Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Eco-friendly and annoying: http://www.cloudcuckoodesigns.com/
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by king_arthur »

very nice job on the cover art! hooray, animation!
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

EASY VOTE

DJ Ranger Den
Nice use of dissonance, and the vocal style is its own effective little performance. Could have taken us somewhere else instead of ending where it starts, but for what it is, it's quite nice.

King Arthur
You haven't changed. This sounds exactly like a King Arthur song. Vote is for the ever-present quality of lyrics and rock solid production. Um... Did you mean "raparation"? It is a testament of my respect for you that I Binged "repartation" assuming it was a word I didn't know. It isn't as far as I could tell. Also, I didn't totally get why they call those places "cloud cuckoo land". I spent most of the song not totally understanding that.

Big Clucker
Way impressive number of notes here, not to mention the number of chord changes. Fun to listen to, and I believe it was inspired by the title. Verges on a little TOO silly, but that's really ok. Good work. I know howpainstaking it can be to craft all those scales on rapidly shifting chords. This sounds like it took a lot more work than it sounds like it took. If that makes sense.

ALMOST VOTE

Schlimminy Cricket
Reminds me of Fleet Foxes. I like the vocal processing, how it mixes with the guitars. Together they make a nice image. This sounds like the first part of a song which goes a lot further than this. Wish it went there. Vocal harmony would be cool too. I liked what I heard though.

lalabrookie
Perfectly fine, but not my cup of tea. Some of the lyrics could have been a little more clever. Reminds me of this song: http://www.bing.com/music/songs/search? ... ORM=DTPMUA

Pigfarmer Jr.
Deserves votes for being decent, though that fuzzy guitar is quite annoying to me. Your voice is soft and lyrical, and doesn't fit at all with the fuzz guitar. Depending on what one's perspective is, it's either a dirty rock song with a too-pretty vocal, or a pretty song with a too-fuzzy guitar. They don't belong in the same song. The spoken words in the background are a strange idea, and for some reason, it works for me. There's not enough sonic variety here, so the song sounds overly long.

Graham Parry
Fine job. Very commercial. Has that anthemic U2/Coldplay vibe. Goes on too long without doing anything different though. It needs to go somewhere else.

NOT CLOSE TO A VOTE

Johnny Cashpoint
Sounds like you were messing around hoping something good would come a-knockin', and it never really did, but it wasn't so horrible that you didn't submit it anyway. This didn't do anything for me.

Tibor
Not enough interesting harmonic or melodic movement to hold my interest for the whole song. Also, and I'm not really knocking you for this, but there are a few moments where the English is incorrect, so combining that with the thick accent are distracting.

FOLK YOU
I find this very irritating.

Daring Front
Like it, pretty much. It sounds like you spent a lot of energy on the production, and there is some goodness in the lead vocal, and the backing vocals work.

James Owens
First off, what gives you the right to use my almost exact name. (Mine last name is singular). It's weird. When you came on the scene a year or so ago, people noticed that and there was a bit of "whatever happened to JoS" and I even got emailed, which of course just made me even more sad I wasn't participating. Sigh. Well I'm here now, so stop almost using my name. Freak. Oh wait, your song's already over. Hang on, rewinding... OK. the whole rhyming thing makes you sound silly, but it's not silly enough to be a silly song. I don't really get this. And it's short. And you almost have my name.

EggNogAdam
The phony vocal hamrony effect would be more effective if you didn't use it through the entire song. This makes my ears tired.

Ecks Acksis
This isn't terrible, but you didn't really have very many ideas. So I got bored pretty quickly.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by FOLK YOU »

Wow! Alot of really good submissions. On a scale of 1-5. 5 being my favorite.
King Arthur 5
Pigfarmer. 5
Lalabrookie 4
Eggnog A. 4
James o. 4
Graham p. 3
Schlimminy 3
Tibor. 3
Daring front 2
Dj ranger d. 2
Johnny c p. 2
Ecks acksis. 1
Bug clucker. 1
Jim 0
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by king_arthur »

Jim of Seattle wrote:Did you mean "raparation"? It is a testament of my respect for you that I Binged "repartation" assuming it was a word I didn't know. It isn't as far as I could tell. Also, I didn't totally get why they call those places "cloud cuckoo land". I spent most of the song not totally understanding that.
Oops, you got me... funny, something about "repartation" didn't sound quite right as I was singing it, but it didn't occur to me to go look it up... thanks for not holding it against me. The point of calling those places CCL is that the singer sees them as places where they white folks come and give their money to the Indians for things that aren't necessarily worth it... souvenir jewelry, cigarettes, gambling. As people mentioned in the prefight thread, we in the US are not at all familiar with the expression, and my original thought was that it sounded like some Navajo girl's porn star name. It just sounded like a Native American phrase to me, for some reason.

