Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Ross »

Well, I'm not an artist, so I'll do my part by starting this thread.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Ross »

Help us, Father bingo, you're our only hope.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip »

Ross wrote:Help us, Father bingo, you're our only hope.
Fear not princRoss Leia, I did Art.
....Linkletter. :D

It's of our Song Fight logo guys having a "civilized" conversation. The calm before the storm, if you will. ;)
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Caravan Ray »

Billy's Little Trip wrote: It's of our Song Fight logo guys having a "civilized" conversation. The calm before the storm, if you will. ;)
That is actually very good.

Who are you and what have you done with Billy's Little Trip?




But... 22 entries?!?!? Geez Louise!

Hey! How about if there were multiple titles! That could work!!! Let's discuss!
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by JonPorobil »

That's funny. When I saw the lineup, I thought "Only 22 songs, thank goodness. I thought this was going to be a big fight!"

I haven't listened yet, but I see enough of my favorite usual suspects in the list that I bet this will be a fun one to review.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by BBABM »

Wow... Not only a big fight, but a big fight of heavy hitters, wish my mic hadn't broken, I had a start to something.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by longfellowstreet »

Billy & The Psychotics - like. Wow. Holy gee and wow. Our entry was directly inspired by your last entry, and then you went and upped the ante, like, all the way. I mean, damn. Dayyyyyymmn. *salaam salaam kowtow, etc* More reviews to come but I had to abase myself a bit here. Or something. Er, I mean, yeah, cool song and all. If you like that kind of thing. Ahem. Cough. *wanders off in a daze*

Trey
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by jast »

First to review, yay![1] See my signature for an explanation of (most of) the weird numbers. If your review is not very favourable, don't worry... virtually all of the songs had something going for them in my opinion. I'm just trying to point out the things that could stand improvement... I happen to think that that's more valuable than just saying "wow, your song is so awesome, keep up the good work", etc. I mean, do keep up the good work, but also keep improving. Right? Anyway. Enough rambling.

Berkeley Social Scene -- Surprisingly loose performance from you guys. Is it because of the downtempo-ness? Vocals are shaky, verse melody is fairly repetitive. Harmonies in chorus are a bit weird but not in a bad way, I think. Nice arrangement and not the continuous noodling in it that tends to put me off of your songs. Bridge gets a bit long. The chorus is really the best bit by far here. Fun turns in its chord progression. Pretty sudden ending. I get a passive-aggressive vibe from the lyrics... but it's still mostly bearable. All in all, mixed bag.
C:2 L:3 F:2 P:2 M:3 -- Total: 12/15 -- Relisten factor: 56%

Billy & The Psychotics -- I don't think I've reviewed this combo before. Pretty cool – I particularly like how the different styles of writing come together here. Now, the song. Great performances and mix, definitely. And, well, I don't even like the song all that much, but it still seemed way shorter than it actually was. So, great development, too. Really the only thing that bugs me is that all the chord progression are extremely similar.
C:2 L:* F:3 P:3 M:3 -- Total: 13/15 -- Relisten factor: 33%

Blue Movies -- You know, the panning doesn't have to be static... so you didn't technically have to start out with a serious left tilt. The next time you post your lyrics, please include the artist name. This is kind of cool, and I don't even know why. Mix/guitar is very wall-of-noise-y, though. Now add some more development to the song, please.
C:2 L:3 F:3 P:3 M:2 -- Total: 13/15 -- Relisten factor: 81%

Caravan Ray -- If you start out with this much silence, at least eliminate the clicks in it. Nice drum intro. Lead vocals are slightly buried. Something about the mix bug me, but I'm having a hard time figuring out what exactly. Everything bleeds together in a weird way... except the background vocals in the right half. The whole thing is strongly biased towards the left, in fact. Very weird. Intriguing composition. I'd have enjoyed a bit more variation in the arrangement, perhaps bringing in some actual chords somewhere. Synth trumpets are a bit overused. Fun lyrics. Pitch in the final part is a bit shaky. If you reworked the arrangement and the mix, this would be completely awesome.
C:2 L:3 F:2 P:3 M:1 -- Total: 11/15 -- Relisten factor: 26%

