Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by mo »

glennny - Celtics in 7. Even if I don't believe it, I'm gonna fake it til I make it (possibly next year)
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by mo »

It's a Vomnaissance!
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by furrypedro »

Pop Machine wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 2:10 am
All due respect, but what a load of crap.
I apologise for not going into more detail about what I didn't like about your song, but I didn't want to labour the point too much. I think that the idea that emotion and sensibility are detached from songwriting is nonsense. It is entirely valid to criticise a song for its sensibility and for how it conveys emotion. I agree that being tongue-in-cheek is absolutely a valid way of writing, but I simply didn't enjoy the way it was executed here. There was nothing in your lyrics, chord structure, production or melodies that convinced me that the song was superior to the rest of submissions this round. I'm not sure that's what you want to hear, but I feel I should provide further justification of my ranking for your song.

Regarding what you need to "conform" to; as a judge I get to be one of the arbiters for the criteria upon which the songs are ranked. So if I feel that a song that I connect with deserves a higher ranking than a song I don't connect with, then if you want to progress to the next round then yeah, you kind of do need to conform to my sensibilities in that regard. Outside of Nur Ein none of this matters and I sincerely hope you and others gain enjoyment from listening to your song(s), and of course in the non-Nur Ein context all you really should be aiming for is to satisfy yourselves. If you are offended by being required to write something that I will like then you have the choice whether to enter or not. You did enter, so I advise you to take it on the chin. I never said that you weren't trying, but unfortunately this time your song didn't land with me at all. Them's the breaks.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by jb »

Pretty sure the tone and approach you put into the post above is all they wanted in the first place. *shrug*
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by Pop Machine »

furrypedro wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:18 pm
I apologise for not going into more detail about what I didn't like about your song, but I didn't want to labour the point too much. I think that the idea that emotion and sensibility are detached from songwriting is nonsense.
Agree to disagree, as I think there are numerous examples of fantastic songs that virtually eschew overt emotion. However, I don't want to get into the weeds here, we all have our aesthetic preferences.
furrypedro wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:18 pm
It is entirely valid to criticise a song for its sensibility and for how it conveys emotion. I agree that being tongue-in-cheek is absolutely a valid way of writing, but I simply didn't enjoy the way it was executed here.

Well, I appreciate you providing some background that helps provide further enlightenment. Dismissing it as "Garbage" seemed a bit inflammatory (or at least it inflamed me). Of course, it's your right to judge and communicate as you see fit, just as it is my right to comment on said judging.
furrypedro wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:18 pm
Regarding what you need to "conform" to; as a judge I get to be one of the arbiters for the criteria upon which the songs are ranked...unfortunately this time your song didn't land with me at all. Them's the breaks.
I don't disagree with this at all. We've become reasonably adept at "taking it on the chin" when it occurs, and do attempt to proceed with equanimity understanding that we're not going to vibe with everyone. I do appreciate feedback both good and bad when something can be learned from it and appreciate the work all of the judges have done throughout the contest.
Last edited by Pop Machine on Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by Pop Machine »

jb wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:34 pm
Pretty sure the tone and approach you put into the post above is all they wanted in the first place. *shrug*
Bingo.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by furrypedro »

That may be so, but I reserve the right to label something as garbage when I judge something to be garbage.

If you don't want honesty in my reviews then you can request to be omitted from them.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by grumpymike »

Super short and to-the-point reviews. Sorry shadows - only got so much time in a day.

