Nur Ein X - Round One

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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Generic » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:35 pm

Judge reviews! Sorry for the delay in posting these. Been writing them between work duties.

Overall comments… There was some unfortunate repetition this in the lyrics this week. I guess that's nobody's fault, really. I didn't think there would be this many competitors who would choose to sing about a literal circus. I tried really hard not to hold it against anyone when they used the same images as another song in the competition. As for the challenge: There was only one competitor that I thought outright failed to meet the challenge. Everyone else passed, but I gave partial treatment to those whose challenge implementations 1.) were evident to the listener without having to be explained, and 2.) benefited the song, rather than feeling like the song had to accommodate them. The best uses of the challenge in this regard (IMO) were DJ Ranger Den and Inflatable Vegetables.

Without further ado, here are some reviews!

à tous les monsieurs
Some of the circus stuff was a little on-the-nose (there's a lot of that going around this week). The drums are really good, but they also get repetitive; it could have used some more pattern variation, particularly in the B section. I enjoyed this, but not as much as last week's effort. Three relatively minor negative things stand out to me on repeated listens: 1.) The awful, awful French; 2.) The strangely pro-animal-abuse lyrics; 3.) The weirdly repetitive band-drop over that trumpet riff. Dropping the band is a cool trick the first time, but it gets old fast. Like I said, it's an overall very accomplished song, but these nitpicks really bug me.

Adam Adamant
I... like this? Yeah, I like an Adam Adamant song! Good vocals, good use of garbage percussion, the uke is in tune and well played, and it just—this is hard to explain—feels like a complete song, like a fleshed out idea! Did you get a new uke sometime in the last year, or are you just doing a better job of tuning it between each take? You've had tuning issues in past competitions, and they seem to be gone now, which does wonders for your presentation. I like how your garbage percussion sounds varied, but also controlled. You're not just wildly banging on things, but making a pattern that holds down the rest of your song. I also think your vocals have improved, and you gave the song a proper ending, too! Keep it up!

Balance Lost
The first minute or so made me think you'd heard my complaint about the thumpy-droney intro last week, and decided to double down on it just to annoy me. Anyway, after the first minute, the acoustic guitar kicks in and the song starts in earnest, and it's one of the better Balance Lost songs I've heard. I like the rhymes, the structure, the instruments, the percussion sounds, and the mix. The resampled rubber band instrument solo really push this over the edge, and that snare sound in the outro is awesome too. I had you at #2.

Boffo Yux Dudes
Unlike a lot of previous Boffo Yux songs, I can actually identify the jokes, even though most of them still don't land. Using a Patton Oswalt sample just invites an unflattering comparison. I admit, the line about the minivan earned a chuckle from me, and the "Prog Rock Drum Solo" made me smile when it dawned on me that you were probably just jamming random keys on your keyboard's "percussion" setting. It's really unfortunate that there were like four songs with the exact same approach, right down to identical lines about not getting refunds. I'm trying not to hold it against any individual song, but it sadly doesn't do any of them any favors. I actually laughed more as Ross' "Whoopee" than I did at anything in this entry. On the plus side, the music is improved over last week, and the vocals are way improved over last week. Making your song overtly parodic seems to have given you some focus. Also, I like the texture the organ lends to the song.

Carlo Bruno Jr.
I was having a harder time than usual understanding your lyrics here, so thank you for posting them. Really trippy and interesting. Dystopian lyrics, enforced mediocrity. Reminds me a little of "Harrison Bergeron" by Vonnegut. There's a fine line between a phrase being weird because it's lyrical and it being weird because the lyricist isn't working in his native language. I think you pushed that line a bit, because "Holy Middle of the Pack / As gray as much we can" feels awkward.

Cavedwellers
I had to pause the song and hum that guitar lick to myself before I figured out why it sounded so familiar. "In a Big Country," by Big Country. It's just barely different enough for me not to cry "rip off." It was a catchy riff then, and it's still catchy now. I'm also hearing shades of ELP, which might be intentional, or might be a side effect of any prog-rock song with a carnival atmosphere. This actually gets away with appropriating the circus theme, in my opinion, because it modulates the familiar music into an unfamiliar mode. I wonder if the aspects of this song I dislike are the same ones that make it creative. The time signature changes in the chorus are probably the most creative part of this song, and I don't want to only reward the immediately accessible, but something about the time sig changes also feel really uncomfortable to me, like I'm being pulled against the current of the song. Not sure how to explain it.

