What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

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Midnight
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Midnight » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:01 am UTC

ChocloManx wrote:
PatrickRsGhost wrote:One type of song I love is the kind that really tells a story, especially if it's told in the third-person. Songs like "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot and "She's Leaving Home" by The Beatles are good examples of this. What I really like is as the artist sings the story, you can really imagine it taking place, without the use of hallucinatory drugs.


Maybe you would like 70's Genesis. Especially Foxtrot and Nursery Cryme.


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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby glitterbug12 » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:00 pm UTC

I have to say, the lyrics are one of the main things I concentrate on. After that, I don't know what I can quantify.

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby modularblues » Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:59 am UTC

One of more of the following:

(1) Unconventional harmonic structures (unexpected chord changes that are emotively convincing)
(2) Effective use of classic harmonic structures
(3) Effective use of instrumental textures
(4) Thought-provoking lyrics loaded with metaphors

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby TheMaestro » Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:38 am UTC

A truly good song, in my opinion at least, is one that draws you in and takes you somewhere. For example, if you have ever listened to the entire "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" set by Pink Floyd (Parts I-IX), you probably have an idea about what I am talking about.

If you came in partway through the song, all you would be able to hear would be screaming guitar and smashing drums, but when heard from the beginning, the buildup is as such that when you reach that point, it is the natural progression of the music. It's as if you stop listening to the music and you begin to feel it, almost physically, you experience it. Jimi Hendrix hit the nail on the head, it wasn't "The Jimi Hendrix Band", or "Jimi Hendrix and the [insert animal here]", it was "The Jimi Hendrix Experience".

Truly great music can influence your feelings, make your emotions roller coaster as you listen to the music, your heartbeat quickens at some points, you feel relaxed at others. I know if I try to listen to anything off of the "Requiem for a Dream" soundtrack, especially any of the overtures or Lux Aeterna, I find myself tightening my muscles and shortening my breath, as if in anticipation. It takes great music to induce such a response from the body.


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Amie
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Amie » Wed Apr 28, 2010 9:55 pm UTC

A good song? Like a really, really good song?
1. I suppose, it has to have that quality where you connect with the song at some level. Music is something you feel and if a song makes me FEEL a certain way, then I'd classify it as a good song. Every single Pink Floyd or Iron Maiden song does that for me. The lyrics are great, the music, even more so.
2. I like songs that I can relate to. Oren Lavie's 'Her Morning Elegance' is one such song. 'Wait for sleep' by Dream Theatre is another.
3. Songs that take me on a roller coaster ride. Almost all Opeth songs. Black Rose Immortal and Closure in particular. OK I tried not to mention Stairway to heaven by Led Zep but I fail.
4. Something that has a flow like what you see in poetry... I dunno it's a bit difficult to define this... Circarama by Buckethead is an example. It isn't really conventional but there's a definite rhythm and a musical quality to the song. It's upbeat, crazy and enjoyable.
5. Something I can listen to no matter what mood I'm in.
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Midnight » Sun May 16, 2010 8:59 pm UTC

my love for opeth has drawn me to the conclusion that I like long songs.
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby SiriusBeatz » Mon May 24, 2010 8:14 am UTC

Okay. I'm gonna be a lamer here and contradict what seems to be the general opinion in this topic by saying that I very much enjoy spectacular technical displays and bands that incorporate solos into almost every song. To me, part of being a musician is being not just creative, but proficient at your instrument, and a solo is a great way to demonstrate your proficiency and remind me of why not every college student who plays guitar (read: knows primary chords in one key and owns a capo for switching to others) is deserving of a record deal.

What's more, the solo has become a more or less integral part of the general form of most instrumentally driven music - to hate a group for incorporating solos into all of its songs is pretty much tantamount to hating all the genius classical composers for incorporating cadenzas into their concerti. Mind you, a lot of songs don't have much else to them than the solos they include (jazz is especially characterized by this), and I'm not saying that's okay (although I do like jazz, too...). All I'm saying is that, if you've got the talent to play a halfway decent solo on every other song, by all means, go for it. No use in letting talent go to waste.

