It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

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It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by ken »

Let's hear it people.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by johndisk0 »

I'm guessing that because we have a truncated timeline this week that we will have a similarly truncated voting timeline. I guess I gotta get my reviews in fast!

Berkeley Social Scene
Good album track. Solid guitar riffs. I enjoyed it.

Cygnet's Yarn
An absolute testament to the "less is more" edict. I enjoyed the simplicity of this one.

Gregg Boethin
I'm usually not a fan of "twangy" feeling country-style music. This was just on the outside border of that and still sounded good. It had a good story, too. I liked it, but I think it went on just a little too long.

Inflatable Vegetables
I accidentally decreased the speed of this track to, like 35%, while I was listening to it. (Blame the cat.) Anyway, it sounded so spooky, that I think I found the track I'm going to play behind my Haloween decorations :)

Jeff Travis Henderson
Your opening is very reminiscent to the opening of "Video Killed the Radio Star". I instantly perked up to listen to this. You have some good transitions between segments and a very diverse musical pattern. Very good track.

Jeremy Dean
Another "less is more" track, and a lot more mellow. Solid chorus. The ending was a little too abrupt, but I guess that goes along with your lyrics of "it's not over 'till it's over".

Jerkatorium
Your track sounds fun, like you had fun making it, not just playing it. Solid track. HONORABLE MENTION.

johndisk0
Woah! Who is this guy?? Listen to him spit the mad verse! Got the Zelda in the background? You can't top that! Totally voted! Oh wait... this is me. Yeah, this track sucks.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff
After hearing this track, I decidied to check out your other songs in the archive. Who are the people in that photo? Now you have me curious. And then I realized, I need to spend more time in the 'chive anyway. Oh, good song, too.

MooseMuse
A real Matthew Sweet vibe to this song, and since I own all of his albums, you get a VOTE.

Pigfarmer Jr
I think I just found the new closing credits song to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney!

Skadaddle
Oh, how a voice filter would have totally made this track over the top. The first four lines of every verse before "That feeling when I drive a stick shift" would sound totally cool "through a phone" or some other type of voice filter. I really liked this song! VOTED. (PLEASE post your lyrics!)

Squirrels in the attic
I don't know if it was my speakers or what, but I really couldn't hear/understand this track. I'm sorry!

-jd0
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Chumpy »

This time my plan is to not vote for what I consider the top 3 songs, but to just vote for every song I like enough to listen to more than a few times. I may be voting for a record number of songs this time around as there are a lot of good entries in this fight.

Berkeley Social Scene
The way the "It's not Over" vocal chorus sounds distorted is great, and adds a nice texture. The 'competition never stops hounding' distant sounding backup vocals are also quite cool, too bad they don't appear again later. In places the piano melody seems to make minor missteps, but makes up for it at the end of the song. Guitar solo could be shorter. Accepting a simple truth, the lyrics are good and interesting. Solid song, voted.

Cygnet's Yarn
Well sung, and well performed. I thought it was a live G&G recording, then the strings kicked in, and they sound really great in this context. The lyrics are quite good. 'Remorse befalls even the heartless.' 'The TV continued regardless'. ... 'I've read it in so many waiting rooms' .. there a lot of great lines in this song. The end accompanying guitar at the end also sounds great and ties up everything nicely. Enjoyed, and enthusiastically voted.

Gregg Boethin
Totally enjoyed this, I love story songs, and I remained engaged 'til the end the first time I listened to it, so it's a success on that front. The line about using the bathroom made this good king smile. You get my vote.

Inflatable Vegetables
This song just gets right to it, maybe some intro might help ease me in. The synth line at the end of the chorus is interesting, but seems abbreviated somehow. Your backup vocals on the chorus sounds great. The bouncy, bouncy bridge is cool, and favorite part of the song. I may need more listens, but there is something about the way this song moves that is a bit jarring and off-putting.

Jeff Travis Henderson
This is a well produced sounding song to my noobish ears, and the vocals on the first 'It's not Over Yet' are on point. You have a bit of a Ben Folds vibe going on here, and I dig it. The fuzzy panning drums I think are a net negative and distract. Overall enjoyed, and voted.

Jeremy Dean
Ok, this time I'm sure it's a live recording, and that's cool, I can barely perform 8 bars of music without fucking up, so I'm impressed. This is G&G music, which I like. Not surprised to hear I'm not the only one who went for the cliched 'It's not over, 'til it's over' line, and you sing it quite nicely. The song really gets going during the chorus. Well sung and well performed, voted.

