Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Phil. Redmon.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Phil. Redmon. » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:04 am

j$ wrote:
LML wrote:Yes... then she sold out to corporate greed and came out with How Can I Breathe.
><
LML wrote:Sounding like a band that makes a kabillion dollars a year isn't so bad.
:)
WINKY FACE!

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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by nyjm » Wed Mar 18, 2009 11:19 am

I think this is one of those examples of production v. songwriting, among many other things. Phil, you're totally right: it's very much not radio and I like to think that I am usually open-minded enough to appreciate such efforts.

So, again, I amend my original review. This is neither an anti-song nor a bad one, just very underdeveloped. Phil's version rocks, has great dymanics and a slick but still buzz-saw production that the original lacks. Mostly importantly, when he screams "We're fucking authentic!" I believe it - when Deetak clips the mic with same line, I don't. I'm finding it a challenge to explain why beyond what might seem very superficial: Phil has musical talent and production acumen oozing out of his pores and it shows in the technical details of his version.

So, Deetak: you have a great core of song. Keep pushing the envelope, but also keep polishing those production skills. Do some collabs - I have learned tons from working with people like Eight-Legged Oedipus (who doesn't seem to be around anymore), J$, Niveous and several others, as well from polling the rest of community for ideas and feedback.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Generic » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:29 pm

nyjm wrote:
I think this is one of those examples of production v. songwriting, among many other things. Phil, you're totally right: it's very much not radio and I like to think that I am usually open-minded enough to appreciate such efforts.

So, again, I amend my original review. This is neither an anti-song nor a bad one, just very underdeveloped. Phil's version rocks, has great dymanics and a slick but still buzz-saw production that the original lacks. Mostly importantly, when he screams "We're fucking authentic!" I believe it - when Deetak clips the mic with same line, I don't. I'm finding it a challenge to explain why beyond what might seem very superficial: Phil has musical talent and production acumen oozing out of his pores and it shows in the technical details of his version.

So, Deetak: you have a great core of song. Keep pushing the envelope, but also keep polishing those production skills. Do some collabs - I have learned tons from working with people like Eight-Legged Oedipus (who doesn't seem to be around anymore), J$, Niveous and several others, as well from polling the rest of community for ideas and feedback.

Well said, nyjm!

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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Henrietta » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:06 pm

Thinkin' about the old days... when folks used to write reviews. ;)

Here are some, more to come, when I'm done:

Noah McLaughlin - This isn't my favorite of yours. The intro has a solid beat & good energy, but once we get into the meat of the song it feels like it's dragging a bit. Maybe a different drum beat, like a straight up 4/4, is all it would take to wrap up the rest of the tracks in a nifty little swag bag.

Manhatton Glutton - Ha ha ha. This is great. The bridge could be half as long. Vote!

Johnny$Point - Super catchy, strong vocals & awesome lyrics. I'm gonna listen to this ten more times. Vote!

John Kloberdanz - Solid tune. Emotion of both the vocal & instrumental delivery never changes at all, even when the story arch in the lyrics sounds like it should. Lyrically, you leave a lot of 'fill in the blanks' in terms of specifics (divorce family strife, finding some happiness in the end, etc,) and maybe varying the emotional delivery in the music a little bit could help get that message across. If that makes sense.

Hot Wire - Hmmm. It's not Guy & Guitar, it's G & Canned Loops. Not my thing. Really good vocals & lyrics, but as an overall song it just needs more music.

Surf Train Surf - I like the beep beep boop solo. The first 55 seconds is cool, but that pretty much takes us through the whole song and it could end right there. Maybe try adding something shockingly different, at least by the 2 minute mark.

The Chad Abyss - I wish I could hear the vocals better. :/ Okay, interesting change at 45 seconds. Drat, I still can't tell what you're saying.

Ross Durand - Is that a lap steel? Great song! Not much else to say. Vote!

Miss Fancypants - Oh, that transition about a minute in great. At first it seemed traditional RenFaire, but suddenly it's like, Prog RenFaire. Really great mix & arrangement! Vote!

