SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

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SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

Drop your reviews here!

Download and listen to the songs here
https://spintunes.bandcamp.com/album/sp ... 16-round-1
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

First half of my reviews/thoughts on Round 1
I am not a judge!
ST16 R1
What a Concept!

My thought process - I tried to listen to all of the songs at least 5 times in the car while driving. After that, I allowed myself to skip songs didn't lend themselves to repeats.

Here's a few comments while I was listening to the songs in the order of the LP.

Jocko Homomorphism - John Goodman's Crowbar
Love The Big Lebowski- I like the electronica synth and bass feel. The intro was a bit grating- I almost hit the skip button each time it came up on replays, but I'm glad I didn't. The bass groove was great!

The Quantifiers - Dining in Dictionopolis
Interesting choice on using the meal scene from The Phantom Tollbooth. I like the wordplay in how Milo gets exactly what he asked for, which doesn't make for a tasty or nutritious meal at all.

Ominous Ride - Running
I love the way you build up the instruments in this ode to Bobby Dupea in 'Five Easy Pieces'. The guitars and string sections work well together to set mood. Great production values.

Caravan Ray - A Soul as Light as a Feather
Good grungy guitar sounds. Very dirge-like. I enjoyed the upbeat kick in when Huck decides to embrace his 'evil' side and plans to leave. Set a great mood that enhanced the scene.

Steve Stearns - The Doctor Has No Time To See You Now
First verse around I thought this was going to be a reference to Doctor Who, until more verses kicked in. The second play I realized the Indiana Jones theme (that didn't fit the key at all, but worked) was weaving through the whole song. Small touches that tie into the movie kept sneaking out with each replay. It also circled back with the title being the theme of the song. The Doctor DOES have no time for the Scimitar Guy at all. One of my top choices for this round.

OutLyer - Take Me Away
Song builds well and sets a nice, plaintive mood for me. The chorus and multi-tracking on the voice work nicely together. Smoothly fits together, but also has a bit of an ominous glow to it. I need to check out the 2nd Peter Pan movie. Solid effort.

Jordan Carroll - WALL-E Meets Eva
I love this. The call and response hit all the right notes. I love how you try and make this a conversation in the lyric sheet. One of my Top Choices.

Temnere - Amplified
Based on the Robert Silverberg short story in "Dangerous Visions", I wasn't expecting a SF story I read in my youth to be turned into a kick ass metal tune. It's got the Temnere style - wall of guitars and driving bass and drum beat that cranks up with this story. The solo also doesn't suck at all. Thumbs up on the production. Another favorite this round.

The Brewhouse Sessions - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of It All
This sets up the final gunfight scene at the end of the movie. Solid guitar work. I liked the solo break. A Great effort for your first song together.

"BucketHat" Bobby Matheson - This Aggression Will Not Stand
Another Big L. song - I laughed at the line 'It's gonna smell like that forever' and rhyming it with 'it really tied the room together'. Good tune! I would probably bring up the overall levels on your next song - this one was much lower compared to the rest of the album.

Boffo Yux Dudes - Logan's Run
I like the way Al lets this build, and the earworm of 'Run Logan Run' with the drums. It also has that BYD wall of sound that I still don't know exactly how Al puts together.

Rob from Amersfoort - How to Stay Afloat
Rob has a funky sound to his songs. Strange but oddly soothing. Especially since the source material is about letting a disabled person drown. Etherial and detatched, like the characters in the scene.

Vowl Sounds - Squid Linguistics
I liked this just as a song and it was in one of my top choices. Then I read the lyrics and backstory. Damn, there's a lot packed in 4:28 here. Very nice job.

*More to come*
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

ST16R1 REVIEW - Joe 'Covenant' Lamb
Hello all.
Please remember I say the below with all best intentions and familial love in my heart…

Overall, the musicianship in this round has been pretty astounding.
There are, no doubt, some GREAT musicians in here. But it seems to me that too many people have been focussing on the music and forgetting that the vocals should be equally (if not even more) important as the music.

I fully appreciate that not everyone has a full studio set up.
But you all have mics, and multi tracking software is available FREE in many places.
(And if I could make my Shadowland album using an old “Quickshot” stick mic and a pair of Sony Walkman (yes, that’s how old it is!) in-ear phones… then so can you guys and gals with the amount of stuff out there.
As seems to happen a lot, in these sorts of contests, too many of the songs below suffer from badly recorded/mixed/unpracticed vocals, and to be brutal, the writing/recording of the vocal parts often seem to be a secondary thought.
But then… I’m more a vocalist than a musician, so I guess that’s where most of my criticisms lie. But I say nothing in a sense of cruelty… only to hopefully give pointers to round things off.
I know it’s not a “how well you recorded your song”-contest - but if the listener can’t hear it as YOU can hear it in your mind, then it’s not going to come across well. There are songs below which would have scored MUCH higher had they been recorded with a bit more finesse and/or time taken, to really put the finished article across. But I can’t score on how well a song “might” sound.

So, with that in mind…
My top to bottom:

Glen Raphael: Can’t disagree with Glen’s own comments on Bandcamp – but this is a classic case of how to do a “live” ambient recording. I can only imagine Glenn has run through this a good few times before hitting “record” And that makes all the difference. Chorus is really good, middle-eight diverts from standard melody, interesting switches between verse/chorus/mid. Would LOVE to hear a proper studio version of this.

Steve Stearns: Funky! Kinda reminds me of Harry Nillson. (The chorus is a bit weird, but I don’t mind weird!) Liked it.

Nick Work: Yeaaahh.. I liked this one a lot, a decent workhorse of a song, just nicely done! Meets the challenge head on and does it well.

Rob from Amersfoort: Very Beatles/Lennon vibe from this (Yes there is!) Simplistic, yes, but message put over very well, excellent production, vocals clear despite effects.

Ominous Ride: I’ll go with the concept as it’s viable to say these are your impressions of the thoughts running through his head in that scene. Well recorded and produced. Musically it’s fine and a pretty decent song (The ‘2nd part’ of the chorus is its weakest point)

Ross Durand: Spot on challenge – like the song, good musicianship, well written Nothing to fault.
(Pedant - *He hit him with the hilt of his sword*!)