Vom Vorton - I've been waiting for this song. Thank you for not writing about cats or boat contests.
Strength: personality, hooks
Weakness: some pitchiness, mastering


The Alleviators - This is very nice. The story seems a little contorted.
Strength: performance, personality
Weakness: drums, obtuse narrative


Moss Palace - Solid entry that deserves its ranking.
Strength: performance and execution
Weakness: hiding from its emotions


The Lowest Bitter - Subject matter reminds me of my "Heart Shaker"
Strength: production, soundgarden-sounding leading guitar
Weakness: some word delivery, inaccessible lyrics


Lunkhead - Much appreciated turnaround from the joke-ish entries.
Strength: performance, lead guitar
Weakness: some weird lyrical choices


Nick Soma - This one was great, but maybe could use a bit more time in the oven.
Strength: emotional content, hooks
Weakness: some awkward lyrics awkwardly delivered


Glennny - This song is like when someone makes uncomfortable jokes that you know are jokes but don't come off like jokes because there's maybe a little too much truth behind them, and the jokes aren't funny enough to compensate the uncomfortableness.
Strength: delivery, hooks
Weakness: not committed enough to funny or serious


Cavedwellers - Very pleasant top of the pack song.
Strength: female vocal section, guitar tones, execution
Weakness: too much filler, too many (and too clunky) lyrics


Elks of the Economy - What a weird and beautiful song.
Strength: production A+++++++++
Weakness: narrative, mastering


Berkeley Social Scene - This was my favorite on my first listen. I am loving Geech BSS.
Strength: great performance, good hooks
Weakness: narrative could use some narrowed-in focus


Jon Porobil - It's cute and fun; conceptually falls a little flat.
Strength: catchy
Weakness: kitschy, needs more belly singing


Boffo Yux Dudes - Great concept but could have used a little more time in the oven.
Strength: witty (love the Marie Condo reference)
Weakness: clunky delivery (dislike the Marie Condo delivery), missing strong melodic backbone
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by Pop Machine »

furrypedro wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 8:48 pm
That may be so, but I reserve the right to label something as garbage when I judge something to be garbage.

If you don't want honesty in my reviews then you can request to be omitted from them.
Of course you should be honest, and how you express that honesty is up to you. Just as my rebuttal is up to me, and I tried to be honest with MY response. Don't censor anything on our accounts, I don't advocate for that kind of thing.

“I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, etc.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by BoffoYux »

Let me say to everyone, thanks for listening and judging this Nur Ein. While disappointed that we aren’t moving on, I’m very happy we came out with 4 decent BYD songs to play with for future releases.

I could belabor the point on previous posts but those that can read get the gist. Good luck and I’m excited to hear all your songs yet to come!

Tommy G
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by jb »

When someone acts surprised that their “brutal” honesty provoked an angry response I wonder if they’re just trying to be a bully for some reason.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by furrypedro »

jb wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 9:33 pm
When someone acts surprised that their “brutal” honesty provoked an angry response I wonder if they’re just trying to be a bully for some reason.
I don't feel that BYD were angry necessarily (I may be wrong).
I don't believe my comments expressed surprise at their response.
I don't see how one poor review can be classed as bullying.
Your comment seems tailor made to provoke further confrontation.

After the latest comments from the BYD I consider the matter to be resolved.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by jb »

Ok cool, as you wish
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by vowlvom »

Aww yeah! The last time I won an immunity was four years ago, what a treat. Thanks judges! I couldn't have done it without those sweet Lowest Bitter harmonies.

I still intend to submit a song for June Moon, since I have it written (but not recorded) already.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by Cybronica »

Congrats Vom! Well deserved in a round of great songs!
“It's like opera for toddlers or something.” -furrypedro
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by BenKrieger »

glennny wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:15 pm

Ben Krieger
- Song Cycle. Song cycle. C’mon, do a song cycle! What happened? Why aren’t you in this? I’m a big fan. You understand rock power. Great lyrics! Great angst on display. I feel this song. Fun song!
I got the week wrong and missed Round Zero! 🤦🏽‍♂️
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by arby »

belatedly responding to the thread. and yes my left shift key is broken. big bummer bc it's a fucken macbook. :cry:
vowlvom wrote:
Tue Jun 14, 2022 8:28 am
Here, take some reviews, because I feel like crap today and need a distraction. Strong round!

