Crybaby Re-Told

Made by Janine Louie

To take Melanie Martinez's concept album Cry Baby and re-order the songs to tell a different story.

Created: November 8th, 2015



The big idea behind my project was to take a concept album story and by rearranging the album and taking clips from the song tell a different story. My goal was to have this clipped together song to tell a full story while also sounding like a song.

The original Cry Baby album revolves around a character known as Cry Baby. Cry baby starts out as a very innocent young girl who falls in and out of love. Her various relationships with her crushes and experiences influence her as she grows up and radically change her personality and how she interacts with people. I find it to be a very dark but interesting coming-of-age story. The album also has wrapped these ideas and its coming of age story in words that are generally seen as childish like Sippy Cup and Mrs. Potato Head, which give it an interesting take on adult themes. 

The altered version I created tells the story of a girl who finds a boy that she likes who already has a girlfriend. To win him, she kidnaps and poions his girlfriend. They begin to date but she realizes that he doesn't really love her. He eventually finds out what she did and kills her. 



Why did you make what you made? Write about the big ideas behind your project. What are your goals and motivations?

The reason I chose Melanie Martinez's album was because its an album that I really enjoy and have been listening to recently. The songs themselves are pretty dark so when I moved them around and clipped them together the new story is much darker than the original Cry Baby story. My goal was to create a story that I found interesting using an album that I really enjoyed, so I would say that I succeeded in that context. 



What informed your outcome? Situate your outcome relative to other work.

My work was definitely heavily influenced by the original album as I had to use the actual lyrics from the songs to create a new story. The album itself was slightly dark, so the song I created was also dark. The idea behind the song reminds me a lot of the story of Sweeney Todd and I think it has a similar vibe as some of the darker musical soundtracks. 



Describe how you arrived out the outcome. Show iterations and refinements. Document design decisions and challenges encountered.

At first I wanted to do a more visual component to illustrate the story that I wanted to tell but I realized that it might not make sense o draw a story that wasn't there since there would be no cut together audio of this "new" story. So I decided to just create the cut together story song.

First I printed the lyrics to each song and tried to create a coherent story from the snippets of verses and choruses. After listening to and reading the lyrics a few time I settled on my story and then arranged the lyrics how I wanted them in the song. 

In Audacity I imported all the songs and then cut them together, trying my best to cut the songs at point in the music that could string together well. My initial version of the song had all the songs from the album but it became too long so I cut it down to what I deemed the most important lyrics to get the story across. I was going to try and better blend the audio together by having the songs fade in and out but I ran out of time and the first bridge I tried this on didn't sound to great and some of the lyrics were inaudible. I also tried using some of the effects but I think I chose the wrong ones because it heavily distorted the sound or made no change so I decided not to keep the effects. 



What does your inner critic say about this work? What did you learn? What would you do differently? 

I kind of like my product. It doesn't sound great which was to be expected since I just cut music together and didn't sync the beats and they don't have the same underlying sounds. I did learn a little more about audacity and its effects when I tried to make the sound more continuous. 

If I were to do this differently, I would try Logic Pro X to see if maybe it could have come out better that way, but I think since the songs are so varied it wouldn't have helped much. If I had more time I would have tried to make the song transitions more seamless because in this iteration they are very jumpy and jerky. I would also add a visual component to have like a vis



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To take Melanie Martinez's concept album Cry Baby and re-order the songs to tell a different story.