The idea of reparations is what ties those three places together... it's not likely the US government is ever going to hand out reparations, but these are ways that the People have tried to extract money from the dominant culture... and there's a certain humor / justice in the fact that the casino winnings of one of the tribes actually made it possible for them to buy the whole Hard Rock Casino chain.

Yeah, I know we're not supposed to defend / explain our song lyrics, if people don't get 'em, it's the fault of the lyrics. But I wanted to admit you got me on reparations, and while I was here...

Good to be back. Good to see you back here, too!
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

FOLK YOU wrote:Wow! Alot of really good submissions. On a scale of 1-5. 5 being my favorite.
King Arthur 5
Pigfarmer. 5
Lalabrookie 4
Eggnog A. 4
James o. 4
Graham p. 3
Schlimminy 3
Tibor. 3
Daring front 2
Dj ranger d. 2
Johnny c p. 2
Ecks acksis. 1
Bug clucker. 1
Jim 0
Folk,

Sorry you didn't like my entry. 0 isn't all that helpful, but I guess I was asking for it from my review of yours. So here's a more respectful review:The simple folk guitar is fine, but the problem is in the vocals. I can't tell what notes you're singing. The verse consists of the same two pitches for the most part. Which of course would be ok if it were delivered with some energy. The keyboard seems oddly placed, not sure why it needs to be in there. And the slide guitar also sounds like it's maybe from another song entirely. For this song to really work in the simple groove I think you're going for, the playing needs to be tighter. All the parts don't add up to much, as you say. I hope this is more helpful.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Manhattan Glutton »

Big Clucker - Your guitar tone is so obviously meant for this, and it's awesome. Not the kind of song I want to sing along to, but much respect to you. Reminds me of Queen and Rush.

Daring Front - I think this one will grow on me. I really like percussion work; your synths leave a little to be desired (distortion would be my choice, especially on the bass synth). The vocals are good but not what I was expecting.

DJ Ranger Den - You get credit for trying, and I get what you're trying for, and you've got some good crisp sounds in here, but I like melodies.

Ecks Acksis - It's a little lacking, but it's fun and funny. If you had a clear goal with this song it'd be pretty good.

Eggnogadam - The mixing is all wonky, there's timing issues, and it sounds like too much compression. On the plus side, it's got some catch to it.

FOLK YOU - I like the slide guitar stuff. I don't like the tone deaf singing and 2 chords.

Graham Perry - This is a bit generic, though the synths add spice (yet mixed a bit loud). It's done pretty well, but I would like to see more hook and adventurous chord progression.

James Owens - Hey, not bad on the falsetto. That takes bravery, too. Keep it more on beat, add in some harmonies, and you'd have a real beauty.

Jim of Seattle - Cute composition. I like the sound FX. This could be a movie soundtrack. I won't lie though, it's kind of boring without some visual stimulation to go with.

J$ - Good vocal performance this week. The intro feels a little loose but the rest feels pretty good.

King Arthur - Catchy. I like the swing. Good performance overall.

la la brooke - Your voice is so, so nice. Chord progression kind of meh but lyrics are neat. Tasteful use of alternate instruments. The harmonies remind me of the Lion King's Hakuna Matata.

Pigframer - Very 90s rock. Aside from a couple flubs, the performance is solid. The song could use a little more interesting things going on; despite being nice sounding, it's kind of slow and repetitive.

Schlim Crick - Watch the 'p's into the mic. Song's a little thin. The crash at the end was funny.

Tibor - Like the guitar tone. Cool little piano riff. Vocals are a little loud. Like the grove. Don't like the drums (they sound too fake). I like the little nuances you put in. The change-up is pretty cool, but not 'massive' enough, and a little long as it is. With a little more polish/FX/production, this would be really awesome.

Big Clucker sounds like the professional this week. With Jim shortly after him. Unfortunately, neither of you were brave enough to write lyrics, but seriously this title is shit so who cares.
Daring Front and King Arthur have the best produced songs with lyrics.
Tibor and J$ are short after with the lack of shoe polish but cool, interesting little compositions.
The rest are really good, but some subjective honorable mentions would be Brooke and Ecks.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Daring Front »

Hello, you look breathtaking tonight.

Graham Perry - Next in line as lead pony in Band of Horses. Cohesive Composition. Detlef Schrempf.

Big Clucker - Cover, no? check the rule book. I have a friend who does some great Yasunori Mitsuda on classical guitar.

King Arthur - Instant vintage. Style well-represented throughout. tremelo + reverb + single coil = nostalgia for tube and tape recordings.

