Nominator(s): Dan56 (talk) 14:12, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
I am nominating this for featured article because I feel it is well written, its topic is fairly notable, and it fulfills FA criteria. Dan56 (talk) 14:12, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Images check out; sound extracts I don't know enough about to assess. Grandiose(me, talk, contribs) 15:16, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Both audio samples are 10% of the original songs' length and of reduced quality, at most 64kbit/s (Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Music samples) Rationales list all necessary credits and purpose of use; placed in section where songs are discussed, songs that exemplify notable aspects of the album. Dan56 (talk) 15:33, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Comments My initial impression of this article is similar to that of OK Computer—it's been thoroughly researched, but is so comprehensive that it gets to the point of being overwhelming for the reader, especially in terms of stats, dates, details and technical language. Examples:
For his touring, all you need is that first paragraph. The rest is excessive detail that is redundant to "performing in venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia". Remember that we write for a general audience, who don't want to know every last show and festival he played.
He performed more shows than mentioned, so two short paragraphs noting some doesnt seem excessive. I'd understand if there was a separate tour article, but notable venues ought to be mentioned; not all dates are listed, notable festivals are noted (ones that cater to different genres, audiences, higher profile artists, etc.), guest/other artists he performed with, and, since this was not billed as a single tour, the different legs of his collective touring are noted (Wikipedia:WikiProject_Albums/Album_article_style_guide#Touring) The Blue Note Tokyo performance is the only example I could find for an Asian venue, and the one of his performance being taped and released on DVD seems worthy of mention. Dan56 (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Why does Critical response have 19 reviews (excluding the aggregator) which basically say the same thing—this is a very good, subtle and retro album, that might be a little too derivative. I can't imagine anybody being able to read the whole section.
Just one quote mentions it being too derivative; the rest may complement the same thing about it, but different aspects: Vibe called it "a unique alternative to his previous work", Allmusic commended the "accuracy", while The Independent did the "subtle variations". Dan56 (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Just a brief glance at Production reveals it to be astonishingly technical—"they used a Neumann U 47 for guitars, a U 47 and U 67 alternating as overhead microphones for Saadiq's drum kit, a combination of AKG D 12 and C 414 mics employed on the kit's bass drum, Amplex tape machines for extra warmth". The section probably needs a bit of a rewrite/trim keeping a non-specialist audience in mind.
That statement is prefaced by a "relatively basic" utilization of the gear, any technical stuff is generally linked to the related articles for readers, and is followed by quotes further clarifying the use. I know it's somewhat specialist, but very relevant, and it shouldnt seem arbitrarily detailed if clarified. All in keeping with any notable recording techniques (Wikipedia:WikiProject_Albums/Album_article_style_guide#Recording.2C_production) Dan56 (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
I found the accolades table to be surprisingly counter-intuitive. I wonder if two separate sortable tables for album of the decade and album of the year would be better.
Watch out for repetitions: Pareles repeats what Whelan says about homage in M&S.
The latter distinguishes it as "purist" with respect to neo soul, which Saadiq is often characterized as; revised Pareles as relevant to the "views that Saadiq follows the example of 1960s Motown artists such as..." Dan56 (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Release and promotion: again, so many release dates don't add value to the reader, nor does it make for engaging prose. Avoid banalities like "Saadiq travelled to Europe for promotional television appearances and press for the album" (who doesn't?).
Saadiq never did before, so lower-profile artists? How could promotional activities by the artist be banal? The release dates (apart from the US, only four) should add context to the release of the album; I would have added a release history table as the style guide suggests, but the sources do not note any distinguishing label or format information (Wikipedia:WikiProject_Albums/Album_article_style_guide#Release_history) Either a table or three sentences, but release history should be acceptable. I'll add a table, per the style guide. Dan56 (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Singles: wouldn't such detail be better off in the songs' articles? Even otherwise, I think all you need is a couple of sentences naming and giving the most-prominent chart positions; the rest of the chart positions can be in a table below. (I think the eight-paragraph R&P can thus be trimmed to four more-readable paragraphs losing no vital info but only excess detail).
