Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by Cybronica » Thu May 30, 2019 8:09 pm

Re: the above, it seems to me that since the podcast reviews are done before their final rankings, things can change between recording and judging. It gives it a first impressions/final thoughts effect. I kinda like that, cause it means you get to see the thought process. Maybe it would help if podcasts were recorded after ranking were released? But that gives them little time to finalize, and I know a lot of effort goes into making the podcasts, so that might not be feasible.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by glennny » Fri May 31, 2019 2:46 am

There's just too much Spin Tunes in our Nur Ein this year. Nothing against Spin, I think he has come over to the Nur Ein culture. Chumpy and Ryan however are way too nice. I mean that in the most insulting way possible , they are too nice. What is precious and wonderful about Song Fight and Nur Ein is the criticism. It's almost always constructive, but it's rare in the online music world.

I appreciate the judges! I thank them for their efforts!

I knew Faster Jackalope would probably be cut once it was clear that I would be doing the bulk of the lead vocals. The whole business plan for Faster Jackalope is glennny music with Truth and Frisbee melodies and vocals. That said, I really liked how it turned out. I'm not surprised to be cut, though I don't know that I could be surprised with anyone being cut. i would have cut Vowl Sounds, Agony Sauce, Frank, and Grumpy Mike most likely. Though the Grumpy Mike cut would be hard to do because it's such a great song, I just didn't get the title tie in, even after explanation.

Quick reviews and how I would have ranked them:
If I were a judge You'd have to meet the challenge and meet the title, but rhythms and melodies and chords are what compels me to music. I'm irritated by the gimmicks: like the Agony Sauce cumulative challenge thing, or the Vowl Sounds Ouija-verse thing. I like chiptunes. Though I think of it as an instrumental genre. So the whole challenge of "elements of chiptunes" is kinda weak.

1- Rain Watt- Why is she immune from winning? This song is awesome. It also proves she's not one note. Though I really liked the song she won for last round, I thought that was her weakest of the Nur Ein. This one I liked the most. It rocks. It's indie rock gold. Love it.

2- Max Bombast- Great rhythms, great melodies, holy s*^%#t awesome singing! This rocks! nothing to criticize.

3- Merisan- Wow! Vocals are so awesome, melody is catchy! I love the dive in to chiptunes. My only criticism is I wish there was space somewhere in the music. There are no rests whatsoever. Just a small tweak would make this stronger and the clear winner I think.

4. Faster Jackalope- This is where I think our song would fit in. Everything that didn't work for Spin and Chumpy (and Geech) works for me, I mean I wrote it so obviously. That's why I wrote it that way. If only Frisbee or Truth or Melvin could have sung instead of me. BTW Melvin has not been heard from since round zero. Anybody in contact with him?

5- BSS- I love Geech's vocals, the band is tight. I like the story. I agree some of the actual lyrical lines are cringy, but now since Geech explained they were supposed to be, I like them a little more. I love the bloops and bleeps!

6- Nick Soma- Excellent ode to chiptunes. The vocal melody rides a little too close to Toto Africa, which bugs me. Overall a very cool tune.

7- Sunday Colors- Wonderful vocals, wonderful lyrics. Great use of the bloops and bleeps. There is a very narrow way you play guitar. Have you considered the up stroke? I keep wanting to add drums and bass to all of your entries. Would that be offensive? This is my favorite of your entries!

8- Rachel Layne- Very cool song. I don't think the chiptune-ness does it any favors. I think the straight up rock instrumentation would make this a lot better.

the ones I'd cut-

9- Grumpy Mike- Cut due to lyrical stretch to meet the title. This would pain me. Maybe I wouldn't go through with it, and let it survive. If there were no title restriction and no challenge restriction, as a pure song this might be my favorite? top 3 anyway.

10- Frankie Big Face- On my 1st listen I was thinking this is my favorite of the fight. That's because I was listening to the verse. The verses are awesome. the lyrics are clever, great lines! Production sounds amazing! Then the chorus comes, and for me, it falls off a cliff. I resent counting in songs as a device for the chorus, days of the week, etc. A rewrite of the chorus lyrics and this would be my favorite of the fight. I hope you do shadows, because some of your entries have been spectacular.

11- Agony Sauce- Crazy talented you are. I just don't like these artistic choices. The staccato verse delivery I find annoying. I like the chorus, but I'm not in to all the rhythms and sounds to get me there. My favorite part was the guitar solo, but it was way too short and mixed way too low. All that said, I'm glad you're still in it, because I generally love your music and I look forward to what comes next!

