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Thread: What in your opinion makes a piece of music an outstanding track ?

  1. #1
    Fifth Beatle gryphon's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    South Netherlands

    Talking What in your opinion makes a piece of music an outstanding track ?

    I ask members of the forum this question because in reading the posts I sense

    that it is something that is unique to each member and could be an interesting


    What in your opinion makes a piece of music and outstanding track ?

    What's your reasoning?

    Does the definition apply to all genres?

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  2. #2
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Lancaster, Kentucky, United States


    nice one.
    you always make me think.

    Assuming all production is equal, which is a stretch...............

    My favorite thing to listen to is something I've never heard before.
    I pretty much always listen to new music under the headphones.

    I try and look at a song from three different perspectives.

    Music - It needs to be appealing either in the way of a hook (which I know is a bad word) or relaxing.

    Vocals - If a voice is irritating to me, I'll never come around. Then again you can have a pleasant singing voice and stretch it beyond its natural boundries.

    Lyrics - Thought provoking is always the best. Those are usually not the simple love song of most music. Love songs can be very simple but have a tremendous impact if sung with emotion.

    Of course these 3 areas can have a different weight based on the type of music and it is rare that all 3 will meet my high standards. When they do, I'm in heaven.
    A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
    Will Rogers

  3. #3
    Serial Under Achiever Tiggi's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    United Kingdom


    For me to sit up & take note, all it has to do is make some sort of positive connection.

    This can be something unique or original, and as Ed says, Vocals, hooks, or Lyrics, plus I'd add Rhythms. I get drawn to exotic rhythms very easily, but I'm not talking about odd time signatures.

    My appreciation on early listens can be affected by my mood, so I'll need to be in the right mood to feel it good & proper...

  4. #4


    Simple sounding, but difficult to perform tracts, whether it be the drums,guitar,bass or vocals,always inspire's me.That outstanding tract,for me, need not necessarilly be, in the top tens or whatever.

  5. #5
    Band Member goth metal raver's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Manchester, UK


    This is difficult to answer because I think it depends on the type of music.

    I tend to judge each type of music on its own merits. What is that type of music trying to do? I wouldn't expect a pop song to have deep, intelligent lyrics because that isn't the purpose of pop. On the other hand I wouldn't expect a Pink Floyd song to be something you could dance to. Neither would I expect a techno track to require hands-on musical skill to create it - with electronic music it is the compositional skill that is more important than the musicianly skill.

    In the broadest sense I judge a piece of music solely on how well it delivers in doing what it is supposed to be doing. That's why I'm capable of liking such a broad range of music. I like to explore after all, and don't like to limit myself too much.

    However that's a very broad and objective way of judging music. In terms of subjective judgement - what I absolutely love rather than simply like - there are two criteria for this:

    1. Edge. Something that pushes the boundaries of music and has an edge to it, whether this is because it is heavy and extreme, jaw-droppingly atmospheric or is exploring some new and weird kind of sound in either an electronic or a psychedelic way.

    2. Passion. A great song that musically and lyrically manages to express a certain human emotion with a great deal of passion and conviction, whether that emotion is anger, sadness, love or happiness.

    The first one explains why I like metal, industrial, techno etc

    The second one explains why I like classic rock and classic soul.

  6. #6


    i would say meaningful lyrics and a strong back beat

  7. #7
    Band Member jwee5467's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Sydney, Australia


    A OUTSTANDING track is ahrd to establish and it is even harder to come up with some OUTSTANDING tracks off the top of our heads. Nevertheless, I do think that for a track to be outstanding it is all relative to the listener and whether that person has any appreciation for that type of music.

    I mean some people just don't like rock or punk rock but some of the most OUTSTANDING tracks in the late 70s were from the American and British Punk Rock Scene. Same as to something like pop, which is hard to establish anyway. I mean, there are a lot of outstanding pop songs out there but in my opinion, you should not be famous for your outstanding pop tracks as good as they might be and above all, you don't want to sell out... yet who stop them eh?

    I guess the definition of an outstanding track is its ability to attract listeners through a variety of aspects including melodies, vocals, lyrics and instrumental skill yet outstanding tracks need not include all of them.

    Food for thought people.
    Got some time on your hands? Or wanna check out new (or old) music? Come have a read -

  8. #8
    Roadie AddyO's Avatar
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    Jun 2009

    Default My Two Pennies...............

    Alright, u asked for it!

    What do i look for i music? I suppose i can put it into words, but it may not come across exactly as i want it to, so keep that in mind!

    I would say the common characteristics of all songs/pieces of music i like contain class first and foremost, no matter the genre. Next i would say it has to have passion, either in the vocals or the whole energy of the track. Then, i would say the lyrical content has to be both classy and strong, and when i say classy i do not want that to be misinterpreted as "no swearing". What i mean by it is that it has to be of high quality, not necessarily well thought out( it is possible to come up with fantastic lyrics out of the blue, a flash of inspiration u can call it), just high quality!

    After that i would say, it has to have all the pieces fit well together, i.e a good intro, strong second verse, strong chorus, and a suitable conclusion.

    I think all those things combined not only make a song i like, but i find they will make any song that follows such a process of conception; timeless. I do not believe i like, can like any song that doesn't meet up to at least the first two of my criteria, if possible all, which is sort of why i can listen to a song for about five seconds and decide if i will give it a chance or not.

    P.S. I hope this is not some clever ploy to find out what people like for free, then use it to make music

  9. #9
    Lead Vocalist Drealm's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Chicoutimi, Canada


    I think my criteria is simple, and can apply to all music:

    Passion & Inspiration

    If I sense that the song was very inspired and that the artist genuinely show a great deal of effort and passion into doing it, it is my definition of an outstanding track. Sometimes an artist have a sudden burst of great inspiration and the song that comes out is pure jewel.

    A song that you feel that no parts were "searched for to fill a blank"; every notes in the song have a meaning.
    Last edited by Drealm; 05-02-2010 at 02:16.

  10. #10


    amazing vocals, lyrics, and guitar. Those three are the ones I usually notice first when I listen to a song

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