Jerkatorium
Song started out with me messing with GB tremolo sounds, which always makes me think of a certain song. I feel like my main vocals at times struggle to find a melodic foothold. Lyrics are boring and cliched. Dig the Jerky backup vocals though, I think they're the best part of the song and I hope they help elevate it from the bottom of the pile. Guitar solo could be shorter, but no less beautiful.

johndisk0
Gaming video, heh, rad. You've got the nerdcore flow and rhymes down. Vocals have a dull closet-like sound to them, I think you need a microphone with PHANTOM POWER, or maybe just some EQ knob twiddling to take your vocals where they need to be to deliver your rhymes. I'm a sucker for nerd braggadocio which this song delivers on, so you get my vote.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff
Immediately I can hear this song sounds good. You obviously have applied the good-sounding production sauce to the tracks. The backup vocals in the bridge sound really good, and wake up my ears. The verse vocals don't move around a lot and could use more varied vocal sounds like you did in the bridge, I think that would spice things up a bit. Overall this is a listenable and enjoyable song, and the synth, guitar and drums all sound really nice together. The crash cymbal sound on the drums starting at around 1:45 I particularly like. Voted!

MooseMuse
Love the 'end it all' 'ephemeral' line. Nice. Johndisk0 mentioned that this sounds like a Mathew Sweet song, and I can hear that, maybe it's the guitar sound? One way ticket, where to stick it, haha, nice. Haha, my Jerky cohort predicted somebody would use the fake ending trick (it's not over get it?) and I was irritated until the guitar came in, and all was forgiven. Voted.

Pigfarmer Jr
So there are a couple of verses up front here without a chorus, so I'm waiting and ready for it. When it comes though it's a bit off kilter, which is kinda distracting. The fuzzy guitar solo does it for me, and the bass player gets into it, which I also like, but the ending is a bit off kilter too. I'm guessing this was a live band recording?

Skadaddle
Hell ya! Jello Biafra style vocals and dat guitar hook! I'm really digging this. The 'done but it's not over' breakdown is great, but maybe a bit long, but then we're back to that guitar hook, way to milk it, cuz I want it. All the fancy pants in the world can't contain my vote.

Squirrels in the attic
There is a pretty melody here, partially buried in the deep 'thrum-thrum' sounds, and I'm liking it. I like the way the vocals are somewhat hard to understand, there is a sense of folksy mystery to them. I can pick up 'filled with dispair' and 'it's not over, it's just' and I think there are some backwards vocals here too? This song works for me because it's interesting, takes chances and has a solid melodic underpinning. Voted.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Chumpy wrote: So there are a couple of verses up front here without a chorus, so I'm waiting and ready for it. When it comes though it's a bit off kilter, which is kinda distracting. The fuzzy guitar solo does it for me, and the bass player gets into it, which I also like, but the ending is a bit off kilter too. I'm guessing this was a live band recording?
That second half of the verse is suppose to be a chorus-like section. What sounds like a chorus is kind of a bridge like section. Yeah, it's an odd structure. It is VERY off kilter, I agree. It isn't a live band recording but I didn't have much time so it's a hair out of time to the click track. I record and then import tracks into a DAW. Once in, I screwed up the trim job and had to manually move some tracks around to get it to sound closer... yeah, I know, way off, not close, shitty. But if you heard it to start..... Thanks for the review. I appreciate the guitar and bass comments and agree with you completely on the lack of cohesiveness (to say the least) of the other parts.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Jerkatorium »

I thought that literally every entry for this Fight was going to have one or more fake endings and re-starts (which is why Jerkatorium decided not to do that). I'm pleasantly surprised that only two bands did it, and even those two showed admirable restraint.

Squirrels in the attic: Hard to make out the lyrics with all that vocal layering. The tune sounds semi-random, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

johndisk0: The best johndisk0 submission to date IMHO. Fun head-bobbing music, great rap delivery (despite a sub-sub-par microphone?). Worth repeat listens.

Jeremy Dean: Amazing singing voice, but I wish the music was more interesting.

Skadaddle: Fun fun fun. Love it.

Gregg Boethin: What a great voice, but the song is too long, gimmicky, and not funny enough to make up for the uninteresting tune.

