Appealing Reviews For The Music Lover: An Analysis of The Stylings and Techniques of “The Bias List”

Fans of K-Pop scour the internet for any information they can get their hands on. The Bias List (https://thebiaslist.com/) is a K-Pop oriented blog that provides reviews of individual songs, group songs and bands as a whole. Nick, the writer, sticks to his purpose of supplying fans of his thoughts of new music that seems to be coming out twenty-four seven. He does a very good job of expressing his feelings while keeping readers engaged and wanting more. His eloquent writing and confidence in the information he knows creates an appealing blog that draws readers in and keeps them there until he is done. Nick’s humanly approach and positive perspective to everything also helps him create trust between him and the readers as he gives his honest opinion.

Nick has a firm grip on how to use descriptive words to draw readers in and make them curious about what he has to say. It makes his posts more interesting and intriguing to read. In many cases there could be opportunities to make his reviews sort of “dumbed down,” but his use of adjectives paints a picture of what he say, and it makes the reviews both easier to read and gives readers the view that Nick has a knack for writing that flows and can be interpreted easily. In his review of a song titled Monster, he could’ve just written something like: “Monster’s sound seems to be a throwback to their older songs,” but instead causes the reader to sit and nod in agreement with sentences like: “Monster‘s bass-heavy assault takes us into the nighttime hours, pulling the group back to the dramatic, dark fantasia of older material” (@nickajames. “Song Review: EXO- Monster”).  “…Save Me hearkens back to the melodic heft of I Need U…” (@nickajames, “Song Review: BTS – Save Me.”)  is another quote that caught my eye while analyzing his review of Save Me. The word choice he uses makes the reviews pop

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Exo’s big hit, Monster

Confidence plays a big role in all of his posts. In order to appeal to a reader, a writer needs to show that he/she has confidence in having a lot of knowledge about the topic being discussed. Nick does a fantastic job of knowing exactly what has talking about and how to phrase it. By doing this, even if he seems to be wrong, Nick makes his opinions sound like they are the right ones, and it relaxes readers and leads them to think that he is a person whose is reliable and trustworthy. For example, in one post he wrote: “Much of the structure that surrounds that central hook might be construed as an attempt at edgy posturing in a post-BTS k-pop world, but it’s hard to deny the effectiveness of the production that pulls it all together” (@nickajames, “Song Review: EXO- Monster.”). Everything he writes shows that he has put a lot of energy into creating blog posts that contain vast knowledge of song structure and give the impression to readers that he knows what he is doing.

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Ending of BTS’ “Save Me”

Several times after the review of a song, Nick ends his reviews on a happy note. In one post, he even goes as far as to say: “Scores are on a 1-10 scale, and I tend to be a pretty positive reviewer so 1’s and 2’s will be quite rare” (@nickajames, “About.”). He is an optimistic writer with a respect for all music that is produced in the genre. He does not bash on songs and tries to find the good side in every single one, like in GOT7’s Home Run. The review says that that the song “isn’t as addictive” as GOT7’s previous songs and that it “feels slight compared to GOT7’s best work” or “doesn’t have the sheer multitude of hooks that it needs to really stand out” (@nick James, “Song Review: GOT7 – Home Run”). He ends the review saying that: “Luckily, that chorus compensates nicely and sets GOT7 back on a promising flight path” (@nick James, “Song Review: GOT7 – Home Run.”). This makes readers more content with his writing and leaves them with a feeling of satisfaction and an urge to read more.

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Dance Practice of GOT7s “Home Run”

The website, in general, shows great organization skills. By that I mean that everything is put in a place that makes his information easier to find and is more appealing to the eye. If Nick had arranged it haphazardly and the reviews were too complicated to find, then readers would lose interest quickly and continue on with their searching on another site. He also keeps readers wanting more by putting the videos of each song after its review. By doing this he gives the readers a chance to see exactly what he is trying to say and shows the readers that he is a friendly person who simply wants to share his music with the public. Sometimes, a writer gives his or her opinion and writes like they are demanding from readers that must believe and follow what they say. Instead, Nick merely gives his opinion and  is open to letting his readers formulate their own opinion.

He does a very good job of using pathos as a way to convey his information. Of course he’s going to show favoritism toward certain groups and singers, because that’s what humans do. What is great about Nick’s blog is that he still lets emotion seep into his posts sometimes as well, which is really interesting to me because it makes it feel as if he is talking to a friend, and not a superior he is trying to impress nor someone he thinks is below him. In all of his reviews, he rates the songs on their hooks, production, longevity and his bias (@nickajames. “About.” ). His bias is how much emotional attachment he has towards each group. By doing that he shows how his reviews sometimes end up a little bit emotionally twisted, making them not like data collected from a machine, where there is only one right answer. Some bands get an eight out of ten for bias and some get more of a five or four. One of his favorites, Save Me by BTS, got a review like this: “…it’s worth noting just what a transformative and fully realized project the group’s…trilogy has been. Without a single misstep, [BTS] have both reinvented themselves and kpop as a whole…This is no small feat within a genre that has already grown so much in the past few years… BTS have set an insanely high bar for themselves. Where they go from here is anyone’s guess, though it feels as if they could tackle just about anything” (@nickajames. “Song Review: BTS – Save Me.”). This is a group he has a strong emotional attachment to. Not only is Nick more likely to review songs of groups he shows more favoritism to, but also (sometimes) give reviews that have been tainted with a bad review just because he doesn’t like the group as much. He is not “machine-cut,” meaning that his answers are not straight from a machine, so to speak, and it gives the blog color.

Nick shows really good analytical skills that he uses to capture the reader’s’ attention. Being well-versed in the chosen topic makes it a lot easier for him to formulate opinions. In sentences like: “Monster does a strong job balancing its less melodic verses with a thundering chorus that pulses with unlikely hooks” (@nickajames, “Song Review: EXO- Monster.”), he shows that he has a good grasp on styles of music, musical qualities, and themes that the music shows. He can identify patterns as well, too. One of the more amazing things that he is able to do is to connect qualities of songs match with others that the groups have previously created, such as in bands like GOT7: “Sonically, Home Run shares some attributes with their incredible 2014 single, A. Its bright, retro synths give the song a similar groove…” (@nickajames, “Song Review: GOT7 – Home Run.”). This is important because it makes him seem more intelligent, especially after he says (in his “About” section): “I wanted to launch this blog because, after ten years working on my previous one…” (@nickajames, “About.”). It shows how much he knows of the topic, which is used to impress readers.

The Bias List is a blog that appeals to readers because even though it gives an educated opinion, it doesn’t force itself on the reader. It uses brilliant methods of rhetoric to wind its way into your head so that it is possible to get a deeper feel what he is writing. By using descriptive words to capture the reader’s’ views and using good insight and analytical skills to convey his thoughts in an artistic way, Nick creates a blog that keep readers wanting to read more. Other ways he does this are by having an organized site and a happy perspective. By giving very down to earth reviews, he gives a trustworthy approach, invites readers to listen to his opinions and keeps them clutching onto his reviews and grasping for more.

Here are the songs used:

(GOT7 doesn’t have an official video for “Home Run”)

Works Cited:

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