Humboat - I am not Google-ing, I'm afraid to find out. I'll pretend it's Jerry Seinfeld singing about his toothbrush-in-the-toilet girlfriend.

Hendermann - Nice! Your vocals/harmonies remind of an Idaho band I really like called the Shook Twins. Well, except one of you guys is a boy. http://www.myspace.com/shooktwins Vote!

Death Be Not Proud - I like the 60s low-fi sound, but then the vocals don't quite sit too well in the mix. Really good song, recording/mix could be better.

Fartin Around - Not my thing. See Hot Wire, except minus the part about having vocals.

Reconsiderate and Mr. Scott - Not my thing either. But well done on the beats, etc.

Steve Durand - Nice! Ha ha ha. "nostalgia for the way things never were". Holy carp, awesome performance as always. Vote!

The Weakest Suit - Great chorus! Could use a bit stronger melody/lyrics on the verse.

NakedPhil - Nice! Man, if only there were real drums. Or, um, if they are real, bigger and more real-er sounding. :) Great song, slight mix issues. Possible vote.

RamenROMS - I wish I had some clue about electronica so I could write objective reviews. :/ I like the spoken word, it might work even better if there was more going on musically at the same time... where the spoken word was mingling with instrumental melody/harmony lines, instead of being such a focal point for the listener. If that makes sense.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Teplin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 1:23 pm

Henrietta wrote: Humboat - I am not Google-ing, I'm afraid to find out. I'll pretend it's Jerry Seinfeld singing about his toothbrush-in-the-toilet girlfriend.
Hahaha. Yes, that's a good comparison (only multiplied by a million), and good advice for anyone who isn't familiar with the subject matter.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Manhattan Glutton » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:14 pm

Berkeley Social Scene - Nice feel. I like the laid back vocals. My only criticisms are with mastering and sometimes the vox don't line up so well (which may or may not be okay since they're laid back).

Chopped Liver Meat God - Well, this is an interesting concotion. The shout-out to Paco made me laugh. The flat singing doesn't do a lot for me.

Death Be Not Proud - I think I would like this more if the vocals weren't so loud and prominent in the mix.

Deetak - Clipping hurts my ears, but Abominominous made a good cover. My assessment of your songs is generally that you are into drugs and Queen, and perhaps cross-dressing.

DuToVa - Not very exciting. Vocals need variance. Not bad, but not exciting. I like the change at 2:38.

The Hell Yeahs - Good as usual, but not as catchy as usual, imo.

Hendermann - Good performance, and good song. The compression (at least I think it's compression) gives the whole track a warbly feeling that bothers my ears. Just crank it and let it clip.

Hot Wire - This is my secret favorite of the fight. Instrumentation may be skimpy, but it's really catchy. The vocals are superb.

Humboat - The lyrics are cute, but the song doesn't really hold my attention long enough to hear them.

John Kloberdanz - Good performance. IMO it needs more of a hook, or more intensity.

Johnny Cashpoint - Cute & catchy. Could use some more volume.

Larry - This is somewhat monotonous and is not very catchy. The volume of everything needs to go UP.

Larry Knox - The sustains on your vocals are very wobbly. And maybe it's just me but they seem panned right, which is not very endearing. The chorus could use harmonies. Overall a solid composition.

Lucky Spoon - Catchy song. I already told you, I want the chorus to blast off to the moon.

Miss Fancy Pants - This is very well done. I like it. It makes me want to put on a knight suit and go jousting... in my car.

Naked Philosophy - Music is good. Good premise altogether. The vocals could use a little work (maybe some harmonies here and there) and the chorus could use more power.

New Southern Democrats - Well, you cocky bastards, I guess you deserved to be cocky. Good work. The vocals are great... except for a few off-key in the low register.

Noah McLaughlin - You need to do more vocal takes. The song is solid, though.

Paco del Stinko - As usual, amazing music, and then the vocals kick in. I think the chorus is enough to redeem the song though. Great composition.