Schlimminy Cricket - Like diet Elliott Smith; less filling with a funny aftertaste. Probably not the worst, probably not your best.

Eggnog - Reminds me of MGMT/Empire of the sun/new wave Xanadu androgyny revival. Good sounds; balance that harmonizer!

Jim of Spokane - Was that an authentic WA rainstorm sample? "Not Close To a Vote"

Kudos to al artists.
I love you,
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by lalabrookie »


Oops, realized I should post this here, too for review purposes. Also have this on the Beaten Man reviews board.


BBABM -
that is funny! I had to tell my parents not to get on and just vote for me - told them they have to listen to all the songs and then vote fairly. I don't think they've been on since They don't seem to understand that the point of this contest isn't winning (although that is a nice bonus if you truly win due to the merits of your song), but about becoming a better songwriter, and just supporting and enjoying the virtual company of other artists.

And for anyone;
I noticed some of you mentioned how many votes you had - I didn't realize that we can see that. Where do I find that?

And Manhatten Glutton: Why, thank you :D

And I have to agree with the other reviews: Hakuna Matata actually sort of inspired this song (although I don't feel that I ripped it off in any way), and I also noticed the similarities in Hard Rock Candy mountain (which I love) in the fact that it's sort of creating a utopia. However, I already had my song written when this occured to me, and I also think my song deals more in intangibles (don't have to pay my dues, there are flowers but no bees, etc) while Hard Rock Candy Mountain is strictly tangibles, but there are certainly similarities in the idea.

So I think it would be fair to say that my song this week isn't extremely original, but I had fun with it. Sometimes that's all that counts, right? I'll get reviews up prolly tomorrow night.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by king_arthur »

lalabrookie wrote:And for anyone;[/b] I noticed some of you mentioned how many votes you had - I didn't realize that we can see that. Where do I find that?
front page - music archive (from menu beneath the logo) - click on the song title. You had 8 votes, as did some other people.

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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Tibor »

Jim of Seattle wrote: Tibor
Not enough interesting harmonic or melodic movement to hold my interest for the whole song. Also, and I'm not really knocking you for this, but there are a few moments where the English is incorrect, so combining that with the thick accent are distracting.
Thank you very much.
Can You please help me out on "English is incorrect" and be more specific?
Is the text incorrect, or the pronunciation?
If you could give some examples would really help.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Tibor »

Manhattan Glutton wrote: Tibor - Like the guitar tone. Cool little piano riff. Vocals are a little loud. Like the grove. Don't like the drums (they sound too fake). I like the little nuances you put in. The change-up is pretty cool, but not 'massive' enough, and a little long as it is. With a little more polish/FX/production, this would be really awesome.
You are too kind... This song is not halfway finished. This bastard time is our cruel enemy:)
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by king_arthur »

Tibor wrote:
Jim of Seattle wrote: Tibor
Not enough interesting harmonic or melodic movement to hold my interest for the whole song. Also, and I'm not really knocking you for this, but there are a few moments where the English is incorrect, so combining that with the thick accent are distracting.
Thank you very much.
Can You please help me out on "English is incorrect" and be more specific?
Is the text incorrect, or the pronunciation?
If you could give some examples would really help.
I noticed this, too...

"trouble I've been through for reaching through your heart"

I think "reaching for your heart" is what you're going for here... "reaching through your heart" isn't

"couldn't stop my mind to fall apart"

proper grammar would be more like "stop my mind from falling apart" That may be a bit tricky to fit into the melody; you could change it to something like "and so my mind just falls apart" and keep the rhythm the same.

"my hopes are yours to hear me before it's too late"

I think it should be, "yours to hear before it's too late" The "me" doesn't belong. Either that or, "my hopes are yours, hear me before it's too late." Depends on what you meant to say.

If the line toward the end is "It's price for getting wiser" then the correct grammar would be "It's the price for getting wiser." This missing "the" is one of the stereotypical "Russian accent" things in movies here.

By the way, the song's a keeper for me. In this case, the grammar things help add to the strangeness going on :-)

If you ever want quick comments on your English lyrics before recording them, I'm sure a bunch of us here would be happy to help...

Charles (KA)
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

Tibor wrote:
Jim of Seattle wrote: Tibor
Not enough interesting harmonic or melodic movement to hold my interest for the whole song. Also, and I'm not really knocking you for this, but there are a few moments where the English is incorrect, so combining that with the thick accent are distracting.
Thank you very much.
Can You please help me out on "English is incorrect" and be more specific?
Is the text incorrect, or the pronunciation?
If you could give some examples would really help.
Certainly. The line "Rocket science couldn't stop my mind to fall apart" is incorrect grammar. The correct way would be "Rocket science couldn't stop my mind from falling apart". You stop something FROM happening, you don't stop something TO happen.