Faster Jackelope: Cannot fault the musicianship here (A bit Zappa-esque at the start!) I love the music in this one, but lyrically it needs a lot of work as they seem all over the place structurally (rhyme scheme of 1-2-2-1/1-2-1-2/1-1-2-2 is a bit jarring) It’s an odd entry, but a very quick 4 minutes and I can’t help but place this high.

Temnere: Excellent guitar work (Jealousy) Cannot fault the musicianship. The lyric is a bit weak, but not enough to hugely affect the song itself… it didn’t need to be 4½ minutes long though.

Jocko Homomorphism: The DEVO is strong with this one. Lyrically it seems a bit.. stretched… I also couldn’t help but wonder if this would have worked better with audio samples from the movie.

Caravan Ray: Bit of a Tom Waits vibe from this one, but the kick into “rock” loses that vibe and, to me, ruins the production. Vocals lost in the mix, and then turns a bit Fleetwood Mac-y. Ending is pretty weak.

Outlyer: I liked the minimalism of the opening to this. Sounds very good, but then came the ‘rap’ part which just threw me out of the song. Seems a bit sparse and rushed?

Boffo Yux Dudes: This song has a GREAT build up which just suddenly stops and goes nowhere but back to another build up. Nice bassline! (I also made another note which looks like it says - “Gotd too song too quickly!” – If you have ANY idea what I mean by that, let me know!!!)

Jerkatorium: Well played, well recorded, good structure (But the gap in the “… In the future” doesn’t work twice. Lyric… a bit weak in places.

Timothy Patrick Hinkle: Shades of Jethro Tull (no bad thing) Not really much to comment on, decent enough song, but can’t say it’s one I’d listen too often. A mid table effort.

Governing Dynamics: Sublime guitar work. But melodically it’s a bit all over the place. Production is good, but not great, and was surprised by the very understated guitar solo. It’s not *bad*, and I know GD can do better than - this but can’t go on past stuff.

Mandibles: Really bad recording… (A bit “Leaves Eyes”-y – which isn’t bad!) Lyric gets a bit forced in places. Wish it was better recorded as this sounds like it could be a glorious epic… as things stand, middle table.

"BucketHat" Bobby Matheson: I could hardly hear this one, even on full volume. From what I could make of it, it sounds very well done in places, but a little bit plodding – marking lower than it probably should be, but I just couldn’t get to grips with it being so quiet.

Vowl Sounds: This really reminded me of ‘Blondie’ (which is no bad thing) but then it doesn’t hold the attention too well, too samey all the way through. (I’m, not 100% sure it hit the challenge, but not enough to question it)

Menage a Tune: I wanted to love this. Challenge excellently met, Harp is GLORIOUS, but the song suffers from being a bit pedestrian melodically, and simplistic lyrically (and is also overlong). VERY ambitious structurally, (The most ambitious of the round, I think) which sadly does not work in this live recording. (Doing something like this ‘live’ means it should be practiced for WEEKS to get it spot on, and it has to BE spot on to work.) Had this been multitracked (and edited a bit more), I might have had this song in the top ten.

The Quantifiers: Love the music, but the song seems as if it’s been a one take recording and suffers from that. Needs a lot of polishing, and, for my tastes, upped in tempo quite a bit.

Lichen Throat: Interesting musically, but melodically atonal, very repetitive and oddly structured. Vocal seemed tacked on. Would make a good instrumental if developed. but then, that’s not a song I suppose.

Jeb and Iwa: (Why is Jeb’s “J” a cursive Z) That aside… I did find this one acoustically interesting, but the vocals were hard to decipher (again, sounds like it was recorded live and in one take) This SCREAMS for a re-mix/re-recording to me, but as it is, it has to sit low in my list.

Good Guy Sojabe: Shades of bowie – a very ambitious attempt which I don’t think came off, again vocals lost in the mix.

Pig Farmer Jr: Opening would have been good for a lead up (very soundtrack-y) but for an intro into a very short song, it seems like just killing time. But then I was expecting some kind of “Hard Rock” vocal... and didn’t get it. And then a pretty insipid ending. (Extra pointage for using a film sample though!)

Mike Lamb: First of all – Bonus point for Surname alone! Unfortunately, the song didn’t really hold together for me. Unsure of challenge meeting, vocals and lyric are a bit unpolished. Nice guitar sound, but not enough to lift it.

The Brewhouse Sessions: Very nice guitar work. But the vocal sounds too contained and muddy in the mix. Melody sounds as if it’s being made up on the spot, though.

Jordan Carroll: Yes – I listened to the end. Not sure if it meets the challenge well, but ultimately doesn’t matter. Sadly, not my favourite.


The Shadows

Micah: I could not help but wonder how this would do against a hip-hop beat…!! (Too many chins!) – Would have placed around mid-table.

Brian: This isn’t playing fast and lose with the challenge, this is ignoring it!! (Would have DQ’d to be honest, but a good song (A bit “Old Skool Coulton-y” for my tastes though) 😊

Ducky: Well! How interesting was THIS?! 1920’s lives! One of the best of the whole bunch. This would have been top five, easily.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

ST16R1 REVIEW - Dave Leigh
Congrats on being among the 27 entrants to get songs in on time. Eight entrants didn't do that, so no matter how the judging and ranking go, you've earned a solid achievement.

For people who are new to the contest, I'll take a moment in this first post to say a few words about how I judge, and then get right into the critiques. First, you should know that I write these introductions as soon as the challenge is chosen, so I know my own biases and you will, too. These are guidelines, not rules. I love it when my expectations are shattered in a good way.