Ramen-Flavored Roms - I feel like I'm concentrating really hard on playing Mortal Kombat while someone won't stop talking to me. The intro/chorus could be better with a few more vocal takes (you're singing off-beat and off-tune). Personally, I don't like the talking verse, but it's decent and I hear what you're tyring to do. I think with a good microphone and a better sense of rhythm you could really clean this song up.

Reconsiderate and Mr Scott - The music isn't that catchy. The rapping is okay but I'm not fond of the lyrics and they're monotonous. The little sounds here and there are cute additions.

Ross Durand - I overlooked this one a few times, but it's actually a good song. Good job, man.

Steve Durand - While I appreciate the style you're going for, I'm not very fond of it. Add some pitch correct to your vocals... unless that's what you're going for. :)

Surf Train Surf Industry - This is actually pretty cool. If you used a microphone and a couple real instruments it might be cooler. Solo at 1:20 is sweet.

Todd McHatton - Verse is monotonous and long. Chorus is awesome. I think you could rock out the chorus even more. The whole song seems like there's too many mids in the mix or something. Vocal effect is not helpful.

Tungsten Chic - This sounds like a midi. Get some soundfonts or, god forbid, real instruments. While it's musically sound, it's not that exciting or impressive.

The Weakest Suit - Getting better! Do more vocal takes or add some pitch correction. Also seems like you're not very confident while singing. Otherwise, this song is pretty catchy.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Chadderandom » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:18 pm

LML wrote:The Chadderandom Abyss *
No. Just no.
Every third listen I feel the same way.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by LML » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:21 pm

j$ wrote:
LML wrote:Yes... then she sold out to corporate greed and came out with How Can I Breathe.
><
LML wrote:Sounding like a band that makes a kabillion dollars a year isn't so bad.
:)
I want to remove the quote function off this website. Stop taking words I say and jumbling them up to make it look like I'm contradicting myself! That's such a waste of time! Half the time I come on this forum I am barely able to form a coherent sentence much less a review. Some of you told me my opinion mattered and should be heard, but now that I have actually said what I think I'm being thrown into some kinda mudslinging machine that makes everyone on this bored seem anal and slightly retarded. I thought I was a music nerd... son of an urkle.
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Teplin
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Teplin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:40 pm

LML wrote:I
LML wrote:like
LML wrote:anal
Sorry, couldn't resist. :twisted: I think BLT has been rubbing off on me or something.

Seriously, though, it doesn't seem to me like the quoting has been malicious. More like good natured ribbing than mudslinging. That's just my take on it. And your opinion does matter.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by New Southern Derek » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:47 pm

Generic wrote:
New Southern Derek wrote:Generic --

Just FYI, announcing that you're "not going to have very nice things to say" about our song comes off more dick-ish than just saying what you have to say and adding "nothing personal."
Sorry, Derek. I wrote that post from work, and couldn't write the review from there, in part because of how long the review is going to be, and in part because it involved listening to the song some more (as well as a couple of Sober's older songs).

I made a point of listening to your song (and listening to it, and listening to it...) in light of Sober's comments about how awesome it is. Sober has made some reductive comments that indicate that he thinks that production values are the only valid criterion on which to judge a song.

My review follows.

I'm glad the two of you addressed the issues of the songwriting, because that's the problem. Sober, you keep alluding to the song's mix as though it's the only thing worth judging your song on. And sure, this mix is good. I think that the electric guitar over the second verse is a little too loud, panned too hard to the right, and phases oddly with the mix, but other than that, the whole thing is a very sleek package.

Still. I'd like to refer the listeners back to The Sober Irishman's "Texas." It's earlier work. A little rougher around the edges, yes, but it's also a much better song. Sure, the vocals are a little weaker and lower in the mix than they ought to be, but listen to the energy there, the specificty of the lyrics, and those lifts! The mood evoked in that song is definite and infectious.