Dwald -- Well, this mix is... different. Not in a good way. The heaps of delay make it hard for me to tell whether your timing is bad or whether the delay just goes against the beat. I think it's your both, though. Mix is really uneven in the stereo field... starting out with a drum kit panned to the left for no obvious reason isn't a great way to introduce yourself. The pitch-shifted (or formant-mangled) vocals just make this sound even weirder. If you were going for weirdness, you win. If you were going for a good song, you don't. Did I already mention that it's fairly boring, all in all?
C:1 L:* F:1 P:2 M:1 -- Total: 7/15 -- Relisten factor: 0%

The Elephant Choir -- Not really bad or anything (except for your try to do falsetto. That bit is going to need more practise). But boring. G&G really depends on the performers being expressive. Not happening here. So this is a nice song and everything, but it's dead. Or undead. I don't know.
C:3 L:* F:1 P:2 M:3 -- Total: 11/15 -- Relisten factor: 25%

FauX -- Off to a good start! Nice upbeat intro. Kind of wishing for the drums to do something more than what they are doing, especially to get some kind of transition from intro to verse. Vocals aren't bad; might wanna work a bit on the intonation, though, because the pitch is frequently only almost good. You tend to play a bit of catch-up at the start of some lines. Other problems with the vocals are mainly due to mic/mix. Perhaps experiment with longer reverb (but don't overdo it), and it might help to reduce the vocals by 1 dB or something. Great arrangement/development. I can't really complain about anything but the vocals here. Let me know if you want a more detailed analysis. Nice semantic ambiguities in the lyrics.
C:3 L:3 F:3 P:2 M:2 -- Total: 13/15 -- Relisten factor: 79%

hillbilly -- Mix is really incohesive. Why are the guitar/harmonica stopping? Vocal intonation and articulation aren't terribly clear. Mix is mushy. Ending cut off... please let the guitar fade on its own! Needs more attention to the details and more polish.
C:2 L:* F:2 P:2 M:2 -- Total: 10/15 -- Relisten factor: 49%

Infinity Point Buck -- Pretty random backing track. It's intriguing at first but gets old rather quickly. Timing and intonation issues in vocals. Not very impressed.
C:1 L:* F:1 P:1 M:3 -- Total: 8/15 -- Relisten factor: 2%

Jan Krueger -- as already mentioned, I wrote and recorded this in two hours. It meant I couldn't really practise any of the takes a lot, and I didn't have time to focus on the writing, either (about a quarter of the time available to me). Most of the time actually went into the mix, I think. Not sure the vocals should have been like that... but then again I'm not perfectly sure what the song is all about, anyway. At least I think I'm starting to get the hang of how to mix fake bass.

Jim of Seattle -- Uh what, blog post? Noisy intro talking stuff I don't care about? Whatever. Flute cuts off rather harshly. As does the oboe (?). Ever heard of ADSR? Well, I think you need more R. Anyway. Beautiful to listen to, otherwise. Mix is a bit oversaturated, perhaps. How about you reduce saturation and experiment with different reverb instead. All in all, very nice.
C:3 L:0 F:3 P:3 M:2 -- Total: 11/15 -- Relisten factor: 87%

Jon Eric -- Some small timing issues on the piano. Vocals sound awfully dry, compared to the rest of the tracks. Not nearly enough bass. Nice chord progressions and arrangement... but what bugs me here is that there is this really huge gap between part A and B. You do all the singing near the lower end of your range... and then suddenly this big jump. It's a bit jarring. Written slightly differently this probably would have been a sure candidate for a vote.
C:3 L:3 F:2 P:2 M:2 -- Total: 12/15 -- Relisten factor: 57%

Longfellow Street -- Mix sounds pretty mushy. Hard to make out the words, too. Don't find the song very exciting, but executed decently enough. Does anything happen here, except the whole thing being fast-paced? No? I didn't think so.
C:2 L:* F:2 P:3 M:2 -- Total: 11/15 -- Relisten factor: 42%

