Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

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Pigfarmer Jr
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Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

for us lazy folk, right?
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by thirdcatmusic »

some favorites (and definite votes) on my first listen:

Amby Moho - I have a pro-Amby Moho bias, I've really liked everything I've heard from you and this is no exception. Really cool, inventive stuff.

Berkeley Social Scene - Excellent, this is really well done. One of my favorite BSS songs I think. Vocals sound great. Especially on the chorus with the harmonies.

Grumpy Mike - Great production/mix and some really cool ideas. I love that out of tune sounding guitar at around 37 seconds. Really helps make that chorus jump out.

James Owens - Love the feel here. Reminds me of "Don't Let Me Down" by The Beatles. I kind of want to hear the vocal a bit higher in the mix, but the guitars sound great so it's all good.

Paco del Stinko - The guitarin' is fantastic. And I'm intrigued by the unusual song structure and extreme dynamics.

Phlebia - Love the attitude. Vocals sound really cool for this style. Lots of energy. Love the roughness of the mix and the distortion mixed with the acoustics.

Vom Vorton - Really nice one. That off kilter thing (yes I'm a really great at description) is a great addition.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Brown Word and the Big Whine - Well, the production on this has a whole lot of low end and that’s something that I enjoy. You’ve definitely got the optional challenge met in the chorus with your dropping everything down to the synth bass and the vocals and such. I’m noticing a theme with your recent tendency to draw out the word fuuuuuuuuuck but it’s fun to draw out the word fuuuuuuuuck so I get it. The falsetto near the end made me giggle -- and I definitely enjoyed the imagery in the first verse. Admittedly the only part of this song that I don’t quite understand is that “bent straight” isn’t quite clear to me. Maybe I’m a doofus and it’s obvious. Anyway, the half time rhythm is one I usually enjoy.

The Gross Tones - Well I can ID your songs right away, so that’s good (presumably, unless you’re trying to switch it up). I’m enjoying the ride cymbal work in the chorus, and the loose feel works for me. Hmm, I’d read the lyrics and critique individual lines, but overall the theme of being seriously injured is an approach that I like. The noodly synth is back, but now it sounds like a synth trumpet and I’m still not sure that I like it. Like maybe I would if it didn’t follow the usual “lets change it from triplets to 8ths to 16ths and such” so heavily, but instead it’s just kind of like doot doot doot doot. Anyway, I got a chuckle out of the lyrics.

James Owens - Sucker for 6/8 time here, so it works. Let’s see, I kind of like the arpeggiation in the guitar that you have going on. So as an U.S. resident, I read this song and interpret it as a subtle, but very poetic approach to the tendencies of our dear leader. But the way they were written, it’s delightfully vague enough to the point where it stands on its own outside of the political context. This could probably be applied to a whole host of situations, not just one particular one (and not even necessarily a political one) -- so kudos on the lyrics cause I think they’re really well done. Musically solid, sounds good, sticks with me, one that I’ll be likely to revisit, and an inescapable vote!

Amby Moho - Moving up to flatten 2nds in the chord progression is something that almost always works for me, and is a compositional technique that I’ve abused the hell out of over the years. Like so many of your songs, this hits a certain level of melodic experimentalism -- and it’s exceeding your usual (high) quality, especially all of your indescribable instrumental flourishes that pop up periodically. As bizarre as this is, some of the transitions and melodies are giving me heavy beatles vibes. And then we get into the bitcrushed drums and the vocoded vocals and the backwards...sitar sounding thing and we’re in black moth territory but with a way more diverse sound palette and you’re remaining my favorite artist on here again oh my goodness. Then again NOW I have the context of knowing that you actually have enjoyed a bit of critical success with your other projects so clearly I’m not the only one who thinks you’re awesome. Voooottteeeeeee

Fussy Britches - Well I’m not going to complain about that riff, it rocks. Something about the riffs in this remind me of a few different songs that I’ve heard before. Like Soundgarden or something, and the chorus riff brings to mind this one Electric Wizard track but played twice as fast. But enough comparisons, this song is super strong and stands on its own. The WAY YOU BENT ME STRAAAIIIIGHHTTTT bit followed by that completely tripped out interlude is incredible. I’m trying to figure out if this song is about a lover or a therapist and I’ve decided it doesn’t matter -- like I said to James, the openendedness of it is half the appeal of the lyrics. But yeah, this flips a lot of musical switches in my head, the drums (programmed or not) the gradual build, the ending (dadgum!), and, well Mike your vocals are a perfect fit for this context. Though I’ll say MAYBE this suffers a bit from being overlong. Like maybe you could have cut it about 16 bars sooner and had it get to the point more. I could also say that about every damn song on Pearl Jam’s first album, they’re all great but I wish they were shorter. Anyway, a vote.

Seaweed Delete - My son made this song almost entirely without supervision. My only input was setting up the microphone and adding some reverb because “I wanna sound like I’m in a cave!”. Proud of the kiddo!

Berkeley Social Scene - I’m noticing a trend this week for kind of crushed drums. The melodies and structuring of this one are GREAT, and this sounds like something my old college radio station would have had in heavy rotation when I worked there. The sound design choices that you made could definitely be described as “tremendous”, I’m big into triangle waves. The chorus is a banger. Lyrically, this is enjoyable, and given my penchant for nature imagery I’ll say that I really enjoy the bits about the swaying grass and trees and such. The solo works well with the song. Simple but effective. I’m not sure about fadeouts most of the time, but I actually like this one. I really don’t have any faults with this song. Vote!