This challenge was to write a song from a scene from a book or movie. I didn't shadow this round, because I've actually done it (for fellow judge Joe Lamb's book, "The God of All Small Boys"), and I chose this challenge specifically because I know that it can be tricky. And I'll be honest, movies are included simply because I know that a large number of people never touch a book after they graduate. For me, the toughest part of this challenge is finding that single scene that encapsulates the feel of the larger work. This is closely followed by capturing that feel in the lyrics and musical composition. I'm not going to judge you on the scene you chose, but if I'm familiar with the work it's based on and I think you did well there, I'll give you props. If I think it was questionable, I might say a word or two there as well. But I am going to pay attention to the overall feel of the piece. If it's from a movie, I HOPE that you've tried to capture the tone that the director was going for. In either case, you'll get extra props if listening to your song makes me want to search out the book or movie and experience it for myself. I feel that this is a songwriting competition first; so I'm judging it based on technical criteria of lyricism and composition. If I think you nailed the songwriting aspect, I'll overlook quite a lot when it comes to production, mixing, instrumentation, and vocal quality. A lot of you don't have access to professional equipment and training, and I feel that this is a fair balance. That said, production counts: it can give the work an emotional edge that might not otherwise shine through. You may not be a lyricist, and if you're workin' those instruments and choosing the right emotional strings to pull, I also feel it's fair to recognize that.

I lean heavily on emotional content, be it positive or negative. "Art" is exactly that: the deliberate communication of emotion from the artist to others using words, music, dance, images, delivery... whatever. That's my definition, and I like it. It works for any medium, and helps us understand the difference between Art and Craft. Good entries will be artistic or craftsmanlike. Great entries will be both.

There is no time constraint on the entries for this challenge. If you think you can make it work in whatever time you used... well, you're the artists. I'll just let you know if I think it needed more, or dragged on a bit past its welcome.

Let's get to it.


--==//oOo\\==--

REVIEWS
(IN ORDER OF SUBMISSION)

Jocko Homomorphism - John Goodman's Crowbar
based on the crowbar scene from "The Big Lebowski"
I think you captured the energy of that swinging crowbar. And it's a funny scene, so a funny song is appropriate. I don't think this is going to be my first choice... others rise above... but I can't put my finger on anything wrong with it. On second thought... I never thought I'd hear a song that I think would be better as Metal. This should be Metal.

The Quantifiers - Dining in Dictionopolis
based on the banquet scene in "The Phantom Tollbooth" by Norman Juster
This is a weird choice from a weird book. That makes this an unavoidably weird song. I think you know that, and that's why you did it. I was a little more focused on the weird than on the song, and when I tried to work past that, the weird kept dragging me back. There's a really entertaining song in there. I think that, without changing a note of the tune, something a little more sprightly would have captured the humor of the scene better, and made for a more captivating listen.

Ominous Ride - Running
based on the final scene from the film "Five Easy Pieces,"
The final scene of this movie is a great choice: it gives you the opportunity to comment on the film as a whole. And I love the fact that you put yourself in the place of Nicholson's character (Dupea) and explored his inner turmoil. I think you've challenged the idea that Dupea "isn't running from anything or to anything". The song adds a new dimension to the character, and to the film. Your 70s prog-rock feel married to this movie is an example of professional matchmaking. The spacey sound and internal dialog mesh perfectly. There's a reason I'm a big Ominous Ride fan, and this is it.

Caravan Ray - A Soul as Light as a Feather
based on an except from Chapter 5 of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" by Mr Mark Twain.
You made me go back and re-read the chapter. Well done there. One reason I did it was because I was completely surprised by your choice of Electric Blues/Rock genre applied to Huckleberry Finn. It's not always necessary to stick to type, and I've even seen Heavy Metal applied to medieval fantasy, so it can work. Does it work here? Well, yeah... it kinda does. And if it weren't for the challenge and my knowing that it's Huck Finn I'd just sit back and enjoy it. Hell... I think I'll just do that.

Steve Stearns - The Doctor Has No Time To See You Now
based on a scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark
First, it's a clever choice of scene. More than just being funny, you use it to explore why Jones is facing off with this guy, and why it's important to get through the encounter as quickly as possible. As such, you get to throw in some nice references to other iconic moments not in the scene, always grounding the song to the present moment with the chorus. That piano riff's a little familiar, but it works here. I think the instrumentation works here, too. You're not going for that full John William's sound (this is, after all, a humorous take on a humorous scene), but you do include just a touch of the hero's motif with that self-effacing melodion. Plus... the title. Come ON... that's good. The bulk of this film has nothing to do with soul-wrenching emotions; it's just good, fun adventure, which is sometimes harder to capture than the serious stuff. This song does it.

It was at this point in receiving submissions that I realized I was going to get a lot of songs based on movies and few on books. Strapping in...

OutLyer - Take Me Away
based on the opening of the second movie in the Peter Pan series
You do an awful lot with this musically and in your performance, and not so much with it lyrically. I actually like the genre... you're unique among our contestants in offering rap... but the "break the chain" trope kind of took me out of the moment. I'm not sure it's a tight fit here. The problem with genre tropes is that it may not be included "because that's what rappers say"; but as the listener, the thought fleetingly crossed my mind, which is something you don't want to have happen. A lot of words for one lyric, I know... but the music, arrangement, and production is just primo IMHO, so this is what stands out.

Jordan Carroll - WALL-E Meets Eva
based on a scene from the movie WALL-E
I'll say it again: Dafuq? We need lyrics in SpinTunes. LYRICS, Jordan! It's right there in the rules. The rules I wrote. But these two proper names are actually what's said by the characters in the movie, and they don't say anything else, so... this qualifies, in an "I AM GROOT" sort of way. And there's actual content of some sort. You can even feel the characters' attraction to each other. And it's enjoyable. And it's cute. And YOU, Mr. Last-Minute-Songwriter, are pissing me off, because I can't hate it, and I can't DQ it, I can't even not like it, and it perfectly describes the bloody scene. You cork-sucking ice-hole. This is what I mean when I say I like pleasant surprises. Don't let it get to your head... there's only so much credit I'll give to a Hail Mary pass. I'm not even going to tell you how good I think the music is if you ignore the 8-bit instrumentation and look at the notes themselves.

Temnere - Amplified
based on the ending scene of the short story 'Flies' by Robert Silverberg
YES! SOMEONE READ A BOOK! Considering the subject matter, it's maybe odd that I've always thought this story as futuristic, but not really otherworldly. The Earth depicted is surprisingly familiar. The action takes place in and around Cassiday, but I think it interesting that you keyed on the aliens and the rectification of their "oh shit!" moment. Musically, with your subdued opening, I think you set the proper futuristic tone without being otherworldly, and your amplified style is later well used. Thankfully you don't let it run away with you. I'm not even a Metal fan, but those shreds are worth listening to over and over. And the vocals...? NAILING the notes.

