im sit is a rectangle box and sang softly, Which just like she was whispering her own feeling out. But When it came to the second verse of the song, she walked down and went to the front center stage. Her voice turned to a high pitch and Fulfilled with energy and passionate, Which tried to connected with audiences and spread the message of music with Them intentionally. One must not forget that the entrant's ad-lib part in the climax of the song really impressed by the audiences and Especially the jury. This was the reason why the Sound of Silence The Highest Point from the vote of European audiences.

In the aspect of the stage Visual Effects, matched with the design theme of technology and modernization. In the second verse of the performance, Dami used her hand to the digital control panels and there were people faces on the screen, Which connected with the message of human relationship and internet plights in the song. Reaching to the end of the song, there were hundred white and sliver "wires" on the ground and stage Even the background, Which Highlighted the climax of the song and the singer's passionate and powerful performance. This was a breathtaking and fascinating visual effect Made Them That impressed audiences and to memorize the song.        

Fashion style of the contestant
About the outlook of Dami Im in the music video, it would also go along with the theme of the song. She wore plain dresses with hard tone color like black and white with not much accessories, Which shows the image of coolness and introvert. On the contrary, the team put more emphasis on the Grand Final image design. Dam wore a white dress with sparkling crystals and sliver of material on it. The dress successfully Highlighted Dam from her Limitation of height and the silver tone design matched with the theme of contemporary society again. In Conclusion, it was a remarkable performance with the perfect combination of songs, visual stage event, the singer's music as well as the technique of fashion design, Which paved its own road to the second place in the contest. One may say Australia is not the member of European Countries May be truly Legitimate and in participation in the contest. But Despite its international background, it undeniably made a fantastic music creation and innovated pop music into an alternative stage.     

Russia- You are the only one (Sergey Lazarev)

Music Style
"You Are The Only One" is a love ballad with rock music and fast-paced style. It was made up of electronic sound effect and dereference chorus. The song was Performed by Sergey Lazarev, who is Currently one of the top stars in Russia. His incredible background music included winning all the awards the top place in Russia in the recent years. In Addition, he is an all-rounded artist and is a well-known singer, actor as well as TV presenter in the nation. Having sophisticated skill of music production techniques of the music, this anthem Received a high ranking and reputation form the music viewers. One must notice this in Russia Usually sing for their mother language in the Eurovision Song Contest. As a result, there was an dereference format and attitude of Russia toward the competition. This year, Russia attached a great weight of the song production, Which invited the legend and former winners of the contest, Dimitris Kontopoulos and Philip Kirkorov to be the composers and editors of the song.   

Lyrics and Message
This ballad was about the fearless of chasing the true love and Obtaining Bravery towards every Obstacle in life. The main theme and message had been Shown Already from the Beginning of the song. No matter how hard a couple suffer in an attempt to staying together, for their heart and love will change now and go Astray with each other.

"We can never let the word be unspoken
We will never let go of our loving Come Undone
Everything we had is staying Unbroken, now
You will always be the only one
You're The Only One "

This was completely related to romantic and endless love. Although the weather like Difficulties were both unpredictable, these people still to think positively and try hard to stay with lovers by all Means.

"Thunder and lightning, and it's getting exciting
Lights up the Skyline to show the WHERE u are
My love is the story's rising unwinding
Together we'll make it 'n' Reach for the Stars
You're the only one you're my only one
You're my life every breath that I take
Unforgettable so unbelievable
You're the only one - my only one "

Personally, I was quite disappointed about this Such songs and experienced production team since there was no innovative idea Shown in the song. First of all, the theme of the song and made ​​no surprise "romantic love" was a theme Lack of communication REFLECTING the reality of life. This doesnt truly when you try to match with the spirit and motto of the contest. Also, the lyrics were WRITTEN Meaning or without unique poetic skills. Lines like "You're my life every breath that I take" kinds of Sentenced fact that we use every day, only Stressed Which is stirring up emotion. It was only another typical love song in the contest.

Analysis of the Music Video

The element of music video production and live performance were very similar with each other. The video started at a couple lying on a big pink flower and were looking with the lovers. Not only did the flower represent the ever-growing love Between the couple, but it also a sex symbol in the field of media semiotics. Another field of discussion is the setting of the music video. The video was Mainly Taken in front of a digital screen and different digital effects were added in the post-production. We must not neglect the setting was made up with Different scenery or natural phenomenon like mountains, fire and snow, Which May Face symbolized the plights of people in a bid to chasing for their true love and being fearless towards every predicament.     

