Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

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Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby Niveous » Fri Sep 26, 2014 8:17 am

Ba de ya, say that you remember...
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby foobar93 » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:57 am

Very glad to be back after a long hiatus! I only had about 25 minutes to record this one and as a result there was a lot of noise on the vocal track that I didn't have time to clean up. I asked for some help to get the noise under control and produced this cleaned-up version that might be more fun to listen to:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xeq7galzf7qmcqt/foobar_september%20v2.mp3?dl=0
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foobar_september v2.mp3
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:38 am

Melvin-Great story and all round performance, like your stuff, welcome back.
Holly-Love your voice and singing styles.
Jeff DeSantis-Like this,Great mood,fun music,good job.

review the rest later, need to work a few hours.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby zeegee » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:42 pm

Did the quality of the average submission skryocket since 2003, or was this a particularly awesome competition? I was really impressed with the songs I've heard so far, and I still have over half to go. I'll just add my thoughts about each song as I listen.

Slickitude - Production sounds great and the you kind of sound like a demented square dance caller (in the best possible way)

King Arthur - This sounds like something Tom Waits would write-- that quality struck me immediately

Holly Furlone - Great melodies and harmonies. Very cool parts and I found the song moving. I always like to cut down long guitar breaks so I'd recommend doing that, but I also like 2 minute songs so what do I know

the WSA - again, this song had great sounds and I like the big booming drums. I also liked the solo.

Melvin - Whoa awesome song. I listened to your tune last week and thought the music sounded like deafheaven, so you nailed that. the verses on this sound like a great Hold Steady song, which may partly have to do with your vocal style. great chorus. very tight writing.

zeegee - recorded a lot of extra parts but ended up just using 1 guitar track and the first vocal take. mehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh first song i've written in years and was a lot of fun to get back into it.

chocolate chips - i like your electro pop styling. the chorus is simple and great. great layering of the little parts as the song builds.

Kenka - I loved this song. I'm a sucker for catchy pop songs and this is a great one. Lots of melodic ideas and it is super tight. I just love songs that are bursting with ideas. It ends up elevating each one because you don't feel like you get enough time with any of them, which makes them seem all that much better.

Flyvvxxm Florvm - isyour name the title of a song on Aphex Twin's Drukqs album? This song is extra weird but I dig it. It sounds like a song on Pure Guava by ween. My old band recorded a song and Brad (of Brad Sucks)told us it sounded like a ween song. I hadn't ever heard of ween but now they are one of my all time favorite bands. It took me forever to not want to write Ween songs. Not that you shouldn't keep writing weens songs. Keep writing weird Ween songs, man.

I'll add more as I listen to them. I'm gonna go to a dive bar to listen to old new orleans blues men instead of studying vascular diseases. I bet all those men will have vascular disease because of their smoking. don't smoke, kids.

ok back.

Balance Lost - I like how frantic everything is. I was frightened that my headphones were going to explode

tony roktok - I think we've all been in the situation of being a teenage delivery person sleeping with an older woman and you've captured the emotions of that time in all of our lives very well

Schlimminy Cricket - sweet accordion and vocal layering. The accordian is nice and loose and I can just imagine a bunch of sailors singing this song. You don't hear sea shanties too often. How come we don't have shanties for situations other than being at sea? seems like there is a dearth of shanties but no one cares. everyone is too busy twittering their facebook on their smartphones these days. how about instead of "liking" your friend's picture of their dog, you sing a shanty instead? everyone wins.

Jeff DeSantis - song opens strong and then stays strong. This song has a great nostalgic feel and I'd like to listen to your band play it at a bar while I hang out with old friends. I'd tip the band but I can probably only spare a dollar so I hope that's cool. don't be greedy, man. I'm wracked with the burden of student debt and my chosen field has seriously slumping salaries. get off my back, jeff desantis.

foobar - this seems like it would be the main song from a musical version of "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind". i'd see it.