The Brewhouse Sessions - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of It All
based on the final scene at Sad Hill Cemetery from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Mike & Steve, my first question is which of you wrote this, or is it a writing collaboration? You say it's your first complete song, and it's a good one. Let's start with the music. The guitars work well with the Western theme, and you're keeping the drums nice and subdued. You've got some really nice little background percussion touches that gives it that spaghetti western feel. Constructive criticism: Mike, you're hitting the notes, but you're sounding strained. Just relax and put some more air behind it. You've got plenty of well-placed pauses for deep breaths, so don't be afraid to take them in and get rid of them as you sing. Your speaking voice is a lot lower than this, so honestly, without changing a note, you could drop the vocal down to your natural register and it would sound fantastic. Try it out and see if it doesn't work.

"BucketHat" Bobby Matheson - This Aggression Will Not Stand
based on the shakedown scene from The Big Lebowski
Who knew this was such a popular movie? Love the rapid-fire rhymes. Rhyming a word with itself is usually a no-no, but rhyming it with itself three or four times is a choice, not a lack of options. And doing it in every damned verse is a stylistic statement. And how the hell is it that you can put "fuck" and "piss" in a song and still sound like some clean-cut college-aged folk-singer? Nobody else gets away with that. Although this take on the movie is very different from the one Jocko took, I like it a lot. Let's face it... The Dude is about as laid-back as they get, and so is this style.

Boffo Yux Dudes - Logan's Run
based on the movie/novelization. Logan 5 is sent to find Sanctuary.
Damned near every sci-fi film from the 70s used cheesy synths. Glad you found a use for yours. The verses are short, but you've packed a lot into them, shorthand. And of course you wrench every bit of use out of three words. I'm impressed that you kept it to a single scene, where the Controller cheats Logan out of the remaining years on his lifeclock. The toms really does give it an energy driving it forward.
(geek quibble: it's "procedure 033-03")

Rob from Amersfoort - How to Stay Afloat
based on a scene from Leave Her to Heaven (1945) where Ellen (Gene Tierney) let her husband's disabled brother drown on purpose
It's a good choice of scene which I think might work better if it were told in first-person from either Danny or Ellen's viewpoint. I know that if it's a Rob from Amersfoort song I'm going to get chords on the quarter-notes, but you've got a lot of variety in this one as well.
On another listen, maybe the second-person is right for this, if we're imagining Ellen's thoughts as she's calmly looking at Danny as he struggles. It's an added twist of cruelty that the narrator (like Ellen) is just looking on, but not helping. I'm going to have to think about this...

Vowl Sounds - Squid Linguistics
based on a scene from Arrival
I read your liner notes and tried to decide whether you kept this to a song based on "a scene" or the whole movie. Then I played the song and heard those vocals and decided I didn't care. It's really soothing ambient music, but it doesn't pull me in. That's not always bad... sometimes it's nice to put on something pleasant and not "needy". I'm going to have to mark it down a bit, I think, for it being an ambiguous response to the challenge, but it's going to remain one of my favorite listens.

Faster Jackelope - Scotch and Soda
based on the uninvited guest at dinner scene in Rushmore
I'll be honest... I ranked this at one place initially, then I saw the scene from the movie and came back and moved this up several places. This really nails the challenge. Your rhyme scheme keeps changing... BUT... the character is drunk. I'm in.

Mike Lamb - Falling Down
based on the "traffic" scene from the movie Falling Down
If this is the scene I think it is, I'm having a hard time seeing this song depicting it. I was expecting tension, foreboding, maybe a panic attack. I didn't feel that way here, but not in a "here's something better" way.

Timothy Patrick Hinkle - Sorcerer's Son
based on The Raven (1963 movie)
I can't help but think that you went a little beyond the challenge and gave us a summary rather than a scene. But I do like that what you were shooting for was as much mood as narrative. Solid musicianship.

Governing Dynamics - Chiba City Blues
based on Neuromancer, by William Gibson
There are narrative songs and there are mood songs. This one's for mood. They lyrics are less important than the feel, and I think this has got Neuromancer written all over it. That said, it's kind of rambly and vague. So much so that it could be applied to just almost any scene from the book, so I'm giving it a borderline on the challenge response. It's definitely the book, but the scene...?

Nick Work - All Kinds
based on the 1973 film, Badlands
A number of these entries, I think this one included, just ignore the word "scene" in the challenge and go for a more general "song about the book or movie". And that's not the whole of the challenge. As songs go, this one is solid. Musically, it fits the time period, and sounds a bit like the sort of Springsteen and Mellencamp tunes that were stuck on my own radio. Looking at just the lyrics, I don't think the hook necessarily follows from the verses: it sort of sounds stuck-on. Sure, it takes all kinds... but that doesn't seem to be what you're talking about.

Jeb and Iwa - Memory Thief
based on the train station scene from the movie Amélie:
I don't quite know what to say about this one. I've heard Amélie described as fanciful, quirky, charming, delightful, "feel-good", etc. I'm having a hard time relating the dark and vaguely dangerous mood of this song to the scene I watched. On the other hand, I like it as an art-house composition.

Good Guy Sôjàbé - Into the Maze
based on Labyrinth
Well, of course this going to be a Bowie homage, as it pretty much has to be with this source material. The vocals are a bit muddy here, and should be a bit more precise. Compare to Bowie's delivery, where you can understand every drawling syllable. As for the challenge... well, I'm assuming she's meeting the Goblin King, honestly you could fit this in a few places.

Ross Durand - Back to the Beginning (The Ballad of Inigo Montoya)
based on the fencing scene from The Princess Bride
Some songs are mood, some are narrative. This is narrative, in a very good way. I like that you're just telling the story here... after all, this is (we're told) a book, a fairy story; and this song is just barely over-the-top in exactly the same way as the movie. Love it.

