Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘better than before

Better Than Before (*Spoiler Alert*)

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So, I think I’ve already talked about this in some capacity, but I am going to rehash it now…so, yeah…The musical Next to Normal is brilliant. A friend and I were discussing it into the wee hours of the morning a couple of weeks back, and we both agreed that it would probably be on our respective iPods for many, many months to come. If you know us, this would make more sense. You see there are musicals and artists that go in and out of vogue for us as the mood strikes. Right now, I’m in a Les Miserables mood with a touch of 90’s music on the side.

The song from this show that I am recently infatuated with is actually two songs. However, I consider them one because they bleed into each other so perfectly. “Better than Before” and “Aftershocks” would be these two songs.  The song “Better than Before” is a happy melodic piece until the very end. The family is talking about how after Diana’s electro-shock therapy they will be better than they were. However, the end of the song hits very minor chords and harmonies which indicate that everything isn’t okay.

This idea is then expounded by the song “Aftershocks” which shows that everything is not okay. Gabe, the dead son/hallucination, sings that although he may be gone for now he can never be completely gone. This is the genius of the musical. It builds complex ideas and imagery into the chord construction and structure of the songs themselves. It’s quite beautiful and shows a lot of thought on the part of the composer and lyricist.

It just goes to show that creativity and interesting ideas are still out there. Like I said, this musical will be on my iPod for many months to come. I believe it should be on yours too.

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Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Forethought in Art

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I really enjoy forethought in the construction of a musical’s score/lyrics to add tension to the overall feel of the show. Why do I even reference? It’s because recently I have fallen deeply in love with the musical Next to Normal which is a musical/story which is all about forethought. Now, I know some of you are probably saying that every composition is about thinking ahead, but this musical is just brilliant in its usage of this device.

The songs that I happen to be referencing “Better Than Before” and “Aftershocks”.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWWGrptSpvg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8GnpG_bE88

The first song blends into the second seamlessly (you need to hear it without the break)…why does it do this? It’s because they’re wanting to build the ominous tone to make Gabe seem like he’s up to something. This is coming right after “Better Than Before” where the family is finally getting back to normality after Diana’s (the mom’s) stint in a mental facility…They’re trying to tell you that everything isn’t peachy. While this may seem hokey or overdone to some, I love the amount of planning that this must have taken on behalf of the composer and the lyricist. It builds complexity into the score of any show…or any musical piece because there are some classical pieces like this such as Haydn’s Symphony 94: the “Surprise” Symphony.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLjwkamp3lI

Overall, I just like good forethought on an artist’s part whether they be composer, novelist, painter, etc. It’s nice to know that they had a definite plan for themselves as they performed their artistry. Michelangelo had to have his golden vision of the Sistine Chapel in his head before the first brush stroke. If not, the place might have looked like crap…