12- Vowl Sounds- Beautiful production on a snooze fest of a song. I find the beats boring and the melodies kinda boring. I am irritated and impressed with the sticking to the oujia-verse lyrical thing. This is a skip for me on most runs through the fight. It has racked up the most " I need to give this another chance to try and see what the hell everyone likes so much about this track" listens. Doesn't work for me. However, In general I love your music and I look forward to what happens next.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by vowlvom » Fri May 31, 2019 3:11 am

Ha, well I'm glad you're not a judge this year, glennny! We're all in on the Ouija-verse thing and cannot be stopped! But hopefully you'll enjoy our next song more, it's more uptempo anyway.

I did a personal ranking in our Vowl Sounds email chat and none of the songs that I ended up putting in the bottom four were bad at all, this is one of at least three rounds so far where I've been impressed by every song, and ranking comes down to personal preference and tiny perceived quality differences between the songs. I think comparing songs to previous entries from the same contestant comes into play as well (it does for me at least) - I quite liked the Faster Jackalope, BSS and Frankie songs from this round but I vastly preferred previous entries from all three which would count against each of you if I was judging. Is this fair? I don't know.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by glennny » Fri May 31, 2019 3:28 am

@ Ryan-

BSS has won 5 rounds of Nur Ein over the years:

Headphones- Ken Vocal
Boilermaker- Glen Vocal
Walking on Eggshells- Erin Vocal
Unnecessary- Glen Vocal
A Sense of the Absurd- Ken Vocal

clearly we should lean on Glen and Ken vocals!

I'm just kidding. I know I'm by far the weakest vocalist. However I take issue with your characterization of Martin's and Ken's vocals. I love Martin's vocals, especially in a live situation. I also love Ken's vocals, he's got great character to his voice. Nothing against Lunk or Geech, I love their vocals too. This is a very subjective thing you are talking about. I have collaborated with many vocalists, and with every single one of them I have heard "I don't like that persons vocals" and "I love that person's vocals" about the same vocal performance. People have different tastes. I have even heard of people hating U2, and this one exploded my mind: someone hates David Bowie. Some people hate Alice Cooper (which is nuts, if you ask me). I take a lot of heat for not liking the Clash and loving ELO.

love the podcast! Tell Chumpy to respond to his email please.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by owl » Fri May 31, 2019 9:23 am

glennny wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:46 am
I'm irritated by the gimmicks: like the Agony Sauce cumulative challenge thing, or the Vowl Sounds Ouija-verse thing.
Maybe you could try just ignoring the existence of the "gimmicks" if they annoy you? ;)

Up until this point at least, with the exception of the one line that explicitly mentions the Ouija board in Pump the Brakes, I've generally tried to make these work as standalone songs that still make sense lyrically without having heard any of the previous songs. (Kind of like in Grumpy Mike's diss track, where the references were worked in well enough that I wouldn't have necessarily known it was referring to a specific person without the meta from the boards/podcasts.) I mean, you're always clearly coming into the middle of a narrative, but you can say that about any song with personal lyrics about a given person's life. It seems like Agony Sauce is trying to do the same with making their cumulative challenge things feel seamless, and that's generally worked for me as well, although the spelling is the challenge that seems the hardest to hide.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by mo » Fri May 31, 2019 10:13 am

While I agree that in some senses the cumulative challenge thing could be just a gimmick, we are not really thinking of it that way. That is, we are not doing it because we think it will gain us some kind of game advantage or is that the fact of us doing this will get us extra points. I mean, if it does, great, But we are really doing this for ourselves, just because we can. There are definitely times when it is a lot of labor to try to incorporate every challenge to date, and trying to make it so that the challenges are still integral parts of the song and not just, as you say, gimmicks is pretty difficult, and maybe not always successful. But we are having fun with it so that’s all that really matters to us about that.

That said, if we do a song and the cumulative challenges comes across as too forced or gimmicky, I expect to hear about it from everyone. Possibly violently, although I hope you will direct your ire more at Glenn than me haha

As a side note, if you can recognize Phrygian Dominant then perhaps it’s not as obscure a scale as you make it sound, Chumpy! While I get what you’re saying, it’s a little bit funny to me because I have already used not only harmonic minor modes but much weirder scales in this competition. And you love those solos hahahaha. But seriously, I don’t do these things just for the hell of it, in this case because of the chiptunes, I wanted to do something that was very guitar for the solo as a contrast, but that would still fit the tonality of the song. So in my mind, using an Arabic type scale was actually about the math, Arabic numerals, al-gebra, etc etc. Whether that was successful or not is of course completely fair game for everyone to judge for themselves. Like the cumulative challenges thing, I can totally understand if someone thinks that is too cute or cheesy, or just a bad decision. But I had fun with my Ebow so there hahaha
Last edited by mo on Fri May 31, 2019 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by mo » Fri May 31, 2019 10:49 am

Just to memorialize some thoughts about the other songs in this round, I really liked the BSS song, I thought it was very hummable and would totally be a song I would be happy to listen to in the car.

