Nominator(s): Dan56 (talk) 23:28, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
I am nominating this as a featured article candidate because I feel it is well written, its topic is fairly notable, and it fulfills FA criteria. Dan56 (talk) 23:28, 14 January 2013 (UTC)
Initial comment – first and foremost, the lead is a little too long for the article's size. We have around 23 KB of prose, but need 30 for a four-paragraph introduction. Please trim the lead down to three paragraphs, weeding out excessive detail and instead giving a more concise overview of what's to be expected further down. For example, there's quite a bit of unnecessary discussion of the song's chart performance and sales. That needs to be tightened. Overall, this seems to be an engaging article. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 00:51, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
Unless another image check is needed for purposes of this review, this could be looked at as a point of reference. Dan56 (talk) 06:36, 24 January 2013 (UTC)
Comments from Cassianto
I'm not too familiar with this young lady's work, so excuse my ignorance if I get a few things wrong. All comments come in good faith so feel free to disagree.
"After releasing her 1996 album One in a Million and raising her profile with hit soundtrack singles..." Such as?
I didnt think it was relevant enough to go into that much detail for the lead, which the previous commentator here suggested I trim to begin with. Those singles are covered well enough at Aaliyah. It's a minor detail being summarizied from the short "background" paragraph of this article. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"She started working on the album in 1998 and resumed its recording in 2000" - Did she stop midway then? If so, why was that? There was no mention that she had started recording, only that she was working on it. Two years to record an album does seem a long time.
Revised. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"Upon its release, Aaliyah received very positive reviews..." The adverb offers nothing here and sounds grammatically wrong.
See comment at Critical reception. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"Aaliyah subsequently shot a music video for the single "Rock the Boat" in the Bahamas, but died returning to the United States in a plane crash on August 25, 2001." - Subsequent to what? What happened prior to this as suggested?
Added a bit of what I previously trimmed from the lead to clarify. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"... but died returning to the United States in a plane crash on August 25, 2001." Might I suggest, "but died in a plane crash on a return flight to the United States on August 25 2001."
"After her death, the album's sales skyrocketed..." hmm...not sure about "Skyrocketed". It sounds a bit magaziney.
I thought so at first after trying to find a synonym for what the source used (cited in the "commercial performance" section), but it seemed to be legit term used in economic/financial journals after looking through Google Books and News. Seems the most appropriate in this context. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"After releasing her 1996 album One in a Million, Aaliyah graduated from high school the following year and recorded several songs for film soundtracks" - Which soundtracks? Give maybe one example here.
"Are You That Somebody?" is the soundtrack single most mentioned in the sources I researched for background on this album, so I mentioned it in the sentence following this one. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"He found Aaliyah to be ideal for his songwriting style" would be better
The section overall appears to be right on the boarder with quote overuse. I does read a bit clunky if I'm honest as there are so many short quotes; for example why does "classic soul" appear in quotes? This is not praise or a view and is merely a descriptive term based on a critics perception of a particular musical genre which he likens it too.
Done. Paraphrased and copy-edited a bit. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
""doesn't put up with unfaithful cads ('You Got Nerve'), mind games ('I Refuse'), self-impressed hunks ('Extra Smooth'), gossip and envy ('Loose Rap'), or physical abuse ('Never No More')." - Do the parenthesis appear in the actual quote?
"Aaliyah received very positive reviews from contemporary music critics" - again, "very". It's difficult to compare "very positive reviews" to "positive reviews". Surely, positive is positive isn't it?
The source cited refers to "excellent reviews", which the reviewer at this article's Good-article review suggested should be toned down, so I replaced it with "very positive". Perhaps "highly positive" then? Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
"The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 187,000 copies in the week of August 4, 2001." - Bold claim, citation?