Also, and this is more debatable, but the term "rocket science" is almost always used to refer to something when it is NOT rocket science. Its usage is usually "Making spaghetti isn't rocket science - it's very easy". I suspect it was an unintentional misuse on your part, but it's kind of cool the way you have it.

And I'm SOOOO glad I never had to learn English as a second language. What a messed up language it is. I used to teach it in Japan (in a town that is now destroyed), and I still remember trying to explain the difference between "look", "see" and "watch" or between "could", "should", and "would", or between "what?" said with a rising tone (as in "what did you say?") vs "what" said with a flat tone (as a response to "guess what I did today")

Guess what I did today
What?
I said, Guess what I did today
What?
Are you deaf? GUESS. WHAT. I. DID. TODAY!
What?
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by jack »

Hey, it's Jim of Seattle! I might actually have to listen and review this fight!

always good to see a fellow old fart.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

Really? Well thanks! But don't get your hopes up. Not a lot of liking going on so far.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Generic »

Jim of Seattle wrote:Really? Well thanks! But don't get your hopes up. Not a lot of liking going on so far.
JUST LIKE OLD TIMES!!!!!

Glad to see you back again, Jim. I'll probably listen to this fight and post some stray thoughts that occur to me.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Cloud Cuckoo Land reviews

DJ Ranger – Reminds me slightly of Amanda Effing Palmer and her EvelynEvelyn project. Which I like. Love the piano and the almost music box themes… and the sometimes odd note.

Ecks Acksis - I think the toy piano sound was used effectively. I like the juxtaposition with the heavy guitars and banjo-like line. Not sure they go together but it works for me. I think you did a good job of combining the heavy with the lighter sounds.

Folk You – The vox didn’t sit well for me. It sounds like digital clipping (of which I’m sometimes guilty of as well) combined with an off key lazy style and odd rhythmic emphasis (like on ‘jester’ sometime after the 1:00 mark) left me a bit put off. I liked the arrangement, though.

Graham Parry – I liked this right off. It has a cool repeating pattern and I loved the sound of the bass but an effect or something was just a bit off for me. I liked the vox/melody and would like to have seen the lyric. This is one was probably my favorite.

James Owens – The melody is just a tad bit angular, but I like it. The vox aren’t the best part of the song for me, but I think they still work. It’s too short. I think it could be developed a bit. But I’d rather have short and to the point rather than longer and going nowhere.

Big Clucker – Sounds like a demented theme park ride soundtrack. Or made for the clown in Twisted Metal. It’s kind of repetitive.

Daring Front - I liked the tone of your vox and the active percussion was pretty cool. The bass line was interesting without being too blatant or too in front. It sounds like a through-written song and I would have liked to hear a complimenting section in there.

Eggnog Adam – The vox effect was cool to start but it got a bit old well before the 1:27 ending. Another song that could use some sort of changeup or another section to make it keep my interest.

Jim of Seattle – Cool use of outside chords. It creates a nice tension. I like the strings/horn combination especially at the 1:50 and the strings at 2:50. Over all I liked the combination of instruments and the various melodies seemed to work well. The thunder almost seemed superfluous and I can’t decide if I like it or not.

J$ - I’m not sure I like that intro for a full minute. I liked the how the two sections work together when it kicked in. And I like the ‘are you happy’ section/melody sections.

King Arthur – Liked the guitars and the rockabilly vibe. Like a tame Horror Pops song.

Schlimminy Cricket – I like the melody/vox. I think it works very well versus the active music.

Tibor – I like the music quite a bit. The vox works, but I think it was just a tad bit too high in the mix for my taste, especially toward the end. I liked going back to the solo piano at the end.

Pigfarmer jr- Mix is a bit off. Rhythm guitar out of time in a few places. Lead tone sounds like it wants to be something and can’t quite make it. Standard structure without much variation. Catchy, though. I’ve been singing it all week.
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Tibor »

Jim of Seattle wrote: Certainly. The line "Rocket science couldn't stop my mind to fall apart" is incorrect grammar....
Thank you Jim! This was really big help for me. You are awesome!
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:Jim of Seattle – Cool use of outside chords.
Thanks for the thoughtful comments. What do you mean by "outside chords"? Do you mean big open intervals, or maybe chords that sound like they were played outside? Hmmmm....
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Open intervals and chords that use notes outside the scale.
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Spud
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Re: Can a Cuckoo Land in the Clouds? (Cloud-Cuckoo-Land reviews)

Post by Spud »

Berkeley Social Scene was left out of the mix on the initial posting. If you would be kind enough to add them to your reviews, they would appreciate it.

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