Montana - vagina/angina rhyme + morphing solo = vote

Anastasia Elizabeth - i really liked the melody and the lyrics are funny and sad which, to me, is the best kind of lyric

Berkely Social Scene - I am conflicted about your name because I love the Broken Social Scene so much. Great production. This is a tight, well written song. I love the switch at the end too. You guys seem to be songfight pros

inflatable vegetables - song really breaks open with the chorus and caught my attention. It's funny how this song title brought out so many thoughts about growing up. same thing happened to me.

Lou Parazzo - Only true ballad. Like my old sexist bassist used to say: you can't make a ballad without balls. I didn't LOVE it but I loved the effort. cool bass line.

Starbuck - hard rock song that at first I thought was about playing with your dog but then realized was about your lost love. but its still also just about your dog. sweeeeeet riff. loved when the organ came in.


whew. all done. ok back to the books. I think some buddies and I will join forces for the next one. songfight is the best
Last edited by zeegee on Sat Sep 27, 2014 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Sat Sep 27, 2014 5:19 pm

Louporrazzo-kinda sounds like Christian music and nothing wrong with that at times, not a good time now for me to judge.

Zeegee- I vote you have the best male voice I have heard for that style in a while.

Kenka- I really like home spun stuff like this.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby Kenka » Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:54 am

Hey all! I'm Julia, the lyrics-writing half of Kenka. JJ does the majority of the actual songfighting for us, but since he's busy, I thought I'd chime in for the both of us. We've submitted for the past few rounds (three were under the name Airlines) and we've appreciated all your thoughtful feedback. I'm not a musician, but I wanted to try to repay the favor with reviews of my own. So many submissions this time!

Since I do lyrics, I quoted the lines that particularly stood out to me during listening.

Anastasia Elizabeth: "I might love you, but I don't know yet. It's only September."

Voice is lovely and clear, with an occasional soft airy vibrato that I would have loved to hear more of. A bit too shrill at times during the choruses and I had to lower the volume when listening. I'm a big fan of the bridge for the softer contrast and lyrics: "I see you in March with a piece of my heart... talk about it in June, maybe I'll marry you."

Balance Lost: "So many love songs, never been in love."

Whoa, love the energy of this track! Really fun song. While I think the manic tempo is the highlight, the really fast drumming in the intro and at 1:05 sound slightly off and muddled? Perhaps they're a bit too fast.

Berkeley Social Scene:

Oh man, sweet bass line... I was nodding along to the whole song. Voice sounds muffled, I think because the bass line is so prominent. Love the quiet bridge and fade-out -- feels like nighttime on the beach in late August.

Chocolate Chips: "Remember September/ you ate? me up as I ate? you down"

I almost skipped this track by accident-- the "Stream All" playlist doesn't play this track properly. Someone should look into this.

I'm an electropop fan, so I definitely dig this. I like how you added layers of different instruments as the song goes on. I couldn't really understand your lyrics because of the muffled filters on your voice. I know it's a stylistic choice, but that's the downside.

flvxxvmflorvm:

I liked the slow chiptune-ish sound of this track, but I couldn't get into this otherwise. A bit too sluggish and that high-pitched drum beat sound (I'm not sure what instrument it is) became grating after awhile.

Foobar: "Let me wake up from this dream with you."

I may be biased, but I love Ben Folds Five and I was definitely getting that vibe. The piano added some welcome and lovely variety for this round. Nice, slow song with haunting and engaging lyrics. I could see this fitting in the soundtrack for the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. (huh, just noticed that someone else made the comment above)

Holly Furlone: "September came as quickly as I did/ to the conclusion that all we are is haunted."

Seriously beautiful voice and harmonies as usual. I got chills at 1:48. Same as the last round though, this song suffers from too much noise in the background and your voice sounds a bit tinny and distant. There's a drastic drop in sound quality around the 2:50 mark for about 30 seconds, not sure what happened there. If you could improve the recording conditions, this song would be perfect. From a lyrics point of view, I had trouble making out what you were saying at times (for example, the verse at 1:48), which is a shame because what I could hear was really nice.

