The Instigator
bsh1
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
doomswatter
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

A Music Debate--With A Twist: No.2

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/1/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 689 times Debate No: 55887
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

bsh1

Pro

Preface

I have spent most of today (besides reading Skin Game and Insurgent) listening to Michael Jackson's "Slave to the Rhythm." I got to thinking, why not do a music-themed debate on DDO? Having done one before, it would be fun to try again. Hence, this music debate with a twist--the twist being that each round will focus on different elements of music appreciation and performance.

You don't have to be a music prodigy to accept--I am certainly not the world's best vocalist. I cannot sing to save my life, but I am willing to let DDO see that for itself. Really, I just want a fun, good-humored, relaxing debate where we can talk about something of mutual interest: music! I wish whoever accepts good luck, and I thank them in advance for accepting!

Structure

R1: Acceptance
R2: Select a Song and write an analytical review of the Song (you're are NOT to review the video)
R3: Select a Song and critique its official music video, emphasizing the appropriateness of the performance/video regarding, and their link with, the lyrics.
R4: Select a Song and provide a video (or audio) of you Singing it
R5: Show us a Song that you like, and provide a 1,000 character statement or less of why you believe you won the debate

Judging

The winner of this debate should be decided holistically. Rounds one and two should be evaluated based on the depth of the analysis, the clarity of the message, etc. Round four should be judged based on the singer's ability (were they pitchy, did they choose an easy song technically, did they stumble, etc.) Round five has lesser importance than the other rounds, and judges should give weight to the song they personally enjoy more.

Rules

1. No forfeits
2. All songs in all rounds must be cited using a link to Youtube or to a reputable lyric site (e.g. Metrolyrics). Citations may not be in the comments.
3. Songs must all be "clean" versions
4. For the purpose of this debate, "rapping" shall not be considered the same as singing.
5. Stay civil and decorous
6. Violation or non-acceptance of any of the R1 rules or setup constitutes an automatic loss

Thanks again! :)
doomswatter

Con

I accept. I think this debate is going to be a lot of fun!
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Pro

PREFACE

As with my last music debate, I will endeavor to use my four rounds to take the reader on a journey through music, meaning that I will attempt to expose them to a variety of artists, from a variety of genres and to provide insightful analysis in each case. from club influenced Pop, to downhome Country, I hope to present an engaging four rounds of music. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my opponent for accepting this debate; I look forward to an excellent music-sharing experience.

In this round, I will be presenting an analysis of Lady Gaga's "Applause." I selected this song because it is a recent hit from an artist I admire and enjoy, and because I think it marks an interesting thematic shift in her songwriting, as I shall expound on later in my review. I hope you like my song selection, and I am eager to get down to business!

REVIEW

Lady Gaga does two types of music: music about sex and lust, or music about acceptance and tolerance. If we look at her first studio album, The Fame, and the EP that followed from it, The Fame Monster, the theme of licentious desire radiates outward to the listener not so much as a subtle pulse, but more as a Miley Cyrus-like wrecking ball than careens into one's head about as inconspicuous as a nuclear explosion. "Teeth" urges the subject to "take a bite of my bad girl meat" in a ode to oral sex. "Judas" sings of Lady Gaga's heated, lustful devotion towards another man--one who she cannot surrender despite her better judgment; "Bad Romance" as an almost near identical message. As for "Edge of Glory," "Poker Face, "Speechless," "You and I," G.U.Y," "Stuck on F*cking You," and "Do What U Want" the motifs of passionate, burgeoning love, spurned affections, lascivious desire, and mindless, purely physical sexuality are carried over every beat of the grinding-happy synths.

Alternatively, songs like "Born this Way" inform audiences that all they need to do is "love yourself and you're set." "Fashion!" is an interesting and timely satiric critique of the material culture that has developed in modern society, subtley reaffirming the message of self-empowerment so obviously evident in "Born this Way." Similarly,m "G.U.Y" takes standard, stereotyped gender norms, and flips them on their heads, insisting that women can be dominant and powerful--in the bedroom and beyond.

Amidst these two recurring, oft-recycled theme, it is nice to hear the rare song that breaks the mold. "Applause" is one such track. It boldly steps beyond the realms of sex and self-empowerment to build a synthesis between both worlds.

"Applause" is, essentially, a song proclaiming Gaga's need for attention. With stunts such as meat-dress costumes and showing up to awards in a mobile egg, it is not hard to believe that she does indeed crave attention. In fact, such incidents seem to undermine the "self" in the self-empowerment message of songs such as "Born this Way." "Applause" is refreshing in its honesty and in how antithetical it is to songs that have come before it. Loving yourself doesn't make you set, because you still "live for the applause."

