Nur Ein X Round Six "Outnumbered"

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Nur Ein X Round Six "Outnumbered"

Postby Generic » Mon May 25, 2015 7:40 am

Welcome to Round Six!

Title: Outnumbered
Non Optional Challenge: Odd Time Signature
Songs are Due on: Monday, June 1st @ 12:01 AM EDT
Send your MP3 to nurein.sidefight@gmail.com

NUR EIN!!!!!!
Last edited by Generic on Mon May 25, 2015 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby j$ » Mon May 25, 2015 8:21 am

Odd challenge spelling deliberate, i'm sure.

optional challenge: NO PROG.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby Generic » Mon May 25, 2015 11:24 am

j$ wrote:Odd challenge spelling deliberate, i'm sure.

optional challenge: NO PROG.


Nope, that was a typo. I've corrected it.

I'll admit that most of the judges didn't vet this challenge, but I made an executive decision because we were running late. That said, I did resist the temptation to more specifically define what an "odd time signature" is, because some of the other judges have expressed a preference against challenges they felt were too prescriptive.

Therefore: define "odd" in the most fitting manner to you, but bear in mind that what's odd to you might not seem so odd to the judges. This listicle is mostly classical music, but it's a pretty good place to start.

The best Song Fight example I can think of is Jute Gyte's "Driving."
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby noma » Sun May 31, 2015 3:20 am

Sent mine in. For the record, intro and verses are in 10/8 (3+2+2+3), choruses in 15/16, and the bridge in 7/8. (Hope that's correct.)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby Generic » Sun May 31, 2015 9:27 pm

Finally, a round with no dropouts!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby glennny » Sun May 31, 2015 9:33 pm

Bravo on the artwork!!! that is brilliant!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby furrypedro » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:30 am

Reviewing fights like this is awesome, only 4 songs and they're all good!

Cavedwellers: You almost lost me with the intro here. It's a recording issue rather than a writing one, the playing is tight enough but the guitars are a bit thin and the drums feel artificial and clunky. By the time you get to the first chorus you've pulled it back and it actually turns into a really nice song. I'll allow Glen his obligatory widdle, and when the e-bow part is layered over the chorus it really comes into it's own. Overall a very enjoyable listen.

FBF: Probably the best pop song of the fight. I don't need to tell you about what you do so well, I'm just gonna concentrate on my gripes :D it's completely a personal thing and very much to do with my personal situation but the subject matter alone makes me not bothered about listening to this song again once the fight is over. Sorry, I get so much baby crap on FB I'm one of the cynical arseholes who can't help but feel it's all so sycophantic, if I got congratulated every time I ejaculated I'd be the most lauded person in the UK (I feel an antidote song forming). You may well be writing from exactly the same perspective as me but it doesn't sound like it. It makes me want to listen to Faded by Lizzo (sample lyric: "sucky wife is pregnant with another suck-ass kid"). Sorry for ranting for so long! it's actually got nothing to do with your perfect pop nugget. Good work!

Nick
: Where most of the others in this fight seem like the types to venture into weird time-sig territory of their own accord, you don't strike me as that type. Taking that into account it's refreshing to here a different pace and swing from you and you've taken to it really well. There are no points during this track where the flow is disrupted by the changes in signature which isn't an easy thing to pull off. You win the most brooding song of the fight award. I also think you should give Cavedwellers some tips on fake drumsets cos yours sound really good here (as usual, of course).

ATLM
: I'm willing you to play a duffer here for my own sake, unfortunately I don't think that's going to be the case. It does make me wonder what you'll do if it's a ATLM vs FBF finale, will Frankie sing on both? For the most part I like this a lot, the dark shuffle of the drums and the metronomic guitars are neat and the climactic vocal part (the closest this comes to having a chorus) is good. I do find the numeric chanting a little bit distracting though. I get the point but I think it detracts from the overall effect a bit. I think maybe doing it once would have worked, but the way it is repeated feels slightly heavy-handed to me. Apart from that the lyrics fit the music better than any other song this fight.

