La Dispute - King Park: an Analysis

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La Dispute - “King Park” (From the 2011 release Wildlife) La Dispute’s 2011 album, Wildlife, is a spectacular demonstration of how modern songwriting can still be held at a high standard, and that emotion and meaning are not lost in music today. The pinnacle point of the album occurs during the song “King Park,” which tells a story of a drive-by shooting from the perspective of a third-party individual, chronicling his infatuation with the incident, and absorption into its particulars. This is a song that, although the instrumentation is what contributes the most emotionally, has the greatest effect when the listener reads its lyrics along with the music. The song does something often lost in popular music of the 21st century, combining lyrics, tone, musicality, and instrumentation to stimulate emotions in the listener that are often reserved for personal experience. The song begins abruptly, quickly establishing itself with a chugging drumbeat and loud, distorted guitars. The song is introduced as powerful, foreshadowing the experience the listener is about to undergo. As vocalist Jordan Dreyer comes into the song, his tone is found somewhere between speaking urgently and shouting passionately. He introduces the setting of the song, a drive-by shooting, and also states how commonplace occurrences like this have become. There is a change of sound in the voice, as if to represent Dreyer’s thoughts when he asks himself when the last shooting occurred. This brings the listener into a personal level, giving the feeling that we are getting an insight into the depths of Dreyer’s mind. This section ends with the statement that the victim of the shooting is thought not to be the intended target, creating a new level of sympathy for the faceless character. A new storytelling effect is created when Dreyer mentally travels back “through time and space.” He introduces

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