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Westlife members (from left to right) Shane Filan, Kian Egan, Mark Feehilly and Nicky Byrne

McCormick’s article on Westlife’s decision to split after 14 years together is a little harsh though it gives the correct facts needed on the boy band.

It is solely an opinion piece of writing, written from the writer’s view on the situation at hand, and might not reflect the thoughts of others. The writer uses various sources for his article, such as stored sources, observation and also personal sources.

Using stored sources, McCormick gives the lowdown on the boy band. Westlife was created by Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh, two of the most manipulative characters in the music business and managed to rake in 14 number one hits during their career.

Both observation and personal sources are the writer’s own, as we can see from the line “They represented not the peak of the 90s manufactured boy band phenomenon but its nadir, the moment when the business squeezes out the music altogether, slowly strangling the golden goose in the name of profitability.”

McCormick also noted, “Westlife were basically Boyzone with the edges rubbed off, five good looking Irish fellas who could sing in harmony, change key on cue, and scrubbed up nice in the kind of conservative Armani-styled suits favoured by Cowell himself.”

But as good as the sources are for this article, I felt that McCormick missed out an important element: he did not include another person’s opinion (music critic or not) that backed his views on Westlife.

McCormick’s last line in the article, although purely his personal opinion, might leave a bad taste in the mouth for many Westlife fans, “There is a place in pop for handsome young men in nice clothes singing formulaic song in perfect harmony. It’s called the remainder bin.”

For a boy band to thrive successfully throughout their 14 year career while retaining a huge fan base is not an easy feat. And how bad could they be if they managed to have 14 number one hits at all?

If I were you, McCormick, I would run and hide as soon as the article gets posted or published, for I fear the wrath of Westlife fans all over the globe that will be going after the writer of the article!

 

Neil McCormick’s article Westlife: Good night and good riddance was published on Telegraph.co.uk, 20th October 2011.

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Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong (left) and Twilight lead actor Robert Pattinson (right)

In reference to Kaufman’s article titled Robert Pattinson Eyed for Green Day’s American Idiot?, the style in which it is written is suitable for the web platform as it is none too lengthy of an article and the information given is spot on.

Firstly, the headline itself adheres to the rule of using eight words for the title, Robert Pattinson Eyed for Green Day’s American Idiot? Not only does it capture the attention of Pattinson fans, it also does the same to Green Day’s fans, all within a sentence of eight words.

The sub-headline Billie Joe Armstrong mentioned Twilight star for movie in 2009 also creates interest as it mentions the name of Green Day’s lead singer as well as an important icon in popular culture, the Twilight series.

On top of that, Kaufman gives the necessary information about the connection between Robert Pattinson and Green Day without being too lengthy. Readers are enlightened by the article on why the news that Pattinson is being considered for the lead role in the Green Day movie recently surfaced again although it was first reported way back in 2009, and the chronology of events that took place from then till the current situation.

Additional information provided by the writer on Pattinson also helps readers to judge, and as well as to justify Armstrong’s choice in picking the actor for the lead role.

Overall, Kaufman’s article is a good example of writing news for the web as it has all the necessary points to attract web readers.

 

Gil Kaufman’s article Robert Pattinson Eyed for Green Day’s American Idiot? was published on MTV.com, 14th October 2011.

 

Referring to Peoples’ and Talbott’s articles on Lady Antebellum’s latest album release Own The Night, one could see the varying differences on the approaches taken by the writers to depict the trio, and how their newfound fame has affected their songwriting process.

But similarly, the theme of Need You Now’s success resonates throughout both articles. (Need You Now is the trio’s hit single from their previous album of the same name.)

While Peoples draws the reader in by describing the air of excitement and eagerness that seems to radiate from the trio on the release of their latest album, Talbott dives straightaway into the question that the trio gets asked most often, which is when they are going to write another hit like Need You Now.

In his article on the trio, Talbott chooses to focus more on the success of Need You Now and how the hit song has catapulted the trio to fame, including taking them to faraway places, but Peoples channels more information on Lady Antebellum’s process of gearing up for the release of their latest album.

Talbott discusses the trio’s success in detail, from their room full of trophies which includes 5 Grammys, having fans shouting their lyrics back at them from the last row, needing translators for their interviews, and being the go-to act for national anthems and guest appearances.

In contrast, Peoples uses numbers to show the extent of Lady Antebellum’s success with Need You Now. He shared that the song spent five weeks atop Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart at the end of 2009 and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 2010. Upon its release, it raked in first-week sales of 481,000 units, according to Nielsen SoundScan, shocking the industry.

Peoples also shares with his readers the activities the trio is involved in creating more awareness and anticipation among their fans on the release of their latest album. Digital marketing is their best strategy yet, and one of them is the Webisode Wednesday series of video clips which is posted on the band’s website and Facebook and Twitter pages and the brief videos allow the members to show off their different personalities.

Talbott instead goes behind the story of how these three different people could come together as one to create beautiful county-pop music. They were University of Georgia buddies and as much as fans believe they get along well with each other, the trio claim that there also are ups and downs in their relationship, to the extent of having had someone to come and mediate.

According to Talbott, the trio attributes their success came as a result of their close relationship and understanding of each other. Meanwhile, Peoples looks at other aspects that brought to Lady Antebellum’s success, from the managers of their label to songwriters that they collaborated with on their tracks, every person counts.

Overall, Peoples tend to focus on Lady Antebellum’s current and future news while Talbott’s dwells more on the past successes of the trio. Peoples’ article will make a good read for readers who are new to Lady Antebellum’s music whereas Talbott’s will more likely appeal to those who are already acquainted with the country music trio.

 

Glenn Peoples’ article Lady Antebellum: The Billboard Cover Story was published on Billboard.com, 26th August 2011.

Chris Talbott’s article Lady Antebellum drops much-anticipated new album was published on Yahoo! News, 14th September 2011. The same article was published in the print copy of The Star on 22nd September 2011 under the title In for the long run.