Lichen Throat - Clear Sky and Cool Water
based on the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Like a few other songs here, this is less a "scene" and more descriptive of the book as a whole. "Based on" gives lots of wiggle room, so nobody's getting a disqualification this round, but I'm still preferring those that kept it close to what was written. This one wouldn't be in danger of a DQ in any case; but I'd have ranked it higher if I could point to a scene and say, "This! This is that song!" Musically, it doesn't evoke a sense of river rafting in the 1880s. I'm not sure how to fix it.

Menage a Tune - Peter and...
based on a scene from the book "Peter Pan and Wendy"
Thanks for the song bio on your Livejournal. Anybody else reading this should know that those bios can make the difference between understanding what the song is about and just guessing through it (sometimes wrong). In this case, you're basing it on a specific scene in the book (not a movie!). Equating what's happening with Peter's memories and Alzheimers' is just marvelous. Musically it feels just barely too hesitant. If you find you've suffered score-wise for that, try this: Remember that the family of such a patient get a "new normal". Use a bit of rubato to sound a bit more relaxed. Do not reach for that high note at the end. This isn't a story that has a high note. Peter doesn't even know he's suffering, and Wendy can't admit it, except to herself... save that for the end.

Glen Raphael - Right As Rain
based on the Oracle scene from The Matrix
You're like a little human jukebox, ain'tcha, Glen? I don't think there's any doubt that you're going into the next round with this one. Just as the Oracle isn't what you'd expect, this song isn't what you'd expect... for the Matrix. It IS, however, exactly what I'd expect from Glen Raphael, and I think I know you know this. As wonderful and marvelous as this effortless example is, I'm holding out a really good ranking for an effort-filled one. Is that fair? Not on your life. With great talent comes getting graded on the curve.

Mandibles - Rock Beats Paper
Based on the final paragraphs of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery"
This is rather epic! Songwriting-wise, it's all good apart from an awkward lyric or two. (It sounds like you got part-way through "And my life won’t even be the last" when you realized the end was coming a lot faster than you thought.) I don't talk much about recordings unless there's nothing else I can kvetch about. To me, there seems to be a bit too much compression here. "That moment" about 53 seconds in (you know the one) should hit me like a ton of bricks, and it really can't. I'm perfectly OK with compression where it's needed, but dynamic range is one of those things that's so under-exploited these days I wouldn't be surprised if you saw it as a mandatory component of a future challenge.

PigFarmer Jr - They're Here
based on the "They're Here" scene from Poltergeist
I could say "too much intro", but the intro is the part I liked. Once you've spent 84 seconds getting to the song, the problem with it is that it doesn't match. You expended a lot of effort setting a mood, and then for the better part of a minute, just discard it.

Jerkatorium - In the Future
based on the opening narration of Plan 9 from Outer Space
You magnificent over-achievers. While everyone else is struggling to get out a scratch safety track, you produce this AND edit the movie to produce a lip-synched music video. This is a blatant attempt at mass-media marketing that is.... actually working pretty well on me. I mean, c'mon... it's Plan 9. You've got that sort of Munster's vibe going on here, which totally works, but doesn't sound derivative. And though Ed Wood probably deserves a co-writing credit, your cut-and-paste job of lyrics née dialog is pretty damned good. You'd win the round if it were up to me... and if one other guy hadn't submitted a damned earworm that's been stuck in my head all week.
P.S. I read Joe's review. FWIW, I think that pause does work twice, and even three times. It ain't the same pause. Trying to predict it (and failing) is part of the fun.

--==//oOo\\==--

SHADOWS


Micah Sommersmith - Chariot Ride (Shadow)
based on the Iliad by Homer
Everyone's thinking it, so I'll just get this over with: "Stool-consuming grin". **snort** I suspect this will never be on a Top-40 list, but that's not what this song is for. And if it seems just a tetch too long... so does The Illiad. Brilliant job!

Brian Gray - A New Story (Shadow)
based on a whole fricking genre, 'cause limits are for losers.
You be you, my man! Take wing and fly through your shadowy world, free from the fetters and confines of challenges posed and met! Even as you judge not, you shall not be judged. We will simply enjoy and remain fans.

Just Ducky - Under the Big W (Shadow)
based on the Hardware Store scene with Sid Caesar in the movie 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'
This would have ranked pretty highly with me. Lemme see... where did I put that beaver coat, megaphone, and pennant?

--==//oOo\\==--

RANKINGS


1 Steve Stearns
2 Jerkatorium
3 Ominous Ride
4 Temnere
5 Mandibles
6 Ross Durand
7 Timothy Patrick Hinkle
8 Faster Jackelope
9 Vowl Sounds
10 Good Guy Sojabe
11 Jordan Carroll
12 Caravan Ray
13 “BucketHat” Bobby Matheson
14 Glen Raphael
15 Menage a Tune
16 Governing Dynamics
17 OutLyer
18 The Brewhouse Sessions
19 Rob from Amersfoort
20 Jeb and Iwa
21 Mike Lamb
22 Boffo Yux Dudes
23 Jocko Homomorphism
24 PigFarmer, Jr
25 Nick Work
26 The Quantifiers
27 Lichen Throat
Last edited by BoffoYux on Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

ST16R1 REVIEW - Micah Sommersmith
Micah Sommersmith
ST16R1 Reviews and Ranking


PREAMBLE


Ranking 27 songs is hard. It’s absurd to think there could be one set of criteria that could fairly rank so many songs of such different styles. Every artist set out to meet a different goal, and “How well did you meet your goal?” and “How worthwhile was this goal in the first place?” are two of many questions that can be asked.


You may feel that my rankings are wildly unfair, and you may be right. I hope that my reviews are clear on how I feel about your entry and what might be able to be improved. If you have any questions or complaints, feel free to post in the Song Fight forum or the Facebook group, and I’ll try to justify myself if I can.


OFFICIAL ENTRIES - in ascending order of excellence


27. PigFarmer Jr - They're Here
I’m not opposed to this approach in principle but I don’t think it was well executed. The last 15 seconds of the song were creepy, the first minute was almost there but lacked the hazy static feeling you got at the ending. When the electric guitar first comes in, it sounds like the guitarist in a bar band playing random notes before the band’s set actually starts. If you had added some effects to the guitar - fading in and out, panning, EQ, reverb, anything really - it would have been more effective at creating an atmosphere.

