I sacrificed today's practice session for writing these reviews. I hope you appreciate that.
A pretty good round, all in all.
See my signature for details on how my ratings work.Bad Catholic Schoolgirls
-- Youch, that bass in the beginning is evil. Ah well. Reverb on vocals sounds cheap, and it really dominates the mix in a bad way. Some interesting little things in the arrangement, though all in all the arrangement is a bit boring. I don't think that's necessary in this genre, though I guess you see it very often. Telephone effect in the chorus is a weird choice; don't you usually want the chorus to have more weight than the rest of the song? I don't quite see from the lyrics how it would fit to have the chorus spoken into a telephone, either. It sounds much less convincing when the same effect is applied to both performers. AFG's vocals, by the way, could see substantial improvement in vocal technique. They're slightly nasal and they're lacking the little edge that makes vocals really cut through. I think you're trying to "push" the vocals to make them stronger; that doesn't work quite as well as the "right" technique. Ah well. Lyrics are fairly stupid, but at least in a clever way.
C:2 L:2 F:2 P:2 M:3 Total: 11/15Country Martyrs
-- If there is any melody, it's very hard to make out. Rather sparse arrangement, and the chorus is just plain weird. Guitar tone in the other parts is interesting, though sometimes it's so distorted that you can barely make out notes. Pop filter required. Timing could use a lot of improvement. I'll skip the rest; we've talked about it often enough.
C:1 L:2 F:0 P:1 M:2 Total: 6/15James Owens
-- Wow. Powerful intro. Vocals are a little bit flat in places. Great melody/progressions reminiscent of several great songs from the not-too-distant past. Hmm, I get the feeling that you're trying to change your vocal sound into something that it actually isn't. Relax! Overall, it's a little bit repetitive, but well within acceptable limits.
C:3 L:2 F:3 P:2 M:3 Total: 13/15Jan Krueger
-- This was pretty challenging. I'm only just getting back into playing keys; I had actual lessons when I was young but then I never played anything again. I had to do most of the keyboard takes way too often. Vocals seem to be getting better, though I only rediscovered good technique about halfway through the recording sessions, and I didn't have time to fix several parts of the vocals, such as the verses. The part that originally inspired the song, namely the instrumental break after the first chorus, ended up being rather boring... I spent too much time nicening up everything else. Anyway, all in all, I'm quite satisfied with this song.
Since someone asked, this was my setup for the song:
Performance: me on everything. Hardware: borrowed old MIDI keyboard without pressure sensitivity, Studio Projects B1 mic w/ pop filter, E-MU 0404 PCI audio interface. Instruments: Yamaha Strat clone (as bass, too, using an octaver). Software: REAPER as DAW, Jamstix 3 on fake drums (using the BonzoKit samples and Jamcussion), 4Front piano module VSTi, Efthimia Organ VSTi 1.4, SIR 1.0 VST reverb (and I realized just now that I had forgotten to turn off the cheap reverb I'd had on the same chain for quicker rendering while I was building up the song... ouch!), my own Stereo Pan VST, plus all kinds of plugins included with REAPER.Jeff DeSantis
-- This wants more bass, and the vocals might have liked a bit more saturation. With how comparably thin this sounds, it doesn't really grab me quite as much as I think it could have. Arrangement in the main parts is a little bit boring: everything is panned dead center and there's only that one rhythm guitar. Perhaps stereo-doubling it might be nice. How about pads? Overall development and changes in arrangements are pretty cool, though. Convincing vocals. Drum part is a bit boring... computerized?
C:3 L:* F:2 P:3 M:2 Total: 12/15the Jeremy Dean Band
-- Compared to everything else in the mix, the vocals sound rather thin. They're slightly nasal, too. Apart from that, very solid performances. Solid arrangement, too, and development as well... the problem (at least as far I'm concerned) is that it all sounds very... well... clinical, or perhaps minimal. It's like a textbook arrangement: everything that needs to be there, and no single thing more. All the little licks and such are just not there. How about little throw-ins, or backup vocals in some parts as the song develops? Just a thought.
C:3 L:* F:1 P:3 M:3 Total: 12/15Longfellow Street
-- Great performance all around. Fitting mix. Nice things in the arrangement/development. I totally don't like this kind of song, so I really don't want to give it full marks, but you just do it too well. Can I suggest something that might be helpful? No, I can't.
C:3 L:3 F:3 P:3 M:3 Total: 15/15Mister Mann
-- I hope you have a good excuse for everything being horribly out of tune. Hmm, looks like you don't. Guitar seems to be really overdominating in the mid-highs. Vocals are good, not great (occasionally a little bit flat; strainy). Timing on bass is not very good, but when it comes in, it does great things to the overall sound of the song. Tip: the panning of individual tracks doesn't have to stay the same throughout the song. The guitar, for example, would only have to be panned right when the pad/string thing comes in. Oh, and now both pad/string thing and guitar are in the right half. That's not so great. Pad in the ending goes on rather long. I love the melody/progressions. Conclusion: would benefit from more work in the arrangement/mix/tune-your-stuff department.
C:3 L:* F:2 P:2 M:2 Total: 11/15Nobody, et al.
-- Ooh, pretty guitar playing. Your recording equipment seems a bit lo-fi, but I won't hold that against you. I've made my opinion on this kind of singing quite plain before, but at least you're very good at it. I like this, though it drags on a bit. With an arrangement as simple as this and rather flat (dynamically and emotionally) vocals, there's not much you can do against that, I guess. Conclusion: this is a very nice songlet; for making it into the voting range, work a bit on development and structure.
C:2 L:* F:2 P:3 M:3 Total: 12/15Ross Durand
-- Great artwork. Nice to hear another piano-driven track from you. Some of the piano hits are comparably too loud; almost louder than the vocals. It feels wrong to compress piano in a piece like this, so perhaps it's more of a performance thing? The soft vocals somewhere in the middle (somewhere around 1:20-1:30) are bordering on wimpy; probably because the voice didn't quite kick in when it should have. Same thing again later.
C:3 L:* F:3 P:2 M:3 Total: 13/15Signboy
-- The panning oscillation on the vocals is horrible, and the effect (phaser?) is not very likeable either... but I figure it supports the story. The distorted guitar and vocals seriously obscure each other. Try doubling/panning the guitar. The harmonizing (and pitch locking?) is awesome. Great lyrics. Vocal timing in the chorus is a bit off in places.
C:3 L:3 F:2 P:3 M:2 Total: 13/15The Weakest Suit
-- Sing out, dammit! Easier said than done, I guess, but it's just so frustrating to imagine how great it'd sound and not seeing it happen. This song sacrifices musical interestingness for lots of lyrics, especially since there is no overall structural/arrangemental (ooh, that's a nice word) development worth mentioning. Might not necessarily be true, but I think it gives the impression that the song was written more for the benefit of the writer than the listener. The lyrics do come across as authentic, though.
C:1 L:3 F:2 P:2 M:3 Total: 11/15
I'm voting for: