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Song Exploder (2020).Song Exploder (2020)

If you've ever wondered how music gets made, you might enjoy Song Exploder. It's a television series that began as an award-winning podcast of the same title in 2014 by Hrishikesh Hirway, then found its way to Netflix in late 2020 in its television format. The concept is simple but powerful: each show features one musician who analyses everything about the creative process that went into making one, individual song—the lyrics and music, of course (which comes first?!), but also things like the studio recording, production personnel and technologies, autobiographical details, mistakes that were corrected, bad ideas that were rejected, archival footage, interviews, and so on. One particularly powerful part is how each episode plays snippets of the song over and over again at each incremental step of the creative process (for example, only the percussion), and then concludes with the final version played in its entirety. The host includes some basic history about the artist and the song. Song Exploder explores a broad array of styles and genres, everything from heavy metal, punk, and pop, to film scores and video game music. Right now there are two television series. Season One features four 25-minute segments about Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame, R.E.M., and Ty Dolla $ign.  My wife and I watched Season Two that features Dua Lipa, The Killers, Nine Inch Nails, and Natalia Lafourcade.

Dan Clendenin:

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