Lichen Throat - Throughout a good chunk of this tune, your vocals aren’t really at all in time with the beat. Which, I mean, that isn’t really unusual for you, but for some reason it works better with some of your miditastic backing tracks than others. Like last week the backing track was super unusual and kind of all over the place even from a tempo standpoint so the disjointed-ness worked. I’m not sure about this one though. As for the actual story, the metaphors of the metalsmithing and the prison and the bent straight? Super creative and well executed! The story kept me intrigued, it’s well paced, and is super well executed. You should publish a poetry compilation.

WreckdoM - Okay it’s rare that I actually laugh out loud at lyrics. But when you got to the witch hazel bit I audibly started giggling. Like the pacing of this is a bit off from a musical standpoint and I think you’ve composed more interesting lyrics, and the whole mix is really middy, too much low mid, not enough guitar which could be doing something really interesting in the background but it’s not? I don’t know, but this song made me laugh as hard as your best material usually does. I just wish I liked the actual music as much as I liked the lyrics. I…um, I don’t know. What is going on at the end? Ahhh?

Grumpy Mike - Okay the vocal harmonies are working super well. That super jangly detuned guitar that came in right after the soft introductory part of the track was awesome and kind of reminded me of My Iron Lung quite a bit. The drums that come in during the next portion are not working for me at all, I think it’s the general lack of dynamic that are bothering me. Or just the tone of the snare drum, it’s super boxy. That being said, the overall progression of the song is neat and I kind of like that synth that starts to come in near the end. Where you didn’t post the lyrics and the vocals are kind of low in the mix they’ve not really been jumping out at me. But like the chorus I know could be super anthemic but that snare is just TOO LOUD and it kills it for some reason. This has potential to be a really cool song, but something about the mixing of it made it hard for me to enjoy.

Paco del Stinko - I enjoy hearing this lower register of your voice. And you’re a good bassist as always. The warbly synth section with the vocal harmonies was well executed. I would have kind of preferred for it to start a little bit later in the song to be more effective. The “bedtime bugs beginning to creep” part with the whispering is really cool. Something about this track is giving me heavy Mike Patton vibes. That whole imagery there seems kind of disconnected from the rest of the track, but it still is pretty neat.

Tales About Digits - Oh boy, 6 minutes? This better continue to be engaging. Out of tune piano, bizarro pitch shifted vocals, I’m scared! I do enjoy the sort of ominous piano playing. Well I found a lot of parts of this amusing. Not sure what Pikachu had to do with anything. Well, it’s basically a series of well known little ditties just chained together with “Bent Straight” shoehorned into the lyrics. And everything was bent straight apparently. Like some of the parts veer into excessively self indulgent territory but I can tell you’re having a ton of fun and you’ll probably go back and listen back on this song and think “man, that was fun!” and you probably both know and don’t care that this goes on way too long. But I’m listening to the whole thing. Your Donald Duck voice is better than your Chewbacca voice. Okay, that’s over.

Hot Pink Halo - You’re back in experimental territory and you’re incorporating synths and more high notes and etherealness and such and ¾ and so you’re ticking the boxes of stuff that makes me generally enjoy a Hot Pink Halo track. The slap-back delay on the vocals may be a little bit too much at times, not that it’s not a good effect but you could probably use less of it? Definitely like the synth tones. Vocal delivery is a bit pitchy, perhaps a couple more takes would have done you a favor. Or maybe taking like 3 or 4 takes and patching together the final track from the strongest phrases from each one? I’ve definitely done that a few times, though admittedly I usually keep my tracks within a relatively limited vocal range. I like the cosmic imagery -- you’re right, it’s definitely a lyrical motif of yours!

Phlebia - Me. My wife came up with this idea of “Bent Straight” as an extremely sexually repressed religious gay man. Cause we’ve lived in the southeastern US (read: the “bible belt”) almost our entire life, and this is DEFINITELY a common trope around here. Maybe not as strongly as it was a decade ago, but still.

Caravan Ray - Vocals a bit buried in the mix, but I like the driving rhythm behind this one. Chorus reminds me heavily of “Cough Syrup” by Butthole Surfers. I like the “AHHHH” part cause it sounds good. There’s a few points where the bass sounds like it may be slightly sharp or flat from the guitar, but a minor quibble. Lyrically, it’s pretty good but there’s something about “miscommunication breakup songs” that rarely appeals to be super strongly. This is generally a pretty solid tune but doesn’t quite wow me.

Pigfarmer Jr. - Oh man one time I was DJing at a club in Texas and this one guy kept on INSISTING that I get with him and like no matter how many times I told the fellow “dude, I’m both straight AND married” he wouldn’t give up. This kind of reminds me of that guy. Like come on man, take the hint. All in all this ranks pretty highly among your entries. Well performed, and I enjoyed the suspiciously specific line about the Jheri curl. I think the guy who kept trying to get with me had an undercut. But this was also like 2014, I think everyone had undercuts then. Except for me, I was shaving mine bald.

Sweeney Toad - This beat is super queasy. I’d love to collaborate with you at some point, for what it’s worth. You’ve got this particular flow and making this sort-of-seasick FL studio beats is something that I’ve spent a TON of time doing. Or I’d be down with something totally different. But seriously, I’m totally down! The spoken word bit about the reptilian hybrids and the Karen and all this got me to chuckle a bit. People on here keep comparing to Cypress Hill but I don’t really hear it, this is more nyquil than 420. Are you like messing with 3xosc and setting the pitch sliders on each generator to odd parameters, then adding some slight pitch LFO and delaying it a bunch? I luvs it. Vote!

Tombg & wub - Well, the guitar seems to be way too resonant in the low mids, it ends up sounding kind of muddy and at least on my speakers draws attention away from the words. I like the ascending low melody on “who am i”. This fits the optional challenge by default I suppose cause it spends the entire song being entirely guitar and vocal. Or does it. Anyway, this song is kind of a bummer, but it’s a poignant bummer so I can’t help but like what you’ve done with the vocals. The song in general kind of falls short for me (and the performance gets a bit sloppy in the back half of the song). But while there were several “orientation” based Bent Straight songs (me, Pig, Wreck, etc), this is the only one that is “gender presentation” based. So points for being the only one to take that angle.