I also quite liked the Faster Jackalope song, but at the same time it wasn’t something that I felt like I needed to listen to again. I of course like all the gear shit. I would’ve maybe been more attached to it if I felt that it was using the gear as an metaphor for a relationship or something. Guitar solo is burning. Love your tones dude, sincerely.

Frankie, as usual I just like the Big Face. It’s a good lyric, a good performance as usual, you always do a good job of putting in little details to personalize these pop progressions. I am not a huge fan of the way that the guitar solo sounds a little out of control, both Tonalli and rhythmically. If I’m honest, I am a little surprised that this is the song that you got eliminated on, as I would’ve thought last week’s song was a more likely culprit.

Grumpy Mike: I really like this song a lot, very catchy high energy, all that good stuff. I don’t particularly care about the title issue, but I think it could have been more explicit. This would be an amazing car song. I don’t always like your vocals, but in this song they really work.

Merisan: I don’t have much to add from what anyone else has said about this song either, it is of course very catchy, with excellent use of the required elements, and the vocal work is very captivating as usual.

Max Bombast: you do you. To be honest, I basically feel like you do the same thing every week and it’s really good but I don’t really need to hear anymore. Then again part of the reason I’ve never been that successful as a musician is that exactly the fact that my thinking is quite peripatetic, and that I probably don’t ever write the same thing on a day-to-day basis, so I guess more power to you.

Thee Sunday Colors: in a Competition like this one, guy and guitar songs always have an uphill battle against songs that are more fully arranged, with more production (and also best singers tend to float to the top). That’s a bit of a shame in this case because you have what could be a great song lyrically.

Nick: I actually thought that this song, in this style would actually benefit from a rawer production. This could almost be a Fifteen song. It’s fun and boppy. The ending needs backing vocals or something to rocket launch it to the next level.

Rachael: I heard this song while it was still in production, loved it then, loved it now. It's simple and lovely. It relies like the best Rachael songs do, on her voice, and uses it damn well.

Vowl: I heard this and knew it would be the winner of the week.

Rain: then I heard this and thought well, if Rain didn’t have immunity this would be the winner of the week.

I know I say this all the time, but this week would be pretty difficult to eliminate four and feel totally good about it. I would've eliminated Faster, Sunday, Nick, and probably Max. The reasons would be that those are the songs that didn't stick with me as things I want to listen to again, which is really the only criteria I use.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by Lucky Spoon » Fri May 31, 2019 1:18 pm

Top Tier If your song is in this list it was interesting enough to me that I listened to it several times all the way through.

Grumpy Mike - Love the message. Is this a sequel to my positivity song? The mix is just really good (can tell even more so as I flip through songs in the list). Bass and chipsynth sit perfectly in their spot. Guitars come in at the right level with a nice double stereo track. I like the sh-- censor with the coin sound. I agree the lyrics were risky maneuver the way the judges have been sticklers about the song titles, but you made it to the next round so all is well.

Max Bombast - Love this one. It pumps me up! Intro has that tecmo superbowl vibe and the full band coming in realy rocks it out. The added layers on each chorus are perfect. Probs my fav song this week. My only critique is the verse vox feel like they're fighting the tempo sometimes (e.g. verse 1 feels like the band is almost rushing).

Rain Watt - Wow! My favorite song of yours yet. I think the thing I like the most about this one is the instrumentation just has a happy feel to it... Like a "maybe not everything's perfect but it's going to be ok" hopeful vibe. I really like how the chiptune sounds were used.

Vowl sounds - I like that you used nothing BUT chiptune/electronic stuff. Vocals are good and match the mood of the song/lyrics. Hopefully this is not your story of being the cheatee and if it is there wasn't too much of a fallout.

Not Top Tier I probably didn't listen to your song enough to give it a good review and I'm sorry.

Frankie Big Face - I like what you did in the verse. Has a smooth laid back groove and I like the bass. The opening riff is good too, I like the novelty of the windows error noise mixed in but its clash with music is a bit tough to take.

Merisan - nice harmonies on the chorus.

the Sunday Colors- the vidya game sounds are a good addition to you G&G style. I'd like to hear more of your songs fully produced. Can hear the size of the room a bit in your vocals. Might want to do a bit more sound proofing? (The blessing and curse of a fancy new mic... I had the same problem).

Agony Sauce - the vocals sound really good. You have a good voice for this (which goes beyond just being a good singer). Not something everyone is blessed with. Hard to get into the midi style beat/groove.

BSS - liked the chiptune intro. Sounds almost like a guitar with FX.

Faster Jackaplope - song builds to some good grooves. The shaky vox over thing single midi beeps for the verse is a bit too campy for me.

Rachel Layne - Good acoustic playing and good vocals (like your rockstar voice). The electronic drums/beat don't quite mesh with the song.

Nick M. Soma - Creative melodies and good composition to put them together.

On Judging

I wouldn't say judging has been perfect, but I enjoy a bit of the chaos that results when unexpected rankings come in. If everyone can take it in stride it makes the contest a bit more exciting when you aren't 100% sure who's going to get cut next round based on what you think of the songs. Kinda like in Mario Party when they give out stars at the end of the game. I do think it would be helpful if judges would write reviews along with ranking the songs so we get a snapshot of what drove them to choose what vs reviews a week later when they've changed their minds on songs, but even that makes things more interesting sooooo... ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by bennyharv3 » Fri May 31, 2019 2:21 pm

Sorry we are so late this week; I have been sick off my butt, so we didn't even record until yesterday. I also edited on a plane, so if there are some sound issues, let me know! New Ugly Round 4!

http://podcast.songlander.com/?name=201 ... in14-4.mp3
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by Spintown » Fri May 31, 2019 3:12 pm

After running SpinTunes for 7 years or so, and judging Nur Ein multiple times, there is one thing I KNOW about judging. People will take issue with reviews & results no matter what. It's 100% subjective & sometimes it's hard to justify where you put things in your ranking to yourself, justifying it to others who have a stronger connection to the song just isn't going to go well all the time. I've had people complain about judges being too mean, too nice, too vague, using unfair criteria, reviewing in a poor format, not being qualified to judge, etc...etc... I don't think it's possible to make everyone happy. I'm not against feedback for judges btw, I just don't think everyone will be happy no matter what.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by glennny » Fri May 31, 2019 4:01 pm

@ Ben

First Cut is the Deepest is a Cat Stevens song, covered by Sheryl Crow.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by grumpymike » Fri May 31, 2019 4:01 pm

Spintown wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 3:12 pm
It's 100% subjective & sometimes it's hard to justify where you put things in your ranking to yourself, justifying it to others who have a stronger connection to the song just isn't going to go well all the time.
I agree. I don’t expect every judge to say “this is exactly what is missing from this song”. While some judges have been that involved in the music factory, some haven’t.

It can be so easy to criticize the obvious things if you don’t know why you don’t like a song, or you want to appear “kinder”, or you don’t have the time to dig into it. If a judge has mainly criticized my lyrics or challenge usage for these 5 rounds, I’m better off ignoring it than thinking better words or more chiptunes will solve it. That judge just doesn’t like my music, oh well.

Personally, I prefer a quaint, honest review over one in search of trivialities, and I actually like the randomness of the results. When (not if) I get cut, I can just say “aww those fickle judges! Stupid Nur Ein! At least I have some cool songs.”
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by theSundayColors » Fri May 31, 2019 4:14 pm

Agony Sauce - Would dance to in a club. The "I do this to remember" is really catchy, and in general the chorus is so good. I'm not a huge fan of that "sing in line with the drum beat" style, but it's a good song

Berkeley Social Scene - I really love that "yuddayuddayudda" chiptune sound, the one the song opens with. Your voice reminds me of SOME BAND I can't place, but it's on the tip of my tongue. It's in the way you incorporate that melody. It's very catchy, and I think the chorus is a bop despite comments here saying it's just the words "No Memory". You pull off the lyrics well, the sometimes trite lines ("pure as driven snow") absolutely work with your delivery. I will say - The lyric "Come see us, we'll help you" just doesn't sound right. Sounds like something I'd ad lib on a first take. It doesn't sound finished. It's like holding in a sneeze, why is that the lyric? Ahhh!

Faster Jackalope - Ahh, the popeye band! I've had that post-chorus guitar breakdown stuck in my head all day. The Pre-Chorus sounds like it's from a completely different song. As does the Latin bridge. The thing is, I like each element separately. Together, it feels like you have a room with too much furniture in it. I challenge you to work on this song and clean up some of the transitions, because there is something about this that I really respect. You haven't just shoved two verses and a chorus about memory loss down our throats and stepped away (like what I did). You had a vision for this song, and it's cool. Alternatively, do not take my advice and keep the song how it is, because who am I to tell you what to change about your art? "They are the way my temples gray" - I'm thinking about that line.

Frankie Big Face - Creative use of instrumentation. Can I say, your voice reminds me of songs I've heard from Cowboy Bebop. I'm never sure if it's Yoko Kanno herself singing, but my point is that I like your voice. Something about this song doesn't come together for me, the vocals feel so far away from the background. Or, more accurately, the background sounds really far away from your voice - That is, your voice sounds very clear, but the instrumentation doesn't sound like it's been mixed properly. The tune doesn't especially grab me, and the fade out confuses me at the end. I guess, I would expect the fade out to occur after some crescendo, but no crescendo ever came.

Grumpy Mike - It's a really solid song. I love the chiptune breakdown after the chorus. The chorus itself is really good, the verses aren't so memorable to me. It's possible I missed what they were about, but they seem sortof vague. The bridge I noticed right away is great lyricism, it's my favorite part. "And the courage to change what you can't" - This lyric knows how good it is :)

Inflatable Vegetables - You sound so much older than 7 years old, this is very impressive. This song is so cute and absolutely weird. I'm not sure I get the story, but it's compelling. This sounds like some weird video game soundtrack. Something about the ambient sounds in the background that just really fit that video game aesthetic.

Lichen Throat - I like the powerful drums during the chorus. I think there's too much dead space with that repeating bass line and *thump thump thump* of the drum. The vocals are...not my favorite.

Mandibles - This one is so strange, but it's so ambitious. It's this giant rock anthem, written about Zelda I suppose? I'm not versed in my video games, but I love that you haven't done a "paint-by-numbers" response to the challenge. There's a story being told here, and you're personifying the video game character well, and not just rehashing a video game plot. Same comment as for Faster Jackalope - you didn't just create a quick "verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus" that happens to be about memory. You're painting a picture, and it's clear you spent a lot of time on this.

Max Bombast - The start of this sounds like something from that old NeedForMadness racing game. Real rock n' roll, the kindof song I would make a "\m/" sign with my hand, and then my metalhead friends would roll their eyes at me for. I like the incorporation of Bohemian Rhapsody at the end - Really didn't see that coming.

Merisan - You've consistently been one of my favorites. I get serious ABBA vibes from this. Harmonies on "things we used to do in the dark" is soooo good. ALSO ALSO, can we talk about that "wo-oah" in the chorus? It's my favorite thing. Only caveat with this song, the droning of the chiptune is almost constant and it gets old after a few minutes. I know it's for the challenge, but your vocal harmonies (not the chiptune) are the selling point of your music, for sure. Wo-oah!

Nick Soma - I suspect you were dropped for not using chiptune enough. I like your voice, and have consistently throughout the competition. The refrain is so catchy, although the verses don't stand out to me.

Rachael Layne - The drum line is so catchy, haha. It's a nice blend of a country (I think country?) genre with this plodding "doink-cha" drum beat. I also agree with what some have said already - your use of the "no memory" lyric is refreshing and unique in that you're not just talkin' about memory loss like the rest of us :D

Rain Watt - It's tough to review this fairly, because I am holding you to a much higher standard than most here. Excellent song, and the first few seconds are sooooooooo catchy. How catchy? Sooooooooo. Your end is clean, too. And the lyrics aren't stupendous, but they are really good. This is a good song, it's tight. Good production.

The Sunday Colors - I am so pleased with how this song turned out. The lyrics, the story, the harmonies, the chiptunes, and incorporation of the pink noise and NASA audio. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief now that I'm out of the competition. Nevermind the challenge, this is my second favorite song this round.

Vowl Sounds - Annnnnnd my favorite. When I read the lyrics, I knew I was going to fall for this song. I would like to drown myself inside this song. You absolutely met and exceeded the challenge, the story is compelling and heartbreaking. "a black hole between this morning and the bar last night" - This lyric does a perfect job of combining elements of commonplace events (a trip to a bar), the surreal (the black hole as a metaphor for forgetting and feeling lost), and the anxiety (what happened last night? And what happened to you?") And the song ends with this chilling line of "we don't say a single word." I'm a huge fan of Courtney Barnett, but one of the criticisms of her music is that oftentimes she described mundanities without much of a purpose behind them. Like yes, you buy organic vegetables, but why should I care? With that said, I really enjoy Courtney Barnett. But ANYWAY there is a certain art to describing ordinary things, while also conveying the sadness, bewilderment, shame, anxiety, fear behind what's being written. And you do it so well in this song. Sonically, the dreamy vibes and watercolor instrumentation really trap me. And your voice. It's all just so good! I would listen to your music out of the competition, which I can't say for most here.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by Rachael Layne » Fri May 31, 2019 4:24 pm

We did an acoustic only version of my No Memory entry that is on Spotify as well if anyone would like to hear it minus the chip tunes.

https://open.spotify.com/track/24WwEwxn ... ghJgwYm70A
Music is love in search of a word...
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by theSundayColors » Fri May 31, 2019 4:28 pm

Cybronica wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 12:35 pm
Just about the nicest thing anyone has written about my music. Truly honored to have made you cry, and perhaps even moreso that you liked it before you understood the lyrics.