Back in those days, Sober used to host SongSkirmishes. These were songs that were written and recorded in under an hour, and Sober used to mop the floor with us. The studio sheen wasn't fully developed yet, but the soul was. This new song seems strangely regressive, even as it shows great professionalism in the mix. It seems that you've spent so much time focusing on learning the finer points of professional-sounding mixing that you've forgotten that songwriting/recording isn't an artisan craft - at least not in the way that metalworking or carpentry is. If a carpenter builds a chest of drawers, no one could rightly tell him, "Well, it's an attractive chest of drawers, but it didn't really need to be made, did it?"

But that's exactly how it is with this song. It's polished, sure. It sounds pretty. But nowhere along the line does it seem to have been imbued with purpose. If someone asked me, "What is this song about?" I wouldn't be able to answer. Why should it matter that the singer has been thinkin' about the old days? What do the old days mean? What has he been going about the wrong way? "Where do we go from here?" Is trite and vague, and adds nothing to the situtation trying to be conveyed.

It's a good guitar solo. The drumming is also really good throughout. The singing is on-key and passionate (more so in the choruses than the verses, where the melody feels a bit awkward), but I would argue that it's never adequately conveyed to the audience what he's passionate about. In the end, that lack of purpose manifests as something even more deleterious: it's just not catchy or memorable. I listened like six times in a row before I left the house, and by the time I got to work, I was unable to hum it to myself. Other listeners' mileage may vary, but I'd call that a bad sign.


Reviews of other songs to come later.

edited to insert link and for superficial revisions of wording.
Sounds to me like you maybe just like Sober's writing better than mine (fine by me, we're working toward the same goals). This is far from my best writing effort, especially on the lyrical front...I'm not what you'd call a prolific songwriter. I don't write quickly so this exercise really flies in the face of my natural style (which is to live with a melody and basic arrangement for a few weeks/months before slowly adding lyrics unless I get an extreme bout of inspiration and rip through a song very quickly).

Also, I make no bones about the fact that I write for the masses. Sometimes my tracks might be referred to as "obvious" by other songwriters. I'm not really trying to be non-obvious.

"Thinkin' about the Old Days" has no special meaning to me. The verse words mean very little to me other than that they sounded pretty good together. Sure, I could come up with some story about the depth of subject, but honestly, I write from a subconscious level a lot of the time. When I write lyrics, it often starts out as mumbling words in a melody until it becomes a line.

The second verse of the song is an adaptation of one of Jimmy's memories that he jotted down in about five minutes and that I spent five minutes adapting into my melody structure.

One of my more recent choruses (one I'm pretty proud of that we've done a demo of) has a religious bent to it that I didn't even know was there when I was writing it. So you could say my process is a bit different than a lot of writers.

That said, I don't mind our lyric-writing on this as a rough draft of a song. If this track were to make it past the demo stage for us we'd do some tinkering and may well re-write the chorus entirely. But for a demo of a hastily-written song, I'd say this effort sounds pretty good. Certainly not everyone's gonna like it.....totally fine by me.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by LML » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:10 pm

Teplin wrote:
LML wrote:I
LML wrote:like
LML wrote:anal
Sorry, couldn't resist. :twisted: I think BLT has been rubbing off on me or something.

Seriously, though, it doesn't seem to me like the quoting has been malicious. More like good natured ribbing than mudslinging. That's just my take on it. And your opinion does matter.
I'm quoting your quote about quotes being manipulated while you manipulate my quote.

This is fun.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by New Southern Derek » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:39 pm

Manhattan Glutton wrote: New Southern Democrats - Well, you cocky bastards, I guess you deserved to be cocky. Good work. The vocals are great... except for a few off-key in the low register.
Thanks for your comments...should have done a few takes and actually comped a vocal, but my wife had made a bunch of food by then and I wanted to eat and drink beer. Single-take vocal tracks don't usually turn out as well as I'd like.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by bambamoozle » Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:56 pm

John Kloberdanz - Solid tune. Emotion of both the vocal & instrumental delivery never changes at all, even when the story arch in the lyrics sounds like it should. Lyrically, you leave a lot of 'fill in the blanks' in terms of specifics (divorce family strife, finding some happiness in the end, etc,) and maybe varying the emotional delivery in the music a little bit could help get that message across. If that makes sense.
Thank you for the feedback. Lines like "Looking at the empty walls and wishing I was free" and "I found Christ too late" are the clues that the song is being sung by someone in jail, who knows he is going to be there for a long time and so by the time he's out "the old days" would never be, as I put it. I thought that was more obvious than perhaps it will turn out to be, so I'll think about that for future recordings of the song.