DJ Ranger Den
I like this sad low-key waltz vibe. It's a lot more straightforward and accessible than the usual Ranger Den track. There's something about that AAABCCCB rhyme structure that strikes me as inherently sad (see also), and it suits this melancholy little song very well. Your lyrics scan much more tightly than usual, and the mixing assistance from BLT makes everything sound crisp and in-place, even though it's all kind of mired in a melancholic haze. I'm also really fond of your lyrical interpretation of the title; I expected a lot more entries like this, fewer literal clowns. I had you at #1 this week.

DuToVa
The performances on this are really muddy, like stumbling in and out of sync. I think maybe the percussion is on a loop and the other instruments had difficulty pacing themselves properly to that loop. On top of that, the lyrics are inane, just circus imagery with no real focus, narrative or conflict, and they clash with the mood of the other instruments. It's like the guitarist is thinking he's playing a Metallica song, but the singer just wants to talk about clowns and elephants. Sometimes a contrast like that can add an ineffable quality to a song, but I didn't get the impression that the contrast was something you were going for here.

Frankie Big Face
This reminded me of something by Peter Gabriel. Creative ideas, but the verse vocals seem to be way out of tune with the verse instruments. The "balance on the [noun]" sections are all really sharp. It's so unlike you to sing off-key that I wondered if this was an aesthetic choice. Maybe intended to draw attention to how uncomfortable the bear is? If so, it worked a little too well. Nonetheless, the melody is strong, and it's probably the catchiest section of any song in this round, so I'm almost willing to forgive it. I also really like the chorus and its weird declaration of the bear's Russian allegiance (WTF?). However, I feel like that section needs to be much louder than the A-Section—heck, you can make us turn the volume up to hear the A-section, then get caught by surprise for the fanfare of the villain reveal! Instead, the chorus feels frustratingly subdued. You've been doing this a lot longer than I have, so you'd probably be better able to diagnose the problem than myself, but if I had to guess, I'd say maybe there's a compressor on your master track, and it's configured too aggressively?

Inflatable Vegetables
On a first listen, I wrote "This isn't top-tier, but at least it's fun!" All the sound effects contribute to that carnival atmosphere, and it probably all adds up to the closest approximation of what I thought we'd be getting when we issued this title and challenge. The garbage instruments create a surprisingly tight ramshackle groove that suits the subject matter nicely. I like that, instead of focusing on the performance aspect of the circus, you sang from the point of view of the carnies, setting up and tearing down, just trying to do the best they can. Yes, it's also an obvious metaphor for the band (and with the mention of their critics, probably for Nur Ein, as well), but I don't mind that very much. Maybe it's because you sound like they're genuinely having fun with this song, and that feeling shines through the recording. To my surprise, on repeated listens, this "not top-tier" song vaulted up to my #4 slot.

Ken Mahru
I guess I should have figured we'd be hearing a lot of fake calliope music. It's mixed well and somewhat subdued in the mix, so it's not obvious, like "HEY, LOOK, IT'S A CIRCUS!" The vocals are a little low in the mix, just like last week; in fact the problem is a little worse this week.
At first I thought you sounded bored (or like you were maybe fighting off a cold), but this grew on me a little. I like the phrasing of the melody in the chorus, and I appreciate that you didn't take the title literally.

Manhattan Glutton
A fun mix, which hints at the title in a way that the actual lyrics don't. At first I wasn't sure about your take on the title, but then I figured it was better than yet another song about trapeze artists and lion tamers. I do wish the lyrics mentioned which state Circus is in, but no big deal. I really dig the combination of the bridge and intro vocal parts at the end, adding to the catchiness, and that trashcan kick drum is pretty tasty too. The part about the corn subsidies in the chorus strikes me as a half-baked attempt to make the song more "serious," which doesn't quite work, but overall this is a strong effort.

Michael J. Samuels
I appreciate that you managed to incorporate a trashcan instrument without compromising the stripped-down vulnerability that made your song from last week so charming. I do wish the thumping varied its rhythm throughout the song a little. It gets monotonous by the halfway point.