I really struggled with how to put my own song together this week, but I'm glad I made it to this round as the results make me happy. Thanks to the judges for this challenge! I think it's brought out some very worthwhile stuff. I'm gonna go and start my Dogs of War song now, not because I'm feeling lucky but why not do a Nein, eh? We've come this far.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby frankie big face » Mon Jun 01, 2015 4:41 am

Pete, I am a mid-40s single guy with no kids and no interest in having any. I think the best way to do satire is to make it sound completely sincere. Avoiding cynicism about the topic was a primary goal, and it sounds like I achieved it for better or worse! :D

Also, you need cooler Facebook friends. ;)
(Alternately, just start posting a status update every time you have one of those awesome ejaculates!)

Thanks for writing reviews!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby frankie big face » Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:08 am

Incidentally, my father had twelve siblings and my mom thirteen. While writing this song, I couldn't help but imagine the horror of growing up in either of those looney bins!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby glennny » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:49 am

Cavedwellers: You almost lost me with the intro here. It's a recording issue rather than a writing one, the playing is tight enough but the guitars are a bit thin and the drums feel artificial and clunky....


I agree the nylon string could be recorded better (less hiss), but I liked the delicate place for them in the mix. I seem to have a knack for taking beautifully recorded loops and making them sound artificial. I don't have 9/8 and 7/8 loops, so I had to build the rhythms. So you're hearing cut up loops assembled. I wasn't going for necessarily natural drummer playing feel. I wanted to really stress certain accents. I wanted to keep the beats simple and emphasizing the odd time signatures, but most of all serving the song. I love the way the drums sound and where they ended up. (obviously, or I wouldn't have released them like they are.)

My first draft was a 220bpm 7/8 jazz tune with really busy drums. I was fearful of trying to out jazz ATLM, and the Brain Trust had mediocre reaction to it. So I started over on Wednesday night and came up with what developed into our submission. I love the composition, and the way it turned out.

The four other songs are amazing! I don't think anyone choked. I can imagine any combination in the finals. One of my favorite indie Math Rock bands is Balance Lost. So I had high expectations, and Pete delivered. Balance Lost has my favorite song (other than ours).

Good job everyone!

and Happy Birthday to Lee! (the other half of the Cavedwellers)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby frankie big face » Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:53 pm

Let me start by saying this: everyone left in this competition knows how to deal with complex time signatures! Challenge met and then some.

Here are my comments, for what they're worth. Like everyone, I have preferences but I can honestly see any two of these five artists advancing to the final based on these songs. They're all really good.

Balance Lost - J$ said no prog! Such pretty colors in this track. The guitars and organ are a lovely mix and the guitar that comes later in the instrumental break is such a great sound too. (You're also really into claps and clicks at the moment, aren't you?) This is an interesting use of odd time signatures—you can tell they're odd but the song not only sounds okay, it has an unstructured, organic feel to it. I love the way the organ line winds its way around the vocal. My gripes (see, I gave you the courtesy of the good stuff, too!) are the usual: vocal limitations showing, but not nearly as much in this track as in the past. The octave doubling toward the end is well-placed and well-executed. There's really very little, if anything, wrong with this track—it's a real gem.

Cavedwellers - Where FP's song sounds organic in nature, the time signature changes in this song sound mechanical and contrived. (That sounds bad, but honestly, 10th-grade Frank would have loved this.) This is a great mix, well-performed, well-sung, well-conceived—there's a lot to applaud. But for me, it's not a satisfying listen because I can't get into the lyrics, which seem a little too complex for the message they're sending (if I'm understanding it correctly) and more appropriate for a much more aggressive song. It seems like an odd pairing to me....I don't know. Maybe I just don't get it.

Nick Soma - Nick Soma, WTF?!! You had this in you and you made that other thing last week! The verses in this song are really cool. The menacing atmosphere with its swirly synths and creepy bass line and math rock drums—I dig it. Your detached (but excellent) vocal is the icing on the cake. The chorus seems like it could be in 4/4—seems almost forced into the odd meter. But it doesn't matter because the chorus is so pretty. (Almost too pretty for the words it supports.) This could totally be a song by The National. I thought this was great from top to bottom.