The lack of musical hook, or lyrical resolution, or even change in vocal delivery, were all on purpose. I wanted to convey the feeling of hopelessness and sameness and emptiness. So I wouldn't change that to try and make it more interesting because in the end I'd defeat what I was trying to do, I'd rather have the song fail on it's own merits than fail otherwise.

In the self-satisfaction poll, though, this one is way up there. I could get one vote (my own) and consider this one a success.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Sober » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:21 pm

New Southern Derek wrote:Thanks for your comments...should have done a few takes and actually comped a vocal, but my wife had made a bunch of food by then and I wanted to eat and drink beer. Single-take vocal tracks don't usually turn out as well as I'd like.
YEAH YEAH, YOU JUST CAN'T DRINK WITH THE BIG BOYS IMO
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by deetak » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:24 pm

Phil. Redmon. wrote:
"we're fuckin' authentic."

anyway-

Abominominous - Thinkin' About The Old Days (Deetak Cover)

Thanks for the opportunity, Deetak.
!!! What a cover! I have been listening to it over and over. I don't want to clutter this thread with my praises for it so I'll send you a PM soon. Thank-you
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by ElaineDiMasi » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:35 pm

---------------------------
Thinkin' About the Old Days
---------------------------
Listening in a conference hotel with a laptop and iPod earphones, so I probably won't be too badly distracted by production this time, kickass or otherwise ...

Berkeley Social Scene - I like the slouchy vibe and the way the vocal and guitar at the beginning give each other equal amounts of space. The two-part vocal that comes after is well chosen, too. Somehow the odd moves in the intervals reinforce the line "life can move in strange ways". This is probably my favorite from you guys, my previous favorite was a synth-heavy one and look, you give me a cool synth bit in this one too! Your priority for revision is to figure out how to ramp up to that "YEAH!" thing at 3:20 better, because what's there sounds like a placeholder.

Chadderandom Abyss - The trouble with your rhythm-less style and detuned guitar is that they make all your recordings "sound the same", but they're not really the same. This is one of the ones I like a little better. I think it's because of the really direct statements like "we ain't afraid to do it ourselves don't need any help" and "I sure did miss you".

Chopped Liver Meat God - I heard (and reviewed) the Paco version first and I didn't hang out in the prefight thread to see any talk about this if any. I don't really dig Cake-style songs, they're boring unless they're brilliant. Which is very seldom. I hung out in this until I heard fajita, taco and then I waited for the shout-out to Paco that was obviously coming.

Death Be Not Proud - There is nothing much new under this sun. I mean, not to be glib, but there it is, sounding just kind of thrown-together here. Are you a band? The refrain has little connection to the verses. It doesn't sound like the lyrics got much scrutiny. But you guys sound like you could have a lot of fun. Write and post some more.

Deetak - Trying to stay in the drama with you, but it's hard. Is it just a performance/recording thing, like that you're missing the orchestra you need? Or is the lyric also not dramatic enough for its drama? Can't tell because it's too hard to pay attention to all the words.

DuToVa - I always turn your stuff up louder compared to the rest. I just like new wave music so much, even if it's really simple. Which the first half of this song totally is. I would have rather something a little more unique were in your choruses here. I'm happier after 2:25 when it sounds like something more unusual is happening. Nice piano chime exposed at the very end. Maybe I'll do that next time.

Fartin' in the Club -

Hell Yeahs - Thanks for the secret decoder ring, did you get all like that even before a wedding procession went marching through here? ;-) So, what is it about nostalgia lyrics that make people pack such a full list of things into the lines? Lots of the songs are doing that this week. So basically the song is groovy, but the massive amount of detail makes me say "I guess you had to be there" until you sing "one way ticket to hell but but we're still together", which is the main place that I think there's maybe something where someone else can relate. Some songs can't go everywhere, I guess.

