Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

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Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

No safe harbor from getting panned.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by gramparsons »

Chris Correa - Very cool arrangement. Loved the subtleties, like the sticks. Guitar leads are great as well. The melody is a slow burner, drawing you in slowly but surely. Nice job overall.

Levittdown - Great song and performance, particularly the singing. One minor complaint: the recording sounds a bit muffled. Other than that, it's terrific.

Macaque Attack - Great performance with a very rich production. Every instrumental part seems really well thought out. Great melody as well.

Inflatable Vegetables - Loved the lyrical imagery in this one. Great harmonies and arrangement.

The Go-Kups - Well, what can I say? Really had little to no time to record this, but again, the important thing was to finish it. And, on that level at least, it's an unqualified success.

The Overambitious - A lot of great hooks here. This is another one that got better as it went along.

Micah Sommersmith - My favorite so far. Everything works here: the instrumental performance, the melody, the harmonies. Dumb question: Is that an actual accordion?

ricochet - Not really my thing, but I liked it a lot. Had a little trouble making out the lyrics, but overall, it's really good.

dark side of the son - Liked the lyrics and the lead guitar bits. Has a charmingly ominous feel to it.

Paco del Stinko - Loved this one. Great song. Loved the guitar solo too.

Johnny Cashpoint - Really liked this one too. Great arrangement and lyrics. Great hook as well. This'll be a tough choice this week.

Pepper Jane - Jeez. Another great one. Really like your singing and guitar playing.


Wow. Still thinking it over. I think I'll take the secret ballot approach this week.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

gramparsons wrote:Micah Sommersmith - My favorite so far. Everything works here: the instrumental performance, the melody, the harmonies. Dumb question: Is that an actual accordion?
Thanks for the kind words! It is indeed a real live accordion. The drums, however, are 100% fake.
gramparsons wrote:Wow. Still thinking it over. I think I'll take the secret ballot approach this week.
Remember you can vote for as many entries as you want. I often end up voting for 4 or 5...
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Late BSS entry added.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Oh, of course it is. :roll:
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by gramparsons »

MicahSommer wrote: Remember you can vote for as many entries as you want. I often end up voting for 4 or 5...
Okay, cool. I might just do that.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by j$ »

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Oh, of course it is. :roll:
Ha ha ha! You have saved me the effort of being snide - thanks, Paco!

I must admit I do find it weird it was a late entry AS IT WAS WRITTEN OVER A WEEK AGO FOR A DIFFERENT TITLE IN NUR EIN. Christ, how hard it is to press 'send' on time these days? :) :)

Just joshing, BSS. It's a great song WHATEVER YOU ACTUALLY WROTE IT FOR ;)

God bless CAPITALS.

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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

j$ wrote:
Paco Del Stinko wrote: :roll:
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by j$ »

Bwah-ha-ha! I deserved that! So it's OK I don't vote for it a second time, right? Just checking the rules of *this* competition ;)

j$
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Gather 'round, folks. Group hug.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by The Overambitious »

I thought everyone did really good this time around! Nothing made me cringe so thats a plus ;)

Macaque Attack - I really liked the crunchy drums. The tremolo effect and melodic piano was a nice touch. The vocals could maybe be brightened just a bit. Great job! Get’s a vote!

Inflatable Vegetables - Not bad. The vocals seem a bit quiet and may need to be brightened.

The Overambitious - That’s me! I won’t talk about myself ;)

Paco del Stinko - The guitar work was fun. I think starting the lyrics out with the subject is kinda weak in appearance.

Micah Sommersmith - I like the vocals. I love how this one has a very happy vibe! Great job.

dark side of the son - Well this one was… not happy sounding lol. The vocal recording quality could be improved. I liked the melodic guitar. Added a kind of mysterious element to the song.

Johnny Cashpoint - Not bad. The song really lacked any kind of significant rise. Interesting topic choice lol.

Chris Correa - Liked the drum and bass intro. I really liked the vibe. I would boost the vocals a good amount. Nice job! Get’s a vote!

The Go-Kups - I liked the “front porch” vibe. Maybe boost the vocals. Not bad.

ricochet - I really like the guitar in this. It adds a really nice feeling to the song. The vocoder is interesting. I’d suggest having regular vocals and using the vocoder as harmony. Nice job. I’ll give it a vote.

Pepper Jane - I liked the acoustic feeling of this song. The singer has a great voice. I would brighten the song a bit, unless you’re going for a darker sound. Great job! Gets a vote.

Levittown - I liked the acoustic sound. Not bad. Good job.

Berkley Social Scene - Not bad. I liked the atmospheric effects. Vocals sounded good. The guitar work was good.
|-/
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by j$ »

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C.
There's an 'unwelcome repetition' theme running through my reviews this time out although typically I'm not smart enough to realise it properly. Ah, well - here are some reviews ...


BSS See my Nur Ein review.
j$ wrote: I like this a lot (it’s just Pixies enough without tumbling into pastiche). A couple of clunky lyrical moments (particular ‘this barstool’s a buoy’ and ‘… so kick out the Jams’) and not super-keen on what’s being playing by the lead / solo this time out, the vocal swapping in the chorus works well and there’s still more than enough here for me to enjoy that the downside doesn’t get too annoying.
I disapprove of entering multiple times with the same song. You could at least have taken the animal noises out of the mix – it has no reference to this fight. Also even though you say ‘safe harbour’ this is clearly a song called ‘boiler-maker’. That said, I’m conflicted – I voted this first over at NE, so I should do the same here. I probably will, but it still pisses me off something rotten.

Poops – Nice louche mood. It’s all very pretty and well-done. Some great guitar riffing and the vocals work well in the context of the song. Suits it down to the ground. Were I into this strand of music I can imagine shuffling along at the front of the stage, gazing at my shoes.

Dark Side of the Son – Cute band name. The slightly ropy singing doesn’t put me off too much (it would be hypocritical of me!) despite their prominence in the arrangement - and the harmonies are nicely conceptualised - really add depth to the melody as I hear it. However, there’s a couple of things that do put me off. The electric rhythm guitar tone is dirty in a bad way. At first I thought it was slightly out of tune but in retrospect I don’t think that’s the issue. It’s just a little drab and is dragging the song down a little, IMO. My big problem is I have definitely heard the verse melody before. I’m not saying you deliberately stole it but it’s bugging me so much trying to remember which 90s grunge song it’s from that it’s distracting me from the song. Which I hope is a useful critique of the song itself. Sorry, I know that’s not very helpful.

Go Kups – Now this is jolly! I love that bouncy drum/guitar combo and the melody/chord progression combo is great, works really well. I can’t really hear the words but I don’t care. A bit too bare bones in the arrangement (really, would a sequenced synth bass really have been so difficult)? But I really like this song so potential vote.

IV – What is it about this song title that is encouraging dreary sensitivity? Kudos and bonus points for actually writing a separate song for this title (BSS, Pepper Jane, I’m looking at *you*) – it’s all a bit sluggish for my tastes. Anyway, that’s more of a general comment than specific to this. I like the clever, gentle guitaring of the electric and as ever you can write a sweet little short song that packs a lot in. I would have either layered up or added another part to the harmonies of the chorus just to make it stand out more. And it kind of just stops. Otherwise this is just dandy.

J$ - is me. I realise this song is an unintentionally prescient review of this fight  100 club, f*ckers. Now to my next ambition – mile high. Tricky for a man with a crippling fear of flying.

Levittdown - What is it about this song title that is encouraging dreary sensitivity? Kudos and bonus points for actually writing a separate song for this title (BSS, Pepper Jane, I’m looking at *you*) Actually, I like this. That acoustic tone is great and your voice sounds the best I’ve heard it in the short time I have been hearing you. It’s a really good song, within its milieu. However, I feel it needs a fuller arrangement to support its length. I’m getting slightly bored around 2.40 and wanting something else to happen. I know it won’t but that’s what I’m feeling. Lyrically sound without any phrases leaping out at me. But damn your voice works well against that acoustic/chord sequence.

Mac Attack – Despite the dreary sensitivity / slightly clunky lyrics that appear to be a curse of this title fight, I really, really like this. The mix is great and that lead behind the vocal has wonderful tone / note choices. Actually the vocal is the fullest and most focused I’ve heard from the few songs of yours I’ve heard. That keyboard part is the winner, I realise, as the song progresses. It really fills out the sound without getting in the way of the other, more ‘look at me’ parts. This is great and definitely gets on my vote list.