Virgo Power - drums are nice and punchy, but the Qchord (?) strums are frequently off the beat and it really takes me out of thge song. Obviously the parts without drums don't have that problem and fare better, but I don't think this is one of your best.
i hope you feel better now, Vom! yeah i will take all hits as 100% deserved on this round because i basically ignored the drum track entirely when recording both omni and vocals, i was somehow thinking it would work itself out in post (!?). spoiler alert: it did not, and i did not have time to re-record, that's why i had to delete the drums from the choruses & bridge. (a big part of my problem is the TASCAM only has 2 inputs, so i can record drum and Omni at the same time, but not vocals. also the stupid drum pedal automagically does these annoying fills that i can't turn off, so i have to wait for the next beat to come on and i'm always confused and frightened when it does.)
furrypedro wrote:
Tue Jun 14, 2022 11:38 pm
Virgo Power: I can give you a review if you want but I don't think you'd like it.
lol. :lol: i am not going to lie, i was mad for a week and even cried over your review of my round 2. especially because it was the only judge’s review i got. but with a little bit of distance from the sting, i agree with those who say a bad review is better than nothing - especially from a judge. that said, i already know what was wrong with my CLIG and it’s all stuff that i could and should have fixed (or at least improved), but as usual i didn’t give myself enough time. will i learn from my mistakes by the end of this Nur Ein? only time will tell!! ps 'Lo-fi doom rock' sounds like a great genre to me, so i'll take it as a badge of pride instead of a mark of shame.
mo wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 3:25 pm
Virgo Power - My main takeaway is the performance questions, mostly having to do with timing issues, both the keys against the drums and the vocals, which don’t always start on the right beat. I think actually though that tightening that stuff up might lead to a very listenable lofi indie tune. My only lyrical nitpick at the moment is the bridge, I just don’t think that last line is a great button, like, I’d like it to be a more memorable and evocative line.
thank you, Mo, for by far the most helpful review yet. I agree and might try to rerecord it to see what happens if the shit lines up. also your comment about the bridge is very interesting and ever since i read this last week i’ve been trying to think of a new last line.
BenKrieger wrote:
Fri Jun 17, 2022 4:50 am
glennny wrote:
Wed Jun 15, 2022 6:15 pm
Ben Krieger- Song Cycle. Song cycle. C’mon, do a song cycle! What happened? Why aren’t you in this? I’m a big fan. You understand rock power. Great lyrics! Great angst on display. I feel this song. Fun song!
I got the week wrong and missed Round Zero! 🤦🏽‍♂️
aww, man! Ben, I am low-key obsessed with your songs from Rounds 2 and 3. I was not inspired enough to do reviews for this round but I will say your CLIG reminds me of Sloan, on one of my fave records of all time, One Chord To Another. also the Posies, particularly this song (which i was obsessed with when i heard it in 94 on the DGC Rarities Vol. 1 comp):

"Not fair, LW+RG get ambience for free every round" - Chumpy

"lo-fi doom rock" - furrypedro

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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by BenKrieger »

arby wrote:
Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:53 pm

aww, man! Ben, I am low-key obsessed with your songs from Rounds 2 and 3. I was not inspired enough to do reviews for this round but I will say your CLIG reminds me of Sloan, on one of my fave records of all time, One Chord To Another. also the Posies
I was listening to the Posies when I wrote that one! That and Matthew Sweet.
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by owl »

I'm sorry again that I have been terrible at reviewing so far--it's been unexpectedly really busy for me since Nur Ein started, but I had a big work thing wrap up last week, so I'm hoping I can do a little better with giving feedback now. I'm determined to actually finish this round of reviews and post it before listening to the next batch of songs, so here you go (better late than never?):

Vom Vorton - I like that you take your time with the intro! The chorus of this song is really infectious and catchy--I just love the energy of the guitar riff underneath the vocals. I love your vocal delivery on the "Half asleep" part and the clean, light backing guest vocals give the song a wonderful lift. There are some pitchy moments in the lead vocals, but the song isn't the kind of genre that needs to be super pristine. While I like the tonal shift between the verse and chorus, I'm not hugely into the melody of the verses--still, I think the contrast is part of what makes the chorus so satisfying. The breakdown is really cool and I like the shifts in arrangement and/or performance that keep this sounding interesting and fresh throughout. Also, I like songs with feelings and I did not have the same issues as furrypedro with your rhyme scheme, so the lyrics worked well for me. This held up best to repeat listens out of all of these songs--congrats on your well-deserved immunity next round, I expect to hear you enter an all-rhyming-couplets extravaganza shadow!