Hendermann - The piano intro was a bit of a turnoff, like "Oh God American Idol ballad coming". Once the vocals started there was no problem with that, and it gets more creative at 0:50. So I wouldn't know how to fix the beginning to match. The little country thing at 1:27 sounds cool - hey, I bet you could put an element of that into the piano intro. Instead of 4 bars of 8th notes it could be three bars of them followed by that little country da-da-da-da-da thing, to give that bit some spark and not sound like Coldplay threatening to drone on too long. Because the song is nice, I especially like the vocal trading-off. Color changes are great too.

Hot Wire - Took the phones out my ears, ow. Dunno. The chorus is hooky with those harmonies in it. Is this too evil? No, I like it it's not too evil. Vocals development gets cooler on repeated listens. The background synth line in the chorus is neat, too. Would need a Trent Reznor genius to make the rest of the electronic background sound good and fill more of the space, though, because it should be bigger-scary than this, but still kind of empty-scary.

Humboat and R. Mosquito - Oh, man. [goes away to another song for a while then comes back to this review] You know, this is a good place to mention that you always do what some amateurs skip - you leave the characters somewhere they definitely were not at the beginning of ths song. In this case - oh, man.

John Kloberdanz - I'm not crazy about lyrics which are this easy to understand, unless something else exciting is happening.

Johnny Cashpoint - This isn't charming at all, I don't care about the character or the character he's talking to. And, you know, this is an example where I totally don't know anything new about the situation at the end of the song than I did after verse 1.

Larry - Charismatic opening. I like that drop-down-one in the "didn't care about time" progression, the sixties vibe overall. "We defined love from the depths of our love" is nice! Other repetitions/twists throughout this are nice, I really like not knowing what's coming next in the lyrics. Now I want to do something like this - go for some more elliptical lyrics of my own and get Slats to play me some sixties guitars... anyway, here I'm also getting the feeling that I know a little more about the character at the end than I did at the beginning, which is good.

Larry Knox - Phrasing not special. Emphasis (strong beats and high notes) on a ton of simple connecting words all through the verses. Chorus is better this way, emphasis is on verbs and unique words "thinkin, remembrin", "reckless". In verses the emphasis falls on "that", "this", "like" etc a lot. The melody and music is ok, not blazing any new trails. Arrangement sounds "nice", it's a little more dramatic than the lyrics hold up to. I notice that you remember her name at the end, finally?

Lucky Spoon - Sounding a bit like Toad the Wet Sprocket to me especially at 1:05 (mild compliment). I like the use of a lot of different guitar textures. Most of the color changes sound great! The lyrics/vocals didn't reach and and grab my attention until 2:10. Maybe the lyrics have a lot of spots which are poetic rather than natural sounding, phrases like "deep within", "our sweet harmonies would warmly", "remember the years / tears / joy and pain / quickly wane" but at the same time, they aren't really that unusual or surprising. A strange middle ground of neither conversational nor weird that gives an impression of cliche, even though they're chosen much more carefully than that.

Manhattan Glutton - I like the chorus, the way it twists into a major chord. Sounds like Puddle of Mudd (from me a compliment). Nothing much to get into in whatever they were up to in the list of things in the verses.

Miss Fancy Pants - Well this is a bit pretentious. You were playing oboes when you were young, so you probably think you have a sense of humor but really don't. It's not all bad. Some of the melodies/harmonies are actually really lovely, but then followed by others which are kind of new-age synth-strings with words shoehorned into place. As for lyrics, the high drama of the middle sections isn't really supported by the things being done in the intro and outro bits. Maybe rework this as a better instrumental? Or a much better story?

Naked Philosophy - The style sounds coherent. I mean, the way everything's being played works together without fighting, which I think is great. I like the way the bass part moves it along. I think it's the bass that makes it hooky rather than the vocal lines which are kind of monotone. "Seeing red was all the rage" rhyming with "act our age" is nice! The outro tries but isn't brilliant. Good sounding simple song.

