You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

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You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:49 am

forget to do your reviews, would you?
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Tue Nov 19, 2019 4:50 am

Lyric thread: https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11619

Please add your lyric to the thread if you haven't already done so. THANKS!
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:21 pm

Songs posted!
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:14 am

Great cover art!
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by crumpart » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:23 am

AJOwens wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 6:14 am
Great cover art!
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by fluffy » Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:38 pm

Reviewed in the order they were presented to me by the songfight.org main page shuffle algorithm.

CazaroTaro: I like this chill lounge jazz thing. This reminds me a lot of some of Jim of Seattle's work. "Receding" and "thin" aren't a very good half-rhyme and I'm trying to come up with some better lines to use there but it's hard. Maybe "My hairline's receding, my waistline's expanding" or something. I dunno. Anyway this was a cute little song. It didn't trigger ASMR in me. [v]

Miscellaneous Jerk: I love how the chord structure gives everything a nice little hanging, unresolved feeling at various points which keeps my brain guessing about where it's gonna go. The drums sound a bit muddy and could do with a slight treble boost around the cymbals especially. Slight ASMR response during the bridge. [v]

Lollypops and the Sour Straps: I want to be encouraging but I also want to talk about the ways that this song could have been better. One of the best things you can do to improve your vocals is to stand back from the microphone, and use a microphone stand instead of holding it while you sing. Also, practice singing it a few times and see where you're breathing while you do - and then adjust the words to make the breathing fit better with the phrasing. These are things that you'll get better with as you get more experience, and I do hope you keep working at it.

Jim Tyrrell: I am a sucker for songs in 6/8. "Try me, try me" backing vocals at around 2:45 gave me a slight ASMR tingle, and I was hoping for more. Anyway this is a solid track. [v]

Berkeley Social Scene: This sounds like an assemblage of a bunch of other songs I've heard before. The weird time signature stuff is kind of distracting to me especially since the drums sound like they're kinda struggling to stay on the beat, and the guitars seem to be buried in an avalanche of distortion and chorus. I feel like this could be simplified into a song I really like, but as it stands I don't much care for it.

The Dormouse Choir: And on the opposite end of the spectrum, I feel like this one is missing a lot. Some overdubbed call-and-response backing vocals during the chorus would really add a lot to this track, and I keep expecting to hear a string section. This does seem a lot like a song Bob Dylan could have done though. The recording quality could also be a lot better but it sounds like it was done under constraints. Anyway this song has a lot of potential and I'd love to hear how it could be fleshed out into a full studio album track.

Hot Pink Halo: I love the interesting combination of sounds at the beginning. Is that a typewriter being used for percussion? This feels like the sort of music that would be used in a soundtrack for a David Lynch movie during the obligatory scene where people are watching a local band perform in a diner or whatever.

Third Cat: I love the combination of the electronic drums with the clean guitar sound, and then it gets weird like this is supposed to be an acid trip? Oh wait that's what the lyrics are about, isn't it? Anyway this is a fun listen. Which reminds me, I was looking into microdosing at some point but I've not actually followed through on that. The purchase method for acquiring it scares me. Love the binaural rain sounds at the end. Wish the ending weren't so abrupt. A couple of spots felt like they might be ASMRy for me but things changed too quickly for that to happen. Darn. [v]

Evil Grin: this makes me miss my weekly social karaoke. I need to find some new folks to do it with again and a venue that doesn't suck. Anyway! This song! It is very... that. ... are those sex sounds in the background

Phlebia: This is another song where I feel like a different production technique would make for something amazing that I love a lot, but as it is, jeeze, please stop slamming all your levels. VU meters turn red for a reason.

gizo vs. the 17,455: Lead vocals need to be turned up a bit. Backing vocals need to be turned down a bit. Also maybe add a noise gate; I'm heearing a lot of EMF in the mix too. AND YET: "so, so, sick of you" started to tickle me. Section around 2:00 needs some EQ for that drone tone to keep it from dominating everything.

Sockpuppet: I did this as a Novembeat track and didn't spend as much time on the sound design as I could have. The glockenspiel in particular needs a lot of work. Anyway it's from the perspective of a sleep medication tempting someone who can't sleep because of anxiety and rumination.