Micah - Kudos and bonus points for actually writing a separate song for this title (BSS, Pepper Jane, I’m looking at *you*) . I like the Pogues, I like this. Too short, too abrupt. It feels like ‘I’ve got the ideas not the time’ 100% but it appears even your ‘wrote this song in an hour’ is better than what I could do with a year’s run in so it would be churlish not to vote for it. Hhhmmmm, my vote list is getting really long, I need to be a bit more brutal. This is the one I keep coming back to listen to, I just wish it was a bit more developed.

The OverAmbitious – Suitably camp. I like this a lot. Oh Christ, this is so hilariously super-super-camp, particularly the dah-nah-nahs, I’m actually giggling to myself! But it’s also super-damn-catchy and I find myself smiling as I click ‘play’ again,, so you can have a well-deserved vote. ‘I’m still not safe harbour gold / … but the skies are still blue’? Really? That was a lyrical choice that didn’t get shouted down at the project management meeting?

Paco – What’s not to like? Harbour and further don’t rhyme in the UK. Oh it floats my boat so I am desperately looking for a reason not to vote for it and keep my ‘winners’ list down under 50% of the fight; but actually, this is top. So bite back, Johnny, you’re basically voting for everyone in this fight, which kinda makes a mockery of the system; but hey, as I say often when reviewing Paco, what’s not to like?

Pepper Jane - See my Nur Ein review
j$ wrote: A nice listen, for sure, again one of those lyrics that probably is packed with profundity and poetic license but means f* all to an old cloth-ears like me. Lovely song and singing, which is good as it’s all that’s there. That punch-in for the ‘me I was a boiler-maker’ end is a little klutsy but the change-up comes at a good time, though it’s so different, it’s like a different song. No problem with that if you have catchy riffs to spare. Just a warning from a man who never had none…
FTR, I disapprove of entering multiple times with the same song. You could have probably just mixed it off at the switch down to the separate ‘Boiler Maker’ song at the end. You have a gorgeous voice and some clever wordage going on, but the bottom line is I appreciate this massively but it doesn’t excite me all that much. Sorry. What should you care? It may just be a positioning problem in that you’re following three songs that gave me a virtual erection. (Also, you can call me Mr. Cashpoint, not Mr. Money – blame Niveous for an inaccurate abbreviation that has somehow stuck over the years).

Ricochet – That fat synth bass excites me as does the (auto-tuned/TTS?) vocal. Wayyyyy too short but beautiful so I’m voting for it.

So votes for many people - BSS (yeah, I got over my contempt), Go-Kups, Mac, Micah, The Overly Camp, Paco & Ricochet. Good fight, folks.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by PepperJane »

j$ wrote: FTR, I disapprove of entering multiple times with the same song. You could have probably just mixed it off at the switch down to the separate ‘Boiler Maker’ song at the end... appreciate this massively but it doesn’t excite me all that much. Sorry. What should you care? It may just be a positioning problem in that you’re following three songs that gave me a virtual erection.
Sehr geehrter Herr Cashpoint.
I thought about rerecording it without the extra words that made the acrostic work and therefore also without the final chorus, thereby making that part just a little 3-line outro which I really frothed over in practising. A kind of Reliant K's "Deathbed" style prog-acoustic-rock number, but less lengthy hence the cut transitions which made the change make more sense. I just thought that with the rules being 'no reworking of old songs' that that would be frowned upon so I consciously left it.
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It's not necessary with me. I'm pleased to not be associated with said virtual physiological approval-ovation. Thanks for listening and taking the time to feedback. I listened to all the tracks and voted, will comment soon.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by j$ »

I am usually big on the whole 'Never apologise, never explain' dictum, just when I'm reviewing I write what I think at the time and sometimes there's that little voice saying 'that's unfair unless you can justify it' - so I like to flag up when that lil' Lester Bangs croons in my shell-like. I'm really just trying to show that internal dialogue. I'm really apologising internally for my pretentiousness :) Otherwise, there's no reason, like there's no reason to watch NCIS :)
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by GravityJohnson »

A high quality week I think. Here are my personal views this time round:

Dark Side of the Son - I like the atmosphere generated in this track a lot, someone used the word 'ominous' in a review, that's a good description. The recording and mix could certainly be improved, but that is secondary to the song itself, and that kept me captivated throughout.