Mr. Meow
Sorry, kids, we had to put him down.

Nick M. Soma
The paper percussion rocks. I like the pacing, and how the whole band kicks in when the lead vocal soars to the higher register. This is the most impassioned delivery of the word "Meh" I've ever heard. Singing from the point of view of an alien was inspired choice. I wasn't entirely clear on whether the "circus" was referring to a literal Earth circus, or if they just think of our whole planet as a circus. That's a minor nitpick. I had you at #3 on my list this week.

Paco del Stinko
The vibe here is a bit more relaxed than the average PdS joint, and it's nice. Lower tempo, undistorted guitar. That homemade kazoo is awesome. Some of the lyrics are downright surreal. Swahili? Ginger Champagne? What is going on here? (I just noticed some impressive grouping in the score card - 3 out of 5 judges gave you exactly 15 points this week!)

Rabid Garfunkel
The vocals on this one sound a lot like Spud, which is pretty cool. I like the chugging guitar sound and the trashy drum loop. Sounds like you took our advice and stopped "whispering" into the mic, but now your limited vocal range is apparent here. I'm trying to figure out whether the lyrics and guitar work make up for it. Yes, the lyrics and guitar work do make up for it. I like the dystopian take on the lyrics and the "We're all on borrowed time" ending.

Ross Durand
The lyrical approach here is pretty predictable (lots of that this week, sorry to say), but the instrumentation, including and especially the garbage instruments, are terrific. I laughed when I got to the end of the first chorus and heard that the payoff was "...whoopee." I wish there had been some creative way to string out that reveal a little longer, or make it something different at the end of each chorus, so that it wasn't the same "whoopee" four times. I really like your garbage instruments, and your melody is strong. The chorus is a little weak, lyrically - the words scan a awkwardly, making it hard to sing along to, and "when you divide three by three" seems shoehorned in for the sake of the rhyme. I guess those quibbles hurt your rank, but not by much.

Chocolate Chips
This song lives and dies by its melody, it's that good. Once in a blue moon, you manage to deploy that vocoder in a way that doesn't annoy me. This might be one of those time. It complements the funk groove really well here, and it makes those sixth-interval jumps in the melody feel ethereal. I'll need some time with these lyrics, because I think there might be something going on which I didn't catch on the first listen. The funk groove works, too. This might be my favorite Chocolate Chips song ever.

Toby Roktot
Like Ross' song, this one doesn't have much unexpected in the lyrical department. I'm normally not very biased against guy-and-guitar stuff, but this bores me. That verse pattern you keep picking out on the guitar drones on with little variation, and vocals sound kind of sleepy. I also dispute the challenge implementation, as that newspaper was a sound effect illustrating a lyric; it wasn't used as an instrument.

Touched by "Touched by an Angel"
Not sure what's up with the Avengers trailer sample there, other than the "assemble" pun (by the way, how does one person "assemble?"). Your flow is surprisingly tight, and a couple of the lines are clever, but mostly these disses are just lazy. "Carlo Bruno, your song just sucks." Yeah, not exactly a "sick burn," brah. Only a couple of these jokes land at all, and that straight-up kills this song for me. Plus Paco did this gimmick better last year with his "The New Ugly." I did chuckle when you couldn't find anything mean to say about à tous les monsieurs ("yeah, that song's pretty good"). Not bad for your first time ever rapping. Your flow is good; content was lacking. Next time the Frontalittle Squad reunites, we'll have to keep you in mind.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby glennny » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:27 pm

something about the time sig changes also feel really uncomfortable to me, like I'm being pulled against the current of the song. Not sure how to explain it.


