The Assignment: Write a brief analysis essay, taking a record apart and showing how its pieces work together to create a unique effect. Mix and match observations regarding musical and lyrical voice, characterization, point of view, imagery, structure, setting or theme, but be sure to illustrate each clearly and show how they work together in a precise way. Seek to offer a thesis or central focus that shows how this analysis deepens your understanding of the record as a whole. Your essay will be evaluated based upon the strength of the central focus (its significance, originality and insight) as well as your effective use of specific support to clearly reveal this focus.
It’s probably useful to caution you against spreading yourself too thin. If you focused simply on three different aspects of the structure of the record or three different sonic images, you might have more success diving deep into the record than someone who tries to cover a wide range of observations. Small things can be used to draw large, precise conclusions, while too many large points can lead to simplistic, general observations.