Analysis of Live Performance
In the Grand Final contest, Sergey are performed in front of a small white screen and co-operate with Different lighting effects and digital. In Addition, male dancers Joined the performance in the second verse of the song in an attempt to push the atmosphere. On the contrary, people were criticizing is the innovation of the song and Even the stage production. It was judged That performance on either format and stage design was so alike champion in 2015 with the song "Hero". In my opinion, the song was indeed special Lack of innovation and less powerful than the previous two, Which Could only get the third place in the final result.

 Germany- Ghost (Jamie-Lee Kriewitz)

Music Style
"Ghost" is another song controversy this year. The song was in a middle tempo and belonges to light rock category. The main use was instrumental drums and the electrical piano. Regarding the background of the contestant, Jamie-Lee Kriewitz was the winner of The Voice of Germany and her music style was deeply Affected by comics aesthetics from the Far East. Similar in a wine, different elements of Japan were appeares in the anthem.

Lyrics and Message
"Ghost" is a sad love song of regret is Which showed the love and the fading memory tangled with the lover. Unlike the other typical love song, this ballad narrates a love story by Means of the symbol of the "ghost".

"This is the ghost of you
The Haunting Ghost of me
We're lonely in a room together Crowded
Tell me who's scared now! "

Ghosts Before they existe passing away, on their memories still remained in some space and time. But I, Those moments can never be actualized anymore, Which is Similar with fading to the love of the couple. Past is the past and nothing can be changed no matter how sorrowful it feels.

"The Story of the US
Is it Already Told?
Let's tear the book apart
Start to rewrite it all "

One of the impressive parts of the lyrics it was discussing about the on-going time and people are powerless to control and live for their faith. The song Contained a deeper subtext and Focused Not only is narrating the painful of losing the love.

"Our life will not wait for us to live
We do not need a Lifetime
to figure out what we miss
The love we get is the love we give
A money chest full of love
(But we hid the key) "

Analysis of the Music Video

The music video Could be regardes as a low-cost production as it only took place in the studio and showed the production process of the music. In the music video, Jamie-Lee Kriewitz was recording with her band with a one-camera shoot. There was no any visual effects and digital production skills but lighting was put in to the video in at when you try to Highlight the image of the singer and the band.

Analysis of Live Performance
As the essay mentioned Before, a live performance can popularize and ruin the songs in one second. It is always a coin with two sides but regrettably, "Ghost" Belongs to the negative side. The setting of the stage is a dark forest under the full moon. Decorating with black and dark purple background and green laser light, it Creates a place full of horror and death. Besides, the back stage vocal team also wore a ghost-like customs, Which really scared audiences Especially to the kids. The most strange part was Jamie's outfit. She was dressed with a Japanese manga style short skirt with light sky blue color and exaggerated accessories head, Which was totally mismatch with the theme of the design stage. One of my friends from Austria shared with me "We are close to Germany. But we have no idea why they make a song like this. Do not you think it is strange to sing in English in European contest but its production was based is a Japanese style? " It may be a weird live performance in the Eurovision history.

Fashion style of the contestant

Jamie is an alternative European singer who is addicted to Japanese culture and fashion style. Often she dresses in the Japanese Decora Kei style and shiny accessories. Not Matter in the music video or the live music performance, she used to dress in Japanese "kaiwaii" style with big patterns or cartoons. This kind of fashion style shows her easy-going, extrovert and playful personality. Her eye-catching looks Manga innovated the fashion trend Among European singers. 

Conclusion In a brief, the reason why "Ghosts" got the lowest place with 11 points in the contest May be in the ground of Using Far East culture as the main theme production. European May Not Accept this cultural shock in a short period of time. In fact, the song was Actually a creative one in term of its Meaning and background music. But regrettably, the theme of "ghost" was not really a contest Suitable to PERFORM in emphasizing the "peace" in the soul and Me. Actually it was quite a shame for Germany and Jamie to stay in place in the final.

Is there any formula of Pop Music? - Love Peace Love Peace (Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede)

In the beginning of the song, there were spoken parts That introducing the so-called "winning formula" of the Eurovision Song Contest. In fact, the songs this year really Went along with you that a formula and Received positive feedback from audiences and the International Jury.

"Step 1: Get everyone's attention. A powerful, majestic in the bud. "
It is a challenging goal for all the 43 songs to stand out and Went into audiences' me. As a result, an eye-catching opening is extremely important. In the song of "You Are the Only One" from Russia, it used a single light spot to make audiences Increased Concentrated to the contestant and the majestic atmosphere in order to ATTRACT people in the performance. In the contrast, the song "Loin d'ici" from Austia background flowering used to Embark on the performance. The colorful and powerful Visual Effects undoubtedly attracts audiences' eye balls.

