Nur Ein X - Round Zero

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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:31 am

glennny wrote:Ken and Balance Lost

Jeez, I'm sure Ken and Balance worked very hard on their songs. At least wait for the judging to make that decision. cha! 8-)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Niveous » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:10 am

FYI:

"I'd like to see 1984 redubbed with this in the soundtrack."- Furrypedro.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Generic » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:45 am

I knew that sounded familiar!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Generic » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:14 pm

I'm going to host a listening party tonight, if anyone's interested. I'll be live-streaming on Google/Youtube, same as the last couple of Song Fight Live shows, and I'll post a link to the chatroom on IRC. One of the benefits of Youtube streaming is that the party will be archived for future listening, in case you miss it.

This was kind of a last minute decision, so it won't be quite as polished as the previous years' listening parties that Tom hosted. But, I will play the songs and we'll be able to comment on them in the chat room and such.

Where: Hyperlink to be provided at start of stream. Watch this space.
When: 8pm EDT tonight.
Who: I'll be hosting. Any of the judges and Niveous are welcome to join the stream via their webcams, if they'd like. We'll play all 23 Round Zero entries.
Who else: Everyone is free to join the chat room. And by the way, it's always running, not just during LPs! I might read out commentary from the chat room in between songs.
Why: Because I'm a masochist, apparently. If anyone else would like to volunteer to run the listening party for Rounds 1 through 7, I'd be grateful.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby j$ » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:43 pm

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C.

First half of reviews:

AA - this is a perfect example of the mix letting the song down. the uke riff just isn't interesting enough in itself to hold its place so far front. The vocals sound like they're sung in the background. I can just about make them out on occasion. I love the 'wo-ohs', but they have no energy under that compression/reverb/position in the stereo field. The uke solo is nice, but the flanging (caused by nr?) is interesting but not when everything else isn't shiny clean and well recorded. I don't care about mixes generally, but this one causes the song to suffer and that's a massive shame, as it feels much longer than it actually is.

BL - I love the bass-line, tone and lollop and all. It does feel a bit BL-by-numbers, but there's nowt wrong with that, as such. Nice use of the challenge. The synth is unflatteringly omnipresent, becomes tiresome after a while. I like the 'ooh oohs' but not the earthier chorus/bridge bits. Overall it feels like an extended start to a song that never begins, but for what it is, it's good.

BYF - I like the synth. Actually musically it's pretty pleasant. The vocals aren't so easy on the ear. And the lyric leaves me completely cold. Not even a sneer ripples my lips. Not bad, not particularly memorable.

CBJ - Nice bouncy bassline and the song leaks the fun spent making it, which is always good to hear. I vary on whether I like your vocal style from one song of yours I hear to another. Just personal taste. I don't love it here but the music and the lyric make up for that. I love as always that it feels like three different musical styles colliding in your arrangements but it works so well. This grows on me more and more as the song progresses.

CD - Suitable pomp. Nice vocal tracking. It's an interesting take on the challenge in the lyric, for sure - not sure it sits very comfortably with me, tbh. Fr'instance - "The shadows ... only exist because they’re cast" - no shit, sherlock :) "I approached the one they call "the sun" ... furled his brow and asked "what's a shadow"?" Ugh. And then you reveal the emptiness of the whole thing with the other band referencing... Anyway, I digress. This is fine and well done.

DJRD - This is the sort of thing that walks the interestingly eccentric / annoying wackly line, depending on personal taste. It's catchy and fun. In terms of humour, you could have stopped after the second line. That had the most impact. I didn't hate it, but I wouldn't rush to listen again, mainly cos it sounds to me rightly or wrongly that you're trying too hard to be quirky. Sorry about that.

DuToVa - Well, I rather liked that. The wavering vocal didn't bother me much. I liked the organ, synth and especially wriggling bass very much. I didn't catch much of the words, but the music is strong enough that it doesn't matter too much.

FBF - Loving the "surf guitar", the fuck-around attitude that you carry off. I think the echo/delay/reverb/whatever on the vocal is too strong, it smothers the funkiness of the song a little. And I would have brought the high vocals in earlier. The lyric is dumb bravura and camp as Christmas round my house, which I like as well. Also the clever use of repetition. Do people actually say "Look out, his roof's come off"'? 'Blown his top', I've heard. Unless he's really angry because his house has been hit by a hurricane ...