Lichen Throat: ok this gives me an instant headache sorry

The Magnetic Letters: Haha, "try me" like "trial." Interesting production choices, with the guitar and theremin arrangement. And I love how the lyrics tell a weird little story right out of Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. [v]

Mandibles: Interesting rhythms built up from YouTube-ASMR concepts, at least. I like this as an abstract musical piece, even if it doesn't actually trigger ASMR for me. Also it makes my cat get all twitchy. Mix is a bit too hot when it really gets going but I still enjoy the construction of the song, even if the production could be better. [v]

Simple Syrup: This had the rotten luck of being towards the end of my listen; I'd have probably liked it a lot more if it came earlier. As it is, it's pleasant enough. Could have been a lot shorter, or a bit less repetitive.

James Owens: This is entirely too meta.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by gizo » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:38 pm

fluffy wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:38 pm
Reviewed in the order they were presented to me by the songfight.org main page shuffle algorithm.

Lollypops and the Sour Straps: I want to be encouraging but I also want to talk about the ways that this song could have been better. One of the best things you can do to improve your vocals is to stand back from the microphone, and use a microphone stand instead of holding it while you sing. Also, practice singing it a few times and see where you're breathing while you do - and then adjust the words to make the breathing fit better with the phrasing. These are things that you'll get better with as you get more experience, and I do hope you keep working at it.
Thank you - this is some great advice.
gizo vs. the 17,455: Lead vocals need to be turned up a bit. Backing vocals need to be turned down a bit. Also maybe add a noise gate; I'm heearing a lot of EMF in the mix too. AND YET: "so, so, sick of you" started to tickle me. Section around 2:00 needs some EQ for that drone tone to keep it from dominating everything.
This is also good advice, thanks. I agree there's a fair bit of unneeded noise in spots, and I'm still struggling to find the right vocal levels - I feel like my headphones and speakers offer very different sounds, and I haven't figured out how to balance that yet :(
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by fluffy » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:52 pm

gizo wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:38 pm
gizo vs. the 17,455: Lead vocals need to be turned up a bit. Backing vocals need to be turned down a bit. Also maybe add a noise gate; I'm heearing a lot of EMF in the mix too. AND YET: "so, so, sick of you" started to tickle me. Section around 2:00 needs some EQ for that drone tone to keep it from dominating everything.
This is also good advice, thanks. I agree there's a fair bit of unneeded noise in spots, and I'm still struggling to find the right vocal levels - I feel like my headphones and speakers offer very different sounds, and I haven't figured out how to balance that yet :(
Yeah, it can be difficult. Different speakers and headphones have different EQ curves which emphasize different parts of the recording, and speakers are also affected profoundly by the room's audio, your head position, phasing, and so on. I switch between headphones (Audio Technica ATH-M50x, usually) and monitor speakers (Fostex somethingorothers with acoustic treatment on the wall behind them) while working on music, and like to check the mix on my laptop speakers and my hi-fi system, although I only do that for things I'm putting on Spotify or whatever. Also see the various recent discussions on loudness that have been popping up everywhere. The help and how-to section is a great resource, and I got a lot out of this quality control thread.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:57 pm

fluffy wrote:
Wed Nov 20, 2019 1:38 pm

Phlebia: This is another song where I feel like a different production technique would make for something amazing that I love a lot, but as it is, jeeze, please stop slamming all your levels. VU meters turn red for a reason.
Fair. Is it telling that I never understood why so many critics hated on RHCP's Californication, saying it was the ultimate casualty of the loudness war? I thought it sounded good...maybe my ears are broken.

Note to self -- don't murder the mixer levels this go-round.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by jast » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:02 am

If you want to fairly compare mixes/masters, do level matching - relevel one of them so that the average loudness (e.g. integrated loudness according to EBU R 128, as reported by plugins like Youlean Loudness Meter) is the same. So, if song A is reported at -6 LUFS and song B is reported at -12 LUFS, you'd turn down song A by 6 dB.

For an even better comparison, compare RMS ("short term" in EBU R 128 terms, I think) loudness in similar sections of the two songs, and match that.