Inflatable Vegetables: 7/8 time? I'm sold. Amazing. Happy, fun lyrics, though I sorta wish that fun was conveyed more effectively though the melody. Still a wonderful song.

Berkeley Social Scene: Having the distorted rhythm guitar mixed completely into the left ear is a little annoying, so I didn't like hearing this on my headphones. Otherwise I like it - the electric piano sounds beautiful and the lyrics are great.

Cygnet's Yarn: Great lyrics, voice and melody. I was glad to hear the strings come in during the second half, and I would've liked to hear even more instrumentation.

Pigfarmer Jr: Sounds a little first drafty, especially with the timing errors in the bridge. The song sorta reminds me of Hoblit though, and that's a good thing.

Jeff Travis Henderson: Beautiful voice, a real ringer. Very professional, very impressive.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff: Catchy. Solid. I'd like to hear more backing vocal harmonies, especially on the bridge. And what's up with the end of the bridge? It sounds like it's missing a solo or more lyrics or something - that doesn't really matter though, I still enjoyed this song a lot.

MooseMuse: Nice 60s vibe. The backing vocals are too quiet in the first half of the song, I like those vocal harmonies and think they should be louder. The solos and instrumental noodling at the end drags a little.

Jerkatorium: Did you just say manure?
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by johndisk0 »

Jerkatorium wrote:great rap delivery (despite a sub-sub-par microphone?)
I actually tried a different method of recording vocals this time and everyone seemed to notice, but not in a good way. Don't ever try that again? CHECK! Thanks (to everyone) for the honest review.

-jd0
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by jb »

Welcome back, Jeff Travis Henderson!

Jeff started songfighting in 2006 (nearly 10 years!), and up to this fight his most recent entry was in 2008.

12 good entries in that time, with no winners. I haven't listened to all the entries in those fights, but at least ONE of those winners robbed Mr. Henderson of a rightful victory.

Will his brilliant "It's Not Over" be the entry that brings Jeff Travis Henderson his first win?

Here is the Jeff Travis Henderson archive on Song FIght: http://songfight.org/artistpage.php?key ... _henderson

JB
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Chumpy »

I've listened to it a few more times since I wrote my initial review. Jeff Travis Henderson turns in the best vocal performance, one of the best sounding songs, and a pretty solid lyrical effort. Having said that he has some pretty stiff competition this time around. Skadaddle has that killer guitar hook and driving rhythm, and Cygnet's Yarn definitely brings the emotion and poetic lyrics. I'm glad I don't have to order them, but they're my top 3.

Of course I don't understand Song Fight voters at all, and often the best songs don't do nearly as well as I think they should. The wisdom of the crowds is indeed mysterious. Take the Jamaica fight, Sunday Guts got beat by Klownhole, and Squirrels in the Attic's interesting yet largely inaccessible tune nearly ran away with the whole thing. Don't even get me started on those bumbling ass-clowns who actually won that fight. If one of the top three I mentioned above don't win this fight, I'm going to stage a riot in my apartment and trash my living room.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by jb »

Chumpy wrote:If one of the top three I mentioned above don't win this fight, I'm going to stage a riot in my apartment and trash my living room.
Pics!
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by johndisk0 »

Chumpy wrote:If one of the top three I mentioned above don't win this fight...
I'd settle for a tie... Actually, I'm just trying to break double digit votes. I would consider that a personal win.

-jd0
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by JeffHenderson »

Berkeley Social Scene
Overall, a song that is written and performed well. There are times here where I don't feel like the sing-talking vocal delivery is working for me. For example, "out of this plight" comes out sounding a little flat. Conversely, the distorted singing of "it's not over, it's not over" at the end of the chorus works brilliantly. I love the sweet, sweet guitar solo and the switch to half-time. Well played.

Cygnet's Yarn
This is the almost best-case-scenario for a G&G submission. Ooh, except this is not just G&G, because there is some tasteful strings and background vocals coming in. Sometimes acoustic submissions are boring, but you have engaging lyrics, a good singing voice and plenty of dynamics to keep me from losing interest. I love the interesting chord changes going on at "...silently, painfully, and you cut the cord." You really leave us hanging with that unresolved chord at the end. The only negative feedback I have is that the guitar sounds very thin, like how my guitar used to sound when I was using my built-in mic on my MacBook. If that's the case, investing even just $99 in an external mic can make a world of difference (Blue has some great external USB mics). If you are already using an external mic, it sounds like you might want to record closer to your mic and/or lower the EQ in the high-mids. VOTE

Gregg Boethin
Some real quality guitar and vocals off the bat. The lyrics are a swing-and-a-miss for me. The music reminds me of when awesome bands from the 1960s would goof around with over-the-top country style. Like an outtake from the White Album (Like "Don't Pass Me By" or "Teddy Boy" when John is like "Take your partner and do-si-do..."). The chorus has some chord changes that sound like they could fit in a Kink's song.