When the song proper comes in, the melody is uninspired, the vocal rhythm is weird, and the lyrics are uninspired.

I wish I had more positive things to say about this song: the idea is solid but the execution didn’t deliver.


26. Mike Lamb - Falling Down
This song has good energy; it moves along and keeps the blood pumping. It doesn’t stick in my head at all after listening, though. There’s not a distinctive hook anywhere, and the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and drums are all playing essentially the same rhythm so the instrumentation just sort of blends together into a generic rock mass. The guitar solo is not bad at all, although some of the high notes are a little too far out of tune.

Lyrically, there are only a few moments that really stand out - “The light in the tunnel is just another oncoming train” in particular. And the vocal line feels like you needed a few more run-throughs to figure out the timing, and revise the lyrics to make sure they fit rhythmically.

The recording and mix is solid, and this song doesn’t hurt to listen to, but it doesn’t make much of a positive impression either.


25. Jeb and Iwa - Memory Thief
This is probably the weirdest entry this round, which is not necessarily good or bad. This is not one that’s particularly fun to listen to, although there are certainly some interesting ideas. The harmonium and guitar make for a unique texture, although I wish the music was varied more throughout the song. The verse melody with its distinctive leap upward is memorable but starts to grate. In general, I wish there was more variation to this song, especially at over 4 minutes long.

The lyrics are certainly evocative, and they do work well with the music to create an unsettling atmosphere. I had forgotten that specific scene from Amélie, and after re-watching it I see the references in the lyrics, although your music gives them more of a menacing edge.

Amélie is an interesting choice, since for me it’s so strongly associated with a very specific style of music. It sort of puts you between a rock and a hard place: You can try to emulate the sound of the Amélie score (and either succeed and be nothing but a pastiche, or fail and make an inferior copy), or you can ignore the score and do your own thing, which raises its own questions.


24. The Brewhouse Sessions - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of It All
It’s always great to see competitions like this one getting people into songwriting for the first time, or getting people to finally commit to something they’ve talked about doing forever. So congratulations on your first original song!

The recording and mixing sound quite good - the instruments are all audible in their own space and nothing is overpowering. The timing of the performances can be a bit loose at time, but nothing that makes it unlistenable. It has the feel of an informal, backyard or bar patio jam session, which is nice, but tightening things up a bit would also be welcome.

Similarly, the lyrics are certainly decent and tell the story clearly, but could stand revision to make sure they fit rhythmically - or at least the vocal performance could take a little more care as to how the lyrics should scan. One example that stood out is “made Tuco dig - the poor knave”, which is oddly emphasized and doesn’t quite fit rhythmically.

The title hook, “That’s the good, the bad, and the ugly of it all”, has a lot of syllables jammed into a pretty short line, which makes it feel rushed and awkward. If you are ending the chorus with the title line and want it to be memorable and catchy, you want to make sure it’s simple to remember, easy to sing, and sounds natural. I’m not sure what the best fix is here, but it’s something to keep in mind as you continue to write more songs.

My last criticism is that I don’t get a sense from the song itself of why you love this movie, or what you think is important about it. The verses tell the story of the final scene, and they do a good job of doing so. But I wonder if the chorus could, in the few lines you have, dig a little deeper into the psychology of the characters. You’re getting there with the title line and the “burn inside your soul”, but I think there’s more to explore.

I look forward to hearing more from you guys. This song has its faults but it’s well recorded, confidently performed, and has some very nice moments both musically and lyrically.


23. Jocko Homomorphism - John Goodman's Crowbar
I love that SpinTunes 16 has started off with a few seconds of bewildering noise, and I wondered if you were going to go full Notational Distinction on us. The groove you settle into is pretty enjoyable as well, though. There are some really nice musical flourishes throughout the production.

The repeated “See what you get” is a great hook and gets stuck in my head easily. The rest of the melody feels pretty uninspired, though. The lyrics feel jokey but not clever enough to be particularly memorable or elevate the song above novelty status. There isn’t much commentary or reflection on the source material besides “This sure was silly!” I did chuckle after I watched the source scene and realized what “find a stranger in the Alps” was actually a reference to, and I thought “Think you’ll stonewall me? / Well you’ll crack before too long” was a nice touch.

I know you don’t usually write lyrics and don’t consider it your strong suit, so I’m not surprised that I found the production a lot stronger than the lyrics in this song - but I know that you’ve also come up with some much stronger lyrics in the past too.


22. Jordan Carroll - WALL-E Meets Eva
This song very wisely doesn’t overstay its welcome. It’s a fun jam, and instantly entertaining. I don’t think the glitchiness in the beginning and the ending really adds to the listening experience in any meaningful way, but otherwise the synth sounds are pleasant and the beats and riffs are well-composed.

Lyrically, you’ve done the bare minimum. I think you could have done more to differentiate the two voices (presumably through more differentiated effects and processing), so the nature of the dialog is easier to follow and it’s clearer that by the end they are saying each others’ names. You don’t need a lot of detail to follow the story: two strangers meet, introduce themselves, and by the end have gotten to know each other.


21. "BucketHat" Bobby Matheson - This Aggression Will Not Stand
This laid-back acoustic groove pretty perfectly captures the Dude’s demeanor, even as he’s recounting a dramatic (and traumatic) event. The accordion is great (I may be biased), although the guitar and hand-drum are basically doing the same rhythm, so I’m not sure how much the drum actually adds.

The lyrics are faithful to the source, although you never explicitly say it’s the rug that the thugs defiled, possibly leaving anyone unfamiliar with the movie in the dark on that account. The lyrics also don’t add much to the story, such that a fan of the movie will enjoy the references, and non-fans aren’t really given a reason to care. The rhyme scheme is pretty clever (even though “money / funny” is on my personal list of banned rhymes), especially with the repetition of the name Bunny, and all the rhymes for “bowling”.

It’s a reasonably fun song, but it doesn’t have much of a reason to exist besides being a reference to a movie. There’s nothing wrong with that, really, but there are plenty of other songs in this fight that are doing more interesting things.