More details: http://productionadvice.co.uk/level-matching/

The biggest downside of overcompressing your songs is that a listener can turn up a quiet (but dynamic) song so it gets more punch... but if they turn down a compressed song, it's just going to be "loud at a low level".

One reason I personally dislike "Californication", beyond just the lack of dynamics, is that they accepted a lot of distortion to achieve those levels. I find it particularly noticeable in "Scar Tissue" and "Otherside" (of the songs I know from the album). The master is okay for playing the songs in the background, but that's about it IMO.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by fluffy » Thu Nov 21, 2019 12:30 pm

We should probably move this to the help and how to section.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:00 pm

EASY VOTES

JIM TYRELL
Really terrific. Great execution of the 3/4. I love the hook on the title "try me and I'll try again". Production nice too. Really not a lot to quibble with here. But of course I will. A few lyrics could be tightened, a few seem squeezed into the available bars. Really great though.

SIMPLE SYRUP
Really lovely. I like just about everything about this one. It's very skillful how you are ostensibly only talking about some product, but the metaphor you are going for is clear. Reminds me of "Fancy Poultry" by Suzanne Vega. The chorus is super memorable. The song is clear and just the right length and poignant. The only nitpick is that the double tracked vocals are too different from each other, which is distracting in a few places. Really great.

BEGRUDGING VOTES

BSS
I like the 3-3-2 rhythm in the verse. It's a little awkward when switching to the different rhythmic pattern in the chorus, I'm not sure that those two sections work together, though they're fine individually. I also think there's too much activity in the drums. This is perfectly good, but feels sort of thrown together, (which I'm sure it probably was)

GIZO VS THE 17,455
This one grew on me after repeated listenings. (It's pretty cool on repeat because it both begins and ends with that drum beat.) Have you considered auto-tuning your vocals? It's off just enough to be distracting and take me out of the hypnotic effect. Also, there is of course a predominance of one color, that grating drone sound, which is complemented by the vocal. Which is fine, but a cooler color in strategic places might be effective as a contrast. I hear you doing that very thing in the bridge, but I would also do something more different different with the vocal there. Anyway, nice job.

MISCELLANEOUS JERK
I love the chorus, but the verse is loose and rambly and not catchy enough. I would have spent a little more time on shaping the verse to hold together a little better. I like your take on the title. Good job. "Spin it back to straw", wish I'd come up with that line.

THE MAGNETIC LETTERS
Clearly a good deal of work went into this. I get it, but I don't think it's working. I don't have a problem with prosaic words shoehorned into a song, but it feels like very little of the text is altered to make it more musical. You could have made a few tweaks here and there and it would flow a lot better. I don't think you need the first verse at all - the song could start at "I wasn't even shopping for toys..." The flashback attempt doesn't get you anything. The big tempo changes don't seem justified, even after 3-4 times through I didn't understand why you suddenly sped up, and then suddenly slowed down. I found myself wanting to hear some repeated melodic material, if just for something to hang onto. This could work eventually, but it doesn't yet for me.

SOCKPUPPET
OK, I'll go with this. I know you're going for a lullaby here, but the song is begging for a bridge. And I wish the vocals were more in tune. But you made all the right choices to make this work, so it works.

THIRD CAT
Great production, and a lot of attention to detail here. Lots of cool stuff going on, all of which I like a lot. The whole is somehow less than the sum of the parts though. I can't get a grasp on what this song is.

ALMOST VOTES

DORMOUSE CHOIR
Pretty cool. I love the imagery in your lyrics. It feels like you can come up with stuff like this in your sleep. I also like the contemplative space you give them. It's effective to throw us some difficult and thick lyrics and then give us two bars rest to turn them over before being hit with the next one. Normally I think I'd find all those long breaks between lines kind of excruciating, but with lyrics to chew on they are the right choice. That said, they seem to be unrelated to the title, which feels shoe-horned in there. The vocal weaknesses are too distracting, unfortunately. I don't need Pavarotti, but too often you aren't even in the same zip code as the note you're trying to hit, and that gets pretty distracting. Even Dylan was pretty much on key. If that's just what you were given to sing with, perhaps collaborating with a singer would be a good idea.

