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Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:24 pm
by jb
Don't squeeze too tight now, I'm delicate.


Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:25 pm
by Lunkhead
Songs posted. Have at 'em!

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:26 am
by Smalltown Mike
Pepper Jane: truly excellent work. Production is excellent, vocals and guitar are strong. Really nice. Lovely.

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:11 am
by Thanks For The Frisbee
I don't know if I will do a full review, but I have listened to everything a few times and have to agree with smalltown Mike, pepper Jane you are gud, real gud. This song is great! I love how you show your range without exploiting it! And the delivery seems purposeful and effortless. With utmost respect to the other songs! Man!! This group has really upped the game! Good work everyone, but my vote ( the fist one) goes to PJ

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:14 am
by Smalltown Mike
Sorry, just a couple comments about a couple songs.

Thanks for the Frisbee – This song made me immediately smile. Really nice on all levels. I like the double vocals that sort of aren’t your standard harmonies. This is the best use of the title, I think – doesn’t at all feel forced. I listened really wanting to know where it was going. Very nice. To me this is the clear fight winner among a couple really strong entries. (Really picky question: is that a bad splice at 2:15 or just an odd pluck?) Seriously, I love this. I need to go back and listen to your other entries.

Lichenthroat –You’re having run, right? That’s why you should keep making music.

Berkley Social Scene –
I think this is my favourite of y’alls yet. Really wonderful groove. There are parts of this that get my head bobbing whether it wants to or not. Great mix.

Paco – Your bass always sounds great; nice to have some right off the bat. A lot of nice stuff going on here, nice harmonies, great lead and I dig that little break after the solo.

Pepper Jane – This really is lovely. Nice dynamics on the vocals.

Flaming Tiger – HUGS, also known as Hold Up, Go Slow.

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:48 pm
by Thanks For The Frisbee
Thanks for the review Smalltown Mike!

To answer your question: when I heard the mistake/mistakes in this song, I left it as is. The base track is continuous guitar vocals. In order to fix it I would have needed to redo the whole thing....and I am far too lazy for that business :)
Thanks again for the nice words!

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:48 pm
by Pigfarmer Jr

Pepper Jane: This sounds intimate in such a good way. Normally the finger scrapes and whatnot make me cringe but here it just sounds heartfelt, somehow. The vocal sounds great, it's upfront but still has a depth. What reverb/delay did you use? Oh, so heavy until the last line. Worth the wait. Would have liked to see the lyric, though.

Thanks for the frisbee: Guitar sound (and finger scrapes) are so similar to PJ's, too odd. The rhythm track really adds a lot. I like the vocals (the doubling/harmony works in so many ways even with the off pitch note here and there.) Good energy for such an arrangement and I liked the melody. Hookish without being too pop or gummy.

Paco: Man, you have a sound. The panned guitars almost seem to clutter the heavier sections when I'm actively listen. Digging the lead, that was fun. You have an almost Holy Modal Rounders delivery of the melody/vox which is meant to be a compliment but could easily be taken the wrong way. Sorry.

BSS: Panned goodness throughout. I kept getting drawn to the drums for some reason. The vox steadily grew on me, too. The more I listen the more I like, but it took a bit to get into it.

JBB: I'm not a big fan of synth pop, but the choruses here remind me of the best of such things. I like the vocal and that first verse was good, I thought. And I liked the arrangement. I wondered where the organ was gonna head from the start but this was pretty darn cohesive.

Lichen Throat: Embracing the oriental sound? The bell like instrument really makes it obvious. That second verse seems out of place from the rest which is a bit more whimsical. Too heavy for the delivery and the rest of the lyric. I didn't say it was bad, though.

Flaming Tiger: Good phrasing on the vocal. I like the guitars. Good groove. Sounds effortless which I never get right. That makes me jealous.

Glennny: Between the repeating rhythm track and the vocal delivery I was ready to give up on this right away. Glad I stuck with it. Somewhere in the middle of the Silverstein bit it took on the appropriate tenor. I enjoyed listening to the arrangement. Pretty cool, really.

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:51 pm
by Pigfarmer Jr
@Lunkhead, I don't remember hitting the vote button but it's saying I already done did that. It could be my fault. Just letting you know in case it isn't.


Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:45 pm
by Lunkhead
Hmmmm. I must have forgot to erase the votes from the previous fight when I posted the new fight (one of the 100 steps involved in updating the site...). Thanks for the heads up, I'll fix it.

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:50 pm
by Lunkhead
OK, should be fixed, hopefully, and hopefully no votes were lost. :/

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:53 pm
by lichenthroat
Berkeley Social Scene—This is pleasantly reminiscent of something from the 90s that I can’t quite bring to mind. It’s hard to pick up on the song structure; this can be either good or bad in different contexts. Here, I’m not sure it works, but on the other hand, it might also be the source of the song’s offbeat charm. Overall, I like it. At least I think I do.

Flaming Tiger—Inexplicably, my enjoyment of this song seems to vary a lot depending on what audio system I’m using to listen to it, though I have not been able to precisely identify what characteristics it’s sensitive to. It sounds good in the car, on my better pair of IEMs, and on my cheaper over-the-ear headphones, but less good on my expensive headphones and my home audio system. This may be kind of a weird thing to single out, but I really like the rhythm guitar in the first and last thirds of the song.

Glenny—I question whether my taste is sophisticated enough for this song. I feel like you’re attempting something that I’m not able to fully appreciate. I like the use of so many instruments, as well as the rhythm. This made me think of Herb Alpert, though I’m not sure it really sounds all that much like his music. The arrangement and mix seem well put together.

The John Benjamin Band—I dig the organ, both at the opening and again when it conspicuously reappears. Throughout the rest of the song, however, I think I’d prefer a more consistently high-energy, fast rhythm. The recording and mix are well done.

Lichen Throat (me)—The vocal is obviously awful, and the mix is too quiet, but maybe this would sound okay as an instrumental. I agree with everything Pigfarmer Jr. said, except that I didn’t deliberately embrace the oriental sound. In fact, I don’t even perceive it this time, which makes me worry that I have some kind of unconscious composing bias. Resolution for next time: work on a clear, simple vocal melody and make sure it is properly matched to the accompaniment.

Paco del Stinko—I didn’t really take note of the acoustic guitar on the left side the first few times through, but it’s really good. I’m beginning to think that you’re more careful and sophisticated than you let on. Nice mix, too.

Pepper Jane—About halfway through her first listen, my wife said, “That damn Pepper Jane—she’s so talented,” which is pretty much my opinion too. Great vocal, great atmosphere. Obligatory nitpick: the quietest guitar notes are on the verge of being indistinguishable, so you might give that some thought if it wasn’t intentional. I love the guitar on the “And it’s all that I have now” line. Very, very nice! VOTE

Thanks for the Frisbee—This is simply very good. You had a good idea and executed it well: good songwriting, nice guitar line in the chorus, and, like everyone else, I enjoyed the doubled vocal. There’s a bit of background hiss in the recording, though, most notably at the end. This song is exactly as long as it needed to be and no more. VOTE

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:28 am
by Lunkhead
My favorites so far are BSS, JBB, and PJ.

Paco and I made a song but didn't finish it in time, in case anybody wants to hear it: ... 41#p203041

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:35 am
by PepperJane
Ahaha I dig it Chucklehead! The name too!

I've been listening to nearly all entries so far, I think there is some gold here this week, hope to write out my thoughts tomorrow on a train or bus from Sydney to Canberra.

You guys are adding a little fuel to the flame of "prodfight" over "songwriting fighting" tho. I do think Frisbee has a great SONG, and was really pleased to see their honourable mentions in this thread. I think Frisbee's track is well written on both music and lyrics sides and just WORKS: well and coherently.

My track did end up being deeper than I thought it was going to be. Since lyrics are posted now, you may accurately guess that I just started randomly blurting things out but it's depth of subject matter snuck up on me quickly. As for what the fx are, I've asked the eng, because y'no I paid a guy about US$200 to let me spend 3 hours writing and getting this captured in a mud brick room in a building in Melbourne then he apparently spent 3 hours mixing it. I think there's way too much effect but I'm minimalist like that, and usually listen in mono anyway. Yeah, the rawness of this came thru, I guess as the honesty that I'm going for every day. Guitar was strictly micd hence worse string noise. I had expected more negative comments on that!

