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Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:46 pm
by Pigfarmer Jr
Report for duty by reviewing the mess tent full of songs, please.

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:47 pm
by Pigfarmer Jr
Lyric thread here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11225

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2018 8:17 am
by Lunkhead
Songs posted!

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:28 am
by ken
add - Lovely acoustic guitar intro. I like how the electric piano comes in halfway through the first verse. That's a nice and subtle change. Overall, feels a bit like the softer side of add and I like it!

BSS - Lots to love about this track. I enjoyed the heavy organ that reminds me a bit of Iron Butterfly. Glen did a good job on his vocals. A little loose overall, but still a good song.

Lichenthroat - I wasn't sure about the drum machine/acoustic guitar combo, but I liked it when the strings came in. I liked the instrumental breaks. Vocal melody is a little hard to track, and therefore challenging to follow the lyrics.

Miscellaneous Owl - Nice vocal harmonies! The guitars are kind of muddy and that distracts from the lovely vocals a bit. It sounds like the tone knob is rolled off when the guitar should be nice and bright. Overall, a really nice song.

Schlimminy Cricket - This is an interesting arrangement. Lots of good ideas. Just doesn't grab me.

Silentwall - This mix is really quiet. I like that it starts off minimalist, but you need a really strong melody to pull it off, and I'm not sure you give us one. I keep waiting for something else to happen in the arrangement. This song is too long for just a single vocal and kick drum. Adding a few synth pads would have gone a long way to make this song more enjoyable.

Third Cat - I like the verse guitar riff a lot. Very cool. It's a little disappointing when it changes to a straighter part in the chorus. This track is a little loose overall, but a strong effort.

Ugly Nudists - This is a fun pop song. Keep up the good work.

Wreckdom - Interesting as always!

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:08 pm
by thirdcat
Arrows/Underline for my favorites/votes:

Lichen Throat: It sounds like you have some cool ideas, but the execution isn't there.

Berkeley Social Scene: Cool guitars, drums, & keys. My favorite part is the synth solo. The vocal style doesn't work for me.

The Ugly Nudists: Some nice ideas here but I feel it's let down a bit by the "canned" sound of the drums and keys. I want a bit more personality in the instrumental. Still; the song itself I think it is pretty good. And I like the backing vocal ideas. Reminds me a bit Reveal era REM.

:arrow: Wreckdom: Weird trip. Very unexpected change there at 1:03ish. Back with the weird trip but fudge instead of fuck? I feel like the message is fuck can turn into fudge if you take enough acid. I'm not sure if I like this, but I might love it. Pretty interesting.

silentwell: Not enough here to keep my interest.

:arrow: misc. owl: Strong vocals; I like the layers on the vox. Pretty catchy. Some cool guitar lines/ideas too. The mix isn't great though - it has kind of a demo quality to it - and kind of keeps this from being as good as it could be. Still all things considered; I think this one has a good shot at the win. It's a good song with very good vocals.

:arrow: add: Probably my favorite this time around. I can see hear why you keep winning these things. Is that e-bow on the guitar? Nice subtle atmospherics. Keys are nice. Good vocals. Good stuff.

schlimminy cricket: I like the layers of vocals with the auto-tune fx. I'm not crazy about some of the synth fx, I dig that you're going for like bizarre combinations of sounds with video game sounding synths and "classical" sounding string sounds. For me this almost works but doesn't quite come together.

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:59 am
by vowlvom
Add - there's a lot to like here, I particularly liked the contrast of the dry, percussive organ sound with the dreamy ebow (?) guitars. It didn't quite click with me like the last few of your songs though, it feels like a more conventional bit of songwriting without that slight weirdness that has appealed to me in your recent run of wins. Still good, though, and your voice sounds great.

Berkeley Social Scene - there's something about the vocal mix / FX / doubling that I find quite offputting but I looooove the ridiculously OTT synth solo.

Lichen Throat - not quite your best work, but not far off. The instrumental is interesting and the lyrics are strong. I like the spoken word section a lot.

Miscellaneous Owl - this is just a straight-up wonderful song and I love it.

Schlimminy Cricket - I love that lo-fi solo in the middle of the song but the autotuney stuff is a bit excessive for my liking in places and the mix gets a bit washed out under all the reverb. It's still a pretty cool, strange track though.

silentwall ft. rec - boldly minimal arrangement and your vocals sound more confident each time. There's just not enough here to hook me in though, it really feels like it needs a couple more vocal lines doing some kind of medieval chanting or something, especially considering how long it is.

Third Cat - some really cool guitar work and drum programming on this one, the vocal melody feels a little uninspired to begin with, but I feel like it gets more confident as the song goes on.

The Ugly Nudists - I really like the verse but the chorus doesn't quite work for me, it needs a bit more punch to it or something. The backing vocals at the end are very cool.

WreckdoM - really love those lo-fi drums in the verses (?), and the trippy inbetween sections are pretty cool too. A really weird song, in mostly great ways.