à tous les monsieurs - I wish I could go back and fix some vocal things I am hearing now. Mostly on the "What are the odds?" line that begins each verse. I don't think my voice was quite awake yet. But I digress. I think the lyrics are really strong and I know how much they are right up your alley. Great concept. Awesome performances all around and I love the slight variations in the guitar patterns throughout the track. The layered vox at the end are interesting in the way they overlap - is there a mathematical pattern to the placement? Another fine track from the highly pretentious, even Frencher than French à tous les monsieurs!

I'm not putting these in order. It's too hard.

P.S. I thought my track was really strong, but damn! You guys all brought it this week. Congrats!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby glennny » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:40 pm

Double Champ said:
But for me, it's not a satisfying listen because I can't get into the lyrics, which seem a little too complex for the message they're sending (if I'm understanding it correctly) and more appropriate for a much more aggressive song. It seems like an odd pairing to me....I don't know. Maybe I just don't get it.


I don't believe you Frank. I think you're playing the meta game. I don't think the lyrics are complex. I don't see how they are not appropriate for this level of aggression in a song. To me they're emotive. I think to the honest listener they would be too. If you're on the level, what makes them sound too aggressive, or complex? I'm curious to see how they sit with the judges. ( I hope I'm right)

As for your lyrics Frank, they strike me as a fun little story about a large family. I love the rhyme "encumbered and out numbered". I used it in the glennny track "Not if I see you first". I'm surprised to hear it's supposed to be satire. Shadenfruede (my favorite song of yours) is what I think of as satire. This one doesn't really have the exaggeration and sarcasm or folly for it to strike me as satire. I like the lyrics straight up though, they serve the pop candy that is your song.

I've had several listens, still loving them all. Good job everyone!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby Generic » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:07 pm

glennny wrote:Double Champ said:
But for me, it's not a satisfying listen because I can't get into the lyrics, which seem a little too complex for the message they're sending (if I'm understanding it correctly) and more appropriate for a much more aggressive song. It seems like an odd pairing to me....I don't know. Maybe I just don't get it.


I don't believe you Frank. I think you're playing the meta game. I don't think the lyrics are complex. I don't see how they are not appropriate for this level of aggression in a song. To me they're emotive. I think to the honest listener they would be too. If you're on the level, what makes them sound too aggressive, or complex? I'm curious to see how they sit with the judges. ( I hope I'm right)


I don't know about "complexity," but the "aggressive" read on the lyrics probably comes from the fact that you refer to people in general as "idiots" and "fools" throughout. I don't think that's anything to hold against you, though.

I'll have full reviews tomorrow. There's some great stuff here, and I'm sad to see anyone go, but I actually didn't have a very difficult time with my rankings. Some weeks it's a nightmare; sometimes you just know what you like. The other judges appear to be having some difficulty, however, as I remain the only one to settle on scores so far this week.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby noma » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:22 pm

frankie big face wrote:Nick Soma - Nick Soma, WTF?!! You had this in you and you made that other thing last week! The verses in this song are really cool. The menacing atmosphere with its swirly synths and creepy bass line and math rock drums—I dig it. Your detached (but excellent) vocal is the icing on the cake. The chorus seems like it could be in 4/4—seems almost forced into the odd meter. But it doesn't matter because the chorus is so pretty. (Almost too pretty for the words it supports.) This could totally be a song by The National. I thought this was great from top to bottom.

Thank you! That chorus is in 15/16 time, so almost 4/4 with just one 16th note missing. Probably sounds a bit weird if you expect 4/4 like we all do because we're so used to it, but I like the way it turned out. In the intro and 2nd verse (as well as, very quietly, underneath the last chorus), I used a theremin which certainly adds to the creepiness. Again, thank you for your kind review. Your description of my song is exactly what I wanted it to sound like ;)

frankie big face wrote:P.S. I thought my track was really strong, but damn! You guys all brought it this week. Congrats!

