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Thread: Power Ballads

  1. #1
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    Default Power Ballads

    The biting point between the age of soul and the age of surface.

    Emotions concentrated to the point of no longer being emotional.

    Technology superseding humanity.

    The birth of the Dramatic

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    The best power ballad, with a big drop till the number 2:



    achieves the very rare feat of being a power ballad that's genuinely, heart wrenchingly poignant.

    it's somehow avoided the melodramatic emotional distance that in large part defines the power ballad.

    "i am your lady and you are my man" is such a beautiful lyric. that return to innocence that broken hearted women do. also an abusive subtext to it; it speaks to the psychology of a beaten wife.

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    this is a good inflection point one. there is something naked and fragile about the verse, but already it's got something camp and hokey about it.

    then the chorus comes and it's outright silly. drunk office workers all chanting karaoke together.


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    Full on theatrics this. fully ripened power ballad hokeyness.

    that being said "i need you now tonight" is really beautiful. her mavado vocal grit's amazing. really wounded. wailing in the middle of the street as he leaves. genuinely traumatised.

    actaully, i think this is the number one power ballad. it works better in power ballad terms too; punchier drums, more muscular production.

    "once upon a time i was falling love, now i'm only falling apart" is genius.


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    this is full post soul. like if a shopping mall tried to have emotions.

    80's film montage aspiration and eventual triumph.


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    not quite a power ballad, but working with the same formula. structured around what these days would be called 'the drop'.

    really beautiful this one.

    "when you call my name it's like a little prayer... in the midnight hour i can feel your power"

    rarely is funk this expansive and rapturous. funk- as third stresses- is mechanic. it's pernickety and narrow scope.

    not here though. it's the golden gates of heaven looming over humanity in their final hours awaiting salvation.


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    compositionally this is beautiful. i do a wicked arrangement of it on guitar for this with all these clever cloggs chords.

    she (and the production) hams it up a bit. the flute's definitely a mistake.

    but she (and the production) perfectly execute that climax at 3:24. real force of nature stuff that is. it puts the "power" in "power ballad". her vocals are really something special there. emotional violence. it suggests a sense of grandeur and scale that can only be manifest in the human mind, not in the real world. you could say it's titanic.


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    the soundtrack to corpse's 20's this and probably the closest the 21st century has come to a power ballad:



    that's fucking great that is. i take back everything i've ever said about dubstep. it's the greatest music of all time and it puts autecher to shame, beating them at their own game. the should put their northface anoracks back on and fuck of back to shropshire or wherever they're from. a tranluscent, acne-ridden serial masturbator from la's decisively bettered them.

    a transformer flailing around in in a giant wad of bubble gum.

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  10. #9
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    proto-power ballad.


  11. #10
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    In one sense this is about the twin poles of naturalism and performance, the naive and the affected, the authentic and the inauthentic, the organic and the plastic, the warm and the cold, the earnest and the artful and the play between these poles through time.

    Reynolds is always at pains to stress the artificiality of the artless, as this was a commonplace in '80s music magazine discourse. He always brings up Marlon Brando in this context. Pattycakes takes the opposed view, that soul is soul, you know it when you feel it, you can't fake the funk, hips don't lie.

    Both positions, the cynical and the credulous feel unsatisfactory.

    This thread also fits in to our recent investigations of the '80s, what happened then, and why, and how it did that manifest in its musical artifacts and also, how does that resonate and rhyme with what is happening to day?

    It's also a thread for posting power ballad youtubes


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