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 12:31 pm
by jb
Nice fight, y'all!

BSS: Love the guitar tones you've got going on in this one.

Pepper: I think I agree with your feelings about the reverb on the vocals, but I like the touch of delay at the end of some of the phrases to emphasize the feeling of the lyrics. I especially like the lyrics of the second verse and the performance of "such a quiet voice". The string noise just makes it feel live and that's good, though I think the guitar turned out kind of muddy-- and I don't understand why the recording engineer didn't put the guitar to the sides-- everything is straight up the middle and the guitar masks the vocals at times. "It's about the only touch I get, apart from airport security." I really dig the lyrics, as long as I remember the title of the song. In the context of "Hugs" the words here are powerful.

Frisbee: Quirky and catchy, I really like this tune, though I have to confess whenever I listen to it I walk away singing "Life's Been Good" by Joe Walsh.

Lichen Throat: Have you thought about just rapping over the music you make? That's a diss of your singing, yes, but also a serious suggestion. Maybe rapping it would let you focus on speaking the words in a steady rhythm that goes with the music, and you'd be able to say the words at a higher pitch so we could hear them. Heck, then if you wanted to you could run them through a vocoder to apply some pitch.

Flaming Tiger: Second verse got away from the singer! You guys produce everything so well, but it kind of feels like this tune is all one note in several octaves played at 16th notes, except for the section at 0:51. Then it goes back to that one note. If it's gonna be like that, I wish I could understand the words a little more.

Paco: Love your bass tone. Man those overlapping chords at 1:06 (for example) are weird. Some oddness in the drums at like 1:30. Too thwacky or something. It's such a bouncy song, but those lyrics-- creeeeepy. I feel like you should have used some circus/carnival sounds to accentuate the subject matter. Like, an organ, or some sounds from a carousel organ.

JBB: I like making these big ol' electropop things even though my style of electropop usually lands like a lead balloon on the message boards (though they do get votes!). This song is to tell everybody who is terrified about the new US regime that there are some of us who've got their backs. I know synth pop isn't everybody's cup of tea, so here, I made an acoustic guitar demo of the same song (though I fucked up the ending) so you can hear that there's an actual song under all the crap:

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:20 pm
by thehipcola
Lichen Throat
Is that an acoustic guitar sample? It's oddly stilted - not necessarily bad - just unexpected. I like that this piece is soft in it's vibe... I'm hearing bits of the melody coming through - keep working on it - it'll happen! I don't mind the music at all - it's calming somehow... cool stuff. I think I like this one best of yours that I've heard in the last month or so.

Oh man - the naming names kind of lyrics that ought to make it personal or something... but they just get in line with Bon Jovi (Gina works the diner all day...).. Blech. So, I've heard awesome JBB and so this gets measured against that. Here's what I like - the chorus. The melody really works - nice stuff in there... I love it every time. But ... Overall this song is a bit mamby-pamby... whatever that means - it doesn't grab me in any way, lyrically it feels overly simple and almost cutesy.. maybe that's a hallmark of synthpop/electro - but it doesn't sell it to me. No disprespect to the meaning of the lyrics - love the message, but dislike teh vehicle. The chorus redeems things somewhat, makes it a workable, even enjoyable listen - but I can't say it's enough to make me download and add to my collection. But - great chorus dude!

love that shuffle thing off the top... wasn't expecting those chords though - nice! This, appropriately, has some cool loungy vibes, the autotune bothers me though - seems out of place in here. The arrangement is cool - the 1st "bridge" doesn't work as much - too short and doesn't really add interest. The second with the solo is awesome - some cool things in there - and locked with the drums - very tasty. I dig it. Lyrics kind of bug me - but it's expected with a title like Hugs.