No it's cited, the citation immediately following that sentnce "...Although it was the highest sales week of Aaliyah's career,". I was told in last FAC not to repeat citations, that when the citation finally does appear, it implies that it's covering everything before it. Dan56 (talk) 21:40, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
That would be the correct advice. Is it covered by ref  or 55? , to me, would suggest that it just covers Aaliyah's highest sales week claim as there is a period after the album sales. 55 would appear to cover everything else. -- CassiantoTalk 22:03, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
It's  that covers the highest sales week claim and the debut/sale figure preceding it. Dan56 (talk) 22:12, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
I'll just cite it twice to avoid any potential confusion. Dan56 (talk) 23:39, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Fair enough. If any one has a cause of complain, feel free to revert; it is not that serious enough for it to effect a support. -- CassiantoTalk 01:31, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
These are just minor remarks and overall, the article is in great shape. -- CassiantoTalk 10:18, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Support - Appears all correct. All points have been addressed satisfactorily. Congratulations on a thorough and informative article. -- CassiantoTalk 08:18, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Support - Very well-written, informative, and complete. Seems notable enough as well. Just two minor observations: the year-end charts published by UKChartsPlus are listed at WP:BADCHARTS, and the release history table needs !scope="row"| for consistency with other tables in the article. Other than that, excellent work. SnapSnap 04:39, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Removed UK year-end, added row/scope to table. Dan56 (talk) 05:16, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
SupportOppose—the article has a few issues, I am afraid, ranging from prose quality to level of focus. It isn't too far, and with a little bit more work, I think we can ultimately reach a support.
"Aaliyah is the eponymous third and final studio album by American R&B recording artist Aaliyah, released on July 7, 2001, by Blackground Records and Virgin Records."—"eponymous" is redundant here.
"Aaliyah started working on the album in 1998 and sought to schedule its recording around her developing film career."—the second part is blurry to me. Please clarify.
Revised to "...in 1998, but rescheduled its recording around her developing film career."
"Upon its release, Aaliyah received very positive reviews from music critics, who praised its creative R&B production, Static's songwriting, and Aaliyah's vocal performance."—the "very" modifier does not seem useful to me. You suggested "highly" above; that would work, IMO.
Fused participle—"With Blackground and Virgin wanting a high charting single to increase sales..."
Would this be more correct?: "As Blackground and Virgin wanted a high charting single to increase sales..." ?
Not bad, although I would replace "as" with "because" or "since". It sounds more familiar to most readers. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 19:25, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
"As of December 2009, it has sold 2.6 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan."—the tense and use of "as of" in conjunction with the date give the impression that the article has not been updated in a long time.
Rephrased as "By December, it had sold..."
"Aaliyah was released during a period of peak activity in R&B in the summer of 2001 and, since its initial reception, has been cited by critics as one of the best R&B albums of its time."—(1) I'm sure to a disinterested reader, "a period of peak activity in R&B" will be an unclear phrase. (2) Avoid references to seasons. Summer means one thing to someone who lives in the US, and something different to someone in, say, Chile.
The source citing the material being summarized here (in the "Legacy" section) refers to it as R&B's "golden age" during "the summer of 2001". I removed "summer" in the lead and replaced "period of peak activity" with "golden age", but could there be something synonymous with "summer" in the "Legacy" section? The timing seems pertinent to the period discussed, not simply 2001.
To be honest, "golden age" is even more unclear. Maybe, "Released in mid-2001, a period when contemporary R&B was popular, Aaliyah has been cited by critics as one of the best R&B albums of its time." I hope that does not modify the meaning of what you're trying to say. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 19:25, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Considering the definition, and the way it's used by the sources in the section this is summarizing, it's not referring to (only) popularity but artistic peak in the genre as well. "A period when..." gives off the impression that mid-2001 was the only such period. English-language readers should understand the phrase "golden age", as it's commonly used enough when discussing the arts & entertainment, and doesnt seem colloquial or too informal. The best I could come up with to rephrase but preserve the same meaning is "period of peak activity", or perhaps "released during an artistic and commercial high point in contemporary R&B"? "Mid-2001" is definitely better though. Dan56 (talk) 01:05, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I think we should stick to "period of peak activity". Second guessing, I don't think too many people will question the phrase. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 01:12, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
"After releasing her 1996 album One in a Million, Aaliyah graduated from high school the following year and recorded several songs for film soundtracks."—remove "several". It's too vague.
Some redundancy here: "...but she postponed the recording process in order to develop an acting career"
"Aaliyah sought to schedule the album's recording around her film career."—likewise per lede.
"which led to a starring role in the 2000 film Romeo Must Die and her accompanying soundtrack single 'Try Again'."—which led to a starring role in her accompanying soundtrack single "Try Again"?
Is this better rearranged? Dan56 (talk) 04:34, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
"but they could not coordinate their respective schedules."—remove "respective".