Vom Vorton - That organ is wiggly sounding, I like how the organ is wiggly sounding. This has a nice driving energy to it. I’m not sure this is my favorite if only because it seems kind of “by the numbers” in a lot of places. Maybe it’s the dependence on I-IV-V progression throughout most of the song with the driving 8th notes. Feel like I’ve heard a ton of songs just like this. BUT. I do really enjoy the lyrics, I read through them when you posted them and I thought the approach of writing a tune about a psychic was a great approach and remarkably clever. And the recording/performance is good, it’s just everything about this song other than the lyrics isn’t really drawing me in for some reason. Then again I feel like a hypocrite cause my song was mostly just C#, E, F# over and over and over again… a downtuned I-III-IV riff isn’t original at all either.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Smalltown Mike »

More speed reviews broken into WHAT I LIKE, WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE, and WHAT YOU SHOULD MAYBE DO. Do it, don’t, whatever.

Seaweed Delete
I LIKED the vocal delivery, the craziness of the lyrics the chaos, the length and the abruptness of the ending.
I DIDN’T LIKE ... hmmm ... the hammering synth.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD put out an album so you can eventually take over the world! Great work.

Pigfarmer Jr
I LIKED how polished this is. — great mix, vocals and dig the fish line before the solo.
I DIDN’T LIKE the predictability of the chords.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD try some harmonies in the chorus.

WreckdoM
I LIKED the repetition of the rock hard (though not necessarily the delivery line) and the “straight in a weird way”.
I DIDN’T LIKE some of the timing issues.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD mix and master it louder, and stop trying to be so damn accessible.

Sweeney Toad
I LIKED the uneasy beginning and the rapping A LOT, the clean delivery that reminds me a bit of Eyedea. Great work.
I DIDN’T LIKE that the chorus didn’t have a kick-ass chorus with a dope hook; the song in general started to drag after a while.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD write a kick-ass chorus with a dope hook and take over the world.

tomdb and wub
I LIKED the vocals enough (but couldn’t hear them well) and the overall potential for this song to be fantastic.
I DIDN’T LIKE that the vocals weren’t present enough and the string buzz or something that came in once in a while.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD put the vocals in the centre, or more centre, and throw in some harmonies.

Berkeley Social Scene
I LIKED that the drums were not at all what I expected from y’all and the duelling guitars in either year, and the great guitar tone, and that wonderful chorus. This is really good.
I DIDN’T LIKE that the guitar felt really unbalanced at the start, all in one ear.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD throw some different percussion in there once in a while, just for fun.

Caravan Ray
I LIKED that excellent guitar tone, and the vocal rhythm and that fantastic chorus and break — this is really good.
I DIDN’T LIKE that you always seem to mix your vocals low, .
MAYBE YOU SHOULD stop burying your vocals.

Tales About Digits
I LIKED that I thought this was going to be either fantastic or awful right from this start,
I DIDN’T LIKE that the slightly out-of-time vocals made it tough to listen to and that it was six minutes of essentially the same thing.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD … you know, shorten it, so people make it through the whole thing.

The Gross Tones
I LIKED the great sounds I hear in this, the mix, the chord progression in the chorus.
I DIDN’T LIKE … well, this is pretty good.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD … I don’t know.

Grumpy Mike
I LIKED the driving drums, those wonderful harmonies, the surprise of the song suddenly rocking out — great!
I DIDN’T LIKE how little presence the vocals had, mostly in the verses. Hard to hear (or really, the detuned guitar before the chorus but it was short)
MAYBE YOU SHOULD just turn the vocals up.

Phlebia
I LIKED the vocals, that lead a lot and the general groove.
I DIDN’T LIKE the harsh music; the song feels like it would be interesting if it was less harsh.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD clean it up and add some variety in the vocal delivery.

Hot Pink Halo
I LIKED the haunting atmosphere off the top and that you keep making music.
I DIDN’T LIKE the timing issues that keep poking through.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD keep doing what we’re all trying to do — make better music each time you make music.

Lichen Throat
I LIKED the pound and grind part.
I DIDN’T LIKE how much is going on in, maybe pare it down a bit.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD keep working on your music, and figure out a way to use your voice in a way that suits it.

James Owens
I LIKED the retro vibe in the guitars and drums in particular, and that vulnerable quality to your voice, nice lyrics.
I DIDN’T LIKE … that you didn’t break out your harmonies.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD pick one spot where you belt it out … during the bridge ,,, just for a break

Brown Word and the Big Whine
I LIKED that the drums varied at the start, and the bass.
I DIDN’T LIKE … I don’t know, that you’ve never asked me to drop a verse on one of your tracks? Am I not weird enough?
MAYBE YOU SHOULD keep on doing what the F you’re doing. I dig the creativity and your uber weirdness.

Paco del Stinko
I LIKED the crazy chaotic guitar and laid back delivery at the start and right into something that I could jump around to — and that fantastic quite break at about the 40 second mark. This is great! That solo sounds like Dead Kennedys!
I DIDN’T LIKE … nothing at all, this is really rocking and fun.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD make more music.

Amby Moho
I LIKED the weirdness backed by an interesting voice.
I DIDN’T LIKE the last minutish, which didn’t seem to really go anywhere.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD write a different ending?