The Go-Kups - Nice upbeat track. It feels like it's building to a really heavy, multi-layered, instrumental ending that never arrives. It feels slightly unresolved as a piece of music, maybe in need of something more to complete it (just for my own personal taste of course). That said, this is really enjoyable in its current form, really good work.

Johnny Cashpoint - Ok, I'll try and avoid the innuendos in this review. Pretty catchy and nice organ. Damn. Satisfyingly simplistic, and cool backing vocals. Nice hook in the chorus, certainly found myself humming this to myself afterwards for quite a while. The guitar solo in the middle is pretty limp, damn, but kind of fitting in the context of the song. The last line of the song is totally unnecessary, it's pretty clear what it's about. There's no need to hammer it home. Damn. :)

Levittdown - Nice acoustic piece, thoroughly enjoyable. The vocal recording sounds a little distant and somehow lacking some sparkle, but the performance and content is excellent (which is far more important). For my own personal tastes it'd have been nice to introduce some light strings or something at around the mid-point to add some interest. However, this is a fine job and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ricochet - I really like this, great vocal melody even though they are not really legible, and nice drums. Is that a vocoded vocal, a heavily processed vocal, or a VST singing instrument of some sort? This could have easily been longer without outstaying its welcome, perhaps by moving into a different section with a slightly different arrangement. Really good stuff, loved it.

Macaque Attack - That's us. Thanks to all who have taken the time to listen and comment. The feedback is the main reason we're here, so we're most grateful for all comments.

Berkeley Social Scene - Nicely catchy vocal melody. All well executed and structured. Someone mentioned Pixies influences (clearly a good thing), I also thinks it has a Pavement/Malkmus vibe about it (also a good thing). Great work.

Paco del Stinko - Very Blur 'Song 2' style opening, works very well. Another cool, bouncy offering from you guys, really good stuff. That guitar solo is a thing of beauty :)

Inflatable Vegetables - Pretty good. For my personal taste this needs something more introducing in the instrumentation to add additional interest. It's good and has a nice melody, but feels slightly safe. The whole track being lifted for the last minute with extra guitars, a pad, strings, or whatever, might have given it that lift. But I stress, this is just personal taste, we all approach this stuff differently and have different ideas, that's the beauty of it isn't it? All in all, good job, a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

Pepper Jane - Firstly, very nice voice and vocal. In terms of recording, the vocal is lacking a touch of sparkle (maybe this is intentional), but that's no big deal. Overall this is a really nice song that has been well performed. Great stuff.

The Overambitious - Nicely done, particularly like the quieter section. Seems to me that you've hit the style/genre you were aiming at.

Micah Sommersmith - This is really good. That accordion of yours works so well in this. Nicely constructed and a great ending. You've nailed this, definitely a vote from me.

Chris Correa - Nice atmospheric track that never quite bursts to life. This is pretty impressive in the way it builds up, excellent vocal (could be lifted a touch in the mix), nice guitar and bass work throughout. For my own personal taste this is crying out for a sudden hugely loud section with heavy riffing distorted guitars and a screamed vocal, before dropping back to this gorgeous atmospheric piece. Love this, really good stuff, will certainly be getting a vote from me.

Several votes issued this week, this is a really good batch of tracks. Well done one and all!
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by j$ »

GravityJohnson wrote: Johnny Cashpoint ... the last line of the song is totally unnecessary, it's pretty clear what it's about.
Ah, no, that's the entire point (matron)! It unlocks the whole song - or is meant to, at least. The character has spent all this time thinking he's being clever with all this rather limp (matron) innuendo and then blows it (matron) with a unnecessary reveal. It's intended to illicit a 'no shit, Sherlock' response.

Thanks for the review. Glad you liked it!

j$
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

Berkeley Social Scene - This is fine. Not a lot of energy. I keep waiting for it to kick up a notch and then it doesn’t, or only kicks up half a notch. Guitar solo is good, interplay between the different vocalists is good.