"Most of Aaliyah was recorded at either Sony Studios in New York City or Sing Sing Studios in Melbourne, including "Loose Rap", which was done at both studios."—odd conjunction of "Most of Aaliyah" and "Loose Rap". I suggest adding "the songs for" before "Aaliah" or add "the track" before "Loose Rap".
"The latter song, written by past collaborator Missy Elliott, was originally recorded by Aaliyah in 1996 for One in a Million, but scrapped after that album's completion."—(1) "latter" refers to the last of two items, not any more. (2) there's a little too much passive voice here. I would rewrite this in active voice (She had recorded...", which brings me to my next point) (3) The tense should be past perfect since this is before the recording of the other tracks.
"Most of the album's lyrics were written by Static of R&B band Playa."—nit-picky, yes, but I strongly suggest active voice here as it sounds more impressive. So "Static of R&B band Playa wrote most of the album's lyrics."
"Static was a part of Aaliyah's close-knit circle of friends..."—that phrase is too colloquial and informal. Write it as something plain and simple. Also, "shared an infatuation with her during their respective careers" seems irrelevant and like unencyclopedic trivia.
Replaced "close-knit circle..." with "close group of friends". The latter would seem relevant to the nature of their working relationship and Static's subject matter/lyrics, providing context.
OK, then probably simply "was infatuated with her then". "During their respective careers" is unneeded. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 19:25, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
They were both infatuated with each other, not just him being infatuated with her, or do you mean that it is grammatically incorrect to "share an infatuation" with someone? Removed "during their..." Dan56 (talk) 01:05, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
In the final paragraph, there's a lot of repetitive sentence structure (overuse of "which" nonrestrictive clause).
Seemed worthy of a link in a music article. Is it too general a term to link?
I guess it can stay owing to the context. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 19:25, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
"Aaliyah was mastered by Bernie Grundman at his eponymous studio in Los Angeles."—I think you are confusing "eponymous" with "namesake". The former refers to something or someone after which/whom something else is named. Not vice-versa, except if it's a literary/musical work (e.g. eponymous album).
More to come later on. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 00:48, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
What makes Citysearch a high quality reliable source for music journalism?
It is one of the reviews collected by Metacritic for this album, which they erroneously credited as "Spin Cycle" (the title of City Search's CD review section). Dan56 (talk) 04:49, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
"Bob Waliszewski of Plugged In observes female empowerment songs..."—maybe "female empowerment-related songs".
"Hyun Kim of Vibe asserts that the album..."—replace "the album" with "Aaliayah". Too much repetition.
Fused participle: "According to Joshua Clover, the more experimental tracks have Aaliyah 'push[ing] notes into strange corners of syncopation's shifty architecture.'" This one's an easy fix. Something like "According to Joshua Clover, Aaliyah 'pushes notes ... ' on the more experimental tracks." However before you make changes, read the next point...
Joshua Clover's review does not say anything about those tracks being experimental, much less with resolution.
The 3rd paragraph of his paragraph speaks of the album in this context: "Each structure invites you inside but won't resolve ... The knowingly titled 'We Need a Resolution' holds off resolution indefinitely, dancing back from the hook...". As for "experimental", I just substituted that for what he said about the songs that "take their time finding a shape, which is then constantly defied as she pushes...". "Experimental" seemed like a more general phrase for "shape-defying", which wouldnt be clear even in music parlance.
Considering experimental music is a specific kind of music, inferring that that is what's meant by "shape-defying" is quite a loose interpretation, almost to the point of WP:OR. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 17:56, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Good point. I'll just use the quote then, "on the more 'shape-defying' tracks". Dan56 (talk) 02:05, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Fused participle in second clause—" The song leaves its hook unresolved, and its music plays backwards after Timbaland's rap, with a reversed loop of the vocal "where were you last night" echoing the female protagonist's sentiment."
"'Loose Rap' features subtle Neptunes-styled electronica, aquatic sounds, and velvety harmonies by Aaliyah, who declares '"it ain't just rhythm and blues.'"—add a comma after "declares".
"... who instructs her lover on how to please her sexually and equates her erotic high to a drug high."—the second part is unclear.
"... Aaliyah sings with an emboldened delivery over harsh guitars and aggressive synthesizers."—specifically, "harsh-sounding guitars".
"It developed from a conversation between Aaliyah and Static about how men try to act suave."—this took me awhile to get. Maybe "was inspired be"?