The lyrics of "Applause" are repetitive, but they still turn a clever phrase. The image of the IV, supporting individuals who lack the self-confidence to survive without the support of outside approval is brilliantly conceived and evocative. The up-tempo, techno sounds and choppy synths mirror the upbeat, deafening applause one might hear at a concert, reinforcing the theme and underscoring the importance of applause in the artist's life. Moreover, the electronic, auto-tuned effects are reminiscent of how superficial and synthetic self-worth is, when it is reliant on the approval of others. In this way, the music and the lyrics become mutually supportive, and work together to advance the songs meaning.

The true genius of "Applause," however, is it's ability to bring together two disparate messages of Gaga's. In her more licentious pieces, Gaga engages in sexual objectification of individuals--this is certainly evident in "Judas" and Sexxx Dreams." Whereas, in "Born this Way" people are viewed as valuable individuals, as non-objects. By embracing the need for praise, and recognizing the inevitable desire everyone has to be appreciated by others, "Applause" accepts the message of objectification, of being wanted by others. But then, lines such as "some of us like to read" remind the audience that simply because one isn't applauded, or isn't what conforms to the mob's ideal model, that does not mean that one is worthless, or even worth less.

That is the true artistry of "Applause." It bridges the gap between Gaga's competing messages, insisting that while craving attention and love of others is normal, it is not healthy to be hooked up to an IV of fame. This genius, along with a catchy set of lyrics and an easy-to-dance to track, makes "Applause" worthy of a 9/10--the song truly deserves its own round of applause.

Lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com...
doomswatter

Con

My compliments to my opponent for a very well-written review. I'll jump right in...

REVIEW

Releasing their seventh and final studio album this summer, Anberlin has spent the last 12 years on the forefront of alternative rock. As the band has matured, their music has evolved, but one thing has remained consistent: their ability to craft familiar themes of love and loss into emotionally evocative, empathetic masterpieces.

From "Inevitable" and "You Belong Here", songs that celebrate the joy of love, to "Paperthin Hymn" and "Haunting", songs that grieve for lost love, to "Breaking" and "To The Wolves", songs that vent heartbroken anger, to "A Whisper & A Clamor" and "The Resistance", songs that are truly inspiring, Anberlin's art appeals to the most human, vulnerable parts of the listener's heart.

"Modern Age", off of the album Vital, is one of Anberlin's most moving tracks. It sings to the person who has suffered great loss, pain, and abuse, reminds them that they are not alone, and encourages them to break the silence and let their hearts sing out. One of my favorite lines in the song, "Safer than the off-chance of getting your heart attacked one more time", poetically gives "heart attack" the double meaning of both a heart being attacked emotionally and a heart attack that results in death.

The melody and music of the verses is fittingly sad, and gives a sense of kindness and empathy. This sadness, however, is broken in the full, uplifting power of the chorus. The musical break near the end of the track allows the final chorus to truly give the feeling of a silence being broken.

In this modern age, it's good to be reminded that, amid all the cold technology and broken dreams, we all really just want to belong. Don't we?

Lyrics: http://www.azlyrics.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Pro

PREFACE

Thanks to Con for a great debate thus far! I've never heard of Anberlin, and I was happy to have my own musical horizon's expanded by reading your review.

In this round, to take a sharp departure from the techno-pop I presented last round, I will be reviewing a country artist's endeavor. Particularly, I will be reviewing Miranda Lambert's "The House that Built Me" music video, as it has some personal significance for me. I lived for years of my life in a house along the Munich outskirts, before moving to the Baltimore-Washington metro area in the U.S. I recently returned to visit my old house, and the experience was jarring, but worthwhile. This ballad evokes a lot of different feelings and images for me, and I hope you can relate, and if not, that you will still enjoy it as a well-written piece of music. I hope you like it :)

REVIEW

To evaluate a song's music video, one must first understand the song itself, and "The House that Built Me" by Miranda Lambert is not an especially complex song. But, perhaps that is an unfair statement. It's message may be simple, and it's storyline may be basic, but the array of emotion it conjures up is rich and textured--it is anything by uncomplicated. It is amazing how just a few, straightforward refrains can leave one brimming with feelings that you never realized you had; it's the hallmark of a genius lyric.

The songs chronicles someone's return to their childhood home in an attempt to bring clarity to their turbulent life. The state of the roots effect the health of the tree, after all. This person wanders around this house, sometimes describing her memories of the home to the current owner, but always reminiscing about the past. The song is laden with emotion conveyed through empathy; the listener feels every tear-inducing memory, every poignant ounce of nostalgia, and every vivid recollection experienced by the singer. It is that ability to project such raw emotions that makes this a quality song. The question is, though, is the accompanying video a quality video.