No song articles exist for them. Not all the singles charted, and the ones that did only charted on the R&B chart; one did in Belgium, but that would lead to an awkwardly constructed table. Anyway, there doesnt seem to be enough to warrant a table over prose (WP:MOS/Tables) One sentence for each single's charting is what currently is in that section. The music videos, appearance in other media, and Saadiq's performances of them on network TV shows are all promotional aspects. The subsections are each only a couple of paragraphs. Dan56 (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Clearly most of my concerns are WP:FA? #4 as the article definitely goes into "unnecessary detail", apart from being quite technical in places. Also, this causes the prose (a little workmanlike already, but definitely fixable) to be far from engaging (1a). [Note: I'll be off-wiki for the next couple of weeks]—indopug (talk) 17:05, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Overall, I understand the response, but OK Computer seems to have excessively disorganized information rather than just excessive, at least in places. As opposed to that article, here the different promotional aspects are delineated by (sub)sections, as are the recording and production information. Another article I worked on, Sons of Soul, passed FA with larger recording and singles section, although it was a separate section rather than part of an overarching R&P section; would separating "singles" and "tour" into separate sections be a better idea? While whichever information doesnt seem engaging, the guide at WP:ALBUMS suggests that the information that was addressed is useful. Dan56 (talk) 18:35, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
I gotta say, the release history table, along with the separate sections for singles and touring, make the article flow better! Diff. Dan56 (talk) 19:11, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
Reduced review prose slightly, replaced some of the ambiguous equipment names with more accessible terms. Dan56 (talk) 19:26, 6 October 2012 (UTC)
(replying to your responses as a whole) Dan, judging by your responses it's clear that we have entirely different philosophies on writing an article and what it should convey. Here's one that I wrote, and hereare what I hold to be model album articles. As you can see (esp from the latter two), although they are very comprehensive and thorough, they don't get bogged down with details—festival names and dates, release dates, excess sales figures, tables, reviewer quote-farms...—which results in a highly readable and engaging narrative emerging across the entire article. On the other hand, your approach is better for somebody who wants to know something really specific and reads only that relevant section.
With this in mind, I don't think me continuing the review would be productive; we're heading in completely different directions.—indopug (talk) 04:58, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. Thanks for the comments anyway. I feel the article is better after editing in response to them. Dan56 (talk) 05:01, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Strong Support I found the prose to be very engaging. Here are just two comments while reading the article:
"was very well" - remove "very"
"He recorded his vocals with only Charles Brungardt" - you mentioned who Brungardt is in the previous section, so there is no need for his full name in subsequent sections. Jonatalk to me 01:11, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Support as the GA-reviewer. --Kürbis (✔) 08:48, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Support – Article is very well-written but I have some comments. In the third paragraph of the Production section, it says "Saadiq and Brunghardt wanted to captured". Shouldn't it be "capture"?. In the third paragraph of the Content section, change "a repititive bass lines" to "a repetitive bass line". Also in the fourth paragraph of the same section, change "who adopts lover persona" to "who adopts a lover persona". — Oz(talk) 10:16, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Initial comment I'm just starting to dig into this article. I'll have a full assessment soon, but I have to say that I'm leaning towards an oppose at the moment due to various issues with redundancy (both in prose and sources), excessive detail, and inappropriate/unsatisfactory usage of certain sources. As I said, I'll provide a full assessment soon, but even though it's becoming clear I cannot support the article at this current junction, all my feedback will be constructive, as I hope all issues can be resolved during the FAC (well, there's one portion that might involve a massive overhaul, but we'll get to that when the time comes). WesleyDodds (talk) 13:11, 7 October 2012 (UTC)
Comments: While I think the article is lovely; the very first thing I noticed is the accolades graph, and generally aren't these things suggested to be turned into prose instead? I know it can be hard to make "some publication said so and so about said album and put it somewhere on some list" again and again read interestingly, but it's somewhat jarring in context to the rest of the article.
Since omitting the less notable ones would mean it would fail comprehensiveness, I think there are multiple ways to deal with this. One could simply expand the section with prose, or say something akin to "the album was listed on many top 10 lists" and use a few bullet reference, or move some of citations that listed it amongst the Albums of the Decade to the legacy section. You could also create a subsection dealing with an international reception of the album, using the references from Adresseavisen, Dagbladet, Gaffa, The Irish Times etc, which, as far as I am aware, are all European publications.
