I am glad I got to review this site as it is always nice to review a blog which is a bit different – has a different theme or uses the basic blogging concept in a new way. I always approach these kind of blogs with a little more enthusiasm than I would a strictly personal blog. For those who can’t be bothered to click the link, this is a songwriter’s blog. There are loads of tips, advice and insight in to how to write songs.
The technicalities of the site aren’t fantastic- the left sidebar could do with some work and the site design isn’t the most imaginative I have ever seen, but I guess, being a musician, HTML coding and visual design may not be the author’s “thing”. However, with it being a Typepad blog (which pretty much sets everything up for you), it shouldn’t take too much effort to sort things out a bit better- the links on the side for a start. There are some nice extras- albums being listened to with a bit of information about what their appeal is, as well as some links to books about song writing, (though, sadly, nothing about why these are worthwhile books to buy, apart from getting the author credit with Amazon Associates, of course).
Ok, so technically, the blog isn’t great, but this is one of those blogs where the lack of an imaginative (or even fully functioning) template can almost be overlooked because the content is so well written. Like I have said before, this is a specialist blog and whilst on the surface it may only seem to appeal to songwriters wanting some help with their craft, I will stick my neck out to suggest that in actual fact, this weblog would appeal to anyone who is even remotely affected by music in their lives (and let’s face it, unless you live in a cave without a walkman or battery operated radio to hand, it is pretty hard not to be affected by music in some form or other in the 21st Century.) If anyone one has ever wondered how someone gets from a blank sheet of paper or silent guitar to producing Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, (or whatever else floats your boat) then this website will certainly provide some insight in to how this process is achieved.
Certainly if you are thinking at having a go at making your own SPLHCB then this blog would be an excellent place to start as it provides very specific, practical information along with perceptive thoughts about creativity and what makes a good song. In fact, although I have never read a book about songwriting, I would imagine that the information contained here would certainly be on a par with most books- the author writes very clearly and concisely and there is also no “angle” here- just her own thoughts as she has gone along with writing songs of her own.
The only major improvement I would like to see with the blog is for the author to post up some songs of her own so we can hear what she has done. Partly finished songs with annotations about where to go from here, also seems to me like an ideal addition to the content, especially with the multimedia capabilities of computers anyway. Although she consciously decided not to post up her songs (according to the earliest post in April) she has not given reasons why and I think it is a shame.
Although I have not given this site a 5, I thought it was a great read and a really interesting view on a creative process which baffles me completely. Or at least it did until I read this.