Pretty great fight overall!

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:47 am
by lichenthroat
add—Very well done. Too languid for my tastes, but all the individual components sound good, as does the mix. (The mix is perfect, actually.)

Berkeley Social Scene—I’m not sure what to make of this, since it checks all the boxes for me to like it, but somehow it doesn’t quite come together. I do dig the organ solo.

Lichen Throat (me)—After I sent this in, I realized that it combines all my worst tendencies: overwrought narrative, lazy melody, muddy vocal, and lyrics that no one else will fully understand. It still has a certain charm that I like, but I need to be more aggressive at getting out of my comfort zone.

miscellaneous owl—Did you write this to appeal specifically to me? ‘Cause, wow, this is way, way up my alley. I love the interplay between the vocal tracks—so subtle and playful at once. Excellent stuff.

Schlimminy Cricket—It’s hard for me to get past the staccato percussion, which doesn’t seem to meld well with the rest of the song. I applaud your creativity, though I’m not sure I fully understand your intent.

silentwall—I like the vaguely Irish-sounding melody. The vocal performance is pretty good, but the song is not that interesting. This kind of thing is extremely hard to pull off.

Third Cat—Something about the mix is a little shrill, but I like the dreamy guitars. I’d prefer a more exuberant chorus, but everything else is good, especially the contrast of the bridge. Solid song.

The Ugly Nudists—Certainly likeable. I feel like it needs a little something extra to push it over the cliff (maybe a less restrained vocal), but it’s quite nice, nonetheless.

WreckdoM—I enjoyed the rhythm during the faster sections. As usual, I would probably have preferred a more conventional song, but I know that’s not what you’re all about.

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:15 am
by owl
add: [depending on your feelings about this song,] I deeply apologize for what I am about to say, but this reminds me of "Smooth" by Santana ft. Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20. It's the vocal melody/rhythms, I think. OK, now that that's out of the way... I like the arrangement and production a lot, the little stabs from the e-piano/organ thing against the guitars with the string noise and the bed of eerie strings? ebow? in the background--really nice. Lyrics flow well with the music too.

The Ugly Nudists: I like these lyrics, you do a nice job of throwing in all the cards in there without making it seem too forced. The melody is appealing and catchy. I would have liked a bit more going on in the production--it felt a bit thin to me, kept expecting an extra layer to kick in that never did. The backing vocals are cool.

miscellaneous owl: it me! I'm pleased with how it came out overall even if the production is apparently not a universal hit. I started taking guitar lessons this year and this is probably the first time I've recorded guitar solos I was actually fairly happy with instead of "well ok there's something making more or less a melody in that spot now" so that's cool. Also happy with how the harmonies came out on the word "coalesced".

Berkeley Social Scene: I really like the production and overall sound, but had a hard time understanding the melody... couldn't quite get my head around the hook somehow. The synth solo is super rad!!! I am HERE for the cheesiness.

silentwall: This is very sparse and as others have mentioned, it's a bit hard to maintain interest through the whole thing. If you had leaned into the goth aesthetic a bit with the production, I could see this serving up some gloomy Joy Division realness. I would like more of a changeup in the structure and/or arrangement, it's not quite there for me yet.

WreckdoM: I like the beats in the fast parts. The echoey fuck/fudge/candy sample parts went on a bit too long for me, they felt like they should be a brief intro and/or break or outro with more of a focus on the "song" part of the song... a full minute of it in the intro seemed like a lot. I couldn't make out the vocals in the sung parts super well, would have liked those turned up, but what I could hear of the lyrics was cool, I liked the parallel between passed school notes and fortune telling, and the "here I am without my clothes on" personal ad part made me laugh.

Schlimminy Cricket: Cool song. I really like all the layers and weird sounds, and it's a pretty tune behind all the crazy production. The strings in the solo are really nice, and the really deep vocal part. I'm on the fence about the autotune, there were a few parts where it seemed like too much (or rather, that the melody jumped around too much for it to be a good effect) but on the other hand I think those parts made it sound more like a strange experimental track than a super-modern radio production gone awry, and that is a good thing in my book.

Third Cat: The verse reminded me of 90's trip-hop--really like that combo of the verse guitar riff and drums, would have liked for it to stay with that trippy vibe through the whole song though. The bridge is a nice changeup and the a cappella outro line is a nice touch, too.

Lichen Throat: I like the instrumental, the combo of the beat/guitar/strings is nice, although I would have liked the arrangement to change a bit more through the song, the fake guitar part definitely got sort of oppressive after a while. But I think the kind of fast beat suits it well. I enjoyed the spoken word break.

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 12:10 pm
by Lunkhead
miscellaneous owl wins!

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:32 pm
by vowlvom
Whoo whoo! Congrats to the owl!

Re: Lieutenant Minor Wants To See (Major Arcana reviews)

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:34 pm
by owl
Wow, my first solo win, awesome! Thanks!