IVeg - Really lovely track, could listen to it over and over again except for the nasal tone of the vocal comes as a bit of a shock first and second time around. Maybe it's its place in the mix, but it's a bit sludgy for the cleanness of the mix - or maybe you could try re-writing it in a different key that would make you sing a little higher? Dunno, I like it, just find the contrast between vocal and music a little jarring. Yeah, I know I'm repeating myself. that's how strongly I feel, clearly! Oh yeah, the bridge is a bit wobbly, vocally.

Ken - No great surprises here (except your vocal sounds better than ever, or at least since the last time I heard it anyway) - but this is great. Simple, knows what it sets out to do, and doesn't f*ck around getting there. Good work, sir.

Manhattan - There's some good and some pretty awful rhymes in here. Despite that I really, really like the melody and music of the verses especially. The chorus too (though the guitar tone is a bit clean to just turn up loud, if that makes any sense? if you want to grind that baby, do so) - the solo is a little redundant. Overall, a good round zero entry. Nothing to rock the minds of the unfans but you done well what you do well.

Michael J Samuels - Some sweet melody action in here. There are moments when the song appears to launch into full yacht-rock territory, so I'm glad for once it's only G&G. Nice song. Much too long for what it is, but pleasing to the ear.

Mr. Miaow - If only the challenge had been 'impersonate a chorus of cats'! Nothing else to say except it neither delights or annoys me. My review is a shrug.

Rest to follow if I don't die of crushing boredom listening to another ten songs featuring 'Edge / Ledge' rhymes. Bonus win-points if anyone has got the phrase 'Pissing on your hedge' in there instead.
Last edited by j$ on Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:54 pm

j$ wrote:'Edge / Ledge' rhymes.

Doh! Coulda used that one.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby j$ » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:17 pm

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C.

Part the two.

Nick Soma - Chlorinated brine? Her heart is beating louder than a double bass drum? Really, these made it through your first draft? Ah, this is fine, I like it enough (and the bridge is particularly striking in that 80s power pop ballad way) - Lyrically, I resist the urge to shout 'JUST JUMP ALREADY!!!' Seriously though, it's a nice song and well done, just not my bag of pseudo-poetry, tbh.

Orange Lazurus - Love that guitar part. The swelling synth, good as it is, is a bit high in the mix, methinks. "The sine wave on her face"? i doubt that's what you're singing. I hope it is. 'Digitize yourself'? Why? I really like this, musically. The vocal is a little drab in occasion, but once it skips up into chipmunk territory (again a little too much, mix-wise), it's getting in the way of the track. I like it but it's completely unneccessary. Which is a shame. Honestly could have lost that last minute as it is with no great lessening impact.

PdS - Prime Paco. I love pretty much everything about this. As I always seem to say, needs BIG BIG CHORUS. Other than that, clever, entertaining, wiry pop as always. And guitar tones are brilliantly chosen as well.

Rabid Garfunkel - good but I prefer clown Rabid. Less rain, more children's toy percussion, please. It's lovely, which voting will reflect, but it veers away from what makes you special, to this ever-untrained ear. It sounds like an cover of any of those 80s bands who discovered cowboy goth. Nothing wrong with that, nothing right either. "Run, Rabid, Run" makes me smile, mind.

Ross Durand - solid Ross. It's your sound and you do it well. Nice take on the lyric and I, like most, like "Tell 'em Ross sent you" very much. Not your very best, for me, chorus isn't strong enough, but good nonetheless.

Chocolate Chips - Great track, though mix is dissapointingly thin. Lyric - well, um, I guess it's only round zero. "he's standing on the edge of his bed, believing he's floating in space, truly it's only in his head". Truly? Because I thought standing on the edge of my bed, thinking I was in space, meant I was really in space... the last line as well, (faux-)profound as it is, doesn't really make any sense in the context of what proceeds it. Too much pronoun-jumbling. Shame because I like the song a lot, and it's short and efficient, things I always admire. Tip: next time enter as 'chocolate chips', get higher up the stream, and I won't be utterly grouchy by the time I get to you ;)

Toby Rokot - The lyric doesn't do much for me, although there's some interesting phrasing which kind of offsets that. Well performed, bar a chorus that is 'standing at the edge' of your vocal comfort zone. I don't care about that, because I believe in your sincerity, man. Seriously, as hideously hippy as that sounds, I can't think of another way of expressing it. Nice solo riffy bit at the end, too.