Thanks for the Frisbee
This was a nice listen - simple. Obvious lyricly.. but I don't mind it as much. The chorus pickup is a nice touch and it contrasts nicely with the verse. Vocals are pitchy - such is life... cool tune though. Mix is spartan, but everything is clear. Ending feels like it could have been a bit more ... something. Dig it.


Ahh - the first line of vocals bugs me! Not quite on pitch or something... nice musical backdrop though. I like the quieted out chorus or verse, whatever that is.. I find the everpresent dual guitars to be distracting from the song overall... they grab attention. Not sure that works in favour of the song overall. Backing vox toward the end are sweet. Nice tune overall... good clear mix.

Pepper Jane
This turned out really beautifully. It's great to hear you - guitar and vox - so nicely presented. Your voice, lyrics are compelling... I just want to listen. Great pace to the guitar that sets up those vocals perfectly. The chorus really gets me. Perfect space. This gets a vote for sure.

Flaming Tiger
Rock it. Trying out more stuff in the mix - exploring the heavy sounds in a mix, seeing what works. Some things worked well, others I'd keep working on with more time. Great fun though!

Paco del Stinko
That chorus though... jarring! ahh the resolve.. classic PdS changes... so good. I'm never disappointed man... mix sounds great - vox are a little buried or something this time. Not sure the structure works as well as it could but I'm not sure why... nice work staying away from teh obvious lyrically.

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:59 pm
by MicahSommer
Berkeley Social Scene - Good lyrics, and I enjoy the interplay between the various guitar parts - reminds me of Built to Spill. Lead vocal seems to be straining to reach the high notes, especially on "Show me the wa-a-augh!!" Otherwise, a well-constructed and well-performed song.

Flaming Tiger - Propulsive and tight, though I would echo some of the "one-note melody" comments. Since I don't listen much to this style of music, my insights are limited.

Glennny - You get points for quoting the great Shel, and there are some very clever things going on, but the insistent weirdness makes for a not-so-fun listen.

The John Benjamin Band - I love synthpop as much as the next accordionist, but your song never quite explodes into full-on dance mode. It's like it's always being held back, and to me it has a weirdly sinister edge, which is especially off-putting since the lyrics seem perfectly sincere.

Lichen Throat - You have a knack for good lyrics, though as has been mentioned, the swing from silly to heartfelt between verses is quite jarring. Your backing track and arrangement are again very inventive and interesting. Comments have already been made about your voice, but I will offer a suggestion: Try singing in a higher range and see what happens. If your accompaniment is all MIDI, it shouldn't be too hard to transpose everything up, say, a major third (e.g. from C major/A minor to E major/C# minor). For a long time I wrote and recorded songs at the bottom of my range because those are the notes that come out first when I'm singing little ditties to myself, but it's not the range I sound best in. Don't go up a full octave or anything crazy like that (or do, you never know), just a few steps. See how it feels.

Paco del Stinko - Goofy-with-an-edge seems to be your modus operandi, which fits the killer clown theme quite well. Great BVs as usual, especially on "It's all been so long." Your tricks don't always work on me, but this time they did.

Pepper Jane - This felt like phoned-in PJ (ironic, since for once it was not recorded on a phone), until I got to the chorus hook, and I thought, damn it, she's got me again.

Thanks for the Frisbee - This tune is simple and heartfelt and it really, really, worked for me. My favorite of the fight.

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:17 pm
by jb
Good feedback! Thanks everyone!


Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:28 pm
by Lunkhead
Congrats Frisbee!

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:46 am
by Thanks For The Frisbee
Thanks! I know winning a song fight happens every week or so, but it's been around 10 years since I have won a fight on a solo thanks for the song fight ;)

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:27 am
by glennny
Congrats Friz!
You had my favorite song!

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:55 am
by Chumpy
Nice work Frisbee, your song was my favorite too. The quirky earnestness and vocal harmonies really won me over.

Re: Hold me closer, Tony Danza (Hugs review thread)

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:44 pm
by Enter It In The Art Show
FLAMING TIGER - I just wanted to say that I really liked your song. A lot. Well done, I say. i'll say it again: good. stuff. Top to bottom. The end.