Circle of Titles VII

Discuss the many little competitions/projects that spring up amongst the Song Fight community.

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Posts: 1153
Joined: Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:03 pm
Instruments: Vocals, guitar
Recording Method: REAPER, Steinberg UR44
Submitting as: Jan Krueger
Location: near Aachen, Germany

Re: Circle of Titles VII

Postby jast » Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:01 pm

Since no more songs seem to be forthcoming... reviews! Yay!

Forgiveness by Pigfarmer Jr (suggested by inflatable vegetables): nice song, slightly repetitive but still acceptable. Pleasing arrangement, drums maybe a little too weak in comparison to everything else. The only thing that bugs me is the many, many downward bends on vocal phrases which I think are a little overused.

Sweetest Trails by Lichten Throat (suggested by Vom Vorton): This suffers mainly in production, partially because of the rather fake-sounding guitars and drums - but well, we can't all afford our own full band, right? Vocal melody is a little hard to make out. As for writing, I like the general idea, there's just a few things that I find somewhat debatable. (1) The drum patterns are very, very repetitive but then you have these strong variations between various sections - one with machine gun kick (and later occasional hi-hat/cymbal hits), then suddenly a very traditional 8th rock pattern. Doesn't really gel that well for me. Also virtually no fills and accents and such, compounding the impression that the drums are entirely programmed. (2) The rhythm of the drums and guitar is, at times, both very busy and almost identical, making the two compete with each other. Typically you'd handle this by having the guitar stuff slower or having it syncopate against the drums so both have their moments to shine.

Primitive by Johnny Cashpoint (suggested by Pigfarmer Jr): This is a fun ride and I like how you've mixed the various stylistic elements here. The main sticking point for me are the vocals which have a held back quality - nothing wrong with that, but it's done in a way that seems to have made pitch control a little hard. Also the mix could stand to be a little more forward.

Not Sorry by Micah Sommersmith (suggested by Nick Soma): Nice combination of instruments and all of the backing is very nicely done. The biggest problem here is that your vocals are a little off near the lowest note you're singing; all the slightly higher stuff is a lot better. Personal preference: I think the instrumental break could have used something a little more sustained either in the accordion thingy or as an additional instrument. Overall I like this song.

Arrowroot by inflatable vegetables (suggested by Enter It In The Art Show): Interesting mix of various things. It comes across as a little unbalanced to me - almost everything happens in the low to mid frequency ranges (which is a writing/arrangement choice that's very hard to treat well in a mix) and the cymbals seem a little muted. The "Arrowroot" hook is pretty nice.

Finally Found by Heuristics Inc. (suggested by Jan Krüger): Well that sure is a lot of ring modulation. Quite the eclectic combination of tracks/instruments. The chorus seems a little flat. Overall the song is a little low on variation and dramaturgy (in the music, not the words). It's a nice concept and I think you've done a good job of stacking synths and choosing elements, I just think you could have made even more from it.

Door Jam by Milo Dunderville (suggested by Suckweasel): Sublime combination of keys, bass and drums to start out with. Vocals fit very nicely, though I think EQing them to be slightly darker might have been the cherry on top. Overall the vocal melody is bordering on monotonous, nice use of background vocals to mix it up at least a little. The "you do / voodoo" rhyme is cheeky. The last minute seems a little uninspired. All in all a nice song, though.

Two-Toned Chimera by Skub (suggested by Lichen Throat): Cool way to integrate the "two-toned" musically - strong opening. I think the vocals would sit in the mix better if they were a little widened. Melody is fairly repetitive and I would have wished for something like an extra bridge section or a more strongly modified verse section to shake it up a little. Still, good job.

Strategies to Live by Sockpuppet (suggested by Cookie Blue): Ooh, a happy song! Yay! Solid writing and my main complaint, other than vocal difficulties, is that the playing is, occasionally, almost painfully loose.

Too Short; Didn't Read by Jan Krüger (suggested by Johnny Cashpoint): Third time in a row that I got my title from J$. This can't be a coincidence anymore, right? I've been wanting to do a little more electronica so I took this opportunity. Initially I went for the other title I got ("Tips on How to Win at Life") but I didn't get past a hook for the main line of the chorus. The title I ended up choosing didn't really speak to me much, so I ended up winging it with the lyrics and just went with the flow. This is the first song I tried my new big package of virtual synths on, and the first after I finally started understanding guitar tone (if you listen closely you'll find traces of guitar in three places). That happened when I got myself a second electric guitar, but I ended up using my first one for this song because I needed something a little more strat-y.

Glacier by Vom Vorton (suggested by Milo Dunderville): I'm immediately classifying this as a very specific genre... which I don't know the name of. Other than finding the bass/saturation a little overbearing, and finding the synthesized open hi-hat a little too in-your-face, I find this nice to listen to.
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