That's a good description. We had the line " we could escape this, the average circus" before the music. So when I was writing the music , I wanted that feeling of trying to escape ( but not quite being able to). So the song is a driving 4/4. The drums remain in 4/4 for the chorus. The guitars and vocals get trapped in 3 over 4 for a bit, then whipped back etc. So there's the 4/4 beneath, and the rest is doing 33322 33322 333222 ( if you really break it down). The rhythmic tension was intensional.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby frankie big face » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:00 pm

Generic wrote:Frankie Big Face
This reminded me of something by Peter Gabriel. Creative ideas, but the verse vocals seem to be way out of tune with the verse instruments. The "balance on the [noun]" sections are all really sharp. It's so unlike you to sing off-key that I wondered if this was an aesthetic choice. Maybe intended to draw attention to how uncomfortable the bear is? If so, it worked a little too well. Nonetheless, the melody is strong, and it's probably the catchiest section of any song in this round, so I'm almost willing to forgive it. I also really like the chorus and its weird declaration of the bear's Russian allegiance (WTF?). However, I feel like that section needs to be much louder than the A-Section—heck, you can make us turn the volume up to hear the A-section, then get caught by surprise for the fanfare of the villain reveal! Instead, the chorus feels frustratingly subdued. You've been doing this a lot longer than I have, so you'd probably be better able to diagnose the problem than myself, but if I had to guess, I'd say maybe there's a compressor on your master track, and it's configured too aggressively?


I'll let Stravinsky know you didn't like his melody. It's not sharp, it's dissonant. I worked really hard on singing the exact notes I wanted to sing. It doesn't bother me that you didn't like it, but I sang what I meant.

I hate explaining my songs, but since you're kinding of trashing the concept ("WTF?")...

The bear is Russian. His head is buzzing with these Russian melodies from The Rite of Spring, which are actually melodies that have existed in Russia for a long time. It's kind of a joke, but it's also a song sung from the perspective of a bear, so... Anyway, he's been scooped up from Russia and made to do tricks and he has murderous thoughts in his heart. It's also an allegory for how we have treated Russia since the end of the Cold War.

All you mixing comments are valid. I struggled to get the chorus and verses to an equivalent volume. New equipment, new software, poor skillz.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby frankie big face » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:05 pm

Generic wrote:à tous les monsieurs
Some of the circus stuff was a little on-the-nose (there's a lot of that going around this week). The drums are really good, but they also get repetitive; it could have used some more pattern variation, particularly in the B section. I enjoyed this, but not as much as last week's effort. Three relatively minor negative things stand out to me on repeated listens: 1.) The awful, awful French; 2.) The strangely pro-animal-abuse lyrics; 3.) The weirdly repetitive band-drop over that trumpet riff. Dropping the band is a cool trick the first time, but it gets old fast. Like I said, it's an overall very accomplished song, but these nitpicks really bug me.


Okay, first of all, I corrected the French when I sang it (i.e. the contractions). Erik just didn't update the lyrics file. Are you complaining about my pronunciation? If so, SUCK IT JON ERIC.

And secondly, what you are calling "strangely pro-animal-abuse" is called satire. Come on, Jon. You can do better than this. I'M CALLING YOU OUT, JON ERIC.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby iVeg » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:06 pm

Thanks Jon! I had lots of fun running around, dropping things, banging things together, and trying to figure out "How do I make the sound of pants being hiked up?"
It's amazing how much behind the scenes stuff there is for just a small show. I wanted to get that whole feeling, plus the adrenaline of being in the show, and trying to turn criticism into manic silliness.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby frankie big face » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:27 pm

And another thing! If something happens TWO TIMES, you're not allowed to say it "gets old fast." Oh, I can't believe The Beatles keep saying "let it be" over and over again. That got old halfway through the first chorus. COME ON, JON ERIC.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby à tous les monsieurs » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:35 pm

Generic wrote:

à tous les monsieurs
Some of the circus stuff was a little on-the-nose (there's a lot of that going around this week). The drums are really good, but they also get repetitive; it could have used some more pattern variation, particularly in the B section. I enjoyed this, but not as much as last week's effort. Three relatively minor negative things stand out to me on repeated listens: 1.) The awful, awful French; 2.) The strangely pro-animal-abuse lyrics; 3.) The weirdly repetitive band-drop over that trumpet riff. Dropping the band is a cool trick the first time, but it gets old fast. Like I said, it's an overall very accomplished song, but these nitpicks really bug me.


Thanks for the listen, Jon.

Just for the record. This green party member abhors the treatment of animals in the traditional circus.

I don't think Randy Newman really hated Short People either.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Ross » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:48 pm

frankie big face wrote:And another thing! If something happens TWO TIMES, you're not allowed to say it "gets old fast."