The Alleviators - The guitar is indeed very "Stay". I like the minimalistic arrangement here and the spacious-sounding mix. The delivery and tone of the vocals is stellar, but there were some slightly off-key parts that detracted from my enjoyment because the vocals are so up-front here--like something about that first high climbing "ooh" sounds a bit sour along the way, a few parts where the harmony and lead vocals seemed to clash slightly like around 01:55. Unlike Vom's kind of fast and scrappy song, I feel like the style of this song demands a bit more precision/perfection in its performances. The lyrics lean a bit vague for my personal taste, but the prosody all works really well and they have an appropriately melancholy, epic feel to them.

Moss Palace - Very shiny and smooth, beautifully performed all around including the lovely guest harmonies, and well produced. This could be a lost Fleetwood Mac song (but I am not honestly a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac, so that's not necessarily the hugest selling point for me...) The lyrics are a nice flurry of mystical imagery, but I wasn't clear on what the feeling or story was supposed to be that I should be coming out of this with. Really nice vocal rhythms and phrasing in the choruses. The a cappella outro is a showstopper, really gorgeous. This is a song that is hard to fault, but didn't quite grab me in the end--this round, I guess just because of the mood I was in, I ended up ranking some of the more personal-feeling songs higher even if they were a bit more on the raw or messy side, and your tune dropped a bit in my personal rankings because it felt musically beautiful and aesthetically pleasing but in a safe way, and with the poetic abstractions, not quite so real or visceral.

The Lowest Bitter - This was the most memorable song to me after my first listen through everything. You have such a strong voice as a lyricist--this was one of the songs I ended up ranking very high as it felt like a real, personal song and was nicely evocative with the details you drop in like the heat and the smell of sewage. The vocal melody is kind of meandering--I like the rhythmic phrasing a lot, but there are a few prosody issues that Evermind already pointed out, and I think a bit more dynamic or harmonic movement throughout could have elevated this. On the other hand, I also think because of the story-song nature of the lyrics it doesn't really need to be so structured. The bridge was my favorite part by far--that crazy gross-sounding instrument that comes in there (A++!) and the woozy-panicked "you're gonna die" chant that builds and builds--so weird, so great. The guest vocals work well to embiggen those lines and mix up the feel a bit.

Lunkhead - The main melodic hook in this song reminds me strongly of some other song, and I'm not 100% what but I think it might be Neil Diamond's "Porcupine Pie". This is a nice poppy guitarry feel-good tune. The bridge was unexpected but unfortunately also kind of ruined this for me; just too jarring. It makes total sense to me why you did it, conceptually, but I just didn't really enjoy listening to that part of it and it took me out of this song every time I heard it. The guest harmonies are nice, lends this an extra rich and full sound. I like your vocal performance on those "you're good enough" lines, a bit of a crooner feel. Gosh this has a lot of guitar solos. I don't mind though. I like the idea behind the lyrics, the last verse is my favorite here, although to me there's a bit of a mismatch between the sort of joyous feel of the music and the dark nature of the lyrics (discordant bridge aside). I have to say the little baby monster also sounds too cute to be upset about.