Inflatable Vegetables
At its best moments (the latter half of the chorus), it sounds like a catchy David Bowie song. At other moments, it sounds like a mess of synth instruments. Any one or two of these synth parts may be musically interesting, but together they compete with each other rather than complement each other. It also feels like we have no time to breath. There are no moments without vocals. There are no moments without all tracks cranked up to 11. Basically, I just think it could be more effective with more dynamic changes.

Jeff Travis Henderson
This is me! My first solo submission in almost 7 years! I hope I have gotten better during that time, but who knows . ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Jeremy Dean
I like the guitar part and knocking to start with. The chords in the verses could totally be a Donovan song. This is a song that wants to have a full band come in during the chorus. That would be awesome. Your voice is nice.

Jerkatorium
I really like the intro and background vocals. Almost a nod to Don't Worry, Be Happy. The very loungey guitar really makes the song. Haha, the spoken interlude fits perfectly.

johndisk0
I like the remix you did of the Zelda music. Real catchy. Your rhymes totally work when you keep it tight ("Count of Monte Cristo/ Moving, never miss, yo"). There are some time where it comes out a little sloppy (For example "When I give directions", the emphasis on the last syllable makes he whole like feel less tight. "Ninja Gaiden" has the same problem.) That's not to say that you can never intentionally put unusual emphasis on a syllable, but I feel like those moments have to be chosen carefully, and they only work when you have total mastery over your flow.

Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff
The intro is the best part. I'm a big fan of late 90s pop-rock, like Fastball, and this intro ignites that nostalgic feel for me. The drums feel a little bit relentless and exhausting for most of the song. I don't think it would hurt to change up the pattern a little more. I would also like to hear more of that bass. The bridge brings some refreshing variety to this song.

MooseMuse
I really like this song! The pyschadelic guitar and vocals accompanied by those free-spirited drums. Love those drums!The breakdown in the middle is exactly what is need at that moment. Fake-out ending was very well executed, with the guitar solo making the comeback worthwhile rather than being just a gimmick! VOTE

Pigfarmer Jr
I like what the guitar and bass are getting up to in this song. You play much better guitar than me, good sir. The drums are just a tad too repetitive for my taste. As far as songwriting goes, I'm on board with the chords/melody up until the "even though I am innocent" line, which I felt was a little anticlimactic. I feel like the melody was saying "Welp, oh well, I guess I'm going to jail even though I'm innocent", when it should have been saying "Screw this! I'm innocent! You can't take me alive!". How exactly to get a melody to say this, I don't know. One small nitpick about the lyrics. You address the first verse to "Your Honor," which implies you are talking to a judge, then you say "You're gonna throw the book at me," which is something that a prosecutor would do. So who are you addressing, the judge or the prosecutor?

Skadaddle
This early 80s vibe is totally not my style, but I am really digging this for some reason! I think it's because this is just so well-executed. It's so nice to hear some real drums in a SongFight submission. Your vocals are totally on point for what this song is. Your screaming at the beginning of the lines in the chorus is perfect and I totally love it. VOTE

Squirrels in the attic
You have put me in the middle of a crazy dreamscape. I am very much enjoying my surreal surroundings, but I just wish I had one solid thing to put my feet on. I think even just adding an unprocessed bassline would help me feel a little at ease.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by JeffHenderson »

jb wrote:Welcome back, Jeff Travis Henderson!

Jeff started songfighting in 2006 (nearly 10 years!), and up to this fight his most recent entry was in 2008.

12 good entries in that time, with no winners. I haven't listened to all the entries in those fights, but at least ONE of those winners robbed Mr. Henderson of a rightful victory.

Will his brilliant "It's Not Over" be the entry that brings Jeff Travis Henderson his first win?