The risk with any ballad is that the video will simply follow the plotline presented by the story. "Oh, the lyrics said that the person does X and Y, well the actors in the video must also do X and Y." This makes intuitive sense, and helps prevent any cognitive dissonance between what viewers expect to see and what they actually see to a bear minimum. At the same time though, there is a very real danger that such formulaic set ups seem mechanical or fake. It may feel as if the actors are just going through the motions of the song, without any genuine feeling invested into the production. The true test of quality, then, in situations like these is authenticity. Does the video feel authentic? Are the lyrics coming alive on screen, or are the lyrics simply being paid obeisance?

I will return to this question momentarily. For now, let's refocus to the video itself. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the video was that Lambert chose to do the shoot as herself, in a tour bus, rather than as an average person. I think this adds gravitas to the production. She is singing the song; it is HER message. Clearly, it is easier for the audience to believe in the authenticity of the video when the video is documenting the same person who is also narrating it. There is oftentimes this disjunction when artists have actors play intensely personal roles. One hears the vocalist sing "that's where I did my homework and learned to play guitar;" but one also knows that the actor isn't the singer--that the one saying "this is what I did" isn't the one doing it. This odd relationship serves to create distance between the music and the video, and to de-personalize the message itself.

More technically, the darkened lighting throughout the video, coupled with old-fashioned video footage of the singer when she was young reflect the speakers depressed and nostalgic feelings respectively. We can feel that she is in need of illumination ("I thought that maybe I could find myself") and that her recollections of the past, which are far brighter--physically and emotionally--than her present, are helping her obtain that guidance. even the pans over Lambert singing in the house's bedroom, with her distant, far-off gaze, embody the nostalgia so artfully enshrined in the lyrics.

The song itself is a 10/10; but that's not what I'm here to review. The video, however, also hits the mark. while not especially creative, it is authentic. Lambert's choice to play herself, the directors choice to use clever juxtapositions in lighting to convey emotions, and Lambert's own facial expressions throughout the filming project real feelings of nostalgia (and much more: loss, fear, anxiety, compassion, etc) in a way that melds wonderfully with the tone and feel of the song. The slow song, and slow pacing, the old house and old memories--it is little touches like these that so successfully round out this music video. So, what score does the video itself deserve? Certainly nothing less than a 9/10.

Lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com...
doomswatter

Con

[Warning: This video contains images that some may consider graphic, including war, violence, and vomit. Viewer discretion advised. If you do watch, I suggest you go full screen and turn up the volume. ;)]

Great review, Pro. I had never seen that video before, nor heard the song. Both are truly beautiful. Simple as it is, the video definitely makes it onto my list of favorites.

There are few music videos I've seen that I consider notable. It seems rare that a video has the right combination of musical power, artful direction, and skilled editing to truly impress. This apparent vacuum in the video world makes it all the more exciting when you find a production that moves you, even in a small way. My Chemical Romance's video for "The Ghost of You" moves me in a big way.

"The Ghost of You" is a soaring, mournful song. The lyrics tell a story of death and loss, and the music powerfully conveys desperation and grief. For the video's interpretation, MCR chose one of the greatest causes of death and grief in our world: war.

The video features soldiers in two different settings: a USO dance and the D-day beach landing. The contrast between the light-hearted enjoyment of the dance and the horror of battle helps to make the message all the more poignant, while allowing for some very creative visual work. My favorite use of this juxtaposition is when the waves and soldiers rush over the dance floor, jarringly destroying the scene of happiness. This constant back-and-forth between soldiers loving and living, and soldiers killing and dying reminds the viewer that "warriors" are still fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters.

By the end of the video, the sadness of the impending battle has stripped away the happiness of the dance. The soldiers drink to forget what's coming. The dancers say goodbye, some for the last time. The battle takes away what can never be regained. And as Gerard Way screams the final lines into his mic, tears blur the screen.

I have never seen a video that matches this for sheer production value. The videography is superb, the effects are amazing, the editing is top-notch, and the acting is not bad, either. The battle scenes are major motion picture quality.

The cinematic quality, beautifully depressing music, and raw emotional impact of the story put this video at the top of my favorites list. I hope you agree.

Lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Pro

PREFACE

Thanks again to Con for a great round and powerful video! In this round, I will be singing "Royals" by Lorde. I chose this song for a bunch of reasons, (1) because, as an alt rock piece, it adds to the diversity of the music I've been showcasing, (2) because it is relatable with high quality lyrics and a direct message, and (3) because when I suggested I might sing it to YYW, his response was "DO IT!" Thus, I am left no alternative but to "do it." :) I hope that it isn't too bad...lol.