New Southern Democrats - Wow, after all that bloody hype I wasn't prepared for that newgrass sound. I like bluegrass/newgrass a ton and southern rock fine. That little extra pluck descending at 0:16 is cool! Opening verse/vocal holds my attention. Anyway, so, at 0:49 I was hoping it darn well would kick in hard now, but that didn't happen until 1:05. When it did, ... I'm going to listen a few more times. Ok, I think I wanted "where do we go from here?" to be something else. Something that rocks as hard as the band. Some phrase I haven't heard quite so many thousands of times in my life already. It's fine the first time it happens and I like the second verse at its more rocking level but then - where do you go from here? Not far enough! I wanted to hear more strong lyrics and another electric guitar doing huge long howl notes across the last phrases of chorus, before, during, and after guitar solo.

Noah McLaughlin - I can get that your vocal style might not be everybody's thing, but I think you make really good choices between sections, heading up to hang in higher notes here, lower ones there. None of the small sections of melody are big/anthemic, but taken across long sections what's happening really is. Your singing is resonant, I'm not 100% sure why it gets lukewarm ratings from people. I dig your phrasing too: had a look at your lyrics on the board before I heard the recording and I shrugged at them. But in the recording they scan really well and feel like they go places. The overall color of what you play and how your voice sounds is just, well, I'm a fan for no good reason I just am! Finally, I like the way the bass line shows through in many places between phrases.

Paco del Stinko - It's charming. Somehow the amount of nostalgia in the music matches the lyrics and the silly la-la-la matches the fact that none of it was deep. So this totally works. Except the 2:15 bridge thing which is - well, anyway it's over fast and delivers me back to the la-la-la. So, "groovy & out". Nice synth tail, too.

Ramen-Flavored ROMs - Had to go read the lyrics, which isn't a plus, not sure 100% of the blame can be on the microphone. Okay, this is kind of micro-clever and micro-engaging, but at the macro scale it's a why-should-I-care and not really musically interesting.

reconsiderate + mr scott - I really must travel with real headphones instead of earphones if I'm going to do SF reviews, so I can shove them back off my ears more quickly. Ok, no problem to listen to this once, plenty of little engaging things, but I can't add anything or be a fan afterwards. Micro cleverness, macro yeah whatever.

Ross Durand - Overall I like it. When the verses get list-y I've a slight allergic reaction, but there are lots more plusses: the way the slide guitar leads from one phrase into another; the way the chorus puts extra elements in I didn't expect, like the "so did I"; and the music overall, and isntrumentation, especially where vocal harmonies push it along nice and full.

Steve Durand - Happy and jokey. Why, why, why can't people write to this topic without listing listing listing things in their verses??? But I gotta say your "nostalgia for the way things never were" line is ACE. I must say, I love the way we can't be nostalgic any more. We can't! Just look it up on Wikipedia if you forgot what it was, and follow the links to YouTube or eBay if you want to watch it again or buy one. Remember when we used to be nostalgic?

Surf Train Surf Industry - Earphones removed ow. So, this reminds me of the anti-smoking commercial with the voice-over through a - vocoder? - while a guy with a laryngectomy is carefully taking a shower without getting his throat wet - then surprise, he's a cancer survivor witha voice prosthesis. Is that what this is about?

Todd McHatton - Kind of a pleasant rhythm jam. Cool sounding musical sections, maybe not my favorite flavor of lyrics to ride me through them. Now that I think about it the musical sections feel kind of like going from one room to another in a house, touring a kind of fancy house with lots of textures in it, but kind of just because it's something that you do when you're in Savannah, not like you're planning to move in or whatever. And I definitely feel like I went in through one door and out through some other door on another side. Did I even see the whole thing? Should I tour it again and look for other doorways?

Tungsten Chic - By 0:40 I was thinking it's kind of cool that this sounds like the vox are in, even though just wordless instruments. Do you think there's any way to have actual backup vocals in it with the foreground still instrumental and sneak words into this kind of piece in that way? The sound is a bit too candy-coated for repeated listens but it's interesting when new.