Nick Soma - This is one of the other songs that really stuck with me after the first listen through all these, although it looks like none of the other judges liked this tune as much as I did. This doesn't take a lot of risks, it's not very exciting musically, but I enjoyed listening to it, and I really enjoyed the storytelling and all the little personal details and concrete images in the lyrics. OK, yes, all we know is music and body care, but I like those kind of glimpses into what makes a relationship or a memory feel personal to someone, and I don't feel the need to necessarily know everything about what happened between the narrator and the person they're singing to. The movement between the plain description of the scene over tea followed by that simple but deeply sad line "You're out of reach" is really effective. The chorus melody reminds me of "Pancho and Lefty" in parts. The guest vocal works really nicely here, not overpowering but definitely elevates the choruses, and maybe even gives a little hint that perhaps the person the narrator is singing to is thinking of them as well. A few issues with delivery here; I'm pretty sure "shea" is supposed to be pronounced as "shay" and not "shee-ah" and there are a few issues Evermind already pointed out with the way syllables are stressed.

Glennny - I really like the sound of your voice blending with your guest vocalist's here, and it's fun listening to your dueling guitars. The moment when your voice gets really light and soft on "some of them good" is a really nice part of the vocal performance. I like the bounce and feel of this, but I found the melody of the chorus too simplistic, I kept wishing it went somewhere more interesting or at least didn't dive down in what felt like an anticlimactic way. The unreliable narrator lyrics are fun, and I like the storytelling, but it does seem like they lean pretty heavily on OCD jokes (or perhaps it's supposed to be just a totally earnest story about someone with OCD? But doesn't seem to ring true with what's being described).

Cavedwellers - Love the guitar work at the beginning, that's a wonderful opening to the song. The guest vocals are really lovely but the recording quality seems awful in a way you weren't quite able to disguise. Maybe putting some extra processing on the lead vocals would have helped the quality of the guest vox not sound so different? (Ah, I just read your liner notes: earbuds makes sense.) The chorus is super gorgeous. I'm not crazy about the lyrics as they feel kind of vague and first-drafty for the most part. I especially disliked that "IRL" (everything else is this kind of bland tone and then this aggressively online word thrown in just feels pretty distracting). I did really like the lines “Here lies another fool / Who knew the rules / But couldn’t help himself” though but generally they just feel too abstract to mean anything, although you both sell them well with the performances. The slidey guitar details are great. I enjoyed this one a lot musically, but felt like I couldn't really grab onto anything with those lyrics.

Elks of the Economy - Ooh, JB's whistling, lovely stuff. BUT I'm not sure what the whistling intro has to do with the rest, musically or lyrically. The lyrics in this song just feel a bit clunky to me (the hope/rope/cope/note rhymes felt really heavy-handed and awkward and were not my favorite way to start out the song...) and a bit empty content-wise. Many parts of the lyrics feel pretty mismatched to the music as well--this is one of the most ominous calls to keep the party going I've ever heard, although the chorus picks up the mood a little bit more. I like the chorus melody a lot and there's a lot of fun ear candy going on in the production--I enjoyed the layers of lush backing vocals, the ultra-80's drums, echoey guitar (the lead stuff in the bridge is really nice), vibraslap, etc. all add up to fun and excellent ear candy. The slide up into the bridge is great. A lot of fun stuff musically going on here, but it just ended up feeling like cotton candy as far as the content of the song, which didn't hold up so well to repeat listens.

Berkeley Social Scene - I love the falling/climbing riff, my favorite part of this song. Original idea for the lyrics, didn't see that approach to the title coming--though simultaneously weirdly literal! The bridge is a nice changeup in terms of style and sonic palette with the shift in guitar style. I especially like the bit leading out of it where the percussion picks up. "Hand on the truck" kept making me think of "band on the run" but there's something very sonically awkward about the phrase that felt pretty awkward to me when it kept being repeated--maybe the fact of it ending in a K kind of keeps it from feeling fluid as a sung hook. I think the song is pretty solid overall and I think I could have ranked it higher in earlier rounds, but it just felt sort of boring and workmanlike after repeated listens, the hook is great but ultimately it plods a little by the Nth time through. The guest harmony parts sound good, they're not in your face but blend in nicely and give it a good lift.