I personally have begun to like Dream Theater a lot for this reason. Yes, they throw solos into pretty much every song, and they tend to be rather over the top technical displays built over all manner of chromatic harmony and complex meter/polyrhythmic nonsense, but I appreciate their efforts to explore sounds that aren't all that common in popular music, which tends to have a clearly established tonic throughout the song (barring a key change up towards the end of the song - especially at the bridge), and tends to retain the same overall texture and meter throughout. I hold groups like Dream Theater in high esteem for their ability to introduce new thematic material into their songs and explore more complex structures than verse-chorus-bridge form, and yet balance this tendency toward through-composition and forward motion with a sense of motivic continuity.

Then again, I'm also very left-brained for a musician, and I get a lot of my enjoyment in music from deconstruction. Songs that have more elements to be pulled apart are usually more fun for me to listen to.

That said, I also like a lot of hip-hop that completely contradicts this mindset. The genre itself tends towards repetition, so I have to find something else to enjoy. More often than not, it's just a solid vocal performance that seals the deal. Now, before anyone comes in here and says rapping isn't musical because the vocalists just talk rather than sing, I'd like to offer the comparable analogy that drummers generally don't play discrete pitches, but aren't considered any less musical than guitarists. The human voice can be used rhythmically as well as melodically, and I think it's about time more people got to grips with that.

... I think I'm gonna step off my pedestal now :oops:

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby KallistiEngel » Mon May 24, 2010 8:59 pm UTC

SiriusBeatz wrote:That said, I also like a lot of hip-hop that completely contradicts this mindset. The genre itself tends towards repetition, so I have to find something else to enjoy.

This is why I like hip-hop artists that break out of the mold, while still fitting into the genre. OutKast being a prime example, particularly Andre 3000's vocals. While there's quite a bit of repetition, they give you a lot to focus on.

SiriusBeatz wrote:I'd like to offer the comparable analogy that drummers generally don't play discrete pitches, but aren't considered any less musical than guitarists.

True, they're just as musical and I've heard some drum solos that are truly amazing. However, there are some areas that don't compare, like sex life. Which might be why there are so many guitarists who only know how to play primary chords in one key.... ;)
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Phrozt » Tue May 25, 2010 3:05 pm UTC

I have EXTREMELY different tastes.

On one hand, I like punk that *can* sound shitty musically, but have some great lyrics. However, I also enjoy punk that sounds amazing and charged, even if the lyrics are a bit lackluster. I cannot stand emo though. Even if the band has a lot of musical talent, I can't stand listening to the sappy, retarded shit that they preach.

Punk station: http://www.pandora.com/stations/1c66edb ... 7208f9dce8

On the other hand, in techno/pop songs, I really don't care about the lyrics at all and prefer a hot sounding chick voice. I will listen to some chick talk about missing some dood and have absolutely no problem w/it if she sounds hot. However, the same w/punk, I love if the chick band sounds fantastic... like Paramore.

Then there's Demi Lovato. She's one of my recent favorites. She has an incredibly amazing voice, one that I give even more credit after hearing live (recordings). She's also got a pretty great band backing her up that give a lot to the songs and are a lot of fun to play (I'm a drummer).

Chick station: http://www.pandora.com/stations/39411b1 ... ab5f33e08b

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby freedomwriter » Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:53 pm UTC

I like a good story song that touches you. A song that makes you feel something. It has to make sense and the lyrics should be singable. I love to sing along.

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Omerprime » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:40 pm UTC

I've been sitting here for ten minutes thinking, and I got no idea what pulls me in in a song.
I guess It's all about the way it sounds, if the harmony and melody are good, and/or if the lead is talented, and/or it's a meaningful song(at least 2 out of those three :P ): I'll take pretty much anything I can find.
And if it has cowbell, it's automatically awesome. :mrgreen:

Phrozt wrote:I have EXTREMELY different tastes.