Seems to me like if something got old after two times, it would be highly qualified for the idea of getting old fast, I mean, that's REALLY fast!

;-)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Caravan Ray » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:56 pm

frankie big face wrote:And another thing! If something happens TWO TIMES, you're not allowed to say it "gets old fast." Oh, I can't believe The Beatles keep saying "let it be" over and over again. That got old halfway through the first chorus. COME ON, JON ERIC.

Whereas FBF judge abuse will never get old. It gets better and better!

Hope to get some reviews up a bit later, and line up for my serve.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Caravan Ray » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:57 pm

à tous les monsieurs wrote:
Generic wrote:

à tous les monsieurs
Some of the circus stuff was a little on-the-nose (there's a lot of that going around this week). The drums are really good, but they also get repetitive; it could have used some more pattern variation, particularly in the B section. I enjoyed this, but not as much as last week's effort. Three relatively minor negative things stand out to me on repeated listens: 1.) The awful, awful French; 2.) The strangely pro-animal-abuse lyrics; 3.) The weirdly repetitive band-drop over that trumpet riff. Dropping the band is a cool trick the first time, but it gets old fast. Like I said, it's an overall very accomplished song, but these nitpicks really bug me.


Thanks for the listen, Jon.

Just for the record. This green party member abhors the treatment of animals in the traditional circus.

I don't think Randy Newman really hated Short People either.

I hate Randy Newman. And I am reasonably lanky.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby frankie big face » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:09 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:
frankie big face wrote:And another thing! If something happens TWO TIMES, you're not allowed to say it "gets old fast." Oh, I can't believe The Beatles keep saying "let it be" over and over again. That got old halfway through the first chorus. COME ON, JON ERIC.

Whereas FBF judge abuse will never get old. It gets better and better!

Hope to get some reviews up a bit later, and line up for my serve.


Haha. I appreciate all reviews. It's all in good fun.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:53 pm

frankie big face wrote:And another thing!

Holy hell, I wouldn't miss this for anything in the world! Frankie is spittin' mad. The cliff hanger is killing me! Image
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Pigfarmer Jr » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:28 pm

Reviews. Brief ones. You deserve better. Such is life.

Adam Adamant - I liked the music well enough. It reminded me of an old classic tune with that chord progression. The vocal style grew on me a bit by the end.

Balance Lost - I liked the rhythm, I liked the bass line mostly. There were bits I liked but it just didn't do a whole lot for me. I feel like I’m just not getting it.
Boffo Yux Dudes - Minus all the cymbal hits, I liked the music bed. On second listen this grew on me a bit more. I liked the lyric well enough, thought the melody was okay but enjoyed the break. Yeah, growing on me a little.

Carlo Bruno Jr - This totally worked for me musically. Lyrically it was fine but not quite up to par with the music. At least it wasn't the standard description of the average circus.

Cavedwellers - Cool song, bro. I liked the music, the melody, the lyric… well, the song. That chorus nails it for me.

DJ Ranger Den - I liked this song, too. The vocal delivery is immediate and the melody suits it very well which I liked a lot. Carries the good but not perfect lyric pretty well. That first "average circus" didn't quite fit for me. But I like your performance enough that you're still one of my favorites.

DuToVa - Solid enough musically, lyrically it's okay. At least it wasn't what I was expecting.

Frankie Big Face - Didn't much care for the very beginning. The spoken bits worked but not my favorite part. The lyric is very good, I love your angle. That chorus just kills it, though.

Inflatable Vegetables - I feel the lyric and your perspective on the title really nail it. Reading the lyric while listening makes me like it a whole lot more. It's a better song that my ears first believed.

Ken Mahru - Solid. Maybe the vocal melody and performance is a bit laid back for the music… maybe, but while it didn't stand out for me, it didn't detract, either. Yeah, I liked your song.

