à tous les monsieurs wrote:Jon, thanks again for the listen and taking part in the judging for this contest. I don't know if it is good or bad form to reply to the reviews from judges? But I will.
Those harmonies in the intro are functionally identical to the A section, with extensions added. I was going for the form of the 40s ballads that open with a string section or a cappella choir as a rubato, free intro. By the time we end on that lush dominant 7#5#9 chord the intro is set to resolve into the main key of d minor.
But yes, singing the band name is silly and out of context. But that won't stop anytime soon. I'm committed.
Repeating the Bridge and A3 lyric is standard tin pan alley technique. Barring a few standards ("These Foolish Things"), I couldn't see it happening any other way for a 32 bar ballad. It is a tried and true tradition in songwriting in the first half of the twentieth century. For me, something about revisiting the bridge lyrics and final A section gives the story more weight. It functions in the same fashion to the modern "chorus" in top 40 music post 1950. The power of repetition.
frankie big face wrote:
Generic wrote:À Tous Les Monsieurs
Frank has been around this particular block a few times, so I assume he informed Erik that the Round Zero challenge doesn't apply to the rest of the competition, right? Your harmonies in the intro would seem to satisfy the challenge, but that portion of the song doesn't really have anything to do with what follows, and the harmonies in that section are an afterthought. I like your lyrical approach to the challenge - using spies honestly hadn't occurred to me. I am a little curious about whether the narrator knew she was a spy before he fell for her.
EDIT: I've decided to remove my rant about this review. But you can just imagine how outrageous it was. I saved it...just in case.
frankie big face wrote:
Haha. Have I been doing that? I'd like to think on a scale of 1 to Jeff Fal, I've been pretty calm overall.
I really do appreciate the reviews but, as Glennny pointed out, the specifics can sometimes be maddening. In this case, I felt Jon's review of àtlm's song was a little condescending in that it referred to specific parts of the song that were absolutely thought out (hell, they were sent to me notated on sheet music!) as "afterthoughts" or "unrelated to the rest of the song." I think that's unfair to the artist and assumes facts not in evidence, as a lawyer might say.
I also always go crazy when I feel the non-optional challenge has not only to be met, but to be met to a judges particular level of satisfaction. I try to be creative when dealing with these challenges but to imply that àtlm did not meet the challenge in a way that was satisfactory or was less than sincere or whatever rubs me the wrong way.
So that's basically what I said, BLT. But yes, with more McEnroe-like pontificating. I definitely do not want to discourage judge reviews—it's nice to know the reasons behind the rankings—but it's also hard to resist defending the songs or the artists when you feel they have been slighted.
No offense to Jon! Thanks for your hard work on running Nur Ein and thank you for posting reviews!
Whew! A lot to unpack here!
First off, Erik, in case it's not already apparent: Yes, there's a long history of contestants responding to/arguing with judge reviews. I thought your response to the review was quite measured and perfectly reasonable. You also pointed out some things I legitimately hadn't noticed. I'll have to listen again and pay attention to the harmonies in the intro. I think what kept me from noticing this was the fact that the extensions made the choral harmonies sound major in tonality, where the verse melody is clearly minor. That and the rubato combined so that I could not recognize the two progressions as related at all, until it was pointed out to me.
As for the lyrical repetition: This is a case, I think, where genre conventions conflict with what the song needs (in my admittedly idiosyncratic and completely subjective opinion). I'm familiar with the "tin pan alley tradition" of repeating structure, and I don't object to it as a matter of course, but in a song where the lyrics form a narrative, repeating lyrics can feel like backward momentum.
At first I thought I had missed some drama from Frank, but he's gone and clarified his concerns, and I think they mostly match Erik's I do apologize if my review seemed dismissive of aspects of the song which were in fact meticulously planned. It should be obvious, but it bears mentioning that the judges aren't looking over your shoulder as you work, and we're not privy to your creative process. All we have is the finished product—if your intentions are evident when we listen (usually repeatedly), then that's great! But if they're not, I don't really know what can be done about it other than pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.
I like your songs so far. I liked your first one more than I've liked the other two, but that's a minor distinction, and most of the criticisms in my reviews have been nitpicks. I can tell that you're creative and highly
musically literate, and that has resulted in some good songs. I'm sorry if the middling rankings (among other also very good songs!) and the nitpicky reviews have made that less apparent, but I really do like what you're doing, and I hope you keep it up.