Touched by ... - I like the sugar-pop as much as the next man, and this is cute, which is lucky consdering it's lyrically toss (I guess you realise by all the fatuous repitition). Indulgent and possibly more pointless than Mr.Miaow's song but I like it. Sorry about that.

Zack Facco - I can make neither head nor tail of the words, nor care to. If I spent too long thinking abotu what a stupid image "toes dipped in the divine" is, for instance, I would have to stop liking this, particularly the rhythm section (despite, or possibly because of its clumsy charm). Even the wonky final harmonies at the end aren't too distracting.

atlm - Pretty. It has the ring of a cabaret performance of a Sondheim musical. By a drag queen, or ageing starlet with mascara running down their face. That's a compliment, I think. However I don't think even Sondheim would dare write the words in that B section. A nice end to the round (is it really there because a-grave is considered to be the alphabet starting again)? Yeah, pleasant; but you're lucky you have a vocalist who could sing their shopping list and make it sound entertaining. Them's some clunky clunky words.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Lunkhead » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:14 pm

I was lyrically inspired in part by Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You" and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". I figured if it's good enough for chart toppers like that then it's good enough for me. Who am I to argue with success, right? ;)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby j$ » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:17 pm

Lunkhead wrote:I was lyrically inspired in part by Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You" and Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". I figured if it's good enough for chart toppers like that then it's good enough for me. Who am I to argue with success, right? ;)


Depends on how you define success, I guess.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby glennny » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:34 pm

CD - Suitable pomp. Nice vocal tracking. It's an interesting take on the challenge in the lyric, for sure - not sure it sits very comfortably with me, tbh. Fr'instance - "The shadows ... only exist because they’re cast" - no shit, sherlock :) "I approached the one they call "the sun" ... furled his brow and asked "what's a shadow"?" Ugh. And then you reveal the emptiness of the whole thing with the other band referencing... Anyway, I digress. This is fine and well done.


The name of our band came from the Cave allegory, (Plato's Cave). We formed in 1993 when we were both in college and reading a lot of philosophy.

"the shadows only exist because they're cast", I suppose that could be better, I was trying to convey that the prisoners concept of reality being shattered. All they knew were the shadows, they were just beginning to realize the cause of the shadows.

".....what's a shadow?"- I'm bummed that didn't work for you. That's my favorite bit. The sun, the giver of life, the most powerful thing in our existence (personified) has his own ignorance. The Sun like the prisoner's in the Cave bases his reality on his perception, the sun has never seen a shadow.

"emptiness of whole thing... band references"- that's fair to call this part empty, but I disagree that the whole thing is empty. I was trying to have a little light-hearted joke after the heavy pretentiousness of the song before it. I did consider cutting that last part out, but I enjoy it and it is round zero, I'm trying to get the progressive rock pretension and weirdness out early. After all, 2 of the judges are J$ and Caravan Ray, gotta aim towards shorter songs, clever and pithy.

anyway thanks for the review!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Generic » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:47 pm

Listening party right here: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cqj1 ... 242d659s68

RIGHT NOW.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby j$ » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:03 pm

glennny wrote: I'm trying to get the progressive rock pretension and weirdness out early. After all, 2 of the judges are J$ and Caravan Ray, gotta aim towards shorter songs, clever and pithy. anyway thanks for the review!


No worries - but I would hate to think of people tailoring their songs in the hope *I'd* like 'em - sure I write subjective reviews but I try to be 'objective' when it comes to the scoring. I don't let personal style-bias get in the way too much. That'd be unfair.