Manhattan Glutton - Did you post a lyric? I didn't see a lyric. Am I blind? Well, I'm not deaf. You've got another song that I liked more the second time I listened to it. The guitars saved this for me as I just didn't get into it otherwise. Probably more my fault than yours. Still…

Michael J Samuels - I liked the song, but it didn't go anywhere for me. It was a bit hard to hear the lyric. Good but ultimately unsatisfying. I would have loved to see the lyric to this. You can post it here: viewforum.php?f=5

Mr. Meow - Nice guest vocalizing. The two part meows were the highlight. The best part, for me, was picturing my wife standing there talking and only hearing the female vocal part "meow meow meow meow meow." I feel you've come a long way since round 0, but unfortunately I don't see how the lyric has anything to do with the title so I'm gonna have to dock you points (which you didn't have to begin with) in this effort. I'd say sorry, but….

Nick Soma - Congratz, you don't sound like that guy from Green Day in this song. I liked your song but you're describing a shitty circus not an average one. Not that I mind, just saying. Not my favorite but up there. Another unique angle which I appreciate. Trust me. I appreciate it.

Paco del Stinko - I really enjoyed the melody and vocal performance, the "harmony" vocals really work well. It's not exactly a happy song, musically, but it doesn't quite mesh with the lyric. Whereas that sometimes makes a song feel wrong, here I liked it quite a bit.

Rabid Garfunkel - That's a shitty view on life. But yeah, I agree more than I would admit in a public forum such as this. Good rhythm, drive. I really liked your song until the vocals came in. The talk/sing didn’t quite work as well as some other songs.

Ross Durand - There is some solid guitar work going on here. And I don't dislike your song, but it doesn't have an angle or a bigger point or anything to make it stand out lyrically for me. This is a better song than it is gonna get scored. Sorry.

The Chocolate Chips - Circus/Pythagoras/brontosaurus…. Okay this works better than I thought. I actually like your lyric well enough. The guitar bits on that right side were tasty.

Toby Roktot - It just doesn't stack up to the other entries for me.

Touched By "Touched By An Angel" - Okay, I won't lie. I love that lyric.

Zack Facco - The lyric doesn't quite do it for me. The "average circus" metaphor didn't quite click. I thought the performance was good.

a tous les monsieurs - Cool groove. I like the bigger picture you paint with your lyric.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:39 pm

Generic wrote:I do wish the lyrics mentioned which state Circus is in, but no big deal.


I did drop Kokomo (Indiana) in the lyrics. So, let's say in that vicinity. Ya know, the average City of Circus, population < 10000, riddled with small "big dreams" and big "small problems"...

I much prefer hearing everyone's interpretations than spelling them out up-front. ;)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby glennny » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:02 pm

yeah , but how do you spell circus?
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Generic » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:15 pm

glennny wrote:
something about the time sig changes also feel really uncomfortable to me, like I'm being pulled against the current of the song. Not sure how to explain it.


That's a good description. We had the line " we could escape this, the average circus" before the music. So when I was writing the music , I wanted that feeling of trying to escape ( but not quite being able to). So the song is a driving 4/4. The drums remain in 4/4 for the chorus. The guitars and vocals get trapped in 3 over 4 for a bit, then whipped back etc. So there's the 4/4 beneath, and the rest is doing 33322 33322 333222 ( if you really break it down). The rhythmic tension was intensional.


Yes, that makes sense. Time signature changes are weirdly fluid and unpredictable things. Sometimes they're so perfect they actually enhance the flow of the song, like The Beatles' "Don't Let Me Down," or Frank's "Scared to Death," or Rush's... well, let's just go ahead and say most songs by Rush. Other times, it pulls you right out. Adding an element that distracts from the flow of the song as an intentional tension-building element may increase a song's artistic merit, but it's a risky gambit in a song competition where the judges only have two days to digest your song (just like utilizing the Schoenberg 12-tone technique was risky last year.)

Well, risky-ish. Two of us absolutely loved your song this week. One of us really disliked it. I suppose haters are a sign you're on the right path, though, right?


frankie big face wrote:
Generic wrote:à tous les monsieurs
Some of the circus stuff was a little on-the-nose (there's a lot of that going around this week). The drums are really good, but they also get repetitive; it could have used some more pattern variation, particularly in the B section. I enjoyed this, but not as much as last week's effort. Three relatively minor negative things stand out to me on repeated listens: 1.) The awful, awful French; 2.) The strangely pro-animal-abuse lyrics; 3.) The weirdly repetitive band-drop over that trumpet riff. Dropping the band is a cool trick the first time, but it gets old fast. Like I said, it's an overall very accomplished song, but these nitpicks really bug me.