HOT PINK HALO
This one has some potential. The song sounds like it would be a showcase for a fantastic lead vocalist and arranger/producer. I can hear that you added in the extra voices near the end and I like that instinct, but the instrumental arrangement doesn't change enough to really sell the change. Put some reverb on the vocal, and sing out a little more. Or start small and get bigger, vocally. I like it, but the execution is just not selling it.

LICHEN THROAT
OK. As I'm sure you've been told, the vocals are pretty unlistenable, but I don't think it's unfixable. The band is cool enough. The lyrics are colorful and interesting. You're obviously not trying to hit notes with the vocals, but the high voice could be brought up a little and the low one brought down, make the lyrics clearer, and then maybe you've got something. They are thick and surreal but really worth hearing clearly, and if more attention were paid to making them understandable, I think listeners would forgive a lot.

LOLLYPOPS AND THE SOUR STRAPS
Probably doesn't matter, but it's spelled "lollipops". Anyway, I enjoyed this. I wish you had moved back from the mic a few inches, because there is a lot of noise in the vocals. The song has an odd recitative quality, with those long notes out of sync with the band, but I sort of dig it. You could sell it a bit more and make us believe you and it would work. The chorus is catchy enough to get by. Not bad at all.

MANDIBLES
I didn't know what to say about this one so I let it play on repeat while I worked. It's probably gone through 8-9 times by now. I think the whispery intro is much too long. Shame about that audio clicking thing, I assume it's unintentional so I'm not adding or subtracting points for that. I think I need the vocals to be a little less dry, with the singers back from the mic a bit, to soften the strident quality and remove sibilance. This is perfectly competent, for some reason it's not reaching me though. Which is why I put it on repeat the last twenty minutes; I was hoping a specific reaction would solidify, but it didn't. I like the idea of the drum, but I think I want a little more attention paid to staying in a groove. But again, I'm just not sure.

PHLEBIA
The title is definitely shoe-horned into this song. That bugs. Anyway... this fight seems to have a preponderance of songs in which the lyrics kind of float along in their own direction heedless of the song they're supposed to be yoked to. That a problem here as well, there are so many opportunities for coolness that are missed because you have the wrong syllables in the lyric. This could totally work, but it doesn't yet. Also I know the crash cymbal is a major element of the song, but it's too much. There's so much audio information in each crash that it's distracting. Pull the crash way down, it's not just that it's too loud, but it's too complex a sound. This reminds me of my song "Travelling (The Battle of the Tapirs)".

NO VOTE

CAZARO TARO
The big issue for me with this song is the lyrics, which are much too on the nose. Try using fresher and more vivid imagery to tell your story, make it a little more individual. The picture that they currently paint is somewhat generic and kind of just lies there. Every line feels like it's the first thing you thought of. Try taking a line and then trying to come up with a new way to say the same thing. On a purely craft note, watch syllabic stresses, which are all over the map (i.e. RE-ceding, instead of re-CED-ing) Also, the song is over too soon. You've got some verse material, then break into a chous, and.... then it's over. This song isn't finished yet I don't think. I do like your arrangement, and I like that you folded new instrumental colors into the chorus. It goes down real smooth, and so I didn't mind listening twice at all.

EVIL GRIN
My method today is putting songs on repeat while doing work and letting them wash over me for fifteen minutes, so I've heard this one about 5-6 times now. Not really working for me, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on it. I think it's that it's too much sameness. It's kind of boring I guess. I suppose saying that I've played it 5-6 times and really don't have much to say is actually saying a lot. and the sex sounds at the end are extremely unwelcome and out of place.