Jon Porobil - Some very John Darnielle phrasing in your delivery here. This chorus sounds very much like "All You Need Is Love" but the lyrics are considerably clunkier. I could have sworn the "indebted" phrase was in a Natalie Merchant song, but I looked it up and I guess it's "I'm in debt to you," which is a bit different. The singalong stuff didn't work for me at all--particularly the shouted encouragement, just too cheesy for me, and I think the larger issue is that it doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me in the artistic context of the song. The lyrics are extremely personal and full of details that feel like they belong to a particular relationship, and a rowdy live recording type of singalong just doesn't quite seem to fit that concept. Are the other 10 people singing along also in love with this person and how beautiful and hyper-capable they are? I'm sure it's possible to do it this way and not have it feel odd, but there's something vaguely cultish about the whole team of people chanting along "I am indebted to you". The kinda-rap part is fun, you do a good job with mixing up the rhythms and delivery there. Everything falls apart a bit towards the end to an unpleasant degree. Anyway, my negative feelings about the cheesy "sing it with me" stuff aside, I think the guest requirement actively detracted from the concept and execution of the song itself in this case instead of adding to it, unfortunately.

Boffo Yux Dudes - I like the concept of this song--there are a million love songs out there and not so many about hoarding/OCD. I think the execution of your solid concept could have been better, though. The spoken word intro gives this solid novelty song vibes, which I guess might be what you're going for, but the lyrics also hint at earnestness, so I don't quite know how to interpret this. The song plods a bit musically; I would have liked a bit more in terms of dynamic and arrangement shifts between sections. I also think the lyrics could be tightened up. I winced a bit at the phrase "That's not how it be," which clearly sounded unnatural for you and only jammed in there for the rhyme scheme. Some issues with prosody as well--the equal stresses on "newspapers" sound a bit awkward to me, "AC-cuse," "kon-DO". The way you've used the guest vocals is good, but something sounds a bit strange to me in the execution, audible autotune, I'm guessing, and I'm not sure if it was intentional. I think some of your melodies are quite strong, like I really like what you do on "plan for my life," but I don't think the current arrangement does the best job supporting your idea overall.

Mandibles - Pretty solid and catchy; I like the lead vocal and the doo-wop backing vocals in the verse. The mix of the harmonies in the chorus is sort of strange to me, the female harmony sounds sort of ghostly there in a way that's at odds with the relatively present rest of the mix. (Same with the slidey BVs in the bridge, they are quite cool-sounding but have a more spooky feel than the rest of the song would seem to demand.) I like the rock climbing metaphor, although honestly, the first verse doesn't seem necessary from a lyrical point of view. V2 and the bridge seem to hold the heart of this song in terms of lyrical content, and in comparison V1 feels a bit like filler or unnecessary scene-setting.

Rattlebox - Man, I wish you'd made it into round 0, I think you could have been a contender this Nur Ein! I've been really enjoying your shadows. I love this song, this would have been one of my favorites of the round if it was in competition. There are a lot of rough spots in the execution and production, but it's chock full of feeling and lo-fi charm; the guest vocals work well to give it a sense of realness and raw emotion. Those two opening(/closing) lines are so striking, I'm super into the combo of the lyrics and arrangement/performance at those spots.

Virgo Power - The music box omnichord stuff is very appealing to me, the "nobody likes me" nursery rhyme stuff much less so. The pitch and rhythm issues in the performances hurt this, the core of the song itself doesn't feel strong enough to overcome those challenges, and although I like the omnichord it does feel a bit oppressive after a minute or so. I think the bridge is quite a bit weaker than the rest for a number of reasons; jamming too many syllables in there so it feels rushed, rhyming "time" and "lifetime" (and emphasizing that as "lifeTIME"), the weird specificity of "98%"--I think the lyrical content there is super relatable, but the way you've carried through with it here makes it feel like a first draft. The guest vocals make me feel a bit confused and woozy; I think they help mix up the sonic palette, but I don't think they blend or harmonize well with your lead vocal. I like the long melismatic "go"s in the chorus but would have wanted to hear a cleaner take of those, since unfortunately your arrangement lays any flaws bare.
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sailingmagpie
Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by sailingmagpie »

While you're all waiting for last minute deliberations to be concluded, here are some reviews for you. Sorry I've been so rubbish as getting these out. I promise I'll catch up on the other rounds I've not reviewed yet.