Chris Correa - Nice layering in the intro. I had some trouble understanding the lyrics, but what I got I liked. “I can swallow pills but I can’t swallow pride” is a great line. I like the sleepy indie vibe. All the crash cymbals starting around 2:10 were a little fatiguing to listen to.

dark side of the son - I like this in a really weird way because it’s really weird. I am a fan of the vocals. (Is that two different singers or one singer doing two very different voices?)

The Go-Kups - Needs a little more variety, especially in the relentless doom-chick percussion. The melody is nothing special, though I do like the last line.

Inflatable Vegetables - My favorite part of this one is the minor chord at the end of the chorus. Great touch. I like the backing vocals and the way you change the lyrics in each chorus. The story itself is a little too thinly sketched for me to completely get it, but the mood is there.

Johnny Cashpoint - I like the keyboard counter-melody. You amass an impressive number of innuendoes so props for that. The melody has some nice moments, like the upwards leap on “real friends.” The backing vocals are also well done.

Levittdown - Good melody, great lyrics. I like how you use the harbor/water/boats images on multiple levels (actual boats by the actual water where they’re walking, and as a metaphor for the relationship). Your voice is distinctive and used to good effect in this song.

Macaque Attack - There’s a lot that I really like in this song, namely: The singer’s voice, the lead guitar playing and percussion, the general harmonic language/chord progressions, and the story structure of the lyrics as a whole. Line by line, though, the lyrics are often clunky and awkward, both in the phrasing (too many syllables or emphasis in odd places) and the words chosen (an odd mix of metaphorical and concrete). The times you end a sentence with the verb (“Till safe harbour I come upon” … “The pressure to succeed I now refuse”) really stick out - it’s a hard structure to get away with if you’re not an eighteenth-century hymn writer, and when it’s done just for the rhyme, it shows. That said though, “No man is an island, but I was landlocked in deceit” is a great line, both lyrically and musically - maybe my favorite of the fight.

Micah Sommersmith - I always think while recording that my songs are going to be more intense and epic than they actually end up being. This one is decidedly un-epic, but I think it turned out well. Thanks for the reviews.

The Overambitious - This right here is epic. The epic-ness is a little wearying though so the breakdown with the super catchy “da-da-da’s” is very welcome when it comes. I would have taken another repeat of the chorus at the end.

Paco del Stinko - This is about Gilligan’s Island, right? It’s certainly fun, your voice is in good form, and the “ooh-ooh-ooh’s” are great. The guitar solo is several steps below what I expect from you, which is to say several hundred steps above anything I could pull off.

Pepper Jane - The acrostic is clever indeed, but now that Nur Ein Round One is ancient history, I am left wondering what it adds to the song other than fulfilling the challenge. It does give rise to some interesting elements, the best of which is when BARK becomes NOAH’S ARK and therefore “Bubble bubble toil and trouble” is morphed into “Subtle subtle soil and struggle.” That right there is a masterstroke. There are plenty of other great lines, but all together they don’t add up to a coherent whole that I can figure out. Normally I don’t have a problem with this kind of impressionistic, string-of-images lyrical style if there is a more compelling musical setting. Your voice is great and the guitar is great but it isn’t quite enough to hold everything together, especially for almost four minutes. Wow, now this review is almost as long as your song and I’m probably coming off harsher than I intended. SUBTLE SUBTLE SOIL AND STRUGGLE.

Ricochet - Is it a person doing a robot voice? Is it a person’s voice with added robo-effects? OR IS IT AN ACTUAL ROBOT??? The question may haunt me forever, but didn’t stop me from enjoying the song. In fact, the ambiguity and unsettledness of the vocal complements the lyrics perfectly.