Chumpy wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 3:36 pm
You two always have really positive things to say, I appreciate it. The line about the given name is really important to me.

glennny wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:46 am
Have you considered the up stroke?
I laughed

Thanks so much for the kind words! Is that grumpymike? I have no idea who anyone is.



Thanks everyone for the kind words and constructive feedback. Sorry to be out of the competition so soon. I'll say a little prayer for the times I know we shared. And submit some shadow entries. It's all that I can do!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by Cybronica » Fri May 31, 2019 5:42 pm

I’m glad you guys liked it! If you want to hear me singing it, well, you can listen to my abysmal nur ein xi entry. I think they sound suspiciously similar.
https://soundcloud.com/kempson-abigail/ ... y-gladious


Also, Ben, at the end of the podcast you literally described our song pretty much to the letter. Glad to know we continue to not be as original as I think! Haha
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by grumpymike » Fri May 31, 2019 7:27 pm

theSundayColors wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:14 pm
The bridge I noticed right away is great lyricism, it's my favorite part.
I.. are you... sarcastic? :) I wish I could take credit, but it's basically the Serenity Prayer (used by Alcoholics Anonymous, often misattributed to St. Francis).
theSundayColors wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:28 pm
Is that grumpymike?
Yup.
theSundayColors wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 4:14 pm
Frankie Big Face - Can I say, your voice reminds me of songs I've heard from Cowboy Bebop.
You're thinking of Dog Guitar. (No this isn't really Frank, but I thought it might be when I first heard it...)

mo wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:49 am
I don’t always like your vocals, but in this song they really work.
Appreciate the comments. I'd be interested to know more specifically what works and what doesn't, if you've got it.
Last edited by grumpymike on Fri May 31, 2019 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by grumpymike » Fri May 31, 2019 7:32 pm

bennyharv3 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:21 pm
Sorry we are so late this week; I have been sick off my butt, so we didn't even record until yesterday. I also edited on a plane, so if there are some sound issues, let me know! New Ugly Round 4!

http://podcast.songlander.com/?name=201 ... in14-4.mp3
And for anyone that wants to hear me rip apart my own song, or know how I ended up with this song, or if you just want to hear me say "I love this" about almost everything I heard this round, I do so on the podcast. Thanks again to Ben, for being my partner in crime and editor while I whittle away at songs.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by mo » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:18 pm

grumpymike wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:27 pm
mo wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 10:49 am
I don’t always like your vocals, but in this song they really work.
Appreciate the comments. I'd be interested to know more specifically what works and what doesn't, if you've got it.
I don't think it's something I can generalize; if I get a chance later I'll listen back to your catalog from this Nur Ein and see if I can verbalize it.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by owl » Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:03 pm

I figured I should finally finish writing up my reviews tonight since shortly I'll be on to listening to the next round's songs... lots of good stuff here! I feel like I called every other song one of my favorites, haha. Also I wrote these up alphabetically so I apologize in advance to anyone towards the end of the alphabet who got short shrift.

Agony Sauce: I loved this one, one of my favorites of the round. (This song grew on me--the first time through I felt like it was a bit long, but I enjoyed it more every time I came back to it.) I thought it was really inventive and distinctive musically--I loved the jerky rhythms, including those kind of single-word stabs in the vocals, and the descending prechorus melodic line. The chiptune stuff worked really well and it was well performed and produced. I like this even more after hearing mo's original song this was sampled from--the vocal hook fit perfectly into the song, but was also radically transformed from the original (which was also cool, but 180 degrees from this track). Minor complaints: I found the lyrics pretty vague, but this was so enjoyable musically I didn't really care. The break didn't feel as interesting to me as the rest of the song, but it's short, so no big deal.

BSS: I love that bubbly intro synth riff, it's super tasty! The song itself as a whole felt a bit generic and just doesn't really grab me as much as your guys' last entry, though (which I don't know if I'll manage to get around to reviewing, so I will just mention here for now that I thought it was great). The harmonies are excellent, but the lead vocal sounds like it's in a somewhat awkward range, it seemed a bit strained to me. The lyrics were nicely structured, and I liked the advertisement concept, but I wasn't a fan of the simple "cry/goodbye"-type rhymes, and there were a few kinda clunky phrases in there like "an injustice she could never rid" and "trusting anyone remained so fraught." (Also, this is not any fault of yours, obviously, but I felt a bunch of entries for this round used the same "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" memory-wiping idea, and it ended up feeling less inventive than it would have otherwise. Fortunately, your song was first alphabetically, so it was still fresh when I listened to yours ;))