In fact, your song is my favorite one this week. My favorite chorus is the Cavedwellers', but the verses elude me (not a bad song in any way, perhaps just a bit too complex for me); I have similar issues with Balance Lost's and àtlm's songs, though the counting parts are really catchy. No single bad track here, though!
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby glennny » Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:50 pm

My favorite chorus is the Cavedwellers', but the verses elude me (not a bad song in any way, perhaps just a bit too complex for me);


Thanks man! I'm loving your song too! Our verses are just 9/8. The thing about 9 is it can sound like 3 three times. So I made the accents for a lot of the verse more like counting 123121234. With that in mind, I don't think you'd find it too complex at all. Certainly not as complex as 15. :)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby j$ » Tue Jun 02, 2015 1:44 am

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C.

Good songs.

FBF _- things I don’t like about this song: the crying baby and the fact the story (to these ears) needs another verse to complete its progression. The subtle sarcasm builds really well to the tv show stuff and then .. kind of stops? Things I did like: everything else, especially the slightly discordant synth refrain and the beautiful chorus. The lyric made me think of ‘Outnumbered’ the British TV family sitcom of a few years back. However, this was good :)

CD – This is a bit like last week for me – a great tune (I liked the thinness / clearness / jazz guitar tone of the riffing very much and there were some really strong choices in chord progression that kept it fresh and interesting. Vocals sounded great here as well) spoiled by the lyric. I would say something abrasive like ‘whiny’ but maybe the already mentioned ‘aggressive’ is more accurate. I think the problem is it’s not clear (on first and second listen anyway) what/who is the subject of your ire, so it runs the risk of sounding like that slightly odd bloke sitting on the park bench next to you who’s talking out loud to himself. I’m not saying all lyrics have to be clear and have a story and progress in a structured, clear way (though it would be nice) but you can’t have it both ways – either that or be prepared for the fools of the world to say ‘I can’t find a way in’…

NS – I sooooo loved the first minute or two of this. Really, really strong, powerful, so much so I was willing to overlook the stupidity of the lyric – vampires in butterflies? Well, they must be pretty tiny vampires, then! (Unless of course this is some ‘Outdoor Miner’ type song about a parasitic insect. If it was, sorry, didn’t get that). I was still ready to say this was my favourite song of the week, but as it progressed it turned more and more into stadium folksy rock; those big choruses at the end, fine though they are, feel so far away from the start of the song, and they’re good but bland where the beginning was so inventive.

ATLM – Nice jazzin’. I really like the bassline. I can ride that for a minute or two, for sure. I don’t really understand the maths / odds stuff beyond it references the title. I am more of a literature man myself. I find it a little annoying about half way through but the overlapping harmonies / vocal refrains at the end save it. That bit was great. Otherwise it was well made but not engaging all that much, TBH.

BL – Nice song. Not a huge amount to say one way or the other about it. Very well done and the arrangement is good (a bit Balance Lost-y though ☺ ) It went along prettily and nicely and didn’t leave a lot on the way through. Like a good emetic. This is a nigh impossible song to place in a strong round – it could be top, or bottom, or somewhere in between. It’s lovely and easy to like when you’re listening, but it goes out of your head (well, mine at least) pretty much as soon as it ends.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby furrypedro » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:17 am

frankie big face wrote:(see, I gave you the courtesy of the good stuff, too!)

Very good point, I was a bit mean with my compliments. Let me embellish. First off, I'm a fan of the overarching choppy indie-ishness of your song. The compact and tight drums and gravely guitars are right in my comfort zone. I particularly like the way the keys peep through in the first verse (I can't figure out what they are exactly, Rhodes, Wurlitzer?) and underpin the guitar. Then in the second verse the lead guitars add yet more flavour, they're almost a bit arena rock but not really. Obviously, the intro guitar riff is one of the most distinctive and memorable parts of the song and provides a slightly off-kilter melody to offset the sugar in the chorus, which is where the song really opens up and pretty much hits the sweet spot with every beat. Regarding the lyrics again, I think I stand by my earlier comments even knowing what I know now. There really isn't anything wrong with them, on the contrary, they tick all the right boxes in terms of meter, rhyme scheme, etc. But I only get the satirical angle if I actively think about it, I don't feel it, I think it sounds sincere. But like I said there's nothing wrong with that, just my angle. I'm tempted to send the mp3 to all my sad bastard friends who've gone and done loser-ish things like "fall in love", "get married" and "start a family" :lol: I'm sure they'd love it.


j$ wrote:BL: it could be top, or bottom, or somewhere in between.