20. Lichen Throat - Clear Sky and Cool Water
These lyrics do a great job of conveying the scene, through the use of a lot of specific details. We really get the sense of the narrator experiencing a lot for the first time and really noticing everything. I haven’t read Huckleberry Finn, so I don’t know how much is lifted straight from the book and how much is your filling in details, but it’s effective either way.

A downside to the lyrics is that they are not very metrically regular, and you don’t deliver them in a way that’s very sensitive to the rhythm, so each line feels cluttered and the vocals don’t line up with the backing track much at all. I know in the past you’ve had issues lining up tracks after you’ve recorded, and I honestly don’t know if that’s the case here or if your rhythm is just especially poor this round.

The chorus, on the other hand, is actually pretty great. The title hook is delivered precisely, with both a memorable rhythm and melodic shape, and the double-tracked vocals are really effective at making it sound nice and full. Have you done multi-tracked vocals before? I don’t think I’ve noticed if you have - here you do it really well.


19. OutLyer - Take Me Away
This is very listenable. The production is good: the synth lines build and layer upon each other nicely, the percussion drives things forward.

The lyrics are brief but efficient: We all know about Peter Pan, Neverland, and Captain Hook, so you don’t need to spend much time with details. Instead, you’ve focused on the emotional aspect, and the relatable desire to return to childhood and escape responsibilities.

The rap verse feels pretty slight, especially since it’s repeated. And I think it’s interesting that, given how few lyrics you have, your lyrics as recorded don’t actually match your lyrics as typed - e.g. “Give me a chance, just take me away” vs. “Give me a chance to take away” and a few other spots. It doesn’t seem like too much to ask that you either sing the words you wrote or write the words you sang.

Due to the length and repetition, I can’t help but regard this song as somewhat small, especially compared to some more ambitious entries in this round. I like what you are doing, but I wish you did more.


18. Glen Raphael - Right As Rain
Last year, I ranked your ST15R1 song “Humans Seem the Same to Me” at the top of the heap. This song feels like it should hit a lot of the same buttons, but doesn’t have quite the same effect on me. The guitar playing is lovely, the melody is pleasing and natural, and your voice sounds great (although a few of the low notes are just outside what I’d consider your ideal range). The problem for me is the lyrics, which sound nice line by line but don’t feel like they add up to much coherent, even though they’re relaying a scene from a movie I’ve seen. The details are jumbled - “Take comfort in a taste” … of what? “Take comfort in the stuff” … what stuff? “You’ll feel right as rain” could be a great emotional hook if the build-up to it made more sense. Still, again, it’s great Glen guitar playing and singing, and that is worth something.


17. Ross Durand - Back to the Beginning (The Ballad of Inigo Montoya)
You’ve done a great job capturing a musical style, and the song is very well performed, recorded and mixed. The vocal range may be a little wider than is ideal for your voice, but you deliver the melody with gusto.


Lyrically, you do a pretty good job of summarizing the scene in question (and including easter eggs for those familiar with the movie). For me personally, this song feels a little more like parody than homage. Maybe it’s appropriate considering the tone and parodic nature of the source material itself, but I wish you had tried to dig a little deeper emotionally into Inigo’s character and motivation. “Back to the beginning” is a great lyrical hook to zero in on, but in the movie, going back to the beginning took Inigo to a pretty dark place (with the help of copious amounts of alcohol), and I would have liked to have seen that explored more.

It feels bad to criticize your song for what I wanted it to be, versus what you tried (and I think largely succeeded) to make it - but I have to judge based on something...


16. Menage a Tune - Peter and…
Non-guitar or piano based instrumentation is usually going to be a plus for me, especially when it is done well, as it is here. The harp is lovely, and complements the wistful tone of the music and lyrics.

The lyrics are faithful to the source while also opening themselves up to broader interpretation, which is great. The duet vocals are effective, although the mix leaves the male vocal much louder than the female vocal, such that I was adjusting the volume multiple times while listening.

The main flaw is that the song drags on too long - the last minute and a half particularly, in which there isn’t really any new musical or lyrical material introduced. Lovely as it is, and as heavy as the lyrical content is, the spare instrumentation and rather repetitive lyrics mean that the extra length is really felt. Trimming it down would do a lot toward increasing the replay value.


15. Governing Dynamics - Chiba City Blues
I haven’t read “Neuromancer”, but my understanding is that it’s basically “Snow Crash” minus the fun parts, so your gritty cyberpunk sound and lyrics seem to be right on the money. I feel like this is a little bit of a departure for you, more structured and heavier. A lot of it is the bass line, which contributes a lot toward the atmosphere of the song.

The song does still feel like a bit of an undifferentiated mass, which is perhaps appropriate given the theme of dystopian hopelessness. Verses and choruses don’t strongly distinguish themselves from each other either in melody or in arrangement.

The lyrics are good, contributing vivid images that communicate the setting and mood very well (even if plot is a bit hazy).


14. Jerkatorium - In the Future
This song is undeniably toe-tapping, and I’m a sucker for whatever you call that guitar strumming pattern (see also: my accordion playing on our “Flamethrower” collaboration). The line “Future events such as these will affect you… in the future” has just the right amount of dumb-brilliant logic, and you juuuust get away with the ever-increasing length of the pause.

Obviously your production is top-notch, and I’ve seen behind the curtain so I know the work that goes into it. The melody and lyrics, however, don’t rise to the standard you’ve set in many other of your songs. The aforementioned title hook is the only really memorable melody OR lyric in the whole song. Aside from the reference to aliens, there’s not really any specific details in the song at all. It’s all vague, vague, vague, and the music isn’t compelling enough to make me think you guys are all that invested in it either.

This isn’t really a criticism, but I think it’s interesting that a band that has drafted some very complex and rigorous rhyme schemes has released a song without any rhymes at all, unless you count “future / future” and VERY slanty slant rhymes like “moment / know it” and “evidence / shocking facts”.

Addendum: I wrote this review before watching your music video and the Criswell clip, so I didn’t realize just how directly the lyrics were lifted. I’m not sure if my opinion of the song has increased or decreased. I’m suppose I’m impressed at the level of rhyme and meter that you did manage to come up with.