Faster Jackalope: This is fun and inventive, I really liked the pedal-related, off-kilter lyrics, and the choruses are ultra catchy and satisfying. However, the prechoruses just sounded messy to me, and I'm not a huge fan of the verses stylistically--they reminded me at first of children's songs and then, weirdly, of various Offspring songs where they do that kind of off-key singsongy thing over sparse instrumentation, like "Self Esteem" and "Why Don't You Get a Job". Not that this song sounds a lot like the Offspring, but it's one of those things that I couldn't unhear. I didn't really care for the use of the chiptune elements musically for the most part--the synths were a bit piercing, and I wasn't a fan of the way it followed the vocal line in the verses. But I did love the arpeggio in the Latin Bridge (and the whole existence of the Latin Bridge!) The English Bridge felt maybe unnecessary, and I thought the vocals there seemed a bit pitchy. (For the record, glennny, that was the only vocal issue I thought was worth commenting on... I know you mentioned thinking your vocals would be a problem but I thought they sounded good!) The part with the dropout to acoustic guitar was a nice touch. Anyway, on the whole, I thought this was a weird charmer, and thought it would do better in the rankings than it did! But glad to see you're in with a shadow for the next fight, I look forward to hearing it.

Frankie Big Face: Nice use of the Pac-Man death sound! This song was well put together and had a good groove. I liked that prechorus melody a lot, very hooky. However, I didn't care for the lyrics, which kind of turned me off to the song in general... the link of the "no memory" part to the rest of the lyrics seemed tenuous, and "childishly obsessed gamer" just seemed like a really shallow stereotype to make a whole song about--silly, but not quite silly enough to be funny to me. Prosody and rhyme-wise it worked really well, although a few words felt like they were just put in there to fit the rhyme scheme or meter--like "you think you're pretty smug" struck me as odd--usually nobody thinks they're smug, right? Someone else thinks they're smug. Or the Macintosh computer, which fits in beautifully syllable-wise, but... see Spintown's criticism about "who plays a FPS on a Mac from their couch?" (I'm sure it's possible but it does seem incongruous.) Anyway, I hope you'll find time to do shadows for the remaining rounds!

Grumpy Mike: I LOVE the main synth part on this one, it's a great hook! Catchy chorus, too. Unfortunately, I found the lyrics sort of preachy and condescending, I didn't really like that negativity, so that turned me off the song. The phrasing in the lyrics sometimes struck me as a bit strange, like it seemed like you were emphasizing the wrong syllable in words like "prob-LEMs" or "fashion indusTRY". I also didn't really get the connection to the title, despite your explanation. It seemed like it was clearly written for a "Click Here" prompt... Haven't gotten the chance to listen through the whole podcast yet, so apologies if you addressed this already.

Max Bombast: I like the mix--it sounds really wonderfully rich and full in my headphones. Although it's well performed, I wasn't a huge fan of your vocal style on this track, in a lot of places it seemed alternately nasal and super-plosive--those "p"s reminded me of your "p-p-p-pump the brakes" song where it seemed more deliberate. I did like the synth lines and the overall energy of this--the bendy parts are great. I think the lyrics would have appealed to me more if this was the first Max Bombast song I'd ever heard, but in the context of your other songs, this just didn't really stand out to me. I don't really understand the reason for the Queen reference.

Merisan: Very appealing, one of my favorites of this round--those vocals are gorgeous as usual, particularly the harmonies, and this is a lovely, catchy, hooky pop song. It did start to feel pretty repetitive to me--there's a nonstop crunchy kind of synth going through the whole song nonstop that was kind of tiring to listen to (the guitar part was different, I guess, but it also felt sort of out of place). The lyrics felt serviceable but kind of empty--so while it has excellent curb appeal, I don't think you'd get much more out of repeated listens to this song than what you get the first time through. Still! It's good stuff.

Nick Soma: This was my favorite song of yours to date this Nur Ein and another one of my favorites of the round--I just enjoyed listening to it, especially the chorus melody. (Maybe this is because according to Cybronica it sounds like our song! I guess I can see that but I didn't personally notice it. For the record, I also really like Africa by Toto, but also didn't pick out a particular similarity when I was taking notes.) I like the fuzzy guitars with the bubbly chiptune stuff. Although... I feel like this is a common comment of mine on a lot of these songs with regards to the synth stuff, but listening to the ultra-fast arpeggios through the whole song kind of wore on me. There was some odd squeaky thing happening off on the left that was kind of annoying as well. I didn't feel like it deserved to get cut, but I guess we're at that point in the contest now. Hope you find time to do shadows!

Rachael Layne: I listened to the acoustic version and vastly preferred it--the chiptune aspects just didn't feel like they belonged in this song at all. The presence of the synths kind of wiped out any subtleties from the guitar so it just sounded like the same thing being constantly strummed on the acoustic, which got tedious really fast for me... the non-chiptune version still has that repetitive aspect to it to some extent, but I guess it's easier to ignore it and focus on the vocals in a more traditional production. It's a good vocal performance as usual, but the song itself didn't really grab me musically or lyrically this time around.