Furthermore this always come down to preference, but it's a rather long article, and there are four images used. This isn't a problem if there aren't images to be used, but this album has a long range of influences including legends like Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder and had involvement with Rick Rubin and a bunch of other notable figures. Bruce Campbell (talk) 20:35, 14 October 2012 (UTC)
Follow-up comment Sorry about the delay, but I'll get to detailing my objections to the article later today. WesleyDodds (talk) 10:36, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
No problem. I'm still waiting on some others I've solicited to comment as well. Dan56 (talk) 11:42, 15 October 2012 (UTC)
Support The article seems comprehensive and well-written. There were a few nits that I fixed—Time Out linked to the company instead of the magazine, Robert Christgau was cited by first and last name in two consecutive paragraphs—but nothing that should prevent this article from promotion. — Malik ShabazzTalk/Stalk 04:08, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
Oppose I was hoping to only cast a "weak oppose", but given the large numbers of supports already given, I felt it important to firmly declare that there are aspects of the article that are in need of revision before it can be promoted to Featured status. And the more and more I dig into it, the more I wish I had had a chance to peer-review the page first. In short, my oppose is based upon the article not yet meeting points 1 and 4 of the Featured Article Criteria: there are notable issues with the prose, the article is overly detailed in spots, some of the cited material is either not accurately represented or used inappropriately, and summary style needs to be better implemented. Here's a brief breakdown of my main concerns:
Overall, the article needs to summarize more effectively. There's lot of needless repetition, even in the lead, which talks in the first paragraph about how Saddiq wanted to recreate the Motown aesthetic, then we read about how the album draws upon the Motown sound, then we read about how music writers considered it a Motown homage, then we read about critics praising his "appropriation of 1960s soul music". Yes, these are all slightly different things that can be elaborated upon in the article body, but outlining that the album draws inspiration from '60s soul should not span the entire lead section.
It's not outlining that; the first sentence is about their goal in production, which is not about the music, as the next sentence is about. "appropriation of 1960s soul music" is not repeating anything, it's noting one of the aspects that was well received by critics; would be less of a summary without. Removed "view it as an homage to classic soul such as 1960s" from lead. Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
You are indeed being redundant and needlessly wordy in the first and second paragraphs when discussing how Motown informed the album. Yes, the lead is talking about the production goal then the musical content, but the phrasing is such that hits you over the head with the Motown influence when it's not needed. Try to reword the lead, and if you are stymied, I can have a go at it. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The second paragraph's discussion of musical/stylistic characteristics is one aspect of how Motown informed it is, hence the reference to "Motown Sound". The sections of the article that the lead is summarizing both discuss some aspect of the Motown influence, whether it's how the producers approached producing it (recording equipment, technique, etc.) or the album's style (characteristic song lengths, tambourine, sweeping strings,etc. also shared with Philly soul) Dan56 (talk) 22:16, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Among the album's traits listed in the lead is its use of "bright melodies". How do you define a "bright melody"?
The source supporting that says "big, sunny melodies", so that's the synonym I settled for; can be that the melody is lively, cheerful, clever, pretty, etc. (merriam-webster) Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
"Bright melodies" aren't something that are quantifiable; "bright is very much used as an adjective. If you must use the word, attribute it to the writer in the prose. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
There's various oddly-worded sentence to be found (ex. "In an attempt to recreate the Motown aesthetic of the 1960s, Saadiq and Brungardt eschewed their past experiences of modern music production . . .", "The two shared a fascination with historic recording techniques and equipment, and they studied the 2006 book Recording The Beatles together, noting an interest in the knowledge of recording gear by engineers and technicians for English rock band The Beatles", "He explained the album title to be him declaring to music listeners that . . ."). In a sentence like "He wrote the songs extemporaneously, often with a guitar in hand and improvising riffs." the tense changes partway through.
Dont see your point about the examples. Could you be more specific, especially about the last one; are you thinking that "often" is a different tense or "improvising"? Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
The sentences are awkwardly structured; these are but a sample of the many I've found in the article. In some cases they'd be much improved by splitting clauses into separate sentences. In others the language is unnecessarily convoluted (ex. ""He explained the album title to be him declaring to music listeners that . . ." The subject is doing something to the object that is him doing something to another object--and that's only in the excerpt of the sentence I posted). In "He wrote the songs extemporaneously, often with a guitar in hand and improvising riffs", I get what you are trying to say, but the relationship with time gets muddied going from "He wrote" to "improvising". You can rectify the confusion by strengthening the associations between clauses--an alternate phrasing could be "He wrote the songs extemporaneously, often improvising riffs on a guitar". Another could be "He wrote the songs extemporaneously, and often improvised riffs on a guitar". You should ask an experienced copy editor to go through the article and rework prose where necessary. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:40, 23 October 2012 (UTC)
Revised the aforementioned sentences. Was the issue with the "In an attempt to recreate the Motown..." sentence about the phrase "...experiences of modern..."? I think one of the other commenters changed the italicized word, unless it's something else? Dan56 (talk) 00:58, 24 October 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it was the "of"; the sentence could still stand to be streamlined, but it's not glaringly awkward anymore. There are still many sentences in this article that need to be reworked--there's simply too many to list. Having a copy editor with fresh set of eyes look at this article would really do the prose wonders. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Keep on topic. For instance, why is Saadiq's work with Brungardt on the Joss Stone album worth mentioning aside from the fact that they ended up working together on The Way I See It? Did their collaboration on the former lead to their working on the subject of this article? If not, take it out.