Vom Vorton
I LIKED the really clean beginning with just a hint of oddity in the background, and those sweet harmonies all over the chorus.
I DIDN’T LIKE how much exact rhyming there was and the lead felt a little like filler..
MAYBE YOU SHOULD turn the vocals down just a tiny bit

Fussy Britches
I LIKED doing a Fussy Britches again, Tonetripper lay down the fat bass, Rob’s magic sauce all over the track.
I DIDN’T LIKE that there were literally 200 verbose emails that I couldn’t follow. Yea, if you think Leaf’s posts are long, try wading through his emails.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Seaweed will enthusiastically put out an album and take over the world :D

As for my harshness - yeah maybe "sister Ray" esque production values aren't the most palatable for a general audience, eh?
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by grumpymike »

Dang I thought my vocals were too hot. They definitely seem so on everything I listened with, including my phone’s speaker. But it seems I need to be more careful yet.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by SweeneyToad »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:11 pm
Sweeney Toad - This beat is super queasy. I’d love to collaborate with you at some point, for what it’s worth. You’ve got this particular flow and making this sort-of-seasick FL studio beats is something that I’ve spent a TON of time doing. Or I’d be down with something totally different. But seriously, I’m totally down! The spoken word bit about the reptilian hybrids and the Karen and all this got me to chuckle a bit. People on here keep comparing to Cypress Hill but I don’t really hear it, this is more nyquil than 420. Are you like messing with 3xosc and setting the pitch sliders on each generator to odd parameters, then adding some slight pitch LFO and delaying it a bunch? I luvs it. Vote!
I would totally be down to collab on something! Hit me up on the gmailz! sweeneytoadmusic (at) geeeeee mailzzzzzzz dot com. I don't mind the Cypress Hill comparison at all, I never really thought I sounded like that but maybe it makes sense. The very first rap album I bought was Black Sunday on cassette tape when I was like 12 years old, but I also bought Dookie by Green Day and The Aladdin soundtrack that same day. Those are still my favorite genres to this day, hip-hop, punk rock, and Robin Williams? Also, I have no idea what I am doing in FL Studio, I just mess with stuff until I get something that i think sounds cool. I'm partial to using 8 bit plugins and spag piano most of the time though.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Cavedwellers have been added to the fight.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by thehipcola »

# Songfight Reviews
Amby Moho : Wow - Sgt Pepper enters SF! This is a real treat in every respect. I’ve only heard a few AM tracks and I’ve been impressed by your work each time. I love the way this slowly unfolds, like an octopus unfurling it’s limbs but taking it’s time. Great sense of melody and harmony - seems to be a hallmark of yours. Very cool!!VOTE

Berkeley Social Scene: Love that guitar opening chord and tone - nice. That’s a sweet prechorus rise… great. The mix is great! Not sure about the drum machine coming in on the last line of the chorus. Didn’t seem necessary. I do like the live drums dropping out in the verse - nice blend of textures. That prechorus catches the ear for sure. Very awesome. This is a song I probably wouldn’t seek out, but when it comes up in my rotation I’d be bopping my head and singing along. Guitar solo the way it should be - super excellent tone and just the right texture and mix - love it. Well done slide guitar is such a treat - saying that as a guitar player who rarely attempts slide. Nice work BSS! Going to grab it for sure. VOTE

Brown Word and the Big Whine : DIG that drum drop on the 3rd bar - very cool. It’s like candy - I want more. I like the sparsity of the music - ooh and the transition to the chorus(?) very nice. I like that. Not totally grooving on the vocal delivery. I wonder if some reverb/crunch/echo used in places would make it stand out more to me? It’s quite fine - just not connecting with it. This has a Kate Bush thing at times. Nice job! One thing I think I like about this track is it’s not overcrowded. You chose a few elements and used them well. Cool.

Caravan Ray: Little rocky off the top but soon enough it settles into a cool groove. The He Said She Said part is awesome. Smacks of The Clash in places - and that’s a cool reference. My only real complaint is that I want the guitars to be tighter to the drums’ swing. The solo was fine but I feel like it could have been more epic - it does well under the music to the end though. Cool tune man!

Fussy Britches: Super stoked at how this turned out, cuz if you’d have heard the first clips we had stitched together - honestly it seemed like it was going to suck ass. But the awesome contributions of all the guys turned our very rough sketch into a fully realized heavy rock track that touches all the things I love when music touches. Intensity, beauty, tension, release, pounding, floating - contrasts. Yep, it wears some influences on it’s sleeves. Approaching 50, and finally getting the guitar tone I was looking for in my 20’s. No apologies. LOL

The Gross Tones : Yah! I like this. The trumpet(?) didn’t quite hit the mark off the top, but I dig where that was going. Love the energy and vibe here. Simple and straight to it. I dig it. I want that trumpet to nail the pitch though. Extra points for having a trumpet for sure!

Grumpy Mike: Moody music right away.. I like it. Not sold on the first few lines of vocal delivery/sound, but it improves with the harmonies.. Whoa that weird guitar before the chorus is cool and very unexpected. I think some verb/delay on that voice used tastefully would take it to the next level. The snare drum in the chorus jumps out too much to my ears, but I get the intended amp up of intensity. This tune slowly earns my dig and by the time I’m at the end I’m full on digging it. The harmonies are really well done and I think that’s what makes it for me. Nice work!

Hot Pink Halo: Heart beat kick and drone off the top - nice way to pull this listener in. At times this tune is really beautifully ethereal - I love the vocal treatment using delay. I also think the melody you’re shooting for is really interesting and works well over progression - it’s interesting and adds to the ethereal vibe. Sometimes the voice loses the pitch, and sometimes the guitar seems to lose time, although that might be intentional? Sounds like the music is a good match for the lyrics. Nice!

James Owens: The slow jam. Nice. Classic sort of progression that can just keep going on… nice change to the seven. This is reminiscent of so many great songs. Mellotron is a nice touch. This is well done through out! It’s not innovative, and as such doesn’t grab me - but I don’t suppose it’s trying to be. Good job.