Whatever the genre, all one has to do to win me over is to have a great 'lead' bassline charging into the fray, a danceable rhythm section, strong choruses (preferably with layered BVs), catchy melody throughout, and other instruments pared back to a brutal but efficient minimum. Oh subtlety > melodrama every time. I'm notoriously easy to play :)

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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby RangerDenni » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:40 pm

"didn't hate it" from a j$ review for a VERY zero-oid tune is high praise. :)
It's funny though. I actually had recorded more Quirk-ily, with many more particles of Annoying. I elected to leave them out. Oh dear. :) I suppose I'm growing a little bit :)
Thank you for your kind review :)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby j$ » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:48 pm

Wait til you see your score :) No, I love what you do generally and I appreciate zero is very much a warm up. I look forward to what the knock-out element brings to your and everyone else's output.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby RangerDenni » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:38 pm

well, I look forward to being dead-assed last then. xx :)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:43 pm

j$ wrote:
glennny wrote: I'm trying to get the progressive rock pretension and weirdness out early. After all, 2 of the judges are J$ and Caravan Ray, gotta aim towards shorter songs, clever and pithy. anyway thanks for the review!


No worries - but I would hate to think of people tailoring their songs in the hope *I'd* like 'em - sure I write subjective reviews but I try to be 'objective' when it comes to the scoring. I don't let personal style-bias get in the way too much. That'd be unfair.

Whatever the genre, all one has to do to win me over is to have a great 'lead' bassline charging into the fray, a danceable rhythm section, strong choruses (preferably with layered BVs), catchy melody throughout, and other instruments pared back to a brutal but efficient minimum. Oh subtlety > melodrama every time. I'm notoriously easy to play :)

j$

Whereas I do expect every song to be tailored exactly to my own personal tastes, and I can be notoriously fickle - especially when drunk.

Therein lies your challenge.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby noma » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:18 pm

j$ wrote:Nick Soma - Chlorinated brine? Her heart is beating louder than a double bass drum? Really, these made it through your first draft? Ah, this is fine, I like it enough (and the bridge is particularly striking in that 80s power pop ballad way) - Lyrically, I resist the urge to shout 'JUST JUMP ALREADY!!!' Seriously though, it's a nice song and well done, just not my bag of pseudo-poetry, tbh.


It's not to be taken too seriously. My personal challenge for this one was to use no other instruments but a cheap Yamaha PSR-172 keyboard (and vocals), which I did. It sounded really cheesy, and it probably makes the lyric, which I admit is cringeworthy, sound even worse. Ah well, it's just round zero, I'll try a bit harder next time :)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby orange_lazarus » Wed Apr 22, 2015 12:39 am

I heard about this contest on reddit. I'd just like to say that I'm glad I found this community. It's nice to hear people who like to experiment and support unique ideas rather than expect some variation of something they've heard before. I came into this blind, but from what I've heard, I love the variety and willingness to share. The ideas about what song writing can or should be here really appeal to me. People with unique ideas should have a friendly, competitive venue. I look forward to being pushed. You never get better until you play a better opponent. xoxox
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Alvis » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:23 am

j$ wrote:BYF - I like the synth. Actually musically it's pretty pleasant. The vocals aren't so easy on the ear. And the lyric leaves me completely cold. Not even a sneer ripples my lips. Not bad, not particularly memorable.


Spot on, actually. For us, this was the definition of a Round 0 song. We promise better things to come. Maybe even from us!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Lunkhead » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:51 am

orange_lazarus wrote:I heard about this contest on reddit. I'd just like to say that I'm glad I found this community. It's nice to hear people who like to experiment and support unique ideas rather than expect some variation of something they've heard before. I came into this blind, but from what I've heard, I love the variety and willingness to share. The ideas about what song writing can or should be here really appeal to me. People with unique ideas should have a friendly, competitive venue. I look forward to being pushed. You never get better until you play a better opponent. xoxox


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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby Niveous » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:55 am

orange_lazarus wrote:I heard about this contest on reddit. I'd just like to say that I'm glad I found this community. It's nice to hear people who like to experiment and support unique ideas rather than expect some variation of something they've heard before. I came into this blind, but from what I've heard, I love the variety and willingness to share. The ideas about what song writing can or should be here really appeal to me. People with unique ideas should have a friendly, competitive venue. I look forward to being pushed. You never get better until you play a better opponent. xoxox


A good attitude and a Pete & Pete reference, I like you already. And so, I give you the traditional Songfight greeting:

Welcome to Songfight! Please be awesome.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Zero

Postby frankie big face » Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:34 am

j$ wrote:
FBF - Loving the "surf guitar", the fuck-around attitude that you carry off. I think the echo/delay/reverb/whatever on the vocal is too strong, it smothers the funkiness of the song a little.


Thank you and I agree (in retrospect).

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Not yet!

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