.... I cannot stand emo though. Even if the band has a lot of musical talent, I can't stand listening to the sappy, retarded shit that they preach.
...I love if the chick band sounds fantastic... like Paramore.

Those are extremely different tastes.
You do realize Paramore are considered emo, right?
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby kidsshoes » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:59 am UTC

I am always like the songs which sounds like piece and calm. I always have given my attentions to the musics of 80's or 90's songs. The songs is so much focused that you just love it. In the music focus is the most important thing, there should be focus regarding your words and musics etc. Everything should be focused like Chinese Marshal art "Kung Fu". They learn first how to focus in every part.

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Jesse » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:02 pm UTC

I want a song that gets into my brain, that I lose control and feel the music under my skin. Maybe I have to get up and dance to it, or sing along, or just move in my chair, but what I want is to lose myself and my identity in the music.

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Jez » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

I'm easy :twisted: anything with a nice singable melody and nice harmonies be they vocal or instrumental. I have my limits of cheese but generally I can listen to anything so long as I like the melody and harmony. Really good songs for me are nothing to do with technicality and all about the right musical ideas used in the right way and at the right time to fit the song.
Neil Young is one of the worst "technical" guitarists around - or at least, he gives that impression. He's not gonna shred, he rarely if ever aims for 'perfection' and he has a, let's face it, theoretically horrible singing voice. But he is undeniably a fantastic songsmith and one of my favourite artists and he's written a ton of great songs that I could listen to all day, and it's nothing to do with technical ability and all about the ideas and only playing what the song actually calls for.

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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby H2SO4 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:14 pm UTC

Omerprime wrote:Those are extremely different tastes.
You do realize Paramore are considered emo, right?

Depends on your definition of emo. Most people consider it to be whiny, angst-ridden (maybe even suicidal) vocals with drop-D, overdriven guitars (Simple Plan, Hawthorne Heights, Lostprophets). Paramore, if emo, is emo without being emo. Yes, they have an emotional connection to their songs, but really, it's hard to have/perform a good song without having some kind of emotional connection.
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Omerprime » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:15 pm UTC

H2SO4 wrote:
Omerprime wrote:Those are extremely different tastes.
You do realize Paramore are considered emo, right?

Depends on your definition of emo. Most people consider it to be whiny, angst-ridden (maybe even suicidal) vocals with drop-D, overdriven guitars (Simple Plan, Hawthorne Heights, Lostprophets). Paramore, if emo, is emo without being emo. Yes, they have an emotional connection to their songs, but really, it's hard to have/perform a good song without having some kind of emotional connection.


When I say emo, I mean style of music. That means the... Er... Rules(?) according to which it's composed.
Paramore by rules of style are emo, but that doesn't necessarily make them a bad band.

Also, lostprophets aren't emo, they're alternative rock.
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby Dasboard » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:22 pm UTC

"har har, they're not emo, they're metalcore / melodic death metal / doom metal / pizza toppings / progressive ___ / alternative ___ / rock / punk / etc..., bwuh uuh"

Also:
Modest Mouse wrote:Genres are stupid.


I think you guys get the point. Let's just agree that they're good bands with enjoyable music. Because really, there aren't any official rules so don't be a genre nazi.
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Re: What Makes A Good Song (for you)?

Postby RabbitWho » Sat Jun 19, 2010 1:51 am UTC

It should be different to what I've heard before. It doesn't need to be original because as I haven't heard every sound for the last 2000 years I can't really vouch for originality.

Other than that I've no idea what's the difference between a song I like and a song I don't like. I can't figure it out.. no genres.. no patterns.. happy or sad.. fast or slow.. noisy or quite.. distorted or clear.. no idea.. not that i like everything.. it needs to be good.. that's all! :)


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