It's background information; dude started interning for him, and this is an example of the culmination of Brungardt's growth as an engineer under Saadiq, as the source suggests; revised to better reflect that. Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Saadiq being born is background information--doesn't mean it's directly relevant. The association between their work on the Joss Stone album and this record is still flimsy--the information is not necessary to better understand this topic, and is therefore extraneous. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Vague cites like the ones used to cite the sentences "After releasing his second studio album Ray Ray in 2004, Saadiq continued working as a producer, composer, and instrumentalist on other recording artists' music." should be strengthened by replacing them with more concrete references. Looking at an itemized list of his credits doesn't really tell me anything beyond "He's done stuff". Find a cite that actually says outright "After his second album, he worked on these other projects, which lead us to this article's subject". Once again, the relevance of the information to the topic needs to be more explicit.
Once again, it's background. His role in the music industry before the album puts the rest of the article into perspective, particularly the section on "Saadiq's career". The source shows the credits and the works, and for who, so how is it vague? Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
As I state above, a lot of things can fall under the broad scope of "background information". What you need to focus on is background information that is directly relevant to the subject of this article and is essential for context. As it stands, his work on other artists' music after putting out Ray Ray is more important to the article on the man himself than it is to this album. The relevance to The Way I See It needs to be strengthened or the information should be removed. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
"Saadiq continued working as a...." ←→ "before that record - after I'd been in Tony Toni Tone! and Lucy Pearl - most people had thought 'Oh well, he's a producer now. He’s never gonna be an artist, he's not gonna put the time in' ... Whereas The Way I See It showed them that yes, I could put the time in still and be an artist!" Dan56 (talk) 22:16, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I still see a few redundant citations--that is, a sentence is cited to reference Z, and then the one following after it is also taken from reference Z. You only need one citation for both. Certainly, add another cite note once you move on to another paragraph or if the sentences are interrupted by something taken from another source, but trim down on the redundant footnotes you don't need.
I thought all sentence should be cited; makes it less challengable by readers or any editor looking to remove uncited content. Is there a guideline for this or preferential? Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
See WP:CITEFOOT. If you feel it necessary, you can add extra cites after "particularly contentious" information, though nothing here strikes me as such. In instances where you cite an entire paragraph to one source, just cite the end of that paragraph, as most editors would logically assume it's all sourced to that footnote anyway. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Why do you need three citations for "He viewed the bass playing of James Jamerson as an integral part of Motown's recordings and cited it as the inspiration for his own bass sound on The Way I See It"? At most I can see needing separate cites to verify that "He viewed the bass playing of James Jamerson as an integral part of Motown's recordings" and that it inspired Saadiq's playing.
Removed 3rd cite; 1st supports first half of sentence, and 2nd supports after the "and". Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I suggest adding a comma after "integral part of Motown's recordings", and then placing the relevant citation next to that clause, and then leaving the other citation at the end of the sentence next to that relevant clause. That will make it more readily apparent what is being cited by what. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
You really should reduce as many citations to the liner notes and to retail stores as you can. If something isn't remarked upon by a reliable secondary source, it probably isn't noteworthy.
I only used retail store citations for release dates; what else would be used for that kind of information? I dont see the correlation between the information from liner notes and notability; again, where else would I get the most reliable source, for instance, where the album was recorded or who it was engineered by? Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Secondary sources are preferred. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Sometimes the paraphrasing process can subtly distort what is being cited. Take the sentence "Ashford's contributions on the album exemplify its Motown-influenced sonic details, as he played tambourine, vibraphone, bells, and shakers on songs like "100 Yard Dash", "Love That Girl", and "Staying in Love"." That's not quite what David John Farinella is saying. What he's saying is that they will remind listeners of Motown songs--which in of itself an assumption, and not hard fact.
An assumption by who, me or the writer? Removed part of it anyway. Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
That phrasing is a definite improvement. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
One of my pet peeves is editors titling sections discussing the musical content of albums "Composition". "Composition" relates to structure, which these sorts of sections are not normally restricted to. "Music" or "Music and composition" would be more appropriate.
Why are three citations needed for "The album has a traditional soul music style fashioned after the 1960s Motown Sound and Philadelphia soul."? And why is one of them an album review? Reviews aren't meant to be authoritative statements or reports of fact; they are meant to represent an opinion. At the very least, remove that.