Lichen Throat : Hmm… I like the music, but it doesn’t seem to be connected to the vocals very well. The vocals are a little too prominent, which heightens the disconnect to me.

Paco del Stinko : Ahh PDS - you never disappoint. I love your no holds barred approach to music. This song is great - love the contrasts - big chorus, empty narrative stretches, super creative man. Best line: Sometimes what gets left unsaid, is nothing but the crust of the bread. As always I love your guitar tones. Great tune man.

Phlebia: That bass tone though! Love the contrast of the dirt and the opening lyrics with references to religion… great. This is totally enjoyable. Unlikely tones sitting together making something cool. Dig this. POSSIBLE VOTE

Pigfarmer Jr: I was grooving to this, thinking ‘ok - it’s a standard rock song, by the numbers - but that long snare roll out of the chorus got me. Nice work. It’s those sort of touches that take the standard and elevates them. Nice job!

Seaweed Delete: Ha - don’t think there is any kind of random music that isn’t measurably more enjoyable with a child singing on it. Thanks for the smile.

Sweeney Toad: Nice pitch warbled weirdness off the top - then that dope flow drops. I like this aLOT. I remember reading the lyrics thinking, oh boy - what is this song going to sound like. Very few elements, really well used. Nailed it. VOTE

Tales About Digits: The weirdest entry I’ve heard in a long while. The vocals sounds like a cartoon voice over. I admit to skipping a bit of this. Piano needs tuning. ;P

tomdb and wub: Quiet, reflection song - seems heartfelt and competently played. I think only having the chorused guitar to accompany means that the lyrics/vocals need to be really excellent and interesting to carry a song. Ironic that the easiest format of recording a song in some ways is the most demanding. I think the song would benefit from more elements to add movement and interest. Also dynamics in the composition might help. Louder/softer passages sort of thing. I had a hard time connecting to it. Nothing wrong with it - just didn’t grab me at all.

Vom Vorton: It’s good. Not great. I’m not sold on the chorus lyrics. I do think the lyrics are creative but it felt contrived to get to the title. I mean, obviously that’s what all lyrics sort of do - literally, or figuratively. But I guess it was sort of like..groan… clever but staged? The music is tight, the mix is great, the vocals are fantastic. The quarter note guitar lead irks me.. too pedantic? I don’t feel it adds anything, but to me it foretells of a song I’d probably not dig too much - campy? Anyways - it’s all technically very good. Even the lyrics are really well written. Just not feeling it Mr. Vorton. I’m sure loads of folks will though.

WreckdoM: I always have a special place for the wackiness of Wreckdom. Finally figured you out - you’re the musical side of Longmont Potion Castle. LOL Feeling a little dirty listening here… but this is an uncharacteristically song-like song from you! I can hear the lyrics for once haha. Niiiice work? :) OH man - the ending is priceless. Great sample.

Cavedwellers:
Dig that bass tone for sure and that 80’s guitar is the best. Already loving this. Crunch guitar not as needed imo. Lovely chorus! The strings need a little dirt - they’re too clean. Oh that was the pre-chorus - very cool! This is fantastic. Great harmonies. I wonder if the two minor chords being your verse pattern is as awesome as it could be - it’s jarring to me. Love your voice! Great production here - probably cuz I’m from the era that embraced these sounds. Love this. VOTE. But I’d give you a bigger vote if that verse was different chord-wise. But man this song is great.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by WreckdoMelle »

Wow, there were a lot of 4+ minute songs this round it seemed. And honestly I forgot to listen for the optional challenge, so not too many comments on that. Also today I'm full of nostalgia and poorly made comparisons.

Phlebia - This is a toetapper. Nice chorus, kudos for use of "apostate". The cadence of the lyrics is peppy and catchy. I'm not good at tone color, is that a keys solo? Well I like it. Yes on that ending.

tomd and wub - Sweet and sad. I like the dreamy guitar tone.

Cavedwellers - Strong start, nice layering in. There's a lot going on, but good interplay of the parts. The 80's synth from the verse is neat, and illicits a sense of nostalgia for me, but is slightly overpowering in spots. Cool solos! I am a fan of fadeouts.

Brown Word and the Big Whine - I didn't start out with any particular idea in mind here. This is def a COVID-inspired piece as most of mine have been since this thing descended. It alludes to being bent over one's work, obsessed with one's own situation, and suddenly confronted with the un-ignorable, one's attention being snapped upright and suddenly made aware of more desperate scenarios playing out. I hoped a sense of wryness was clear, because that's sort of where I am right now. Guilty of a long song, had to make up for the last couple of shorties.

Paco del Stinko - Ah man, you've done it again. So much imagery, so many textures, that delivery. This song swerves from unnerving to exhilerating. That solo has a great Halloween tone. I like it.

Grumpy Mike - The harmonies stand out here. I like that detuned, clangy guitar that pops in here and there. The drums are a tad too loud.

Lichen Throat - The lyrics to this are harrowing and the music is likewise dire and desperate. I like the major guitar complement to the dark, minor low end. I like the way the story resolved in the theme of being "bent straight, reforged, and purified".

WreckdoM - This came out quiet compared to some of the other songs, huh. It felt pretty loud when we were working on it. Further refining our new COVID-contingency processes. I love that Geoff mentions malort, I have a lovely friend in the street band communty who is known for always having malort in his flask; gives me memories of a better time. I honestly didn't know some of these "weird" attractions were weird. Who doesn't think tight-fitting sleeves and old lady bald-spots are hawt? Cameo by Geoff's dog's tags :)

The Gross Tones - Horns - always high on my list - secretly wishing it was real. This is really catchy and high-spirited despite the gruesome imagery. Points for use of the term "dogleg".

Sweeney Toad - Welcome back! Nice skit in the middle there.