"Step 3! Show your viewers the country's ethnic background by Using an old traditional folklore instrument That no-one's heard of before "
Despite of traditional music instrument, language as well as the folk song singing technique can also be the gimmick of the songs. In the song "If love is a crime" from Poland, used it "О, дай ми любовта" instead of " Oh, give me love" in the chorus and make a symbolic part of the song. Another example is the anthem "1944 'from Ukraine, not only did it Composed with local Tartar language like "Yaşlığıma toyalmadım, bu yerde yaşalmadım Men" and sound from the local instruments, but it was also sang with the traditional folk singing techniques. This Could be Easily when you try to leave an impression after the performance but Could spread the national culture and tradition customs at the same time.

"Step 5! In real life, of course, this is thirty years old but in Eurovision, it will give your number a contemporary feel "
Songs That are related to current issues or contains contemporary elements like clothing or music style create a closer distance with the audiences. The light pop songs like "Say Yay!" From Spain and "What's the pressure?" From Belgium made a wonderful performance with dance pop and stylish outfit Went along with the formula with audiences and impressed for their modernized production elements.

"Step 6! - Costumes! You need to look memorable, something That the viewers will notice. "
It is a golden rule That people like "judging the book by its covers", Which Can Explain why picking a Suitable costumes ids CRUCIAL to the overall performance. The singer who sang "Love Wave", Iveta Mukuchyan from Amelia wore a stunning black and sexy costume caught the spotlight of the contest. Another example is Successful Dami Im's clothing in the Grand Final. Sliver and white colored dress sparkled not only the stage but also Highlighted image of the contestant and the message of the anthem.

"Step 7! The hernia. Everything else might be important, but the song is essential. Let it be about something everyone can connect to. Love works. Peace is also a popular way to go "
In the Above Analysis, discussion That shows all the songs only go along with the theme of the Contest "Love and Peace" in Different Ways and different Aspects. For example, the ballad "No Degree Of Separation" from Italy was about the Harmony and Peace Between all living things and nations while "Slow Down" from The Netherlands narrated about the way to earn a decent and peaceful life. "Love" and "Peace" are only two words, but the ways to Sing About These two words are far more than people can imagine.

Music Style
"Love Peace Love Peace" is a song are performed in the Interval Act at the Grand Final. The song is in fast pace and in a carnival-like style. The energetic and joyful atmosphere was created by Different kinds of instruments like drums, piano and horn. What made audiences was surprised the Eurovision 2009 winner Alexander Rybak from Norway Joined the act and played the violin ever since the contest.

The duet sang by Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede as well as on their stage act was regardes as the soul of this song. Not only did they make a fluent spoken and singing parts thronged act professionally, but they also are performed with mature acting skills like funny facial expression and exaggerated body language.    

Lyrics and Message
In the Open revue of the Contest, Måns Zelmerlöw said that "Music is the language we all know to speak." . In the interval act, they make a summary of the how this "language" work, communicate and connect people all the globe.

"Let the song begin with passion
Let the wind begin to blow
[Petra]: You can break the rules of fashion
And your chance to win Shall Grow
Look into the TV camera
So the audience can see "

On the surface, the songs look like an exaggerated comedy and summarize display about the music production in the contest. But In fact, it felt like the song intentionally making an irony of the "over-standardized" formula and criticism about over-emphasis of the Visual Effects or plots Instead of music production.

"Fill the stage with light
As dancers will join us
The expectations grow
It's time for the chorus "

"Now we'll go down a notch
Our hands will touch
Pretending we're in love "

Although the act was like a face and every performer were only doing without things for their co-operation with others, it implied indeed the huge variety in the Eurovision music production. Hardly can we know the real purpose of Sweden to make this song just for fun or for others hidden intention, but this was truly one of the most eye-catching performances Among the show.

Fashion style of the contestant and design of the plots
About the costume of the two hosts, for their clothing was all in black Before starring the act. But after transforming on the stage, for their outfits changed into more colorful or stage-oriented with light colored fiber. Concerned about the other Performers, for their clothing were also in multi-colored tone and lots of plots like burning piano, flags and Circuit Tools, Which created a carnival scene on the stage. 

