HowTo talk:Write Colin Meloy Lyrics

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edit Pee 1

Humour: 7.25 Before I say anything else, just let me say that this is really, really good for a first article. Like, holy crap. I didn't get to the point you're at your first go until my fifth or sixth article. So yeah, kudos. Anyway...

This article is smart and subtle, just the way I like 'em. Here's what I liked:

  • You make really good use of footnotes, though throwing in a few more would probably be a good thing.
  • The indie/hipster jokes you use are also all quite funny, but, again, there could be more of them.
  • Your ironic Bold-CAPS-LOCK-italicizing of the word "subtlety" was laugh-out-loud funny, and still managed to come off as subtle at the same time.

Here's where I think you can improve:

  • More jokes. The ones you have are quite good, but you just need more of them, along the lines of the ones you have now.
  • A lot of this article's humor is dependent upon people be familiar with the subject matter--if people have no idea who Colin Meloy is, they probably won't find this very funny. I would probably have no idea what you were talking about if I didn't listen to the first half of The Hazards of Love this afternoon. Ideally, this shouldn't be the case. Like I suggested above, throw in a few more indie-hipster jokes to make this that much more accessible to those vapid pop-music listeners.
  • This article is quite wordy, but I'll get to that later.
Concept: 7.5 This is a tried and tested concept, so you don't get many originality points, but your execution is quite good. There really isn't much more to say, to be honest, so yeah. Moving right along...
Prose and formatting: 6.75 You write fairly well, so there's not much I can criticize. There were a few typos ("believe" instead of "belief" in the introduction, "to start liking" instead of "starting to like" a little later on, a few more things in this vein throughout the article, etc. Beyond your minor typos (nothing a copy-paste to a word document with spell/grammar check couldn't fix), and maybe a lacking comma or two, your prose is quite solid, though. Formatting, though, is another story:
  • I think Vocabulary, Literary Devices, and Rhyme can be combined into one ==second-level== header called "Literary Devices" (the resulting ===third-level=== headers to be called "Rhyme," "Vocabulary," and "Other Devices," or something)
  • You don't have very many links. Though this may seem like a trifling complaint, this--being a wiki site--is greatly dependent on links. Links, as you know, are important for both comedic purposes, as well as for breaking up the big scary wall of words that most articles would be if not for them. Add a few more, in the clever vein of the ones you already have.

And, finally, my biggest complaint of all:

  • This article is quite wordy. Though being verbose for poetic purposes isn't a bad thing (as I'm sure both you and Colin Meloy know), for comedic purposes it doesn't fly so well. You've basically fallen into the trap I did when I wrote a similar article, in that in many ways this is a kind of exposition first and a comedic piece second, when in fact the opposite should be true. Take your introduction, for instance: you talk about The Decemberists record label and their debatable indie-ness, even though it is only tangentially related to the topic at hand and, regrettably, light on laughs. This should not be the case. While some exposition/playing-of-the-straight-man is good, and, indeed, required, you never want that to overshadow the funny, and it does here. Give this a good editing.
Images: 5.5 None of the images really stood out. Though most of them are relevant to the topic of the article, none of them really grabbed my attention, ya know? Though many articles aren't at all image-based, and, indeed, don't need to be, having good pictures always helps. I really liked the first two images of Colin with his band and his other band, but after that nothing was really great. If I were you, I'd remove the two images unrelated to the topic, and replace them with more Colin Meloy goodness. Perhaps a series of images of Meloy looking introspective, or something--I feel that would be much funnier. Also, as a more general critique, your images should all be a bit bigger, so they stand out more.
Miscellaneous: 7.5 A little above your average. You get bonus points for this being your first article, plus I feel this has a lot of potential a little proofreading and polish could easily bring out.
Final Score: 34.5 I listened to the second half of The Hazards of Love while writing this, and it's quite good.
Reviewer: Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 21:43, November 4, 2009 (UTC)


edit Pee 2

Introduction to your reviewer

I like to tell my reviewees about myself so you'll know how unqualified I am. I won RotM for last month, so some people think I don't totally suck. As for Colin Meloy and the Decemberists, virtually all I know about him/them I read on Wikipedia, so I may be missing some of the references (that's why I waited to review this to give someone who knew more a chance, but as it hasn't been done you're stuck with me). I have been involved in music for a long time, and have written poetry and songs, so maybe that sort of redeems me.