Berkeley Social Scene - The opening reminded me of Sultans of Swing for a minute there. Then the chorus sort of makes me think of Moody Blues Your Wildest Dreams. Nicely rendered and produced. Good fadeout.

Caravan Ray - I guess I'm in a nostalgic mood. This reminded me of Union of the Snake at the outset, I don't know why. This music is rather aggressive, which I enjoy. Good dynamic shift in teh ahh parts. I like that brief solo. A lot happens in this song over 2:30, I appreciate the straight-to-the-point approach.

Fussy Britches - Loud guitars right away - nice. I like the vocal delivery a lot. This one had me bobbing my head. I think I'm a little lost when we hit that part that diverges though. I'm not good at song part names, is it a bridge? Not really right? But when we get back to the aggresso guitars, I'm at home again. It is refreshing that there are so many parts to this song, as it is a belter this round, coming in at over 5 mins. Echo-y tripped out vox - good.

Seaweed Delete - I feel like I'm in a video game. Missile Command actually - that nostalgia again, must have to do with staying home all the time and getting down into my head. I like the line "power bent straight".

Vom Vorton - Are you from down under? This song makes me feel like I'm down under, cruising along in a car - this is cruising music. I like the happy guitar over the driving bass. And you have a charming voice and the backing vox sound good on this. Good lyrics.

Amby Moho - I love vocal effects that sound like this and sometimes try to capture it in my own songs and usually fail. What is the secret? I like this a lot, rather psychedelic music, boom-boom drums, sitar-sounding synths. Another short tune that gets a lot accomplished. I wanted to hear that fiddly part at the end just a little longer, but I'll take what I can get here.

Hot Pink Halo - Very airy and ethereal. Makes me think of In Heaven from Eraserhead, just a bit. I like the sparse drums and how less is more in this song.

James Owens - Great-sounding bass! And that guitar tone. This is really nicely done. My only complaint might be that one cymbal that's a little too prominent. Excellent use of dynamics as the music swells.

Tales About Digits - I'm feeling some Daniel Johnston vibes but much wilder, as in this is like Looney Tunes submitted a song to Song Fight. Also, I LOVE Pikachu.

Pigfarmer Jr. - A toetapper. Good guitar tone. Jheri curl? I always liked the look, though I'm not too sure about its chemical composition. Nice solos.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

WreckdoMelle wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:58 am
Wow, there were a lot of 4+ minute songs this round it seemed. And honestly I forgot to listen for the optional challenge, so not too many comments on that. Also today I'm full of nostalgia and poorly made comparisons.

Phlebia - This is a toetapper. Nice chorus, kudos for use of "apostate". The cadence of the lyrics is peppy and catchy. I'm not good at tone color, is that a keys solo? Well I like it. Yes on that ending.
Acoustic guitar, post-processed through the "Bad Leslie" preset in FL Studio's "Fruity Flanger" with a bit of delay on it. Glad you liked it!
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by vowlvom »

WreckdoMelle wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:58 am
Vom Vorton - Are you from down under? This song makes me feel like I'm down under, cruising along in a car - this is cruising music. I like the happy guitar over the driving bass. And you have a charming voice and the backing vox sound good on this. Good lyrics.
Haha no, I'm English. Thanks for the kind words!
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by crumpart »

vowlvom wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 11:03 am
WreckdoMelle wrote:
Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:58 am
Vom Vorton - Are you from down under? This song makes me feel like I'm down under, cruising along in a car - this is cruising music. I like the happy guitar over the driving bass. And you have a charming voice and the backing vox sound good on this. Good lyrics.
Haha no, I'm English. Thanks for the kind words!
You can be one of us if you like, Vom.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Fairly quick lyric reviews. If you didn't post your lyric to the lyric thread then you didn't get a review in this post.
The numbers are just the order I reviewed the lyric, you know in the lyric thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11766

Amby Moho: 17 I mentioned in another review (WreckdoM) how I love a lyric that has no title line but still fits the title extremely well. I like that the title isn't in your lyric, but it isn't an obvious fit from the first read through. I do like your phrasing and rhythm and the only nit I'd pick is the final word "anymore" seems unneeded in the line. But I'm willing to be it works wonderfully with the music and melody. And this is the last lyric to review so I get to hear the songs next... although it's late and I might to to bed and listen tomorrow.

Berkeley Social Scene: 13 You've got one of the "standard" structures I've seen (although that might be inaccurate as some of the lyrics could be typed out to betray what the structure really is.) Seems to be V preCh Ch, V preCh Ch Br Ch. I love the verse structure, too. ABAC with the C being an identical in both verses. Combined with the first line of the verses having that repeated word, it seems really tasty. And it has a good rhythm to it. It definitely has piqued my interest.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: 10 I love the rhythm in your lines, the best of the songs so far I've seen. And I like the change from AABB to ABCB rhymes. I like the change from feet to eyebrows in the choruses. It might be a little heavy on current events toward the end... well, that's not right. It goes from the general to the specific in a hurry, I guess. And I"m afraid of the rants. I don't know what to expect and it gives me a bad feeling. I think just because it says rant as opposed to "spoken word" or something. Maybe. Anyway, when I finally get to hear these songs it'll be interesting to see how it works vs my expectations.

Caravan Ray: 1 That's an interesting structure. It looks like V, Ch, Br, Ch tag Ch. And you're not rhyming much which I can appreciate in this lyric. The three off rhymes in the chorus is probably a good compromise (if you are/were avoiding them purposefully.) Okay, looking back I actually see three strong rhymes in the verse with one of them being sort of an inner rhyme. That last line of the chorus seems a little... it makes the narrator seem a little weak. Begging instead of fighting, I guess. Which may be appropriate. I can tell you that I'm very interested in hearing the music just from the way this lyric is constructed.