Okay, first of all, I corrected the French when I sang it (i.e. the contractions). Erik just didn't update the lyrics file. Are you complaining about my pronunciation? If so, SUCK IT JON ERIC.

And secondly, what you are calling "strangely pro-animal-abuse" is called satire. Come on, Jon. You can do better than this. I'M CALLING YOU OUT, JON ERIC.


The pronunciation is better than the written lyrics suggest (thanks for correcting as you go, Frank), but what makes me wince every time is the phrase "nous sommes se il vous plait de vous presenter..." which would literally mean "We are if you please to present to you..." I'm not sure a native French speaker would use "pleased" in that manner anyway. Google Translate suggests "nous sommes hereux" which makes more sense to me.

Call me out on missing the satire all you like. I had 22 of these songs to listen to, review, and rank, in 48 hours, so I wasn't thinking "Hey, this is a comment on the sad state of animal affairs in the circus," I was thinking, "Hey, is he complaining that all the animals aren't being held captive anymore? That's kind of weird." I admit, when you mentioned PETA by name, that probably should have clued me in.

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Generic wrote:I do wish the lyrics mentioned which state Circus is in, but no big deal.


I did drop Kokomo (Indiana) in the lyrics. So, let's say in that vicinity. Ya know, the average City of Circus, population < 10000, riddled with small "big dreams" and big "small problems"...

I much prefer hearing everyone's interpretations than spelling them out up-front. ;)


Oh, I thought you meant, y'know, that Kokomo and the lyric was kind of a non-sequitur. Now it makes more sense. Thanks!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby josh » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:33 pm

Hey, Jon, I noticed I was the only one that didn't get a review from you.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Generic » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:44 pm

josh wrote:Hey, Jon, I noticed I was the only one that didn't get a review from you.


Whoops! I was copying from another spot, editing, then pasting the new reviews here. Yours must have gotten lost in the shuffle.

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After some of the out-of-pocket problems in last week's song, stripping down to an acoustic arrangement was a smart move. The song still lacks some of that fire and soul that the top-tier entries have, but at least there are fewer audible mistakes, and it doesn't overstay its welcome. I feel bad giving this a poor score, but there are still problems that keep it out of the running. I like the idea behind the lyrics, but they're a little too prosaic. Structureless, no rhymes. That contributes to the fact that this isn't memorable.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby josh » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:00 pm

Thanks for getting that up quick, I appreciate the review!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby noma » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:18 pm

Generic wrote:Sorry, bearing in mind Paco's "The New Ugly," I couldn't resist editorializing a little when I noticed you two had tied.

That's OK, that song of Paco's was one of my favorites from last year's Nur Ein ;)
Generic wrote:I wasn't entirely clear on whether the "circus" was referring to a literal Earth circus, or if they just think of our whole planet as a circus. That's a minor nitpick.

The latter. The alien tourist is from a world where they view other planets as circuses or amusement parks for them to enjoy. The Great Council, which consists mainly of total idiots, told him it would be a great idea to visit the circus known as Earth.
Pigfarmer Jr wrote:I liked your song but you're describing a shitty circus not an average one.

Upon arrival, though, he notices the planet is just average, just "meh". Because of his frustration with this, he momentarily dismisses the planet, or circus, as the most boring thing ever. That's why the circus doesn't seem average, but really sucky. In reality, it's just average though. Maybe not the best of all possible worlds, but hey...
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby frankie big face » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:01 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:Frankie Big Face - Didn't much care for the very beginning. The spoken bits worked but not my favorite part. The lyric is very good, I love your angle. That chorus just kills it, though.


There are spoken bits? I'm not sure you are listening to the right song...

Glad you liked the lyric. It's not a great song but it was fun to make.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:17 am

Generic wrote:Oh, I thought you meant, y'know, that Kokomo and the lyric was kind of a non-sequitur.

I guess it's something that I only recently found out, so why would I expect others to know? The Kokomo in that song is fictional, and the Beach Boys thought it was kind of a funny joke. Kokomo, IN is widely regarded as ... meh ... It was ranked the most affordable city to live in the US.

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