Concept: 8 The concept seems to be "I'm going to show you how great and knowledgeable and yet open-minded I am about art and Colin Meloy but will really show you how pretentious and closed minded ignorant I am." I think that's fine, and like the way you bring in information about Colin Meloy (frankly, I almost feel like I learned more from your article than from Wikipedia's on Colin Meloy).
Prose and Formatting: 7.5 I put most or all Humour comments in with Prose and Formatting so I don't repeat myself unnecessarily.

The parts I liked best I would definitely rate higher. But other bits bring the score down a bit, which I'll explain below.

Your intro'

You give the idea of your "writer" right away, and the writer's extra skinny jeans (by the way, I just read a report that said they're on the edge of going out for the season). I like the intent of "I put on my scarf in the middle of summer" to lead into saying the writer doesn't wear impractical clothing, but think it was a bit obvious--you might want to have your writer justify wearing the scarf in summer. I would put something very early on that clearly identifies your writer as male.

What to write about?--the question mark isn't needed here and in How to write them?, and personally I'd cut it. If all your main sections had question marks maybe, but they don't.

Setting and Storyline
I like the way you use your "period" words together, using rake in the Lay section, then both in Consumption, etc. As for Laudanum, should this be "everyone needs these (this)" with this instead of these? Also I think it would be funny if you could tie this in as well, like "something you take to deal with the discomfort of syphilis you got from lying with a rake."
Love Songs
I like the "sound like a total gentleman" when you get arrested bit.
Current Issues
I'd like it a little better if your writer showed intolerance while saying how tolerant he/she is. The article does this with "liberals are more educated, tolerant and open-minded" which I like, but maybe you could a subtle intolerant bit to how tolerant your writer is toward the Republican, something like "...Republican friend, even though many of my friend's views are (something subtly insulting), it shows how tolerant...."
I like the war songs bit.
Writing the chorus
I found this section OK.

How to write them?

Be Subtle--ironically, this is advice I frequently give to writers at Uncyclopedia.
"...Shakespeare in your English literature class? No? Well, Colin Meloy’s lyrics are sort of like that."--like this. I can't resist telling a story about myself. I was tutoring in a high school English class, and the students were split into small groups as they studied one of Shakespeare's plays; I don't remember which one, maybe Romeo and Juliet. I went from group to group. I was at one group while the teacher was out of the room. The group seemed bored with the section they were reading. Then I said, "this whole section is all about sex." I expected to get that group's attention, but suddenly the entire classroom got quiet. Then it got noisy again, and the students seemed much more interested in the play. All right, back to my review.
"middle(-)aged man"--add -.
"A shape(-)shifting man"--I'm not sure where shape-shifting came from.
Be Cheerful
"This has more to do with the music than the lyrics...."--thanks for this; I was about to say what does this have to do with writing lyrics? But you explained it.
Be Introspective
I’m slowly stroking my beard as I write this--until this, I assumed your "writer" was a woman. You might want to give some indication of the sex early on. I do like your references to "Akira Kurosawa" and "frame wipe" and the like.

