Friday, May 19, 2017

Songs with a Meaning

Music can tell you a lot, it can tell you about the artists childhood or their stance on politics. Some artists do this more than others, one artist who was known for not putting a ton of meaning in his lyrics was Nirvana’s front man Kurt Cobain. He said in many interviews that there was not meaning behind his lyrics and he was just writing music. While others bands will have a meaning behind every single word.
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Kurt Cobain
One band who puts a ton of meaning in every single one of their songs is Rise Against. This is a band that tackles a problem in the world or something that most don’t see as a problem. All four of the members in the band are vegans and three of them are straight edge, no alcohol or drugs. The band has written songs like Make it Stop which talks about bullying and how it can lead to suicide to songs like their newest single The Violence which talks about whether “the violence in our nature just the image of our maker.” Not only do they convey these messages in the lyrics, but in their videos they portray stories and show pictures of the events they are talking about. In the video for Help is on the Way they show the story of a poorer black family trying to survive a hurricane which leads to massive flooding in the streets, and at the end of the video they have a link that you can go to and donate to help those in need. They have also done this similar thing in videos where you can’t tell a story. In Ready to Fall, which is about the environment and killing of animals, they perform the song in a redwood forest that is just stumps at that point and throughout the song they cut to short videos of people starting forest fires, hunting for fun, poaching of whales and similar clips.
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Rise Against
Unlike Rise Against who sings about their opinions on world issues there are other bands who tell their own stories in their songs, Slipknot has been known to do this. In their first few albums they have many songs that portray front man Corey Taylor’s rage and anger at the world. In 2003 Corey Taylor was inches away from jumping off the eighth floor of his hotel. Looking back at his songs you can see that from the time he joined to the time he almost committed suicide the songs progressively had more anger and rage with in himself. In one of the band’s first hits, Wait and Bleed, the lyrics are “I've felt the hate rise up in me” and in a later single, Duality, the lyrics are “I push my fingers into my eyes, It's the only thing that slowly stops the ache, but it's made of all the things I have to take.”
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Corey Taylor
The meaning behind some songs is as simple as to honor a band member or great friend who has passed. One of my favorite songs that honors a band member is So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold. The song talks about “how do I live without the ones I love?.” This was in honor of their drummer, The Rev, who passed away. Others just use the song as a message to the ones they affected. Ivan Moody from Five Finger Death Punch expresses his apology to everyone he effected during his drug addiction in the song I Apologize. Songs are powerful so if you can use them to convey a message and give the song a meaning why not do that?
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Ivan Moody

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Change in Sound

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, once said ”The fans are the biggest reason we do what we do,” yet in his latest interview with Loudwire he stated “why are we still talking about Hybrid Theory? It’s f–king years ago. It’s a great record, we love it. Like, move the f–k on.” The reason this whole thing started is because of all the backlash Linkin Park is getting for their new poppy sound for there new album One More Light. It is not only their fans that are getting angry at their new sound, Corey Taylor from Slipknot and Stone Sour  said in an interview with Loudwire “I understand where he’s at. God, I would’ve never say it the way he did, but you get frustrated and you want people to embrace the evolution. At the same time, you should probably be very, very fortunate that people this far along the line still love that music you made.” This is not the only example of bands changing their sound but this has started more of and outrage than the others.
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Corey Taylor
My personal opinion on Linkin Park changing their sound is simple. Linkin Park is a brand, and from that brand I expect songs like Crawling, Papercut, Given up and In the End. If the band decided to go make their new album under any other name and just say the guys from Linkin Park bring you this new project I would listen to it and say that their new project isn’t for me. I feel that if this was the route the guys from Linkin Park took nobody would care as much, some may be sad that they are moving away from the Linkin Park brand but it is better than destroying the brand that took you years to create.
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Linkin Park
This has also been a big problem in punk music. Most of the big punk bands either lean too far towards pop or to far towards rock and metal. Some examples of this happening are from Blink-182 and Green Day. In both cases they started out as these punk bands that everyone loved, but in some of their more current albums they are starting to go more towards pop. Blink-182 has even acknowledged this in their newest single Wildfire, they stated that Wildfire was the lovechild of your favorite song from Enema of the State and California. By saying this they have shown that they have noticed a shift in sound from Enema of the State to California.
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This has even happened in rock, a subtle example of this happening was Red Hot Chili Peppers. The biggest difference in their sound shift was that their change in sound was because of a change in band members while in all the other examples the have had the same lineup sing their first hits. Red Hot Chili Peppers has become more funk than rock in the latest album, this is because in the newest album they do not have a hardcore guitar player, like in earlier iterations of the band, while they have a hardcore bassist which gives them more of a funk sound than rock in there newest album. These are only a few examples of bands changing their sound, but it happens to bands like Weezer who go poppier to bands like Slipknot who start to limit screaming and put more emotions in their songs.
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Red Hot Chili Peppers