Weakest Suit - Just for the record, I rarely listen to your tracks last, ok? ;-) Setup into the chorus is nice and rockabilly. Something about the melody of the verses bugs me, landing on the root at the ends of phrases, like "when I'm talking to you", and I think you do this a lot and it usually doesn't work for me. The lines sound prematurely finished or something. makes stuff choppy. Things works better when you take the words over the edge of one song section and drag them out into the next one, I think. I hate "I'm sure it wouldn't matter anyway", personal peeve hating this in songs, sorry!

Good fight. I'm not voting until the last minute, and I'm downloading most of it to my SF playlist.
Last edited by ElaineDiMasi on Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:16 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by New Southern Derek » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:54 pm

Sober wrote: YEAH YEAH, YOU JUST CAN'T DRINK WITH THE BIG BOYS IMO
I taught you how to drink. And someone should put a breathylzer on your computer.
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Billy's Little Trip » Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:23 pm

Teplin wrote:
LML wrote:I
LML wrote:like
LML wrote:anal
Sorry, couldn't resist. :twisted: I think BLT has been rubbing one off on me or something.
*hands Teplin a wet-nap* :P
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Teplin » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:17 pm

So that's why I kept sticking to my recliner
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Larry Knox » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:06 am

Larry Knox - The sustains on your vocals are very wobbly. And maybe it's just me but they seem panned right, which is not very endearing. The chorus could use harmonies. Overall a solid composition.
Thanks Manhattan for this review. You know you have a great ear. I agree with everything.

- I sing terribly and at 51 I can't hold a note worth a damn, plus AutoTune can make it worse. If I had the time I would edit them more carefully.

- Another production error on my part with the panning. I just bought new monitors and I didn't notice that the volume on the back of one was down and I over compensated trusting my ears rather than the meters. Didn't discover it until I heard it the next day on my laptop.

- I didn't want to further ruin the song with my vocals by adding harmonies. I can do them and you are right the song could use them so I used the harmonica and synth to somewhat emulate some harmonies and fills. I hope to start collaborating with a buddy of mine who can sing and expand my horizons in the future.

Thanks for the constructive and specific review.

Larry
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by Larry Knox » Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:22 am

Larry Knox - Phrasing not special. Emphasis (strong beats and high notes) on a ton of simple connecting words all through the verses. Chorus is better this way, emphasis is on verbs and unique words "thinkin, remembrin", "reckless". In verses the emphasis falls on "that", "this", "like" etc a lot. The melody and music is ok, not blazing any new trails. Arrangement sounds "nice", it's a little more dramatic than the lyrics hold up to. I notice that you remember her name at the end, finally?
Elaine,

Thanks so much for the well thought out review. I never thought of crafting lyrics in this way and I will in the future.

I decided to stay in my comfort zone musically on this one (Green 11 took it's toll) so I agree, not cutting edge for sure.

Not quite sure if you liked the fact that the protagonist finally remembered her name or not. I wanted it to be a kind of surprise to the listener and an admonition that he knew it all the time but had to bury it to move on. So maybe kind of a resolution.

Thanks again,

Larry
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Re: Thinkin' about Some Reviews

Post by j$ » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:48 am

ElaineDiMasi wrote:Johnny Cashpoint - This isn't charming at all, I don't care about the character or the character he's talking to. And, you know, this is an example where I totally don't know anything new about the situation at the end of the song than I did after verse 1.
Ha! This is possibly my second favourite review I have received in 5 years of SF (only just topped out by Jim of Seattle's 'Washing Up Liquid poured on chocolate cake' comment)!

Unsurprisingly - i disagree and think your points are disengenuous - it's not meant to be charming, it's an honest statement of opinion not a character song, and I don't think a lyric HAS to evolve, though I'm not opposed to it.

I am not saying you're wrong - and as an ol' gay punk with a ukelele, give me passion one way or the other, every time!

This is all by way of saying that I will try and get some bloody reviews out today, even if I have to sneak 'em out at work.

j$
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