It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

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iVeg
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It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by iVeg »

Since it seems we're supposed to make a review thread before the songs are posted?
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Spud
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by Spud »

Yup, that's how it works.
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jast
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by jast »

Reviews! Want details/clarification? Let me know.

6 Maxine vs. inflatable vegetables -- The mix is a bit of a mess. Distorted vocals stick way out from the mix. Everything else would need to be way more in-your-face (which doesn't mean louder -- hard to explain :)) for the vocals to work like that IMO. There's a short piece where the backing track gets dialed down for one line -- that one reminds me of an announcer in a mall turning down the music for a bit of announcing: seems like someone just randomly turned the knob down. For this to work in music I think it has to be done either more decisively and on the beat, or come up with something more interesting. The wall of noise that sets in immediately after that, again, sticks out way too much from the mix IMO. I'm not commenting on the merits of the song beyond the mix -- seems vaguely amusing but in general not what I'm into.


Berkeley Social Scene vs. the John Benjamin Band -- Cute. I didn't like it very much, which of course is something very subjective and not at all useful, and I don't really have any comments on the technical side -- nothing negative, nothing particularly amazing. Well I do like the e-piano, I guess.


Holly Furlone -- I like this. Kind of confused by the way you've chosen to arrange the two guitars in the first bit -- they blend together so much that most of the individual notes played on the second guitar don't really come through. I might have preferred a bit more of a distinction. Maybe a somewhat more conventional bass line of sorts? Other than that, definitely good use of multitracking. My favourite from the ones I've listened to so far (not in the order listed here; you're number three or four or something).


inflatable vegetables -- the writing is very conventional. Not a bad thing, just not the kind of song I'd prefer. That said, too unconventional I often don't like either. I'm hard to please. I can see how the tempo might have been a deliberate decision... if so, well, personally I think the song might have had more breathing room and ultimately worked better at a slower pace. On the other hand maybe then you'd actually need a fuller arrangement so it doesn't feel too sparse -- of course your recording is fairly far on the lo-fi end of the scale; if it didn't have that going for it you probably couldn't make this arrangement work in the first place. All in all, good showing. For a rookie. :)


Jan Krueger -- I kind of suspect I've accidentally, ahem, replicated the chorus line from somewhere, but I couldn't think of anything other than something, ah, fairly similar... and in retrospect I think maybe I should have gone with a slightly slower tempo... still, it's been fun doing something for Song Fight once again. Drums are fake, as always, but everything else is legitimately played/performed by me and not doctored in any way. If you think that the playing is very loose, you're definitely right -- I sure wish I had more time for practicing and polishing. For all the other comments I have about this submission, please refer to the Song Fight excuses list.


Jeff Robertson's Open-Mic-Night Freeloaders -- Good thing you put that in the band name, otherwise I might not have forgiven the spoken intro. Nice song, all in all... only thing that bugs me a little is the way you begin the first few phrases: start at a fairly low pitch, slide up a little, then suddenly a huge jump. That's kind of a bit weird. All in all "good for an open mic night". I recommend you practice a bit more for your next open mic night, though. ;) Bonus point for making a song exactly the same length as mine!


Nick Soma -- Guitar dominates everything else... in its defence, it's definitely good enough to not have to hide, but that's definitely not the way I'd have mixed it. Very nice arrangement, nice progressions and all. Vocals are a bit on the weak side -- I'm sure there's a lot more you can discover about your voice -- but not really to the point it'd distract me. Enjoyable listen.


State Shirt -- I like the sound design, though when the drums kicked in I found them a bit extreme compared to everything else, and the strong attack/decay combination on one of the synths bothers me. The songsmithery is all good and such, it's just not a kind of song I'd enjoy listening to. I dislike pumping very much and the pad in the chorusy bits is quite pumpy (though it seems a bit like the pumping is, to an extent, an effect caused by the arrangement -- interesting), so that doesn't help.
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iVeg
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by iVeg »