Inflatable Vegetables: "September, you're not my friend."

The back to the school special. :) The clever lyrics saved this song from being overly droning. A slightly faster tempo would have made this song more balanced.

Jeff DeSantis: "I see things that I used to be/every time September comes around."

Ooh, loved this right from the intro hook. GREAT beat, great voice, great mix of instruments, really fun song. Rocked along to the whole four minutes. Well written lyrics, both for content and sound of the words.

Kenka: "Stars danced around us as we waltzed on the moon."

I'm the lyrics half of our duo, so I'm going to confess that I wrote this song about a video game very dear to my heart: Final Fantasy 8. Who else remembers that the game came out on 9/9/1999? :D Also, our song for "What Anna Can See" was based on Bioshock Infinite...

Speaking for my musical partner, this was one of the more ambitious vocal arrangements he has ever attempted. He said the guitar work is sloppier than he would have liked, but I couldn't tell. He worked the chords from "Eyes on Me" into the guitar solos, hopefully some other gamers can appreciate that. We'll like to eventually redo this song with actual female vocals and a proper second verse. Overall, I really liked our song this round. It's bright, warm, and catchy. JJ challenged himself with the composition and each song feels more polished than the last. I'm always amazed at what he can do after I throw a bunch of words at him.

King Arthur:

Seconding the comment about the Tom Waits vibe-- cool, laid-back retro sound, just personally not my taste.

Lou Porrazzo: "Am I really in my skin? Or is it all just but a dream I'm in?"

Really liked the bass line and that slight echo effect on the voice. Hard to pick up any particular highlights during listening, but overall, it's a refreshing, peaceful ballad that washes over you.

Melvin: "We were young and innocent last June/ when September comes, I'll be gone for good."

Whoa, this hooked me right away, and then when the tambourine kicked in...! Tight composition, solid lyrics, solid vocals, catchy--- loved this song! I wonder if singing in a higher pitch would have worked better.

Montana Fudge: "Oh, last September/ the leaves were turning brown, like poop."

Haha, your lyrics! You rhymed poop with stoop--- what more can I say? Loved the whistling intro... the unexpected vocals and lyrics started up... and then I knew what I was in for. I don't know if I would listen to this again, but I appreciate the effort.

Schlimminycricket: "I think of you as brave and true."

The accordian and strumming reminded me of the Amelie soundtrack at times. This is bright, elegant, and well-composed. I really liked the instrument solo at 1:45. Some higher-pitched harmonies could have elevated this.

Slickitude:

Definitely full of slickitude. Great driving beat, hand claps, liked the contrast of fast and slow. Short but sweet.

Starbuck: "When she goes/ it's September day"

Great riff! I don't normally listen to hard rock, but I got into this. Especially when the organ kicked in! I like that your dog is part of your band. :D

Toby Robkot: "September asked me to stay."

I liked the story in your lyrics and the Miss September reveal, but I found it hard to focus on this song all the way through, even with a few listens--- a bit more variety or energy in your voice could have helped.

Worldly Self-Assurance: "The cure is not running, not running away/ The truth is in what you do, not what you say." <-- nice lyrics

Strong intro and solid all the way through. Sounds like the boss level of a video game. Really liked the drumming and the mix of vocals and instruments. The saxophone interlude could have been longer and louder. Guitar outro was great!

Zeegee: "I thought I'd know by now/ I was so warm-blooded then"

I really like your voice! You said in your post that you kept it very stripped down. The minimalism could work, but since your voice is the focus, vary it up more instead of singing it straight the whole way through-- more emotion, softer here, louder there, etc.
Kenka is JJ (music, vocals) and Julia (lyrics). Formerly known as Airlines.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby glennny » Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:23 pm

Zeegee said:
Berkely Social Scene - I am conflicted about your name because I love the Broken Social Scene so much.