The link to the video is at the bottom of the speech, and there is a slight pause before I begin singing. Also, in the event that you were wondering, the screen is black to preserve my anonymity.

LYRICS

I've never seen a diamond in the flesh
I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies
And I'm not proud of my address
In the torn up town, no post code envy

But every song's like:
Gold teeth
Grey Goose
Tripping in the bathroom
Bloodstains
Ball gowns
Trashing the hotel room

We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams

But everybody's like:
Crystal
Maybach
Diamonds on your timepiece
Jet planes
Islands
Tigers on a gold leash

We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals (royals)
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us, we crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler (ruler)
You can call me queen bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule
Let me live that fantasy

My friends and I we've cracked the code
We count our dollars on the train to the party
And everyone who knows us knows
That we're fine with this, we didn't come from money

But every song's like:
Gold teeth
Grey Goose
Tripping in the bathroom
Bloodstains
Ball gowns
Trashing the hotel room

We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams

But everybody's like:
Crystal
Maybach
Diamonds on your timepiece
Jet planes
Islands
Tigers on a gold leash

We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals (royals)
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us, we crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler (ruler)
You can call me queen bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule
Let me live that fantasy

ooh ooh oh ooh
We're better than we've every dreamed
And I'm in love with being queen

ooh ooh oh ooh
Life is great without a care
We aren't caught up in your love affair

And we'll never be royals (royals)
It don't run in our blood
That kind of lux just ain't for us, we crave a different kind of buzz
Let me be your ruler (ruler)
You can call me queen bee
And baby I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule, I'll rule
Let me live that fantasy

Lyrics: http://www.metrolyrics.com...
Video: https://www.youtube.com...
doomswatter

Con

Good job, Pro! I decided to follow your lead with the black screen. https://www.youtube.com...


The song I selected is "Welcome to the Black Parade", by My Chemical Romance. I selected this song because it's fast, powerful, inspiring, and by one of my favorite bands. Enjoy! (I apologize if there's some buzz on the high notes. I haven't gotten my mic set up right with my new computer.)


Lyrics:

When I was a young boy,
My father took me into the city,
To see a marching band,
He said, Son, when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken,
The beaten and the damned,

He said, "Will you defeat them,
Your demons and all the non-believers,
The plans that they have made,
Because one day, I'll leave you,
A phantom to lead you in the summer,
To join the Black Parade,

When I was a young boy,
My father took me into the city,
To see a marching band,
He said, Son, when you grow up,
Would you be the savior of the broken,
The beaten and the damned,

Sometimes I get the feeling,
She's watching over me,
And other times I feel like I should go,
And through it all, the rise and fall,
The bodies in the streets,
And when you're gone we want you all to know,

We'll carry on, we'll carry on,
And though you're dead and gone, believe me,
Your memory will carry on, we'll carry on,
And in my heart, I can't contain it,
The anthem won't explain it,

And while that sends you reeling,
From decimated dreams,
Your misery and hate will kill us all,
So paint it black and take it back,
Let's shout out loud and clear,
Defiant to the end we hear the call,

To carry on, we'll carry on,
And though you're dead and gone, believe me,
Your memory will carry on, we'll carry on,
And though you're broken and defeated,
Your weary widow marches,

On and on we carry through the fears,
Disappointed faces of your peers,
Take a look at me,
'Cause I could not care at all,

Do or die, you'll never make me,
Because the world will never take my heart,
Though you try, you'll never break me,
We want it all, we wanna play this part,

Won't explain or say I'm sorry,
I'm unashamed, I'm gonna show my scar,
Give a cheer for all the broken,
Listen here, because it's only,

I'm just a man, I'm not a hero,
Just a boy who wanna sing his song,
Just a man, I'm not a hero,
I don't care,

We'll carry on, we'll carry on,
And though you're dead and gone, believe me,
Your memory will carry on, you'll carry on,
And though you're broken and defeated,
Your weary widow marches on,

Do or die, you'll never make me,
Because the world will never take my heart,
Though you try, you'll never break me,
We want it all, we wanna play this part,
(We'll carry on)

Do or die, you'll never make me,
Because the world will never take my heart,
Though you try, you'll never break me,
We want it all, we wanna play this part,
(We'll carry on)


Lyrics:http://www.metrolyrics.com...
Debate Round No. 4
bsh1

Pro

PREFACE

I would like to thank Con for a truly cordial, fun, musical debate. I hope it has been enjoyable for everyone, including our readers/listeners. In this final round, we are permitted to do two things: offer a final song choice, and give a brief argument (l1,000 characters) as to why we thought we won. I will present my song selection, then make my closing remarks :)

SONG SELECTION

I chose to "Old Cape Cod" by the Puppini Sisters. While Pop, it is stylistically very different from the type of music we often here today, and evokes a note of nostalgia for a bygone, idyllic era. The tripartite harmony of the song adds a 40's era twist to a 50's song, building vocal richness to accompany the song's storied past.