6M v iv ugh. Sorry about that.
BSS v JBB Ten seconds dead air at beginning? Oops. For me, vox seemed low, or guitar too high. Really liked chorus. Easy to get a bunch of friends to sing along to.
HF Great vocals and harmonies, as usual. Will it be enough to win? Probably.
iv Struggled with timing in places. I like the chorus, tho. There were supposed to be guitar parts, too, but I accidentally deleted them, and didn't realize until too late.
JK Overall, liked it. Especially liked first half of chorus. The "used to be (good) now (junk)" got a little old but I understand the sentiment.
JROMNF What you said in the intro probably should have been worked into the song instead. Maybe as bridge, or something? "You're one of my angels" is the focus of the chorus, to me.
MF ugh.
NS Enjoyed the vibrant colors of the cover. Poor trumpet player doesn't have a chance.
Ss probably my favorite.
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by jb »

Dead air? Check that you had it turned up loud enough to hear the solo Rhodes intro, because I hear no dead air at the beginning.

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iVeg
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by iVeg »

JB. My bad. Or rather, some bad headphones. Nice solo.
Nick & State Shirt - I'll try to get better reviews for you later.
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by Holly Furlone »

6 Maxine vs. inflatable vegetables ~ I like the collaborative direction this (and BSSvsJBB) took. Both entertaining, for sure. "Eat your prunes and raisin bran" is probably my favorite line. The distorted vocals reminded me of early Beastie Boys and maybe a little Rage. Fun!


Berkeley Social Scene vs. the John Benjamin Band ~ Clever! I love this collaboration and the cookie breakdown toward the end (specifically, "snick, snick, snickerdoodle...oranges!") made me go back and listen a few times. :)


Holly Furlone ~ Thanks for the reviews Jan and iveg. This is a different one for me. I almost didn't submit it but I was so excited to have finally figured out how to eliminate that cavernous sound present on all of my multitracked entries (thanks Jim Tyrrell) that I "had" to. Vocally, I like it well enough but I feel like the WAY I sing it (insert appropriate and official music terminology here) is a little farther out from my 'norm.' No matter how many times I tried it wouldn't come out any other way. That said, I'll keep trying! This was also the first time I really sat down and tried to work in some other instrumentation. So, that lack of distinction between guitar sounds is part skill level/part confidence level.


inflatable vegetables ~ This conjured up visions of a John Hughes film for me. Love the harmonies here and the doubling effect it sounds like you used on the lead vocal. The synthed horns were entertaining and I found myself wondering what the song would sound like with a synthed steel drum instead?


Jan Krueger~ I really, really like the vocal on this; great voice. And I want to send your lyrics to all of my family members and friends.


Jeff Robertson's Open-Mic-Night Freeloaders ~Raw and heart felt, I'm a sucker for a live performance. Your tempo change was unexpected but it kept me listening.

Montana Fudge~ If you could post your lyrics that'd be great. ;)


Nick Soma~ I like this a lot. Really nice instrumentation. At a couple of points near the beginning it felt a little wordy, like it was a mouthful and challenging to get out, but it wasn't off-putting by any means.


State Shirt~Holy crap. My favorite for sure. So many good things happening here. I would fully expect to turn on XM channel 33 and hear this song. I'd love to take a peek at your lyrics, too (unless you've used the word 'rectum.') :)



Cheers!
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by iVeg »

Nick. So what I really like are the intro and instrumentation. Flute part is beautiful. The verses kinda confuse me. I can't understand what it's all about. Being a kid and playing king, hero, up in your room? The strongest part of the chorus was the first part: St George is by my side today... This dragon I am going to slay... Ok. I got the last half, finally.

State Shirt: Beautiful intro. There's part of the verse melody that reminds me of another song and I can't remember it. I really like the prechorus and chorus. If I was going to put this on an album, I would retitle it "i can't stay all night" because that is such a strong part of the chorus.

Holly. Thanks for your comments on both songs. If I had thought about steel drums, i would remember that i have a small one in a closet somewhere. I would have played it badly, gotten frustrated, and never finished either song. And the world would have rejoiced :D
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by jeff robertson »

Confession: my live recording is fake. I was thinking of getting out to an open mic, but I was too lazy, I just set up a "live in the studio" situation with vocals and guitar, and then slapped some reverb on it. The lyrics were written in about 5 minutes.
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Re: It's My Battle and I'll Cry If I Want To (REVIEWS)

Post by jast »

New record on least posts on an official review thread! Yay! (This post makes the thread catch up to http://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2848 and http://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2795 from 2006, though.)

Also, congrats to Holly Furlone and BSSvsJBB.
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