Paco del Stinko -- Great intro! Lovely choice of instruments/synths. Awesome lead vocals. I am reminded of Till Lindemann. The short instrumental breaks are well-placed but I don't really feel they go anywhere. Hmm, the lyrics are a bit weird in first person. It's not convincing from a traditional storytelling point of view: nobody would seriously talk about themselves like that. I don't quite see anything that would justify it here. Oh well.
C:3 L:2 F:3 P:3 M:3 -- Total: 14/15 -- Relisten factor: 82%

Ross Durand -- Hmm. The chord progressions scream "generic alternative songwriting" to me, if that makes sense. Anyway, the music doesn't do anything for me, and what little time I spent following the lyrics didn't capture me either. Definitely a solid song and everything... but it's not for me.
C:2 L:* F:2 P:3 M:3 -- Total: 12/15 -- Relisten factor: 24%

Scott Gesser -- The guitar really dominates the mix, and not in a good way. Marginalizes the vocals. Clipping. Noticeable take cuts in the guitar. Nice song, mainly suffering from problems in execution. Suggestion: severely reduce that strummy guitar and bring up the picked one more. Experiment with panning. Generally, pay more attention to levels of the various tracks.
C:3 L:* F:2 P:3 M:2 -- Total: 12/15 -- Relisten factor: 37%

Seismic Toss -- Fun backing track... but the piano is a bit low in the mix. For rap, the timing isn't tight enough for my standards, and intonation doesn't convince me – sounds amateurish. Not quite as much so as many of the other rap tracks we get here, but still. Finally, not much of anything happens in this. There's no attempt at musical development or anything.
C:1 L:* F:1 P:2 M:2 -- Total: 7/15 -- Relisten factor: 4%

Smashy Claw -- All the low end is completely missing in the intro. Sounds painful. I understand that's meant to be an effect, but please tone it down a little. The extra vocals panned to the side in the intro are a nice touch. Great switch to the full arrangement. Nice use of background vocals in general. Lead vocals tend to splat on higher notes; that takes away a bit. Great arrangement, writing, etc. etc.
C:3 L:* F:3 P:2 M:3 -- Total: 13/15 -- Relisten factor: 93%

Steve Durand -- This could be an Alan Price song with pretty much no changes at all. Except him singing it, of course. That just an aside. This is a great song. Ending is a bit clichéd, I guess, but who cares. It fits.
C:3 L:3 F:3 P:2 M:3 -- Total: 14/15 -- Relisten factor: 95%

Suckweasel -- For some reason I dig this a lot. It's not the most creative thing ever, but really well executed, except for the mix (virtually no bass, poor stereo spread, dull vocals). Guitar solo is great... particularly because the mix spreads out a bit there. Good job making the asymmetric panning work. Timing is a bit shoddy. All in all, nice song.
C:3 L:3 F:3 P:2 M:2 -- Total: 13/15 -- Relisten factor: 69%

Tuners Union -- Very, very quiet mix, and there are no interesting dynamic to justify it. Great arrangement, nice composition. Vocals aren't terribly exciting but accurate enough that the only thing that bothers me about them is all the falsetto. Few can perform a complete song in falsetto and still make it sound great. Yours isn't nearly strong enough for that. Wonky prosody in some places. Has potential but didn't deliver to the max in the execution.
C:3 L:* F:2 P:2 M:2 -- Total: 11/15 -- Relisten factor: 65%

[1] reviewing just one song doesn't count. Yes, I'm looking at you, LFS. :)
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip »

longfellowstreet wrote:Billy & The Psychotics - like. Wow. Holy gee and wow. Our entry was directly inspired by your last entry, and then you went and upped the ante, like, all the way. I mean, damn. Dayyyyyymmn. *salaam salaam kowtow, etc* More reviews to come but I had to abase myself a bit here. Or something. Er, I mean, yeah, cool song and all. If you like that kind of thing. Ahem. Cough. *wanders off in a daze*

Trey
Like. Wow. Thanks, longfellow. Holy gee and wow. This just put a little pep in my step this fine morning. ;)