Vom Vorton

Songs drawn from personal experience almost always turn out to be the best and that's very much the case here. There's such a great energy to the whole track, especially the guitars. Superb catchy chorus and the LB BVs really add to the arrangement. There are a couple of off key moments in the vocals but nothing particularly heinous and I really love the instrumental section before the last chorus. A worthy winner.

The Alleviators

This is easily my favourite song of yours thus far. You can tell that collaboration is really pushing both of you to bring your A game. The lead vocal is stunning and the guitar work really makes every sparse note count with the piano chords rounding out the arrangement nicely. A few of the harmonies are a touch shaky pitch-wise and it feels like the last minute or so needs another element to enter the fray (some mournful cello perhaps?). But these minor quibbles don't detract from a song that would have people scrabbling to Shazam this as it plays over the credits of a Netflix drama.

Moss Palace

I really Love (pun intended) the Forever Changes feel to the groove on this track. The performances and production are all excellent. I do feel like the second verse could do with some big, shimmery tremolo chord strums and the track is crying out for a mariachi trumpet (though the guitar solo does fill this role) but I'm not going to penalise you for not having a trumpet player! The a capella ending is a classy little cherry on top.

The Lowest Bitter

Such a great story to use as inspiration (though probably not so much for you at the time). This is chock full of cracking lines - "...death on the premises..." "catatonia/Catalonia," "Shame dripping out of every pore" - and I love the woozy feel of the whole track which sits nicely with the subject matter. The chorus is suitably excellent and I love how the "I'm gonna die" refrain gets louder and more insistent as it drills into your brain. Best ending of the round too. You've said what you need to say, so get the hell out of there! There are a couple of out tune vocal moments but I think you get away it, as its the sort of song where the performance is more important than perfect pitch.

Cavedwellers

I really like the variety in the arrangement with the different sections keeping it interesting and the female vocals sound great, so its a shame there's so few moments where we hear them. After the midpoint of the song we don't hear them again which is a real shame as they are singing my favourite hook in the song. Even some harmonies on the later sections would help tie it together a bit more. I feel like the drums are a little tinny and they struggle to punch through that mix. Also, the splash cymbals feel like they need more variation in the velocity. There are a few awkward lines (eg "dark/lark") but not enough to detract from the enjoyment of a song that holds up to repeat listening.


Glennny

I think this could do with a bit more of an intro before the vocals come in. The chorus is pleasing and the guest harmonies really add to the arrangement (especially like the OCD bit), as opposed to just ticking the challenge box. I don't find the verses as memorable though. This whole track is absolutely stacked with tasteful guitar tones (quelle surprise!) and I enjoy the jaunty feel especially in the bassline. The song just didn't grab me as much as the songs I ranked higher.

Nick Soma

I prefer the second half of the song to the first. The vocals seem a little too compressed, so sound a bit synthetic. Lovely harmonies that really add to the track though. No box ticking here. "Old parents house" feels like an odd bit of phrasing but it leads to a Jaffa Cake reference, so who cares? To me, the Mid 8 feels like it doesn't add a great deal and is only there because you needed something different in the arrangement. The delivery of the title line has a real classic pop song feel which, of course, is your stock in trade.

Jon Porobil

There's a bit of a Mountain Goats feel to the this song (I saw that Owl said the same thing) and the chorus is enjoyable, which it needs to be, as it takes up so much real estate in the arrangement. The non-vocal and guitar parts are completely buried in the mix though, so don't help bring the variety that they should. I really don't like the spoken asides ("One more time," "Without the guitar" etc) and the gang vocals don't bring a great deal of harmonic variation to the song. The guitar dropping out and coming back in is so out of time, it tarnishes the effect and the gap before the last "I can't let it go" is just that little bit too long.

