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