Cavedwellers: 16 I feel like I've said this a lot, and perhaps I have, but I like the rhythm in the verses a lot. The shorter second and fourth lines seem to work very well for me. A natural gait to the phrasing. And I tend to appreciate abbreviated lines when done well, like here. You've got your structure spelled out so there's no guessing, but you've written a solid lyric so there wouldn't be much doubt anyway. I love the chorus image of the picture with creases etc., Most of us are Dorian Grays in reverse. I like pre-chorus lines that are just a little oblique, those first lines. I'm definitely going to continue to look over the lyric before listening in the future. I really wanna hear how this turned out musically.

Fussy Britches: 14 That lyric seemed sad until the last verse. For some reasons I'm just getting pictures of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (film version, not book.) Maybe more so because of the last verse, now that I think about it. I like the rhythm in the verses, especially the first two. The way it's written I definitely get a good feel for them. I'm definitely thinking of continuing this lyric first review strategy because I'm really looking forward to hearing these songs to see how certain things are working in each song. I'm wanting to hear how you handled the verse the most in this one.

The Gross Tones: No lyric?

Grumpy Mike: EDIT TO ADD: I immediately like the verse structure. Two short lines and then a longer thought/line that acts as two. I'm interested to hear if that's how it works in the music. I really like the repetition in the chorus of I bend and I lose. Again, it'll be interesting to hear how this works with the music, but if I was given that chorus I'd immediately have ideas for it. I've mentioned in other reviews that I'm partial to not having the title in in the lyric while the lyric still fits the title very well. And it holds true here, but I was really hoping there would be a reference to "straight" or maybe something that solidified the idea in the bridge. It's not needed but that would have taken it over the top for me. I liked the imagery in your lyric. The wolves, sun baked clay, tattered clothes, etc., If I were to pick some nits, the gun line seemed like an excuse for a rhyme as opposed to really fitting in with the rest. It's not bad, but seemed slightly out of place for me. Maybe the verses don't fit together quite enough for the story to be complete. But I like the effect, the feeling they portray so I think it's a success.

Hot Pink Halo: 11 Ah, another lyric with a rhythm and pace that I like. Maybe not the best of the fight, but one of the better. I noticed the "been bent straight" phrase. I struggled with that in my own song and ended up changing it for singing purposes. You have a better rhythm so it will probably work better than my attempt, but it'll be fun to hear it (whenever I finally get done with lyric reviews and get to listen.) I especially liked the "Causality's grace" line. Well, the whole chorus. Well, the whole lyric, really.

James Owens: 4 Okay, so what's the structure here? It's like there are no two stanzas alike in length and rhyme. And what looks to be the final chorus is part of two sections put together? You've got me completely intrigued. Right off I liked the rhythm of the first two stanzas. The feel/flow works very well for me, the best so far. (That being said, I find song lyrics need a rigid structure the least of the writing forms in order for them to work. However, the two jerks have pointed out time and again how a nice, solid lyric lends itself well to a good performance and a better song.) I very much enjoyed your indictment song. You've *cough* nailed it *cough* perfectly.

Lichen Throat: 6 Structurally this seems to be V Ch 1/2V Ch, br, V, Ch - although that could be a refrain instead of a chorus. Once again, the structure has me interested in listening. I like your rhymes and the AABB rhyme scheme didn't get nearly as old as it typically does for me. The third line (the bloomington line) seems a bit clunky for me. And while you alluded to the parole date before the bridge (what I'm calling the bridge) it still took me a moment to figure out the jump in setting for the last bit. I'm wondering how that will work musically. But I like your angle on the title and I'm interested to hear how that chorus/refrain is going to work.

Paco del Stinko: 7 Now THAT is a structure. I"m wondering if the italicized lyric is spoken at this point. I think I saw you say somewhere this was like a stream of consciousness and I can dig how it comes off. The very first line piqued my interest because the "'cos" doesn't really explain anything. I'm really loving some lines that don't really make any sense but kind of give a feeling anyway. Like prophetic words on subway walls. "In order to eat you gotta break some beak" ?? And those last two lines are great. Like a non cliche' way of saying you gotta get to the meat of the matter. Yet another lyric that makes me really want to hear the song.

Phlebia: 2 Whoa! That's a great take on the title. So is the structure V, V, Ch, V, V, Br, Ch? Or V Ch V Br Ch? (I'm really digging this reading the lyric before listening to the music thing. It really makes me want to hear how the structure is being used.) Something that really strikes me right off is all the rhymes in the chorus. That's a ton of rhymes right there. And it seems to work as I recite them silently in my mind. Also, kudos for using both apostate and masturbate in the same chorus. I love the last line of the bridge. While the verses seem to be a self revelation of doubt and worry that line is an admittance of innocence that's sorely needed to contrast, I think.

Pigfarmer Jr: 5 (ME) Talk about a boring structure. Completely predictable. But I think it works well enough. I often lean on a lot of off/slant rhymes and this song is no different. I see a fair amount of additive/subtractive rhymes (pride/eye, you/rude.) Not sure what that means, but I'm noticing it. Also, I was fairly proud that the internal rhymes went from nonexistent to pretty solid as a kind of subtle bending back to a straight structure. Hopefully that doesn't turn into a negative in the reviews now that I've pointed it out. But it was on purpose, so... Also, it's hard to read this lyric without hearing the melody. I'm glad I didn't listen to the songs before reading the lyric for the rest. Oh, and for the story, it's based on an actual event from 20+ years ago, although I did use a little poetic license.

Seaweed Delete: 8 Dude! (Young, dude!) This lyric makes me want to pick up my old, beat up, jangly guitar, kick over a smallish amp and start playing some punk rock. That's a compliment. You make me want to do music.