Literary Devices

Vocabulary
"palanquin, pachyderm and phalanx, will instantly make you sound more intelligent, and yes they are real, actual words that I did not just made up."--I like this, as it shows the writer isn't very familiar with the words--and I got that impression before you verified the ignorance with your foot note. Nice.
" ok should be OK; I know, I'm nitpicking.
"I think I just got a boner from all that vocabulary"--I'd prefer more subtlety here, as this doesn't seem to fit the tone of your pretentious writer.
“you whore, what bastard knocked you up?”--here, I think the lack of subtlety is good, as it fits the writer's intent.
"Ah, yes, you are still looking at my impressive dictionary?"--I didn't get this paragraph. Is the idea that the reader isn't actually reading, but is physically with the writer so the writer's dictionary can be seen? I didn't get that from the previous parts of the article, so would change this.
I like the IKB (blue) part with the thesaurus. But here, you say the reader is looking at the writer, with again implies this is a conversation, not an article. But in the very beginning, it says "This guide tells you how" which means it is a written document. I'd recommend working on making this consistent.
Alliteration
I like this bit, and the pregnancy example. But as above, I'd like the "boner" reference to be something more subtle, maybe a symbolic way of saying it, like "this brings my manhood to attention" or some such.
Rhyme and Meter
"Unlike many other talentless musicians, Colin Meloy’s lyrics...."--I don't know if you intended this, but this would literally mean Colin Meloy is talentless. Maybe "unlike many other musicians," or "unlike many talentless musicians." I like the RnB insult (although would it be written RnB?)
"...the worse (worst) thing you can do(semicolon) so is using...."
"Atrocious. I am now adjusting my Ray Bans in disbelief...."--this implies this is a guide, not an in-person conversation. (All right; I'll stop making that point--if I can resist).

Putting it all Together

"Now that we have learnt (learned) all the lessons....couplet, or (comma) if you are feeling...."
"Thou lovely lady...We are reticent with celerity."--love this. I rarely literally lol when I'm reviewing (or reading in general), but I did here.
"What’s with that look on your face?....Pabst Blue Ribbon."--now it's not a guide, we're seeing each other in person--oh, sorry, wasn't going to mention that sort of thing again. Sorry. "...type of scarf and vintage shirt...."--I'd like more subtlety here, something like "it helps you get in the proper mood with the right type of scarf and a vintage shirt." Also I don't get the "Pabst Blue Ribbon" reference, but I suspect that's just my ignorance. Is it considered a suitable beer for the snootiness of your writer, or is this a joke that it's not at all impressive and the writer doesn't get it? (When it comes to beer, I'm one of those "if it comes in a can, it doesn't come in my mouth" kind of guys).

A Final Note

"The most important lesson I hope you take away from here is that it doesn’t really matter what you say, you just have to say it in the fanciest way conceivable."--right now I want to kick your writer, which is good. (But again, I see guide vs. personal conversation conflict).

Footnotes

I really like footnotes 2 (I'm a huge Pink Floyd fan), 3, 4, 5. The others I think are fine, though.
Humo(u)r: 7.5 I almost gave this a higher score, but the parts that need work bring it down. Also the humour is somewhat one note, if you'll excuse the expression.
Images: 8 I like the photos and captions, and got a kick out of "Captions that correspond to the picture are so mainstream!"--it's like your writer couldn't think of a caption, so is covering. "If Colin Meloy can (could) look vocabularic, this is what he would look like." I missing the irony of "Oh, the irony!" but I suspect that's not a problem with your photo and caption, just that I'm somehow missing it.
Miscellaneous: 7.75 average of above
Final Score: 38.75 Again, I liked this article, and would rate it significantly higher with some improvements. I think you may have a problem with much of your audience being ignorant of Colin Meloy (as I was, although this got me interested enough that I'm going to check out his music). Also you might want to know when I score an article just under 40 points it means I think it's almost VFH. Definitley let me know on my talk page if you edit this.
Reviewer: WHY???PuppyOnTheRadio 04:35, December 11, 2009 (UTC)


edit Colin Meloy and The Decemberists

http://www.colinmeloy.com

http://www.decemberists.com

WHY???PuppyOnTheRadio 19:36, December 21, 2009 (UTC)

edit Serj Tankian

I think this article should also include a "See also" section with a link to HowTo:Write Serj Tankian Lyrics since both articles are about writing lyrics in the style of someone else 72.209.42.92 17:39, January 20, 2010 (UTC)

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