Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Review: Lana Del Rey, 'Born To Die'

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  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    This track is from Volume One; Volume Two is even better. Zooey writes most of the music herself. It’s very jaunty, which isn’t to everyone’s taste, but I’ve got a lot of enjoyment from their albums.

    I'm not so sold on the albums overall, but 'This Is Not A Test' is a wonderful thing:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don’t quite understand why they keep sticking her out there in bare-bones live TV settings to perform songs that are bloody difficult to carry off live without a production.

    Quite – and if she’d performed to playback she’d still have gotten hosed with hipster douche. I don’t want to bore anyone with my adoration of Janelle Monae, but there’s a very good reason why ‘Tightrope’ live is a somewhat gruntier beast from the album version. And why would I want to go to a gig and listen to a clone of an album track anyway?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Russell Brown,

    'This Is Not A Test' is a wonderful thing:

    Indeed! I think the first 5 tracks of Vol 1 are great; after that, missable. Vol 2 is more consistent.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3410 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    My perspective on 'Radio'...a heart-bursting arrangement of (yet more) strings and Bel Air keyboards.

    It sounds like the second half of Can's majestic Future Days ? Crikey.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Meh, I'm a little sceptical that any new format (as described in that link) would be audibly better than a FLAC or Apple Lossless version of a CD track.

    Neil's probably talking about a higher-res format (his Archives Vol. 1 was released on blu-ray, ie 192/24 rather than CD's 44/16) but flac is already capable of 192/24.

    Whether such high-resolution releases would generally be much of an improvement, given all of the other variables, or even whether it would even be wanted by very many customers, are open questions.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to 3410,

    Neil's probably talking about a higher-res format (his Archives Vol. 1 was released on blu-ray, ie 192/24 rather than CD's 44/16) but flac is already capable of 192/24.

    Whether such high-resolution releases would generally be much of an improvement, given all of the other variables, or even whether it would even be wanted by very many customers, are open questions.

    Well yes, considering the limiting factor is now not "how much data can we store" but "how much data can we transmit to the listener's ears".

    Genuine question, if anyone knows - what resolutions and bitrates are used for digital production work in pro audio studios? Because even if you do use 192/24 to do post-processing, you'd need to downsample it afterwards anyway, or else the all the extra data you have is just processing artefacts. Of course this doesn't go for full analogue recordings, like Neil's back catalogue.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 799 posts Report Reply

  • JacksonP, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don’t quite understand why they keep sticking her out there in bare-bones live TV settings to perform songs that are bloody difficult to carry off live without a production.

    In vaguely unrelated news, I caught Adele and R Kelly on Later With Jools last night singing Set Fire to the Rain and I Believe I Can Fly respectively. Whether you like either performer or song, it's great to see how they should be sung after watching would be x-idol-factor contestants murder them completely to death. Tautology intended.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2011 • 2104 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to JacksonP,

    That young woman is the real deal - no tricks, no hype, just voice. Extraordinary.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3121 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to JacksonP,

    Whether you like either performer or song, it’s great to see how they should be sung after watching would be x-idol-factor contestants murder them completely to death. Tautology intended.

    Well, yes – k.d. lang on (I think) The Graham Norton Show of all places nailed what really bugs me about the X-Idol shows. I’m sure they’re frightfully nice people, but there’s no Autotune setting or PR strategy that will make you an Aretha Franklin or Al Green. ‘Take Me To The River’ and ‘Natural Woman’ – one foot in church and the other in the bedroom – were made out of sheer craft, musicality and emotional intelligence you can’t program or buy. Nor does it hurt earning your licks on the road - nothing schools you faster in the dark arts of stagecraft than a room of people who will express their displeasure in no uncertain terms. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari, in reply to Russell Brown,

    My anger isn't aimed at Lana (or whatever name she goes by) but the marketing machine... and the back story... and now we're bombarded with a record marketing by the numbers old skoool sell in for the album - sorry I stopped living in the 90s in the 90s if you get my drift

    I'm not stupid so don't treat me as such Record Company guys high fiveing each other over such a clever well executed plan

    /rant

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 309 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    That young woman is the real deal - no tricks, no hype, just voice. Extraordinary.

    One of the things that makes Adele work so well is that she takes risks -- sometimes she might not quite hit the note because she's busy singing the damn song.