Fused participle—"... with the latter song drawing particularly on Detroit techno and industrial rock."
"'What If' angrily threatens an unfaithful lover and by extension other men of that ilk."—woah. That's a little direct. I suggest attribution to a critic, because unless it was Aaliyah or a co-writer who said that, it's a very bold assertion. It's either that or just saying "addresses" instead of "angrily threatens". And maybe "and by extension similar men" instead of using the largely unfamiliar word "ilk".
It's not asserting that Aaliyah, but the song's narrator (which the lyrics seem to: "We'll burn you (oh), we'll cut you (oh) / We'll kill you") Yes, woah indeed. Changed it to "The song's narrator angrily..." and "...by extension similar men".
One concern I have is that there's quite an overlap between these two sections, in that specific tracks are discussed in the Music and lyrics section as well. Would you be open to a merge, or something to deal with this repetition?
The only overlap is citing a few songs as examples occasionally for more general aspects of the album. This already seems long enough. I used a "songs" section to distribute the information available on specific songs as recommended at MOS:ALBUM and from what I've seen at more recent FA articles like OK Computer, although not as large. Dan56 (talk) 04:49, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
More to come later on. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 21:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm OK with the responses and will move on. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 08:50, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
Something needs to be done about the general structure. The section reads a bit too list-y and repetitive. Consider connecting sentences and commenting on how one track effectively transitions to another. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 11:26, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
No sources really discuss the songs in that vein, that is critics, and the interviews are pretty superficial and lack that kind of depth. Merging them with the preceding section would make it overlong and awkward (ex. thought about placing the line about "Read Between the Lines", a song with samba and Latin percussion, after "...particularly on Timbaland's songs, Latin timbres", but that song wasnt produced by him, and timbre is generally unrelated to rhythm), and there isnt enough information to move/create new song articles (MOS:ALBUM#). The only connection is track order :( Dan56 (talk) 11:49, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Bummer! Oh well, consider merging some sentences maybe, talking about two tracks in one statement? That would improve the flow. I do think something can be done, even without introducing information. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 12:12, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
This was the best I could come up with. Rearranged the details so that a musical aspect of one song is followed by that of the next, and then that song's lyrical aspect being followed by that of another, and so on. Dan56 (talk) 05:18, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd briefly mention when the album was released as one sentence as we are not told this and this info is tucked away to the bottom in a less-than-noticeable table.
It's mentioned in the second sentence of the second paragraph in the "commercial performance" section; the opening of that section mentions the chart debut week, which also indicates the time of release; I could work it in there if you still feel it's necessary? Dan56 (talk) 04:47, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please. Just one line. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 17:17, 14 February 2013 (UTC)
I think "described" is better than "cited" here—"He found the music's textures 'scintillating' and cited the album's 'hallmark' as..."
Revised, as part of the bottom two comments. Dan56 (talk) 04:47, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
The prose is a bit too repetitive. The sentences all begin the same way (critic + magazine). Please try to vary this a little.
Also a problem is the density of quotations. The section is a WP:QUOTEFARM, and as a result, the flow suffers. I recommend you paraphrase and trim out some quotations and not make this section read like an aggregation of review samples.
Done, although you would be a better judge of this. Dan56 (talk) 04:47, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Better, although I think "examine" is too awkward here. It's hard usually to think of better wording than what's in the source, but perhaps you could think of something. Also, AV Club 's Nathan Robin's paraphrase is a little close to the original. You can remove "in her own right" since it's vague. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 23:47, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
How about "commended her for exploring her strengths and fantasies"? For the other one, Rabin seems to be talking about her not being "overshadowed by her collaborators" when he says "in her own right", so could I revise it as "establishes Aaliyah as a significant artist unobscured by her collaborators"? Dan56 (talk) 00:25, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
That looks good. Also, in fewer words, would "establishes Aaliyah as a significant independent artist" work? Regarding "strengths and fantasies", that's good. You can implement that. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 17:47, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
"He cited 'We Need a Resolution' and 'U Got Nerve' as highlights and quippedly called Aaliyah 'a slave to her beats, but a proud slave'."—once again, the use of "cited" here is awkward. And "quippedly": is that word really necessary?