Here is the Jeff Travis Henderson archive on Song FIght: http://songfight.org/artistpage.php?key ... _henderson

JB
This was a real nice surprise to read! Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who ever hears my music, so this post really means a lot to me.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Cygnet »

My first reviews on here for... I think over 10 years! (I posted a few songs as 'Roy Castle' and various other pseudonyms for a period late 2003- early 2006) Some really good entries here, I really enjoyed listening to them all.

Berkeley Social Scene
I really like this song, good lyrics and I am a big fan of the vocal delivery and guitar throughout. Reminds me of early Death Cab for Cutie. One of the best 'it's not over' bits with the distorted vocals. Guitar solo is awesome but not sure it fits well in this song?

Cygnet's Yarn
This is me! I'm reasonably happy with how it turned out. It's actually the initial demo I did using the built in mic on my earbuds... tried recording it again using some actual kit and I wasn't happy with the vocal, so just overdubbed a few bits onto this and I think it turned out well.

Gregg Boethin
I enjoyed this, a good story song, which I guess isn't too common nowadays. The country style vocal delivery is good.

Inflatable Vegetables
Reminds me of the Magnetic Fields (I think somebody else said that as well). I think the underlying song is good, and what your trying to do, but it just sounds a bit too 'full on' to me. Would be nicer with some more stripped down instrumentation and some more dynamic range.

Jeff Travis Henderson ***VOTE***
I LOVE this song. This is one that I will take away from this fight, because it is wonderful! Love the build up in the chorus, vocals are amazing. It has a Ben Folds vibe to it... except in my mind it's better than a lot of his album tracks. I like the quirky instrumentation too, I think the song could have worked without it but it is the cherry on the big tasty cake.

Jeremy Dean
I like the guitar line and the vocals... the singing is fantastic. However this sounds somewhat incomplete to me, like a demo for a full band song. The chorus sounds a bit generic and doesn't sit well with the rest of the song, but it's a strong melody and I think that with some more instrumentation this could be very good.

Jerkatorium
Love the soulful vibe and instrumentation of this song... it is a valiant effort. The backing vocals are great! I like how it disintegrates at the end.

Johndisk0
I love the concept here... rapping over 8 bit video game tunes, yeah! I love the music... is it original or sampled from any specific games? If the vocals were right at the front of the mix, in your face with maybe some double tracking and slightly more aggressive spitting delivery, then this would be amazing!

Ken's Super Duper Band N Stuff
This is a solid track. Good melody and vocal delivery, and I like the use of the organ. I particularly like the bridge section.

MooseMuse ***VOTE***
This song is great... great melody, very well performed. I love the stop-start nature of the music. There's something 60s-ish garage rock about the sound which is not usually I sound I am fond of, but it really works with this melodic and very interesting song.

Pigfarmer Jr
I really like the concept of this song, it's fun. Great guitar and vocals. This could be made punchier and tighter and it would be even better. PS I got the sense that you did it?

Skadaddle ***VOTE***
Wow this is different - sounds like it's from another era! Highlight of the song is the vocal delivery. Very well written, and interesting listen even though it's not my usual style of music. The guitar and overall mix is impeccable.

Squirrels in the Attic
There's something beautiful buried in here... a nice little surreal and dreamy vignette. I like the backwards-y vocal style, reminds me of Radiohead 'Like Spinning Plates'. This song is currently the number 1 single in the Twin Peaks 'Black Lodge'.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

JeffHenderson wrote: Pigfarmer Jr
I like what the guitar and bass are getting up to in this song. You play much better guitar than me, good sir. The drums are just a tad too repetitive for my taste. As far as songwriting goes, I'm on board with the chords/melody up until the "even though I am innocent" line, which I felt was a little anticlimactic. I feel like the melody was saying "Welp, oh well, I guess I'm going to jail even though I'm innocent", when it should have been saying "Screw this! I'm innocent! You can't take me alive!". How exactly to get a melody to say this, I don't know. One small nitpick about the lyrics. You address the first verse to "Your Honor," which implies you are talking to a judge, then you say "You're gonna throw the book at me," which is something that a prosecutor would do. So who are you addressing, the judge or the prosecutor?
It is the judge that decides guilty or innocent in a great many cases. And it is the judge that determines the sentence. I see what you are saying, but it's the judge that decides your fate much more than the prosecuting attorney who can ask but can't decide. (Although a jury often has some input in jury trials.) Thanks for the review, it is appreciated.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by johndisk0 »

Cygnet wrote:I love the concept here... rapping over 8 bit video game tunes, yeah! I love the music... is it original or sampled from any specific games? If the vocals were right at the front of the mix, in your face with maybe some double tracking and slightly more aggressive spitting delivery, then this would be amazing!
Thank you very much for the review. I built a sunroom one time and it was so easy getting the framing done, but the little finishing details are the hard/time consuming/tedious part. This analogy fits making music, too. I got the basics down, but the little details are eluding me to send my tracks over the top.