JAMES OWENS
This is ok. I don't hear anything having to do with the title though, it could be for any fight. I don't like songs that reference Song Fight for some reason, so points off for that. I do like some of the lyrics that respect syllabic rhythm. "Why do my headphones get caught in my legs" is pure Suess, for example. But alas, you don't maintain that discipline on every line. I kind of get the joke pretty early on, and there's not much to surprise me, so I focus on the next line.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by gizo » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:22 pm

Jim of Seattle wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:00 pm
BEGRUDGING VOTES
GIZO VS THE 17,455
This one grew on me after repeated listenings. (It's pretty cool on repeat because it both begins and ends with that drum beat.) Have you considered auto-tuning your vocals? It's off just enough to be distracting and take me out of the hypnotic effect. Also, there is of course a predominance of one color, that grating drone sound, which is complemented by the vocal. Which is fine, but a cooler color in strategic places might be effective as a contrast. I hear you doing that very thing in the bridge, but I would also do something more different different with the vocal there. Anyway, nice job.
Thanks! I'll wear your begrudging vote with pride.

Definitely need to continue working on my mixing and eq, and always apreciate the feedback.

LOLLYPOPS AND THE SOUR STRAPS
Probably doesn't matter, but it's spelled "lollipops". Anyway, I enjoyed this. I wish you had moved back from the mic a few inches, because there is a lot of noise in the vocals. The song has an odd recitative quality, with those long notes out of sync with the band, but I sort of dig it. You could sell it a bit more and make us believe you and it would work. The chorus is catchy enough to get by. Not bad at all.
Again, thanks for the constructive and helpful advice. Lollypops has done some extra vocal tracks on some of my stuff (none of it on SF though), and has used a better mic technique on those. I think this track lacked some of the finer control as it was a last-minute iPod in the bedroom recording. I'm encouraging Lollypops to use my setup more, so hopefully you'll hear some improvements over time.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:25 pm

Jim of Seattle wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:00 pm
I don't hear anything having to do with the title though, it could be for any fight.
You bring new meaning to the phrase "Try Me."
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:58 pm

What am I missing here?
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:59 pm

I think I might borrow Jim’s classification system from last week and apply it to these songs. Well, maybe something similar.

”HELL YEAH” votes


Third Cat:

Another artist where I almost always want to vote for you because I just really like your compositional styles. I wish that kick drum had a slightly different tone but I totally get how that can be kind of hard. I wish that wooshing sound that starts to kick in before the “try me and you’ll change your mind” was a little bit louder in the mix. And oh my god endless rising tonality. And arpeggiated synths. And echoing. So remarkably psychedelic. And then another verse. And then more bizarro pitch bends, and synths that bring to mind some of the synth choices that BMSR uses in a few of their tracks. Oh god you keep modulating upwards. And then it all drops and there’s rain on the roof. Adventurous! It is courageous in its esotericness! I’d be playing this all over my radio show if I still hosted it -- I used to host a psychedelic/space rock show back in college. So much fun.

Sockpuppet:

So peaceful. Is that a synth creating that background bell sound or echoes from the glockenspiel? Where it’s pingponging so much I can’t tell which it is! Which is find, it adds a really like sonic effect that makes this really immersive. You said this was about a hypothetical sleeping pill, but I read the lyrics and my brain immediately went to “yeah, totally about Ambien”. My wife used to be prescribed that stuff for a couple years while she was going through a rough spell. What a weird substance. I’d rather just take melatonin on a sleepless night. You know I’ve been a bit of an insomniac lately, I wouldn’t mind trying this song. Maybe I’ll listen to it again to try and get sleepy. But then I won’t review Third Cat. I loved it, vote for sure.

The Magnetic Letters:

Wooshy weirdo theremin synths, surrealistic lyrics, a slow, meandering fingerpicked guitar line, and a preponderance of 7th chords throughout the whole song, and a rhythm that holds together but extremely loosely? This ticks so many boxes for Phlebial enjoyment that I can’t help but be totally enthralled by the matter. I’ve read through these lyrics and have been trying to figure out what on earth is going in your story, but...I don’t know. I also don’t care.
And then halfway through we get a bunch of trancey synths going nuts, and a sort of dull kick drum as the story picks up the pace in its...blissful nonsense? The part where the synth comes in and pretty much everything thereafter seems te be missing a few lares from a compositional standpoint, like there’s too much empty space in the mix? Uhhhh. I’m confused. But as with so many of your songs, I like this a lot.

gizo vs. the 17,455:

This is really simple for the most part from a structural standpoint. Two chords, a simple, major key melody that doesn’t really diverge much from the same general vibe. A simple drum beat. And then it gets to the “now in your bed you lay part” after the drums drop out and it starts to move into the B section for the first time and the transition seems a bit...emptier than I expect it to? Maybe that transition would work a little bit better if the kick drum was solo’d for just a slightly shorter amount of time...or maybe if that beautifully droney guitar fuzz came in a little ealier, cause that mellotron by itself just sort of feels like it needs something else going on. Bass maybe? Hard to say. But yeah, once that fuzz comes in I’m back to love love loving this. Plus even though you didn’t mention it in the lyric thread that “so so sick of your” line is paced and delivired great in the context of the rest of the track. Love it!

”Sure, why not” votes

Jim Tyrrell:

The verses here aren’t really doing a whole lot for me, compositionally. I’m not sure if it’s the chord choices or what. But the production especially once you open it up a bit more in the chorus really opens it up a lot in a way that sounds great. I love those synth swells and those reverby guitar licks that come in every now and then, particularly in the chorus. There’s something about the guitar tone on that rhythm guitar track that doesn’t seem to sit right in the mix. Those backing “try me try me” vocals sound great, and really everything about this song other than the verses just sounds great to me! All in all I’d hardly say it’s my favorite song...and it does have those perceived weaknesses of mine that are probably entirely subjective. But well, that’s just my opinion.

Hot Pink Halo:

This is my favorite Hot Pink Halo track in weeks, if only because I love it when you move away from more typical songcraft and decide to do an entire song that uses a typewriter for the rhythm track. Or just goes with high pitched whistling for the majority of the backing track. If I had one critique it’s that I would have liked to hear more deviation from that I-IV-V pattern…I mean it works in the context of the song but all in all I’d say that it’s a little structurally...bland? I don’t know. But I’m so infatuated with your typewriter (and your somewhat meta lyrics about said typewriter) that I want to vote for this anyway. Art school Hot Pink Halo is best Hot Pink Halo. :D Also your mixing came out well this time and this may be your best recording yet.

The Dormouse Choir:

Oh, a guitar here! And the melody is much more coherent than it was in the last song. Like your voice is still a bit pitchy, and there’s a few notes where I’m not quite sure how to follow you...but the addition of a guitar provides a tonal context that makes it a whole lot better, even if you aren’t doing anything particularly adventurous with the chord progression -- it sticks with the pretty standard set of I IV V and VI voicings. You may want to work on the strength in your fret-hand, cause I hear a LOT of fret buzz going on here...and a lot of muted notes. Then again I’m hardly an accomplished guitarist myself...just saying what I hear. Structurally? Well put together, builds well, and I love how you start to add more intensity to the song as it meanders forward. And your lyrical imagery? GOLDEN. Just like last time. I’m not entirely sure what some of this means -- have you ever watch Walk Hard and seen John C Reilly’s send-up of overly abstract Dylan lyrics? If not look up Dewey Cox - Royal Jelly for a chuckle. But those images, and the talk of the ceiling splitting and the harmonized stars? I’m a sucker for that sort of abstract, hallucinatory apocalyptic imagery, and you really have a knack for it. I think you have some work to do from an execution standpoint, but I really like this song and kind of want to vote for it.

”Almost, but can’t quite bring myself to” non-votes


Simple Syrup:

Hmmmmmmm. I like the generally downtempo nature of this. And the production is pleasing in that sort of bedroom lo-fi Mac DeMarco type stuff. The multitracking and harmonies in the chorus are a little looser that I’d prefer in a lot of cases but that’s only a semi-complaint cause the melodiesare sounding pretty good. I’m trying to figure out who your singing reminds me of. I enjoy these lyrics as simple as they are. But your name is Simple Syrup, so I can’t really say that you’re being too simple because you’re a fittingly named act. This song is well structured and charming, if not the sort of thing that I’d regularly want to listen to. Like maybe adding a *little* bit of reverb to your guitar or something would make it sound better but I like this song enough to give it a “sure why not!” vote.