I thought it was a funny thing to call the project back in 2007. We were a collection of Older Brothers, Merisan, Tiny Robots, Semolina Pilchards, Ken Super Duper, etc. Much like Broken Social Scene was a collection of KC Accidental, Feist, Stars, Metric, etc.
I was the jerk that came up with the name, and I often wish I came up with a totally original name. I didn't know we were going to record hundreds of songs together and that that name would stick.
We are big Broken Social Scene fans, especially Ken and myself. We mean no disrespect.

thanks for the review!
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby Niveous » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:36 pm

Hey Kenka,
Are you two New Yorkers?
If so, did you name yourselves after the Japanese restaurant with the cotton candy machine?
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby Kenka » Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:41 am

Niveous wrote:Hey Kenka,
Are you two New Yorkers?
If so, did you name yourselves after the Japanese restaurant with the cotton candy machine?


Haha, yes we are and yes we did. Our tribute to delicious seared tuna and cheap pints of Asahi. "Kenka" also means "fight" in Japanese. Btw, looks like you're an X-Japan fan? I tried to do "Forever Love" at karaoke one time and got destroyed.

-Julia
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby Niveous » Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:45 am

That's spectacular. Nice to have more fellow New Yorkers at Songfight.

I am an X-Japan fan. I guess you got that from the name of my band X-Tokyo-River-God. I actually hadn't heard of X-Japan until 2008, 3 years after XTRG started.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby zeegee » Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:01 am

glennny wrote:Zeegee said:
Berkely Social Scene - I am conflicted about your name because I love the Broken Social Scene so much.


We are big Broken Social Scene fans, especially Ken and myself. We mean no disrespect.

thanks for the review!


The name makes sense, then. I dig it. Only thing left for you to do is make your next song a 7/4 dreamscape
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby iVeg » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:07 pm

Anastasia Elizabeth - I really liked the emotion. Some parts the vocals were harsh and forced. Some pitch problems, more in the first verse I thought. Try to change your strum pattern in different parts of the song. The melody is sticking with me. That's always a good thing. V [vote]
Balance Lost - Liked the tempo, key changes. Production very good. Liked how you took September as a heavy influence, but didn't say the word, once. Kinda a cop out, tho V
BSS - You guys always have really well done instrumental parts. Esp Liked second half guitar solo. Surprisingly nice, gentle tempo drop, outro. V
Chocolate Chips - Your file wouldn't stream for me. There's a song from the 80s this totally reminds me of. and now I can't think of it. :?: [don't remember if I voted for you]
Flvxxvm Flvrrvm - Very cool lurking feeling. Mix your vocals a bit hotter next time, maybe? Guitar solo timing problem.
Foobar - pitchy vocals. I was really hoping for another instrument to come in. Like how you were able to speed up, pause for effect. really liked the instrumental / sorta solo part. :?:
Holly - acoustic guitar is nice. Vocals are great as always, but maybe too much reverb? Sounds like there is a guitarist outside a cave, with a mic, and you're like twenty feet inside. Some melody totally reminded me of Joan Baez. The "by dreams..." part. V
Jeff D - Good backing instrumental parts. Not too fond of September/Remember rhyme or chorus, but like your image of photos fading, and the candles... some funny lyric turns. "How i hate to love this town." V
Kenka - Like melodic guitar part, vox harmonies. V
King Arthur - story songs are so hard, esp when they're long, and have similar feel throughout. Which is too bad, because you've got some interesting guitar and bass going on.
LouPz - Timing weirdness. Very good voice, but mixed soft at times. The instrumental annoyed me at times, I think it was some of the tones you were using. V
Melvin - I just like it all, esp the chorus. V for win
Montana - haha. Gross. Surprising lyrics, but I didn't want to keep listening to it.
Schlimminy Cricket. Nice accordian. "September... o-oh, might as well go insane." V
Slickitude - Liked intro, energy. Felt a lot longer than it really was, I think because of faster tempo, faster vocals. V
Starbuck - nice riff and chorus. Longish story song, but it had enough variation that it didn't feel like it dragged. V
Toby - Another really long story song. I had read your lyrics, so I already knew the story.
WSS - You have great 3/4 chorus, and then it gets weak on the last line. Really liked the sax. V
Zeegee - Great vocals. Very minimalist guitar part. "Was so warm blooded then. Thought I'd know by now." V