AWARDS
Best Rhyme for “Safe Harbo(u)r” - Johnny Cashpoint for “palavah”
Best General Rhyme - Pepper Jane for “acetylene/unsettling”
Best Guitar Solo - Macaque Attack
Most Anthemic Chorus - The Overambitious
Most Feels - Levittdown
Last edited by MicahSommer on Wed May 11, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by GravityJohnson »

MicahSommer - thank you very much indeed for your feedback, this is really interesting stuff. You've generated quite a (useful) debate in the Macaque Camp. :)
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

GravityJohnson wrote:MicahSommer - thank you very much indeed for your feedback, this is really interesting stuff. You've generated quite a (useful) debate in the Macaque Camp. :)
Glad my comments were helpful! Thanks for your kind words about my song as well.
"you did a skillful job pulling off the sexy" - RangerDenni
ricochet
A New Player
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by ricochet »

Hi, I'm going to try to point out what I like about your music and hopefully give some constructive suggestions? Hope I don't offend anyone :)

Inflatable Vegetables - I like your backing vocals, nice harmonies and good contrast to the lead vocals. I think the lead vocals feel a little far away to me... I don't know if that's micing, mix, or because you're singing quietly.

Levittdown - The song works nice as acoustic+vocals, but I could also easily see this song filled out with a full band. It just seems like there are lots of places for other instruments to accompany with ease. Just saying it has a lot of potential :)

Micah Sommersmith - You nailed it. A sea shanty... Music fits, lyrics fit, you hit the theme spot on. I think you'll win this one. (Not really sure what suggestions I could even make to this) (vote)

Chris Correa - I like the way the song comes in and builds. The vocals feel a little buried in the mix though. Ah they're coming through a little more after the guitar solo... Liked that dynamic change, btw

dark side of the son - I like the octave doubling on the vocals. I noticed the lower voice is missing a bit of high end, curious if you rolled it back to let the higher voice come through better, or what the decision was there. I like the darker feel to this.

Johnny Cashpoint - I like your backing vocals. I wouldn't mind hearing things filled out a little more, the song feels a little empty. Maybe you need to save room for the topic at hand? ;)

Paco del Stinko - Kick ass. A really fun song, great backing vocals, great mix, how'd you get it to sound so good? (i'm bad at these things) (no suggestions here either) (vote)

The Overambitious - The breakdown is definitely the highlight of the song, very fun. I think there's maybe too much energy or too much going on in the other parts. I think it could be a mixing thing, and I'm not that great at mixing, so hard for me to say, but maybe you could look into keeping that energy and still having the various parts work in the mix.

ricochet - This is me. Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I thought for sure there'd be some negative thoughts about the voice, so I was surprised to see so many accepting of it. So to clear up the mystery of the voice, I use a VST called Alter/Ego with the voice set Daisy. It's free if you're curious about it. My goal with trying to use it isn't to try to make the voice sound real or anything, I just am curious to find ways to have a usable voice. It's kind of difficult to get it to be clear and understandable. I found myself having to spell words weirdly or even inputing phonetics just to have to some clarity. One thing I learned is it is really easy to become bias to your lyrics and lose the ability to hear how well you're getting the system to pronounce things. Since you already know your lyrics, it's easier for you to pick them out. The song was short since this was my first time using this software, I was worried about biting off more than I could chew. I did an entry for House Red, and despite all the tricks I learned, I don't think it's nearly as clear as this one, as you will see. I do plan on continuing to experiment with Alter/Ego, though.

Pepper Jane - I liked this song, great vocals, really sets the vibe... (vote)

Berkeley Social Scene - I like the chorus in this one... I'm not sure I like the sound effects so much though.

Macaque Attack - I like your voice here, I feel like the melody jumps around too much, but maybe it's just me.

The Go-Kups - I like your stomping build up in the verse and vocal style. It feels like it's going to go into a really hooky but kind of cliche chorus, but you steer away from that pretty elegantly. At first it was a bit a of a let down, but now it's growing on me.

Sorry the the comments got shorter to the end, gotta get going. I hope no one takes my comments the wrong way, just trying to give honest feedback
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MicahSommer
Push Comes to Shove
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

ricochet wrote:ricochet - This is me. Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I thought for sure there'd be some negative thoughts about the voice, so I was surprised to see so many accepting of it.
It often seems like the musical choices we think are the most likely to get panned end up being the most well-received!
ricochet wrote:One thing I learned is it is really easy to become bias to your lyrics and lose the ability to hear how well you're getting the system to pronounce things. Since you already know your lyrics, it's easier for you to pick them out.
This is my problem all the time in every aspect of music-making... I know what all the parts are doing, so no matter how I mix them, I can hear everything, or I know what I meant by this metaphor, so of course it will get communicated to other people!