I sent you a PM to talk about my process. I didn't want to make this post too long. Thanks again!

-jd0
Last edited by johndisk0 on Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by iVeg »

Thanks for reviews!

@ johndisk0: I wanted to hear that scary Halloween version, but I accidentally sped it up. I thought "This isn't scary at all!" Did try it slower tho. :)
@ Chumpy: Part of what's throwing the song off is it's in 7/4, not 4/4. It throws me off singing it too. I need to work on intros. I usually put them off until last.
@ Jerkatorium: Thanks! The verses weren't meant to be fun, but the chorus was supposed to be more fun.
@ JeffHenderson & @ Cygnet: I'll work on dynamics. You're right - this was busy. Because I wasn't getting the vocals right, I played the parts on keys, and then panned them off to the sides. I'll try going lighter on the "loudness maximizer", too.

I may be able to post reviews tomorrow. Out of time today.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Generic »

I haven't reviewed a Song Fight in ages. Let's dive in!

These are written during a first listen.

Jeremy Dean
This starts out seeming kind of ramshackle, but it tightens up as it goes. I like that click/minimalist percussion. There's a B-section that kicks in around 1:45 (your chorus, I guess?) that really feels like the song kicking into high gear, but I wish the percussion also swelled up with the guitar at that point. Maybe introduce a snare at that point? Not sure. Some of the lyrics are a little weird: "Rip your pants on the balcony?" "I'm in a rat race, and Pebbles is my name?" Anyway, the overall mood is nice, and your voice is great. This runs a little too long and is a little too repetitive for this type of song.

Berkeley Social Scene
Very Pavement. To me it's almost magical how you guys manage to churn out perfectly arranged and perfectly mixed songs with such regularity. You make the exceptional commonplace. The vocalist is fighting with Glen's guitar a little before the solo. Good length, and I like the interweaving guitars. There's a tambourine in the last verse, and I didn't hear it any sooner; I think it could be brought in sooner or brought up in the mix earlier in the song.

johndisk0
Utilizing a really good sample like this is a double-edged sword. Yes, you want your beat to be awesome, but you don't want the sample (the part you didn't compose) to be the best part of your song. Anyway. Your flow is significantly better than the last song of yours I heard. Pretty tight. You need a better microphone, because it does a disservice to your song when your 8-bit samples and drums sound so crisp, and your voice sounds like you're recording it while hiding in the air ducts. The disconnect there gives the recording an amateurish feel. You twisted your way into a few awkward phrases for the sake of a rhyme. I did like the Konami/army slant-rhyme, though. I assume you're familiar with Random/MegaRan, right? He's awesome at this kind of thing.

Ken's Super Duper Band'n'Stuff
Straight-up no-frills rock and roll is what you do, and you're great at it. Your stuff often makes me think of Tom Petty. All the performances here are tight, especially the vocal harmonies. The organ might be just a shade too high in the mix. That's the worst I can think to say to this song.

Squirrels in the Attic
Nice band name. I like your percussion, but not your vocals. How did you get that faux-backwards effect? It's cool in theory, but I don't think I care for it in practice here. There's not much variation in the song; pretty much just a mood sustained for two minutes. Not totally unpleasant, but I feel like this should be more. Or maybe you did exactly what you set out to do, and I simply didn't care for it. Oh well.

Cygnet's Yarn
Another cool band name. From the first line, I don't think I like where these lyrics are going. Ah, yeah, I guess there's nothing inherently wrong with the "guy is in denial about how doomed his relationship is" lyrical approach, but it doesn't really float my boat; sorry. There are some pretty good individual lines in the meantime; I kind of like the bit about the camera panning up to her. There are a few other unexpected images in the lyrics; overall they're well-crafted. Sorry that I don't care for your overall idea. The vocals are nice, but I think there's a little too much reverb on them, or the amount of echo is a little off or something. They feel too removed from the guitar, and it makes the performance feel like it's lacking immediacy. I like the guitar solo you ended on.