I chose the song because it represents, to me, a genuine slice of Americana--a celebration of one of our nation's myriad beauty spots, in a way the seduces and relaxes the listener. I also chose this song because it is simply so different from anything you'll find in this round, or on the Billboard charts today. Sometimes it's good to return to our past, and appreciate the artistry there. I chose this version in particular, because it was a modern group reviving this song so effortlessly and with such precise vocal acuity that it was hard for me not to want to revive it here myself, in this forum, for you. I hope you all enjoy it!

ARGUMENT

The goal of this debate was to show, not simply an appreciation for music, but an understanding of music. I think that the diversity I've brought to bear on this debate is thus a point in my favor. Con made excellent selections, yet restricted himself so far to one genre (Alt Rock) and just two artists. I believe it shows a greater understanding and appreciation of music as a whole to be analyze a variety of artists with a variety of styles from a variety of genres, which I have attempted to do. I believe I accomplished this task, bringing in techno-pop, country, alt rock (but of a different subset than Con), and classic pop to the discourse.

Also, I believe I provided solid analysis, with good explanations and showcased my ability to analyze a work in the context of other works by that artist or in that genre. Thank you, thanks to doomswatter, and I sincerely hope this round has been a fun read :) Please VOTE PRO!

Lyrics: http://www.lyricsdepot.com...
doomswatter

Con

Thanks, Pro, for letting me take part in this debate. I love sharing music, and this has been a lot of fun.

https://www.youtube.com...


Song: Seven Sisters by Celldweller

Technology has made it very easy to create music. Almost too easy. Anyone with a computer can now become a composer, and think themselves an “artist”. Unfortunately, this ease has resulted in a veritable deluge of electronic music, most of it just washing in with the rest, nothing extraordinary to set it apart.

I like the song, "Seven Sisters", because it artistically weaves the electric sounds in a way I don’t often hear. Celldweller has a way of capturing the wonder of the celestial unknown, and condensing it into a haunting piece of music. The harsh synths evoke images of a gritty, future world, while the aural synths and glittering notes behind the vocalist counter with images of star-filled space. The beautiful, multilayered harmonies of the vocals seal the effect, creating a feeling of wonder and transcendence. At least, that’s how I feel about it. That’s one of the wonderful things about music. Every sound, every lyric, and every note can mean something different to each listener.



Argument

This part is really not that important to me. I can’t make you like the music I picked, I can’t change your mind about my voice, and I can’t convince you that I analyzed any better than you already think I did. I took this debate simply because I love sharing music. To be honest, I don’t believe the value of a good song can truly be quantified, nor can it be analyzed. The value of a song lies in what it means to each heart and mind that hears it.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of musical “genres”. A genre is nothing more than a technical attempt to classify music. Genre is meaningless. Choosing songs from multiple man-made classifications does not make you any more understanding than owning multiple instruments makes you a musician. The true heart of understanding lies in each work, and what it means to you and you alone. Music is not a science. It is an art.
Thank you, bsh1, for a fun debate, and thank you, readers, listeners, and voters, for your time and attention!
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
ChosenWolff, if you happen to read this comment, I'd appreciate a little clarification on your vote. First you say that R2 was won by "con by far", then in the next sentence you say, "R2 was hands down win to pro". I have a feeling that the second time you meant R3.
Posted by doomswatter 2 years ago
doomswatter
Thank you! =)
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
ESocialBookworm
Whoa. You can both sing! Those were epicly wonderful covers guys!!!
Posted by yomama12 2 years ago
yomama12
can we also use SongMeanings.com?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
bsh1doomswatter
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: Good debate, and I will score this round for round based on voter conditions. R2 was great by both sides, but as the rules say, I should vote on who conveyed the better message. This was con by far. R2 was hands down win to pro, because I didn't really get a message from con's music, and I think their was some in Pro's. The next round was tough to judge, and I don't like voting on people's singing abilities. This point would go to con. Note, I thought that was the last round, so I was going to vote for con, but then I noticed there was a R5. Quickly listened through the songs, and I thought pro's, while unique, was interesting and more amusing than another daft punk esque song. Good job, and as I said earlier, my vote came down to a hair.