IVeg [me] - Wore my voice out singing harmonies. When I went back to re-sing the lead, my voice was almost shot. Sigh. Maybe next time. :roll:
@Julia - you're totally right about tempo too slow. It dragged. I'll blame it on chafing - running on the beach.
@Zeegee - Growing older kinda happens to all of us. Some of us don't grow up, tho.

I voted last night, for about 10 songs. I don't remember exactly. [Stinking smiley limit!]
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby furrypedro » Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:17 pm

iVeg wrote:Liked how you took September as a heavy influence, but didn't say the word, once.

Yeah I did, in the second verse! Cheers for the review+vote tho dude :)
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby iVeg » Tue Sep 30, 2014 11:29 pm

you're right. i missed it, even on lyrics read thru
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby Smalltown Mike » Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:33 pm

Just a couple points on something that struck me in a song. BUT KIDS: for the love of all that is good, fix the tags on your mp3s so they show up on a device. F'real.

Jeff DeSantis: This song would be played during the montage halfway through Rom-Com. I dig it — sounds like a real song. Maybe switch the lyrics back and forth in the chorus (I hate to love this town/I love to hate this town)?

Balance Lost — Excellent. I think maybe the music is slightly over compressed? Maybe? But it's really good. Frantic. A bit chaotic.

Schlimminy Cricket — I really like the music, the accordion. There are some timing issues, but still Nice vibe.

Kenka — Fantastic. Great tune. Nice and clean recording.

Flyzxcvcxm Florvm — Really great vibe. Really like the sounds. It's been pointed out there are some timing issues in the guitar solo, but the solo really brings the song up to a new level. Excellent tune. Got a nice haunting vibe to it.

Melvin — Just when you think you're out, they suck you back in. As usual, great recording of a great song.

Berkley Social Scene — I like the little rushed part "Just last summer" at the end of each chorus, and the frequent solos. Good god, but the kids don't like to solo any more.

Slickitude — is me.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby SchlimminyCricket » Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:39 pm