Miscellaneous Jerk:

This is two people that I really, really want to love this song from, but it’s just kind of going in one ear and out the other. There’s a few couple instances in here in which you have some really faint whispering going on in a couple places...so that’s neat? I spent most of the first couple of verses waiting for this to pick up a little bit from a dynamic/compositional standpoint, but it sort of plods along more than I’d generally like to. And while I feel like that descending melody line in unison with those descending guitars and basslines should sit with me better, it just kind of doesn’t. After the second chorus, then I really dig the first half of that instrumental break. Too much of this song is just too...empty? I don’t know. I wish there was more going on.

Mandibles:

You took the optional challenge really seriously, and I like how remarkably downbeat this entire track is. Though admittedly once it picks up a ton I’m not sure I’m quite as enthralled...if only because I’m starting to get hypnotized by the beginning of the song and then you come in all operatic and dramatic and such. But that’s fine, because once I get used to the song being in that mode then I like it a lot better. And I’m a big sucker for vocal layering like this. The drums in the chorus when you do that roll thing sound really sloppy. Like maybe if your timing on the 32nd notes or whatever you’re doing was a little bit tighter than it’d sound better. I LOVE how it drops down to the whispering again at the end. And a whole lot of this song is me patiently waiting for it to get back to that one cool-ass part. Cause...even though I like your voice, and I like the general idea for this song, when I’m not getting whispering and soft harmonies and alice chanting I’m just sort of...meh?

Berkeley Social Scene:

Those drums sound good! I love how crisp they sound! And that skippy, jazziness is fantastic. There’s a few things in the mixing that I’d change if I had to. Something about the chorus-ey guitars (is that a 12 string?) sounds kind of messy in the mix at the first portion of the song. But then once the track simplifies a bit more to a more standard rock beat it works a bit better. Structurally this is a pretty adventurous number and I must commend you on that! That guitar solo that starts with that single vibrato’d note sounds great to me. I love the tone there! All in all after listening to this one a few times, it falls into that trap where it sounds like a bunch of musical ideas that are pretty good but don’t quite come together into a coherent whole? Which was probably the point, but it almost has a structural messiness to it that makes it hard for me to criticize...cause as soon as I single out something to praise or criticize it’s gone! Anyway, I like it more than a lot of your more recent entries.


Lollypops and the Sour Straps:

Well, Gizo told us this was your first song and you came up with this on your iPad? That’s cool! You know I wrote my first songs around the time I was your age. Your singing is a lot more confident that mine was when I first started. And I like your chorus, it kind of reminds me of Lovefool by the Cardigans but with a whole lot more edge and defiance to it! I’ll echo what everyone else said what I say that you should probably stay a little bit farther away from the mic when you sing, cause your vocals are super breathy. And maybe next time it would be a little bit better to have the backing track line up a bit more strongly with your verse-chorus transitions...it’s not as big of an issue with the second chorus, but the first one starts while the music from the first verse is still doing, and it’s not until the second “try me try me” that it calms down to the chorus part. But hey, this is your first song? Keep at it! Can we get any more members of the Gizo clan submitting?

”Sorry, can’t do it” non-votes

Evil Grin:

This is transcending my usual style bias towards straight-forward, simply mostly acoustic songs that mostly stick to a fairly standard chorus progression, if only for two main reasons. I really like the song sustained notes and the chorus melody, it sounds SO great to me. And that organ. The faint sex sounds going in the background though are not AMSR’ing me at all. While the AMSR response by definition is supposed to be vaguely orgasmic to a lot of people, the actual sound of somethng more straightforwardly orgasmic is a major turn off to me. I have never heard a song where it doesn’t make we want to change the track, and this is no exception. But I was liking this so much before the end, and then...god, it ruins it for me. Even though I KNOW this is a song about a casual bar hookup -- like I was enjoying how pleasant and harmonious and non in-your-face the lyrical content was in comparison to the music, making it explicit like that ruined the immersion. Like it moved to from a “sure why not?” vote to a hard no.