Sweeney Toad: 12 I didn't understand the "jam" line in the first verse/stanza. But damn you got me hooked into the story. Seriously hooked. I like a lot of your off/slant rhymes and a couple of the perfect rhymes were tasty. I love the view point. "Don't worry honey! Just breed this shit so I can make the rent." muahaha

Tales About Digits: No lyric?

tomdb and wub: 9 I'm finding this lyric a powerful statement. I like how you started with an image then went to introspective in the first verse. The structure is a little hard to read from the lyric, but it's interesting The last stanza kind of says it all. So far this lyric is the one that made me feel the most. The line "bent straight to fit this twisted world" just kind of sent it over the top for me.

Vom Vorton: 3 Pretty straightforward structure although I like the story song concept. This actually makes me think of "Magician's Assistant" by Nancy Rost. But I somehow think that you'll be giving it a different sonic setting than what I'm getting from the lyric. That first verse, third line, seems to have an extra syllable that trips me up while reciting in my mind. I'm anxious to hear how that's handled in the song. I love your rhyme scheme in the verses, btw. (Had to make sure I mentioned that.) I like your story but I'm afraid it's completely unbelievable. No crowd would ever be that appreciative of NOT being deceived as my political science studies (and current events) prove.

WreckdoM: 15 I've got a soft spot for a song that doesn't actually use the title in the lyric and still fits the title perfectly. This is one of those lyrics. Like maybe too well? Those are some weird ass lines for the bravado that comes across in this lyric. But it totally works. It's a great take on the title. And like I said, I LOVE how you hit it without a title line.
Last edited by Pigfarmer Jr on Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:17 pm
Berkeley Social Scene: 13 You've got one of the "standard" structures I've seen (although that might be inaccurate as some of the lyrics could be typed out to betray what the structure really is.) Seems to be V preCh Ch, V preCh Ch Br Ch. I love the verse structure, too. ABAC with the C being an identical in both verses. Combined with the first line of the verses having that repeated word, it seems really tasty. And it has a good rhythm to it. It definitely has piqued my interest.
I have to confess I started the lyrics by using the AI lyrics generator with the word "bending". Ken and I both massaged and edited and added to the output from that. When I was singing I made some more changes, adding in some repeating of some words to try to get the phrasing the way I wanted it. I used the lyrics generator a couple songs ago too. Just getting lyrics started is the hardest part for me so having something that can take care of that for me has been very helpful.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by tomdg »

Hate to disappoint but I/we (tomdg & wub) followed that exact structure too :( I just wrote it out rather more sparsely. Hugely grateful for all the comments here all
Lunkhead wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:32 pm
Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:17 pm
Berkeley Social Scene: 13 You've got one of the "standard" structures I've seen (although that might be inaccurate as some of the lyrics could be typed out to betray what the structure really is.) Seems to be V preCh Ch, V preCh Ch Br Ch. I love the verse structure, too. ABAC with the C being an identical in both verses. Combined with the first line of the verses having that repeated word, it seems really tasty. And it has a good rhythm to it. It definitely has piqued my interest.
I have to confess I started the lyrics by using the AI lyrics generator with the word "bending". Ken and I both massaged and edited and added to the output from that. When I was singing I made some more changes, adding in some repeating of some words to try to get the phrasing the way I wanted it. I used the lyrics generator a couple songs ago too. Just getting lyrics started is the hardest part for me so having something that can take care of that for me has been very helpful.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 7:17 pm

Phlebia: 2 Whoa! That's a great take on the title. So is the structure V, V, Ch, V, V, Br, Ch? Or V Ch V Br Ch? (I'm really digging this reading the lyric before listening to the music thing. It really makes me want to hear how the structure is being used.) Something that really strikes me right off is all the rhymes in the chorus. That's a ton of rhymes right there. And it seems to work as I recite them silently in my mind. Also, kudos for using both apostate and masturbate in the same chorus. I love the last line of the bridge. While the verses seem to be a self revelation of doubt and worry that line is an admittance of innocence that's sorely needed to contrast, I think.
Even simpler: the structure is really just V Ch V Ch. The second verse is 32 bars longer than the first verse and I spaced it kind of weird. But I guess it could be considered a bridge? The chord progression and rhythm is unchanging throughout the whole song save for the last 16 bars of the chorus, just I-III-IV I-III-IV-VII. Anyway, nice to know you liked the extreme rhyme density, I started off the writing process by just coming up with any many quick phrases that rhymed with "bent straight" as I possibly could. It was fun keeping it going as long as possible.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Lunkhead wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:32 pm
Just getting lyrics started is the hardest part for me...
Have you tried free writing? Just write for five minutes (or 3 or 10) non stop, whatever comes out. I find it helpful to try to use sense bound imagery and to start with a prompt (like bending, although I like nouns the best.) Even when I get stuck I'll write something like "what will I say next?" over and over until something else pops out. Usually it leads at least to some interesting phrases and sometimes some rhymes if I pick them out of the long, rambling scrawl.

Anyway, it's cool about the AI. I actually used a different one a while back for a couple of lyrics (non songfight) but ended up not using them. I think that's partially because I tend to use the Paul Simon school of lyric writing last although to much less effect.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Lunkhead wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:32 pm

I have to confess I started the lyrics by using the AI lyrics generator with the word "bending". Ken and I both massaged and edited and added to the output from that.
Yep. The AI generator wrote most of my lyrics for “Peak Misery”. This one - I started with it and took a line or two, then wrote lyrics around them. Like you it seems - I tried different words like bend or twist or break or whatever to get started.
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Re: Near enough to perfect... (Bent Straight reviews)

Post by crumpart »

It’s super interesting to me to hear how other people go about writing their lyrics. My approach is to think about the prompt for a while until I settle on an idea (in this case bending light > gravity > general relativity), then I choose a structure and write to it in no particular order.
Devil’s got me Lindt! Devil’s got me Lindt!
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