And your song rocks as well. Anyone ever tell you that you sound like B Real, from Cypress Hill? :) Nice to hear some bawlzy rock this week, mixed in with the stellar blues/folk and charming pop rock......and whatever genre Paco falls under, lol. Quite a cool mix for a Tuesday morn. I'm very much enjoying these songs.
Last edited by Billy's Little Trip on Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

jast wrote:Jim of Seattle -- Uh what, blog post? Noisy intro talking stuff I don't care about? Whatever. Flute cuts off rather harshly. As does the oboe (?). Ever heard of ADSR? Well, I think you need more R. Anyway. Beautiful to listen to, otherwise. Mix is a bit oversaturated, perhaps. How about you reduce saturation and experiment with different reverb instead. All in all, very nice.
The noisy talking intro stuff you don't care about is explaining that the piece is the soundtrack to a blog post called "A Conversation", and the noisy talking you don't care about explains this to you and tells you how to get to it. Here is the link: http://patricemj.wordpress.com/2012/01/ ... versation/. This is the whole thrust of the piece, and so you're missing half the expreience by ignoring it, and maybe your "Lyrics" rating can be more than zero. Not really lyrics, but it is text that goes with the music.

Also, what do you mean by "oversaturated"? Over-compressed?
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip »

jast wrote: Billy & The Psychotics -- I don't think I've reviewed this combo before. Pretty cool – I particularly like how the different styles of writing come together here. Now, the song. Great performances and mix, definitely. And, well, I don't even like the song all that much, but it still seemed way shorter than it actually was. So, great development, too. Really the only thing that bugs me is that all the chord progression are extremely similar.
C:2 L:* F:3 P:3 M:3 -- Total: 13/15 -- Relisten factor: 33%
That's because there are eleventy thousand step chords between, like, 4 root chords, lol. But thanks for enjoying the performance and mix. DJ sounds awesome when she's sick. ;)

By the way, your song this week is really good, other than the drums, which aren't bad, just would like them more real sounding. But it's really good. I could totally hear this fitting right in on the Oh Brother Where Art thou sound track. Really good style for you that I'd never have expected. I know you like to jump around with styles you play, but you really should consider focusing on this one. Then give yourself a clever name, like, the braunschweiger blues band, or the sauerkraut kid. :P ......or just stick with Jast.
Last edited by Billy's Little Trip on Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by jast »

Jim of Seattle wrote:The noisy talking intro stuff you don't care about is explaining that the piece is the soundtrack to a blog post called "A Conversation", and the noisy talking you don't care about explains this to you and tells you how to get to it.
I got that much. However, when I'm listening to a song, I don't want to be distracted by having a URL dictated to me, let alone reading a page of stuff. I'd very much prefer having a reference to the page in the liner notes or file comments or something. Just saiyan.
Billy's Little Trip wrote:By the way, your song this week is really good, other than the drums, which aren't bad, just would like them more real sounding.
I expected you saying that. It's equal parts not having any time to polish it and not actually wanting the drums to be the focus of the song. I just needed them to establish the rhythm and otherwise stay out of people's faces. Thanks for your comments, though. Much appreciated, as always. I wouldn't know how to focus on "this", though, because I have no idea what "this" is, exactly. ;)
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by FauxUmlaut »

I'll only mention the ones I'm voting for.

Billy & The Psychotics: A lovely drive in this, wonderful progression; the bridge especially packs a heavy punch of awesome. Vocals superb as always.

Blue Movies: Kinda doesn't do much throughout the song, but I'm loving that wonderful low-fi thing going on, deliberate or not. Love it, don't know why.

Jan Krueger: Got a lovely groove. Sounds annoyingly familiar, but I'm totally loving it.

Jon Eric: Would love it if there was a little bit more prominance on those vocals, and there's some dodgy timing going on 1:02-1:15ish, but the lyrics are delightful, and the instrumentation is nice.

Smashy Claw: Intro's a little meh, but once the song starts, it's wonderful. Love the contrast from verse to chorus, and lovely backing vocals going on.

Suckweasel: I don't even know. It's just good.