Lichen Throat:

Well, It’s a little bit hard to critique this song in a lot of ways cause I sort of have a love-hate relationship. Lyrically? I love all the civil-war imagery and well, just all of your word choices! They’re so striking! And I was hoping that I’d like this song a little bit better than I do, but really I’m having trouble finding the tonal center in this. It’s like a mess of notes. Something about it reminds me a little bit of the Residents in terms of its overall cacaphonous MIDI effects. Admittedly that’s something that I can say about a lot of your tracks. Like when it drops to the WHOAAA parts, your whoas aren’t in the same key as your guitar. And your lower vocal track and upper vocal track aren’t really harmonizing, they’re just kind of coexisting. So A+ for lyrics, but for musical execution and composition I really can’t give you a whole lot of a glowing review, unfortunately.

James Owens:

Well, the sort of cheeky meta aspect of this is entertaining, and the piano playing sounds kind of nice. And I kind of like that keyboard sound in its slightly cheesiness. But I’ll admit. It’s hard to criticize a song like this, and you know exactly what this song is and what it does well and what it doesn’t. I did get a chuckle a time or two, but all in all this is a pass.

CazaroTaro:

Well there’s an interval I don’t hear a lot in the intro, I love those sorts of bold melodic choices, though I wish there were more of those throughout the track me. Like lets add more big 7th jumps in the melody! Cause I go in expecting a lot more cool “all over the scale” melodies and you mostly play it safe with a relatively narrow lines...so I wish there was more of that. There are a few lines in here that are delivered kind of clunkily like “fresh start”...sounds kind of uncertain from a delivery standpoint! Some with “broken heart blues”. Musically I dig the time signature change towards the end, and the jazzy chords and the dinky MIDI horns. All that being said, this is mostly competent but I don’t find it very captivating.

-----------------

Liner notes


Phlebia:

Well, I got a kick out of writing this song -- I was reading up on various millenarian movements and such like the ghost dance and whatnot and came across the story of Nongkawuse, the 15 year old Xhosa girl who received a bizarre prophecy where her tribe were to slaughter all of their cattle and destroy all of their crops so that all of the English colonialists would be swept away and a new era of Xhosa prosperity began. It piqued my interest enough to the point where I naturally had to shoehorn the title into the story. Vocally I tried to stretch out more than usual, I think I covered 2.5 octaves here? And I did the whole “bomb string” tuning with my bass. And I added violin. But y’know...I’ve got songs that I think are pretty darn good and songs that are just kind of in “meh” territory, and this one is kind of sloppily put together. Oh well. Maybe Skeleton Key will inspire me more coherently.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:19 am

Jim of Seattle wrote:
Thu Nov 21, 2019 7:58 pm
What am I missing here?
Sorry, that was snarky of me.

I'm using "Try Me" in the sense of testing one's strength, or patience, or whatever. The more commonly encountered sense "challenge me" probably derives from this, although it has mutated into something resembling "make my day."

In fact, the song originally had one more line: "Why, oh why, do these things try me?", but I took it out because I thought it didn't add much. Just to spell things out completely, your suggestion that there was no connection to the title tried my patience (which obviously failed at the time).

And since we two like to refer to our own songs, and since you too sometimes submit instrumentals which get no respect around here, some of the reviews for my instrumental The Thirteenth Moon also tried me. Maybe you'll understand.

There are a couple of lines with irregular rhythms, but mostly they use the same Seuss-like meter. The way they are spoken sometimes obscures the regularity.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by owl » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:23 pm

Replies posted here. Hope that's OK (move to Help and How-To if you like, fluffy, it seemed like more of a freewheeling discussion than a "help" topic)
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by fluffy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:24 pm

Now there's like three threads, argh
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by owl » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:26 pm

lol sorry
put them wherever you want and we'll figure them out!
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by fluffy » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:27 pm

There: https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic. ... 8&p=213336

I tried splitting some of the posts off into another topic first and I don't know what happened to them. The new topic seems to have disappeared. I dunno.
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Re: You wouldn't dare... (Try Me Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:57 pm

fluffy wrote:
Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:27 pm
There: https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic. ... 8&p=213336

I tried splitting some of the posts off into another topic first and I don't know what happened to them. The new topic seems to have disappeared. I dunno.
Looks good now. Everything is consolidated under a thread called "Lyric craft". Thanks.
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