Great job on your tune. Welcome to Song Fight and I look forward to hearing more!
"you did a skillful job pulling off the sexy" - RangerDenni
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PepperJane
Somebody Get Me A Doctor
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Re: Harboring unsafe thoughts about your songs (Safe Harbor reviews)

Post by PepperJane »

In order of final listening

j$ - dick humour is not something I want to come between. Thickening of the sound at the beginning is fitting. Bass line is subtly ballsy. 7 points: just for the shape, albeit bent

Macaque - I love the melody in the chorus esp the "no man is an island" part. The whole story, as vaguely specific as it is, I find delightful. It's kinda hope-giving

iVeg - "Coffee's warm" is such a great lyric for universal relatability: each line in the verses has something for lots of people but the coffee thing cements it for everyone else (tho I've quit coffee - I still remember/relate). You lose me a little with the different chorus endings: I really like the first one and the others are just a bit overused and I 'tend' to avoid. But 'change to the brain equals pain' as I learnt in a neuroscience of leadership seminar, hence regular people get off on such cheese (eg Danielle Steele fans, so mission accomplished). So there's something for everyone here

Levittdown - I'd love to cover this. It resonates with me and I dig the strum pattern which adds interest to this g&g thing we both do. The bridge feels wonderfully constructive (read:building). One of my favourites this round. Not only because it was first on the Playlist when I first listened to these

Dark side - I like the eerie harmonies and the timing of your title phrase. This all works together well for me, in a beautifully lo-fi sedated-surf-guitar raw-sugar way. I'd keep listening

Chris Correa - I'd go see this band. As a sway-along number in between what I guess to be a heavier tendency. The dynamics appeal to me. I'm torn between wanting the vocals up just a touch so they're discernable with less effort and accepting them as the understated component you may intend them to be. I feel like this song is more about feels and I dig it (and am the LAST person to talk about production thus far)

Pepper - me, yes, as mentioned, I aim to remove parts that were necessary for the acrostic in the nur ein challenge, but thought changing an 'existing' song was a no-no. Anyway I'll just write two in future! Probably with zero punctuality tho. It would normally end with "acetylene, so unsettling" so the slow part as just a shorter outro

Micah Sommer - a sea shanty for a song called Safe Harbour = gold. Love lines like 'ghost of a notion' and 'whatever weather' and a cappella floats my boat (no pun actually intended :-D). Doldrums is such a grouse word (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=grouse) and pairing of 'such a wide world to discover' and 'to the horizon and farther' to rhyme with harbour, are masterstrokes in watercolour. You paint a thorough picture, maestro, and it sings. Your long review is excused and made me chuckle

Go-Kups - you "show some bravado". I dig it. Can't quite make out what the "only one way" to "scare away sharks" is, but I believe you have a plan!

BSS - "nowhere to go so kick out the jams" you sure did :) I like the animals haha- I think you did a tasteful job of that challenge! The subtle squeal early in the solo is my FAVourite moment but a great catchy tune all over

NinPaco DS - seaweed angst. Wavey solo. Sounds like a great day playing Guitar Hero in safe harbour! 'Press Start', hells yes I want to 'Replay'!! "WOoOh"

Overambitious - did I just hear a techno 'breakdown' (as in the hardcore genre trademark)? A little cheese in the lyrics but some real deep blue gold in there too. It's got depressive allure to the text but reassuring hope at the same time A psychological encouragement, well that's what I got out of it. The pitch bending was a little unsettling but I'm unstable already at times. I'd encourage you to add some more legato to your vocals to match them with the smoothness of the backing sounds. I look forward to the next installment

ricochet - smooth. I like it, would just suggest one picky thing. In the 'I kno-ow you'll always be there for me', imo it would sit better if you spread the syllables more equally over the notes ie: 'know you'll al-' on the descent and then you can spread out the 'there for me' to equally match the rhythm of 'seems to be', because I really like the uneven way you've spaced that earlier line. Words like 'know' certainly sound lovely on a little melody-note-run but I believe shoving in 'know you'll al-' in the same space doesn't take anything away from that because they're nice round vowel sounds too, and not too dissimilar with the auto-voice so I feel like they'd sneak in smoothly to match
Everything is about perspective. :shock:
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