Christgau's honorable mention ratings feature a clever, witty remark, following by songs he cites as highlights. Referring to something, especially in praise, is one of the definitions for "cite", although not the primary one, but I dont know if one can "describe" a "hallmark"/characteristic of something. Assuming that these are grammatically correct, this book and this book use either phrase. Removed "quippedly". Dan56 (talk) 04:47, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
I will revisit once these comments have been resolved. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 20:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
"However, after its completion, she and several members of her crew returning to the United States were killed in a plane crash on August 25."—sounds a bit rough. Iron this out and tighten it, so something like, "But after its completion, she and several crew members who were returning to the United States died in a plane crash on August 25."
Replaced with that. Dan56 (talk) 04:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
"More than" is usually clearer and better prose than just "over".
Replaced. Dan56 (talk) 04:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
This is me nitpicking, but in the second paragraph, the use of the word "week" gets very repetitive. I understand however that this is a very difficult issue to ammend (there're hardly any synonyms for the word). If you can amend this, that would be great. If you can't, it's fine.
As per one of the exceptions to WP:MOSNUM's rule of thumb, comparable numbers should be expressed consistently as numerals or be spelled out. So, for example, this is inconsistent, "from number 19 to number one". It is suggested that we write out all chart positions with one consistent format.
Fused participle—"Aaliyah was named the best album of 2001 by Slant Magazine, with the publication's editor Sal Cinquemani calling it..."
Separated the two parts. Dan56 (talk) 04:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
There's very little sentence structure variation in this section. Please do some copy editing to improve the flow and make the prose seem refreshing.
Mixed it up a bit. (diff) Dan56 (talk) 04:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Couldn't we just say "the 2000s" here: "In 2010, Aaliyah was named the 72nd best album of 'the aughts' by Slant Magazine."?
It could be confused as the magazine's premature look at the entire century, which might be why they used that term, but would "...best album of the 2000s decade by Slant..." sound better? Dan56 (talk) 07:19, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
"...and mostly left unreleased due to internal conflict and legal complications between the label, Aaliyah's family, and producers."—"due to" is adjectival and does not modify verbs or adjectives ("left unreleased"). You can use "because of", which can be used universally.
Sentence structure gets a bit repetitive in the third paragraph.
I see you use present tense when talking about jouranlists' actions "The Guardiancites..." but use past tense in the critical response section. A more consistent usage throughout would be preferred.
Mixed it up slightly, and changed the tense. Dan56 (talk) 07:19, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
I think present tense is also used elsewhere, such as in the music and lyrics section. Additionally, in the legacy section, you missed this one: "The Guardian cites Aaliyah as the pinnacle of R&B's golden age at the turn of the century." —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 12:36, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Just a question: do track lists need citations?
There's nothing at MOS:ALBUM#Track listing or that Wikiproject's talk page about it. I've always assumed the citation(s) for the credits below the track listing take care of the track listing as well, since they go hand-in-hand. Dan56 (talk) 07:19, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Should be split into two separate tables as per the manual of style and so that sorting works perfectly. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 00:42, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Removed links. The second mention of Erlewine's name is so far between (13 paragraphs after the 1st mention) that readers might not remember, and the WP:LASTNAME guideline is under the manual-of-style for biographies, so would leaving it be better for clarity? Dan56 (talk) 13:32, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
No problem; I agree with you. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 21:11, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
BTW, if/when you're done here, would you like to comment at discussion regarding the ratings template? Dan56 (talk) 23:26, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Sure, I have done that. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 01:12, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
Excellent, I'm happy and reread the article a few times, and have just relooked at the songs section. I'm happy with the improvements made and am glad to add my support. —WP:PENGUIN·[ TALK ] 12:01, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Support great job with the article no problems detected. Best, Jonatalk to me 20:35, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
Image check - mostly all OK (initial check already done per article talk). Sources and authors provided, just one minor issue:
File:Aaliyah_-_More_Than_a_Woman_sample.ogg - Generally ok, but the "purpose of use" is a bit generic. You should try to explain with 1-2 details, why the reader needs to listen to that audio to better understand the article (f.e. mention the style or certain characteristics of the song, that can't be conveyed with text alone).
Something odd is going on with the fair-use template for audio samples (showing "Additional" in bold twice), but that's not a problem for your FA here - OK.
Other images are OK (fair-use as infobox image, 2 images PD-own). GermanJoe (talk) 08:51, 4 March 2013 (UTC)