Jerkatorium
Let us now praise the handclap. Such simple percussion, so versatile! The handclaps cement your groove very quickly, making this seem very musically accomplished. I'm not wild about your lyrics (you rhyme "over" with "over" way too much), but the vocal performance is fine. The harmonies are mixed well and add some texture. The spoken word bit about the guitar solo falls flat, and then the solo breaking down to end the song... Eh, I don't recommend ending on a bad joke.

Jeff Travis Henderson
The opening reminds me of "Video Killed the Radio Star." I know there's nothing new under the sun, but it's dang difficult to get past the similarity when I'm trying to judge this on its own merits. That descending bassline in the piano is the first major differentiation, and it's great. At about the 1:00 mark, you enter a whole new section and it's a lot more interesting. The mood and arrangement here are ambitious, and you pull them off well. I think, in spite of the overly-familiar verse melody at the beginning, this is probably my favorite of the fight.

Skadaddle
Your band name made me think you would have a horn section. There is no horn section. I am disappointed. Anyway, this is fine; reminds me of old-school B52s. Your slightly-unhinged vocal performance matches the quirky lyrics well. You also remind me of WreckdoM, kind of gonzo in all the right ways. Nice half-time breakdown for the bridge, too. Ok, I forgive you for not having horns.

Pigfarmer Jr.
This feels like a pretty good demo, but things are pretty rough-draft throughout. Some of the vocals feel a little out of pocket. The drum machine is, well, really obviously a drum machine, distractingly so. The guitar and bass are good (I really like the guitar solos at the end), but this would be better with some kind of variation in the chorus. Either throwing in a new instrument, or a simple lead guitar line in the background, or shaking up the percussion, adding an eggshaker or tambourine or something... These steps would go a long way to making this feel more like a finished product.

Inflatable Vegetables
Boy, you really threw us straight into the deep end on this one, right? This could use an intro. I like the swirling synths and the frenetic drum machine. There's some interesting stuff going on between the line breaks, I think, but I can't put my finger on it - are you throwing in random longer measures or using rubato or something? The fade out is too fast. I would make it more gradual and let it get softer before cutting off the music.

Gregg Boethin
Humpty Dumpty doing the Macarena, now there's an image to start a song! "Not so fast, it's not over yet," warping well-known fairy tale tropes; that's an especially creative take on the title. This goes in so many crazy directions, full of memorable images. You did a great job of keeping the arrangement varied without distracting from the story lyrics. This runs a little longer than some of the other entries, but I think it really earns its length. Well done!

MooseMuse
This is very 70s. Sounds like Bad Company or something from that general era and genre. Excellent drums. Your arrangement is great; I especially like the acoustic guitar that pushes itself to the front throughout the mix. However, I think this arrangement/genre calls for a vocal performance with a little more oomph - you compensate pretty well by incorporating the background vocals, but I think the lead vocal needs to be stronger. I also think the fake ending (followed by a long drawn-out ending) makes the song drag. I'm curious whether it would feel quite so long if you just launched straight into the solos from that last chorus instead of letting it appear to fade out.

I don't know if my votes count, because we're past the deadline, but if they do, then mine go to Gregg, iVeg, Skadaddle, Jeff, and Ken.
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by ken »

Generic wrote: Berkeley Social Scene
To me it's almost magical how you guys manage to churn out perfectly arranged and perfectly mixed songs with such regularity.
We have systems in place for maximum efficiency.

Also, thanks for the vote.

Ken
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by iVeg »

Congrats on the win, Ken!

@joneric - thanks for review. I have little sections of 4/4 in there, too. So it's four bars of 7, and a bar of 4/4. Because I thought that would be the easiest way to get it to work with the ipad/ standard 8 bars of 4/4. Then I found out I didn't need to do that. That's how I learn, I guess :)
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by ken »

Wow. Thanks for all the birthday votes. I really appreciate it. Wow.
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
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Re: It's Not Over Until the Fat Lady (It's Not Over) Reviews

Post by Generic »

iVeg wrote:Congrats on the win, Ken!

@joneric - thanks for review. I have little sections of 4/4 in there, too. So it's four bars of 7, and a bar of 4/4. Because I thought that would be the easiest way to get it to work with the ipad/ standard 8 bars of 4/4. Then I found out I didn't need to do that. That's how I learn, I guess :)
So, not "random longer measures," but "periodic shorter measures." Makes perfect sense.
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