Put it top then.


Generic wrote:I don't know about "complexity," but the "aggressive" read on the lyrics probably comes from the fact that you refer to people in general as "idiots" and "fools" throughout. I don't think that's anything to hold against you, though.

I think I'm on Glen's side with this one. They definitely don't read as aggressive to me, more like the 2 protagonists of the song are dismissive or disenfranchised with those being described as "idiots". My 2¥.


I also feel I may have been a bit patronising of Nick "perfect score" Soma in my review after reading it back. I apologise if that's how it sounded.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby furrypedro » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:25 am

j$ wrote:a bit Balance Lost-y

Thanks man! :) I'm sure other bands dream of having compliments like that thrown at them.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby glennny » Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:53 am

Pete gets it :)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby noma » Tue Jun 02, 2015 3:55 am

j$ wrote:NS – I sooooo loved the first minute or two of this. Really, really strong, powerful, so much so I was willing to overlook the stupidity of the lyric – vampires in butterflies? Well, they must be pretty tiny vampires, then! (Unless of course this is some ‘Outdoor Miner’ type song about a parasitic insect. If it was, sorry, didn’t get that). I was still ready to say this was my favourite song of the week, but as it progressed it turned more and more into stadium folksy rock; those big choruses at the end, fine though they are, feel so far away from the start of the song, and they’re good but bland where the beginning was so inventive.

You always say my lyrics are stupid *sigh* but, as for that line, let me explain that my mother is really scared of butterflies (because they might get tangled in her hair, or whatever), which is one kind of fear she fortunately could not manage to instill in me. (Apart from that, she was, um, let's say, a very Floydian character during my whole youth. So, that song is semi-autobiographical, though a bit exaggerated, of course.)

A slightly less poetic 'translation' of that line you mentioned would be "And soon you'll find some horrible side to even the most harmless things".
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby furrypedro » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:17 am

noma wrote:A slightly less poetic 'translation' of that line you mentioned would be "And soon you'll find some horrible side to even the most harmless things".

So Nick's unweaved the rainbow for you there Johnny. I hope you're Proud of yourself.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Six

Postby frankie big face » Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:50 am

So the world really does keep spinning when I go to sleep!

glennny wrote:I don't believe you Frank. I think you're playing the meta game. I don't think the lyrics are complex. I don't see how they are not appropriate for this level of aggression in a song. To me they're emotive. I think to the honest listener they would be too. If you're on the level, what makes them sound too aggressive, or complex? I'm curious to see how they sit with the judges. ( I hope I'm right)


Glenn, the first rule of the meta game... If we are playing the meta game, you are clearly winning because I had to ask Erik what you meant. (He knew...)

I had a hard time writing a review of your song. As I said, maybe I just don't understand what it's about. But lines like "Idiots are everywhere" and "All the foolish, feeble-minded, chatterbox-ing people" and "I’ve suffered enough fools today" make it sound angry to me. But instead of saying "angry," I said "aggressive" because I didn't think "angry" was quite right either. And I think "complex" was just another way of saying "wordy." Next time, I'll just say I don't like the lyrics.

Regarding my lyrics, I think the idea that someone would be this ecstatic about having (at least) thirteen children is so ludicrous that any sincere performance of the lyrics would register as satirical. In the style of Stephen Colbert, I decided not to acknowledge how crazy the idea is. But if people think I am sincerely encouraging human beings to have a "baker's dozen" of children, then I guess I failed. In which case, I am definitely going to try and sell the song to a fertility drug company.

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