"It's like the Oscar gala, but with more of a freak show and fun in it and more politics". [5] This is said Anna Charlotta Gunnarson, who is Currently a Swedish radio host and passionate Eurovision Song Contest fan and has WRITTEN Books with music analysis about the competition. [6] When I was watching the Eurovision Song Contest with my friends in a bar, an Estonian cheerful came to us and said

"What you May not know is, this competition is all about politics. Songs, votes from other nations and different kinds of effects and clothing, they are all Actually representation of a country's power and its international status. This contest is not just a contest " .

Indeed, we can never deny the validity of what my friend's comment towards the contest. For instance, in 1944, this song is truly criticized and Pointed to the Russia's behavior toward the military invasion. But I, after studying in the five songs in the contest, once black and not neglect is their music production really in A Certain Level of innovation. Looking at their The Ballads' music style, lyrics and message, music videos, music live performances as well as fashion style of the contestants, it is dereference That Different Countries are making for their enormous Attempt to Maintain the music progression with the theme of "Love and Peace ".

But I in the staff opinion, the performance in the Eurovision Song Contest attached a Greater weight is the visual effect of stage and production Instead of song making. The competition tends to be more commercial and visual-oriented, Which is one of the points the contest should make an adjustment in order to Maintain the show's quality. 

Regarding to the theme of the competition, it seemed That topics related to "romantic love" are no longer being popular in this international contest. That was The Reason Why love song like "Love Wave" from Amelia "If I were sorry" from Sweden and "If Love is a Crime" from Bulgaria failed to get into the top places. On the contrary, some songs with the theme of human communication, anti-war and appreciation of life, like "What's the pressure?" From Belgium gained the votes from both audiences as well as the International Jury. As a result, it showed progression That there are varieties of music genre and When Time Goes By.

Popular music has been existe over a century and people Gradually make a formula of the pop music trend. In the song "Love Love Peace Peace, we can hardly deny Participated Those songs are somehow in line with Such formula. Mixture of instrumental use, dancers and back-stage Vocals, stunning visual effects and lighting, Those elements used to be a "must" in a song and the standardized pop music production. On the contrary, it is nonsense for us to judge Whether this kind of standard is APPROPRIATE progression to the music or not. In this sense, we should turn our way of Investigation about how popular music sustains its own soil with Different production strategies and formula.

The Eurovision Song Contest had imagined a half century and yokes Become the Biggest Annual in European music. Every year, the television show break records in the music history and take the leads of the pop music culture. Using the lyrics from the 2015champion ballad "Hero"

"I make worms turn into butterflies
Wake up and turn this world around
in appreciation
He said I never left your side
When you were lost I have followed right behind
Was your foundation
Now go sing it like a hummingbird
The anthem Greatest Ever Heard '

I hope the Eurovision Song Contest continues its legend and make a more innovation on the pop music industry. In the future, it will transform into a more energetic and hummingbird sings more remarkable songs with love and peace. 


1. http://www.eurovision.tv/page/history/year/participant-profile/?song=33423 , Eurovision Songs Contest 2016 Official Website, baby fungus is 06.15.2016.

2. "Eurovision 2016: Ukraine's Politically Charged with Jamala WINS 1944", Heidi Stephens, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/may/14/ukraine-wins-eurovision-jamala -1944 , baby fungus is 13.06.2016. 

3. " Sound of Silence", Genius, http://genius.com/Dami-im-sound-of-silence-lyrics , baby fungus is 14.06.2016.

4. " Eurovision Song Contest 2016: A Viewer's Guide" Rachel Donadio and D. CHRISTOPHER SHEA, The New York   Last seen is 06.13.2016.

[1] "Eurovision 2016: Ukraine's Politically Charged with Jamala WINS 1944", Heidi Stephens, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/may/14/ukraine-wins-eurovision- jamala-1944 , last fungus is 06.13.2016.

[2] "Eurovision 2016: Ukraine's Politically Charged with Jamala WINS 1944", Heidi Stephens, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/may/14/ukraine-wins-eurovision- jamala-1944 , last fungus is 06.13.2016.
[3] " Eurovision 2016: Ukraine's Politically Charged with Jamala WINS 1944", Heidi Stephens, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/may/14/ukraine-wins-eurovision- jamala-1944 , last fungus is 06.13.2016.
[4] "The Sound of Silence", Genius, http://genius.com/Dami-im-sound-of-silence-lyrics , baby fungus is 14.06.2016.
[5] "Eurovision Song Contest 2016: A Viewer's Guide" Rachel Donadio and D. CHRISTOPHER SHEA, The New York Last seen is 06.13.2016. 
[6] "Eurovision Song Contest 2016: A Viewer's Guide" Rachel Donadio and D. CHRISTOPHER SHEA, The New York Last seen is 06.13.2016.