Kenka: The arrangement reminds me a bit of Tarkio, which is good. The vocals may have too much reverb on them. They can get hard to understand. Good harmonies, though.
inflatable vegetables: Good and lo-fi, like early They Might Be Giants, but more gospel-ish. The repeated lyrics bring it all together for me. Maybe bring the vocals forward in the mix? I think it's pretty good.
Anastasia Elizabeth: You had me at the frantic Mountain Goats/Neutral Milk Hotel-style guitar. I wish there were some drums on here, but I'm liking listening to this.
Holly Furlone: This reminds me of my own entry from back in the day, Disco Tony. That's really irrelevant, but it's all I can think of. I think you would benefit from some more instruments. I kind of zoned out a couple of times from the sparse arrangement and slow tempo.
King Arthur: Really cool sound. It sounds like it would play in the background of a movie scene in a bar where the hero gets some important information from a grizzled old biker. Take that for what you will.
Lou Porrazzo: I expected indie electropop from the intro, but I got the slowdance song from the credits of a 90's movie.
zeegee: Recording sounds great. Arrangement is very thin. You have a good voice, but a little pitchy here and there.
The Chocolate Chips: Them drums. Love nearly everything about the sound. The space android you've got on vocals is doing great. -5 pts for rhyming september with remember.
Jeff DeSantis: Took every ounce of restraint I could muster to keep from singing "I'm Yours" over top of your vocals at the start. Just when I was thinking this sounded like the Full House theme or something, it got all jangly. Good on you for mixing it up a bit.
The Worldly Self-Assurance: The early vocals remind me of The Rentals. Everything else reminds me of Ben Folds (except with guitar solos). The sax solo triggers a conflict within me between authentic hate and ironic love. Overall pretty good stuff.
Berkeley Social Scene: Remember-september violation. I'm not really getting into this.
Montana: Whistling = points. Lyrics = deduction of those points and more. You've taken one of my favorite entries sonically and turned it into garbage by singing about nutsacks and poop. I can't even begin to imagine why.
Melvin: Early 2000s Weezer sound accomplished. Totally fine with that.
Starbuck: Cowbell points. Not my style at all. Sounds like Dr. Teeth from the Muppets.
Flvxxvm Florvm: This sounds like the soundtrack from Frank, which is cool. I'm not sure I like the effects on the drums, but I love the synth.
Balance Lost: So fast, so loud, but then it changes. It's not bad at all, except maybe the change is jarring. Very good chorus.
Foobar: Piano is refreshing after all this guitar. Vocals could use a bit more attention.
toby roktot: Not much melody for me to grab onto here. I'll admit, at this point I'm kind of reviewed-out, and this is just too long.
Slickitude: Good high-energy finish to the set. I actually like this, despite guitar fatigue. I appreciate the decision to go straight talking instead of singing kind of. Best claps in the fight. -5 remember-september rhyme.
Schlimminy Cricket: me. Good gracious I forgot how hard it is to play the accordion after not playing it for a while. I wrote and recorded this all in an afternoon because there's nothing like an accordion to inspire a fellow to give up. Lots of timing problems, but I did my best. I'm quite satisfied with the song, just the performance could use a touch up or two.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby chocolatechips » Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:22 pm

My votes went to:

Kenka - I like the vocals, good stuff. Reminds me a bit of The Avett Brothers. Some nice lyrics in there too.

Holly Furlone - The strength of your vocals turns your minimalist instrumentation from a weakness to a strength.

Schlimminy Cricket - This is probably my favorite of the fight as it's a nice tune well sung with a fun/interesting arrangement.

Slicktitude - Catchy fun punky thing. I like the attitude of it. Cool drum machine programming.

Anastasia Elizabeth - You have a very young sounding voice (or maybe you are very young?) --- either way it makes the song sound... very adorable. I can definitely imagine an audience for this.
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby Fontana Mudge » Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:43 am

SchlimminyCricket wrote:You've taken one of my favorite entries sonically and turned it into garbage by singing about nutsacks and poop. I can't even begin to imagine why.


Thank you! I was hoping to get something quotable this week to use for a sig.
You've taken one of my favorite entries sonically and turned it into garbage by singing about nutsacks and poop. I can't even begin to imagine why.
-- Schlimminy Cricket
anastasiabeth
A New Player
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:04 pm
Submitting as: Anastasia Elizabetb

Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby anastasiabeth » Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:26 pm

chocolatechips wrote:
Anastasia Elizabeth - You have a very young sounding voice (or maybe you are very young?) --- either way it makes the song sound... very adorable. I can definitely imagine an audience for this.


Thanks for the review. I was hoping it wasn't too easy to tell but yes, I'm in my early teens. I'm planning on reviewing later. Not sure if anyone cares about my opinions on their songs, especially since I'm new here, but I'd like to do at least a few.
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jb
Notable Hylian
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Re: Never Was A Cloudy Day (September Reviews)

Postby jb » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:05 pm

anastasiabeth wrote:I'm planning on reviewing later. Not sure if anyone cares about my opinions on their songs, especially since I'm new here, but I'd like to do at least a few.


Everybody likes reviews, either to be flattered, to be masochistically punished, or to have something to get indignant about. :) So knock yourself out.

JB

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