Tuners Union: This is so very nearly excellent. Very quiet, but the chord progression, and song progression as a whole is absolutely wonderful. I'd love to hear some stronger vocals, and maybe a little punchier instrumentation, but it's really very nice.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

jast wrote:
Jim of Seattle wrote:The noisy talking intro stuff you don't care about is explaining that the piece is the soundtrack to a blog post called "A Conversation", and the noisy talking you don't care about explains this to you and tells you how to get to it.
I got that much. However, when I'm listening to a song, I don't want to be distracted by having a URL dictated to me, let alone reading a page of stuff. I'd very much prefer having a reference to the page in the liner notes or file comments or something. Just saiyan
Liner notes?

Given the constraints of the technology here on SF, if you wanted to try an experiment like this, how would you have gone about it? Spud and I talked about it, and this was the best idea we came up with, but I'm open to better ideas.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by jb »

I think you might put some of that info into the ID3 tag. Not that people would see it, but there's space in there for it.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by jast »

Jim of Seattle wrote:Liner notes?
Yeah, well. Not too applicable to something like SF, of course.
Given the constraints of the technology here on SF, if you wanted to try an experiment like this, how would you have gone about it? Spud and I talked about it, and this was the best idea we came up with, but I'm open to better ideas.
I would have posted to the prefight and/or review thread. Of course that way you can't force people to participate in the experiment, but neither can you by prepending a short speech to the song... least of all if the speech sounds tacked on like this. It probably wouldn't have bugged me quite as much if it had sounded like it was a part of the song.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

jast wrote:
Jim of Seattle wrote:Liner notes?
Yeah, well. Not too applicable to something like SF, of course.
Given the constraints of the technology here on SF, if you wanted to try an experiment like this, how would you have gone about it? Spud and I talked about it, and this was the best idea we came up with, but I'm open to better ideas.
I would have posted to the prefight and/or review thread. Of course that way you can't force people to participate in the experiment, but neither can you by prepending a short speech to the song... least of all if the speech sounds tacked on like this. It probably wouldn't have bugged me quite as much if it had sounded like it was a part of the song.
Hmmm... yeah. That combined with the ID3 tag idea from JB, I guess that would have been better. The intro WAS tacked on of course. JB/Spud: Can I send you another version of the song with the talking removed and the ID3 tag added? Then I'll advertise the link here and hope for the best?
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by longfellowstreet »

Mix sounds pretty mushy.
It's kinda supposed to :) There's a story here...
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Spud »

@jim: Have you no hosting space?
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

Spud wrote:@jim: Have you no hosting space?
Yes, I posted it on my SoundCloud account as well (without the intro), but for SF I wanted to make sure people got that it WAS related to the title, and that the blog post was part of the whole thing.
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Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by longfellowstreet »

Billy's Little Trip wrote:
longfellowstreet wrote:And your song rocks as well. Anyone ever tell you that you sound like B Real, from Cypress Hill? :)
Ha! Awesome! Comin' at the slummmms and the hoodlummmms... but actually, no, so far the only person I've been compared to on this song is Fred Schneider (B52s) on trucker speed. So thanks, B Real is much cooler. Funny you say that, actually, was just playing snippets of Cypress Hill songs with a jazz combo the other night 'cause a bunch of their bass lines are sampled from old jazz records. Great. Now my head is full of images of Fred Schneider hopped up on speed, a spliff on his lip, waving a gat around and shouting "I ain't goin' out like that! I ain't goin' out like that!" In front of two girls with beehives. And shotguns. MAKE IT STOPPPP. BOOM BOOM SKWEEEEE! BOOM BOOM SKWEEEEE!
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Billy's Little Trip
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Posts: 12007
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:56 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Drums, Skin Flute
Recording Method: analog to digital via Presonus FireBox, Cubase and a porn machine
Submitting as: Billy's Little Trip, Billy and the Psychotics
Location: Cali fucking ornia

Re: Can we talk about these songs?(A Conversation reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip »

longfellowstreet wrote:Great. Now my head is full of images of Fred Schneider hopped up on speed, a spliff on his lip, waving a gat around and shouting "I ain't goin' out like that! I ain't goin' out like that!" In front of two girls with beehives. And shotguns. MAKE IT STOPPPP. BOOM BOOM SKWEEEEE! BOOM BOOM SKWEEEEE!
LOL. I just imagined that with you. It was an entertaining mind travel.
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