Removed two from that sentence. What would be an appropriate source for analysis on an album's music if not a review, BTW? I dont understand where "authoritative statements or reports of fact" factors in here; these arent album sales. Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
Describing music isn't entirely subjective--there are definite musical qualities that can be talked about (beat, tempo, arrangement, etc.). Typically, what I do for such sections is draw from sources that make analyzing (and not necessarily critiquing) the music their main focus, and uncover why an artist did what they did (reviews, on the other hand, are all about interpretation, not investigation). I must note I tend to write articles about bands with guitars, so it's relatively easy to for me to trawl through guitar magazines featuring article by writers educated in music theory. I understand such sources may not be available for this album. But for a section like this you should draw mainly from sources like the "A Modern Throwback" article that is already cited here, which is a piece of reporting and interviewing tasked with figuring out what informed the album's musical content. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The "Music and style section" is bogged down by critical quotes that would be more appropriate for the critical reception section (and even then, that section is pretty packed, meaning a lot could simply be scrapped as needless detail--remember, you're writing a concise encyclopedia article, not a book). For example, I see a way where the first paragraph could be rewritten to reduce its length in half and it would still get the same overall points across. Overall, that section needs to be more firmly planted in proper facts (verification of what Saadiq was trying to do, what inspired him, and how he achieved it) rather than drawing heavily from album reviews.
Reviews have both the critics' interpretation and their opinion, whether they thought it was good or not. I'm maximizing review sources for the analytical content, not just favorability. Which quotes in particular in the "music and style" section seem to bog it down? Dan56 (talk) 15:07, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
The first sentence of the lyrical themes section is problematic--I understand that there's probably not a singular source you can point to where someone breaks down the album's lyrical themes yet, but in its current state it's a Frankenstein sentence that stitches together select bits from disparate critical voices.
The "Content" section is the most problematic section as a whole. We don't need to detail every passing comment made about each song in a track-by-track breakdown. Furthermore, the section's overall purpose--describing the musical content of the album--is the same as the one preceding it, except waaaaaaaay more detailed. Merge the two sections and perform a ruthless cull of extraneous information. Summarize, summarize, summarize. There's also a recurring issue with critical comments being offered as fact. You can't quantify a refined groove, for instance. Sometime like "It is written from the point of view of a man in New Orleans reacting to Hurricane Katrina and looking for his lost lover" begs for a stronger cite. How do the reviewers know that's what the song is about? If Saadiq confirmed it in an interview, cite that instead.
Changed "refined" per source, "written from..." to "sung from..."; less contentious. The preceding section is about the album in general terms; this is about the songs. Didnt seem to be a problem for OK Computer. Dan56 (talk) 15:16, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
It was, actually, and the editor of that article has said he will get around to revamping that section before the FAC closed. WesleyDodds (talk)
On a related note, spin off what you can that's not essential to the understanding of the album as a whole into song articles. All the album's singles meet the notability requirements, and given the size of this article (I understand the cite templates add tons of coding that adds to the kb count, but still, it's pretty long) there's no reason for those pages not to exist. As of right now, this page doesn't use summary style effectively.
And related to that, move the excess detail in the Singles section to the individual song articles. Keep only what is necessary for context.
Reduced singles section to chartings in commercial performance section. Dan56 (talk) 18:58, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
There's more that I need to list, but my time at the computer needs to come at an end at the moment, so this is not meant to be a comprehensive listing of all the issues the article has, but it's something to work from in the meantime.
Having said all that, there's quite a bit about the article I do like, and all told Dan56 has done a great job so far. But it does require important revisions before I can support its promotion. Good luck to you, and I know you'll do your best. WesleyDodds (talk) 12:43, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
What does the number of supports have to do with whether you "weak" oppose or not? Dan56 (talk) 18:59, 19 October 2012 (UTC)
I was sort of thinking/typing aloud and working through my thoughts about the article, so don't mind it. WesleyDodds (talk) 13:41, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Support Comprehensive, well written with engaging pros. I believe the major issues have been addressed. – Et3rnal 15:34, 21 October 2012 (UTC)
Support Very well written and comprehensive. Seems like Dan56 addressed the issues. I love his writing style and enjoyed reading it. Teammmtalk email 02:46, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Support. The article is comprehensive, very well written and interesting indeed. It really deserves the bronze star. Good job! — Tomíca(T2ME) 19:37, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
Made request at FAC talk page for spotchecks. Dan56 (talk) 20:49, 28 October 2012 (UTC)
I have decided that spotchecks are not required on this occasion.
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.