The Sunday Colors: I feel like I keep saying this, but this is SO Mountain Goats-y but also it's cool because I love the Mountain Goats. Musically, it reminded me of "Up the Wolves" melodically in particular, and "Birth of Serpents" a bit as well. I really liked your lyrical take--wonderfully vivid and poignant imagery, loved the line "our spirits silhouetted by a dying star"--although also I found myself sort of confused by the song concept and picking it apart more than I should. I got the Mars Rover reference (instant emotional gut punch!), but I didn't understand what all the piano room business was even if I liked the lyrics, and I didn't understand the "no memory" aspect of the track, as it seemed like you were simultaneously describing a bunch of detailed memories of someone and then saying you didn't have any memory of them, which didn't make sense to me. The bloops and bleeps were worked in nicely--at first I was skeptical about them fitting with the G&G style, but repeated listens won me over. If I were just hearing this on an album I don't think I would have dissected it to death like this, I would have just sat back and enjoyed it, including the aspects I found mysterious, so I think the contest format kind of did the song a disservice in that way. This was another of my favorites from this round and I'm sorry to see you out, but I'm glad to see you're posting a shadow for the next round and I hope you stick around for regular Songfights post-Nur Ein too.

Vowl Sounds: I know we took a risk putting in a slow song this late in the game since we've heard plentiful "I don't like slow songs" comments from the judges so far, but I'm glad we managed to overcome that, and I liked that our instrumentation was 100% chiptune elements without just sounding like a Nintendo gone crazy.

I didn't respond to everyone in the thread previously so to those I missed:
@Cybronica, thanks so much for your lovely comments, I'm so glad you're enjoying the storyline and I always feel humbled when you pay a compliment to my vocals!
@Spintown, thank you for the thoughtful review and the honest feedback! Appreciated as always.
@mo, thanks for the short and sweet review! I like it.
@Lucky Spoon, glad you liked it! I won't comment on whether it's autobiographical but I hope you listen to our song in the next round.
@New Ugly dudes, I enjoyed hearing your speculation, I won't explain the plot of the song here, but the Jerks did a good breakdown of the lyrics if you listen to their review.
@Sunday Colors, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful review, I really admire your talent as a lyricist so I appreciate your input on the words. (Also, I really love Courtney Barnett.)

Rain Watt: Wonderful work as usual, I feel like I had a lot of favorites this time around, but this was THE favorite of the round for me! I love the music, the choruses are so incredibly good, and the chiptune aspects are so well done, that detuned/bendy solo with the guitar interplay is delicious. I think the lyrics aren't really my favorite of the ones you've put up to date, they seem a bit more vague/generic than usual, but the vocals are so nice where your voice soars up.

iVeg: I commented briefly on this already but I really loved the dementia-based lyrical take on the challenge (and I was surprised more people didn't go in that direction) and I thought it was nicely, sadly, subtly done, although maybe too subtle since it seems several people misunderstood it. I do wish the ending verse were a bit more structured, it felt more like free verse at that point than like lyrics. The production and tune didn't really do much for me, but I enjoyed the lyrical content a lot and appreciated your explanation of the reason for the Dutch references.

Lichen Throat: Glad to see you're back with a double-challenge entry! I like the droney arrangement here, although I found myself wishing you'd taken a more krautrocky kind of approach to the vocals to go with it. The timing/delivery on the chorus vocals is pretty good, but the verses are a bit loose. The samples are a bit hard to understand, but I also just really like the fact that you're sampling The Sugarcubes in a song about Bleak House. (Where did you go on vacation?)

Mandibles: This is really well performed, the vocals sound so warm and smooth and the little metal-ish guitar riffs are cool. I do have a lot of genre bias against the whole medieval fantasy-realm lyric and style so despite appreciating the skill and effort in the performance, this song is just not really doing it for me on the whole. I love the drop-out to chiptune + layered vocals parts though, those are very cool.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by lichenthroat » Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:58 am

owl wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:03 pm
Lichen Throat: The samples are a bit hard to understand, but I also just really like the fact that you're sampling The Sugarcubes in a song about Bleak House. (Where did you go on vacation?)
I went to Iceland, which was part of the reason for the Sugarcubes sample.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Four "No Memory"

Post by owl » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:02 pm

lichenthroat wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:58 am
owl wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:03 pm
Lichen Throat: The samples are a bit hard to understand, but I also just really like the fact that you're sampling The Sugarcubes in a song about Bleak House. (Where did you go on vacation?)
I went to Iceland, which was part of the reason for the Sugarcubes sample.
Oh but where in Iceland though? And did you eat hákarl?!
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