    By comparison, the world is now full of popsies auto-tuned to perfection, and it's boring.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to bob daktari,

    I'm not stupid so don't treat me as such Record Company guys high fiveing each other over such a clever well executed plan

    They may indeed be high-fiveing each other, and why not?

    The first-day numbers are in: Lana Del Rey debuted at No. 1 in 14 countries

    Lower Grey Lynn • Since Jul 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    Martin I guess I love music, and honesty, more than a spreadsheet

    somewhere someone is screaming market share, market share and bugger the artists career path

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 309 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Perhaps if we all just stuck to downloading our music it would discourage those that are just in it for the money and we can get back to real, honest music.
    You can sing for your supper but don't expect a mansion on the hill.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    Martin I guess I love music, and honesty, more than a spreadsheet

    somewhere someone is screaming market share, market share and bugger the artists career path

    But why would you hate an interesting and unusual pop record -- with an interesting and unusual marketing strategy -- when there's so much shitty soundalike pop music to hate? I'm quite aware of when her people are trying to put one over on me -- the "leak" of the 'Born To Die' video was hilarious -- but I'm happy to be along for the ride.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I officially don't care if the music I listen to is either 'real', or 'honest'. Fake me out and lie to my face, popsters: if you can make an awesome song out of it, I'm thrilled.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3623 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    oh I'm all for artists and companies earning money from music sales.... and I am not opposed to those whose primary motivation is the cash

    song sung by woman with well to do father is not a turn off... if that song appeals to the ear

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 309 posts Report Reply

  • Martin Lindberg, in reply to bob daktari,

    Martin I guess I love music, and honesty, more than a spreadsheet

    Well, when you put it that way - so do I. But pop has been marketed as a commercial product since before the Osmonds. I don't understand the outrage around this particular popster.

    And, yeah, what Danielle said.

    Lower Grey Lynn • Since Jul 2009 • 789 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to bob daktari,

    I am not opposed to those whose primary motivation is the cash

    I really don't know what to say to that but then I find the desire for wealth above all else totally repugnant.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • bob daktari,

    not against the commercialisation of music (artists gotta eat etc)... not a fan of the commodification

    I'm not so much outraged as bored and it all distracts from the one song of hers I shall give the time of day - potential sale lost... not in this case (cue worldwide collective sigh of relief)

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 309 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Wikipedia has the discography of Born to Die's producer, Emile Haynie.

    He certainly wasn't an obvious choice: he's only ever worked with hip hop artists before: Kanye, Obie Trice, a couple of Wu Tangs, Kid Cudi, etc. Fascinating.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Now, about that Mansion on the Hill, seems to be a popular meme amongs songsters.

    Anyway, my point was really about how the music industry behaves more like the ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal than an honest agent of artisans. This they have done for years because the business of recording used to be the exclusive province of those with the wherewithal to afford the equipment. Now the equipment is, relatively, cheap as chips they still want control of the artists performance and will stomp on their potential customers to make that point.

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4613 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Lilith __,

    worth watching

    I make no guarantees

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16270 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    Anyway, my point was really about how the music industry behaves more like the ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal than an honest agent of artisans. This they have done for years because the business of recording used to be the exclusive province of those with the wherewithal to afford the equipment. Now the equipment is, relatively, cheap as chips they still want control of the artists performance and will stomp on their potential customers to make that point.

    Unfair: the likes of Sam Philips, Ahmet Ertegun, Berry Gordy, Chris Blackwell, Martin Mills and Geoff Travis have enriched the world through their vision of how popular music should be recorded and released. And they all wanted to make money.

    The problem has come with the consolidation of most of the industry into three corporates. Even within those, there are people of vision. It's just hard for them to be heard.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Threadjack (because I'm too tired to go looking for the original thread)

    Briefings to Incoming Ministers are out

    I've found 2 that haven't yet put them up so far (the External Reporting Board and the Commerce Commission), and two doc files (CreativeNZ and SportNZ), one xls (to be fair it is an appendix to Treasury's BIM) and one docx (Health Quality & Safety Commission). The rest all offer PDF files, a few offer HTML versions as well, and a few offer doc files alongside the PDFs.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programme, "Hipsters we have known" ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1768 posts Report Reply

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