Lunkhead

There are some very obvious rhymes in this straight pop-punk tune and the multiple guitar solos feel like they're only there to pad out the arrangement. I love the bridge and the interplay with backing vocals ("No, you're not...) but the other section is pretty forgettable for me. I really like the sentiment behind the lyric though. The slight distortion on the vocals is great and the harmonies are tight (they remind me of Boo Radleys at times).

Elks of the Economy

On first listen, the whistling at the start made me so excited for the Ennio Morricone inspired, Spaghetti Western extravaganza to come (not dissimilar to Moss Palace's entry). However, we quickly move into something more akin to Eurovision territory. Some nice melodies and I'm always a sucker for counterpoint vocals and I think I would enjoy this song if you played it to me on a guitar or piano but the Europop production is such a stumbling block for me here, I'm afraid.

Berkeley Social Scene

I feel like this song isn't funny enough to be a comedy song but still not serious enough to be a serious one. This leaves it adrift somewhere between the two extremes. None of the melodies particularly hooked me and, while It's an unusual take on the title, it just doesn't really land for me. I do enjoy the call & response at the end though and the little guitar runs add a 70s AM radio feel to proceedings.

Boffo Yux Dudes

This has a bit of a band-in-a-box loop feel to it, imo. The line that ends with "...opportunity" isn't good enough to necessitate the forced clunker that precedes it. That bit definitely needs a rewrite. The mix doesn't have the rising and falling tensions needed to keep the listener engaged and the music feels like it stays at the same level throughout. It would work better if some of the elements dropped out occasionally to keep things fresh. Not a fan of the jokey spoken intro and the pitch is all over the place on some of the vocals (both lead and harmonies). This is a solid take on the title but I feel like it needs a lot more work.

Mandibles

I like the wistful nature of this track and the performances are all very good. I do think the mix is a little flat though and the song runs slightly too long. However, it's a nicely written lyric though and I love those slidey "waaahs" in the middle 8.

Rattlebox

A real lo-fi energy that I'm definitely into here. Some of the vocals near the start are pretty shaky pitch-wise but delivered with gusto, which makes up for it. They improve as we progress though. Some of the guitars are a little out of time occasionally but again, you've created such a distinctive mood which is often all you need to make up for the odd fluffed take.

Virgo Power

I like the nursery rhyme feel to the intro before the drop into the darker verse. I do love that omnichord sound and there's good variety in the arrangement. However, there are some iffy pitch and timing issues in the vocals. I wonder if you're trying to record all of your vocals in one take. The last chorus, for example, is much stronger than the first one. If you're not already, you should start comping your vocals. I think it would push your recordings up a level, as your instincts are generally good.
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arby
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by arby »

BenKrieger wrote:
Mon Jun 20, 2022 6:55 am
I was listening to the Posies when I wrote that one! That and Matthew Sweet.
be still my beating heart! his first three albums (starting with Girlfriend) (and the EP Son of Altered Beast) are my JAM ! *heart eyes emoji times 1 million*
"Not fair, LW+RG get ambience for free every round" - Chumpy

"lo-fi doom rock" - furrypedro

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arby
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
Posts: 167
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Re: Nur Ein XVII: Round Three "Can't Let It Go"

Post by arby »

sailingmagpie wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:22 pm

Virgo Power
I like the nursery rhyme feel to the intro before the drop into the darker verse. I do love that omnichord sound and there's good variety in the arrangement. However, there are some iffy pitch and timing issues in the vocals. I wonder if you're trying to record all of your vocals in one take. The last chorus, for example, is much stronger than the first one. If you're not already, you should start comping your vocals. I think it would push your recordings up a level, as your instincts are generally good.
I absolutely am recording all my vocals in one take (two if you count double-tracking). I do not know how to comp. Maybe this time I'll have time to try it, as I have a working demo as of now... thank you for your kind words on what is undoubtedly my worst song to date :lol:
"Not fair, LW+RG get ambience for free every round" - Chumpy

"lo-fi doom rock" - furrypedro

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