13. Rob from Amersfoort - How to Stay Afloat
The signature Rob from Amersfoort sound doesn’t always work for me, but when it is used effectively, it really works, and that’s the case here.

I’m not at all familiar with this movie, but for me the song stands very well on its own. The lyrics are vague enough that a listener can relate their own experiences to the song (whether or not they are literally drowning!) which for me is a positive.

The music is squarely in the realm of what I expect from your style. In this case it works really well, the off-putting vocal delivery (and mixing), the abrasive guitars, and rigid percussion serving to support the thematic material. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t welcome some exploration in different stylistic directions from you in the future...

12. Faster Jackalope - Scotch and Soda
All the classic Faster Jackalope traits are here, and add up to an enjoyable track. I love the interlocking 6/8 - 3/4 guitar lines in the intro. The guitar solo is nice but surprisingly restrained. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more virtuosity.

Melodically, my favorite part is the pre-chorus “Maybe it’s the whiskey talking” which has a great classic pop feel. The rest of the melody gets the job done but doesn’t particularly stick in my head. The lyrics do a good job of telling the story economically. I like the ABBA rhyme scheme of the first verse, but you don’t stick with it for the second verse.

There’s really not much I can fault this song for - it’s well put together and competent in all regards, but it doesn’t excite me or offer something truly memorable the way some other songs in this fight do.


11. Mandibles - Rock Beats Paper
Drums need to be louder. Drums need to be louder. Drums need to be louder. Sorry, now that I have that out of the way, there’s a lot that’s pretty great about this one.

The lyrics convey the essence of the story with impressive economy. It helps that you’ve picked source material with an easily summarizable concept - but that wouldn’t matter if you didn’t use the music to convey the emotion inherent in it - which you do, quite well.

The mix of acoustic and electric instrumentation is great (although the transition would be a lot more effective if your drums were louder). The electric guitar playing is suitably epic, and so are the soaring vocals, with some caveats: The male vocals are definitely the weak link; even though Truth doesn’t have much to do with his line compared to the others, it could have been punchier. The vocals suffer in parts from overly fussy classical diction, e.g. at “it goes against our natural lot / for rock to beat paper if paper meets dot.” And the vocal rhythm in the bridge is pretty weird, with emphasis on “be” in “corn be heavy soon”, which feels unnatural. Again, though, mostly the vocals are epic, with the final stripped-down coda a very satisfying conclusion.

But please, please, please, turn up the drums.


10. Vowl Sounds - Squid Linguistics
I’m glad you didn’t focus on the runaway Whorfianism central to the plot of Arrival, which is my least favorite thing about pop culture commentary on linguistics (and I’m not even a real linguist). The meditation on parenthood and selfishness is a lot more interesting, so I’m glad you made that the focus, even if it does render your song title a red herring.

The lyrics are good, although they don’t have as much of that brilliant owlian insight as I’ve come to believe I deserve. “The stars moved so I could meet you” stands out, and generally the lines that refer ambiguously to either the daughter or the aliens are well done.

Sonically, everything is beautiful, except for the scritchy-scratchy guitar in the last chorus which detracts rather than adds, for me. The vocals are excellent, as expected, although the uncoordinated final “s” on the word “hands” bothers me. And I know that over-enunciation is its own danger, but in your delivery “words” and “worlds” are almost entirely indistinguishable. It’s a great bit of wordplay but it’s not worth anything if the listener can’t actually hear it.

The melody is nice but there is a LOT of empty space (what I call, probably annoyingly by now, “call-and-response with no response”), especially in the verses: sing for four beats, rest for four beats, repeat.) A more involved backing track, or a lead synth or guitar line or something to fill the silence, would have been welcome, as long as it’s tastefully done. And I know that you two have taste.


9. Caravan Ray - A Soul as Light as a Feather
This song definitely grew on me the more I listened to it. At first I was put off by the raw aggressiveness and the abrasive vocal delivery, but I’ve grown to appreciate them as indicative of the intensity inherent in the moment you’re depicting.

The lyrics are really well-constructed. In the first half, phrases and lines are repeated and varied and circle around each other, reflecting Huck’s uncertainty and hesitation. When he makes up his mind in the second half, the lyrics come out in a barrage of intensity. The music reflects this shift as well, and by the ending the repetitions of “Alright then, I will go to hell” are defiant rather than uncertain.

I do wonder if you’ve included enough detail here for someone unfamiliar with the book to fully appreciate the song: we aren’t told who the narrator or Miss Watson or “he” is, or what is written in the letter or exactly what action is going to send him to hell. We get the anguish of making the decision, and general idea of going along with society’s view of good and evil vs. sticking to your own principles - but it might be more powerful if the specific context is made more explicit.


8. Steve Stearns - The Doctor Has No Time To See You Now
That piano riff is very catchy - on the whole this song is groovy and fun. The melodica line is catchy too although it sounds a little thin against the piano.

The title hook is great - I approve of putting an unexpected twist on a well-worn but memorable phrase. It’s also clever to combine the plot of the actual scene with the behind-the-scenes trivia (Harrison Ford’s illness leading to cutting short the fight scene).

There’s a drop in energy from the verse to the chorus - the sustained chords in the piano, contrasting with the bouncy riffs coming before, mean there’s suddenly a lot less going on, which took me by surprise, in a not particularly pleasant way. I wonder if changing up the drum pattern also, or some other change in arrangement, might make the transition more effective.

On the whole, there’s no deep insight or thoughtful reflection on the source material here, just a fun and catchy take on a memorable movie moment. And when it’s done this well, that’s enough.


7. Good Guy Sôjàbé - Into the Maze
The atmosphere you create here is great. The production and instrumental performances are the strong suit. I love the wobbly synth bass and the guitar licks. The vocals are solid enough - there are better singers competing, but you use your voices well to reinforce the mood - with the exception of the annoying tinny echo voice in the chorus that goes e.g. “not long at all…” and that gets the last word with the chopped-up and repeated final line. Making that the last thing I hear ends the song on a sour note for me, which is a shame because there is so much good stuff going on.

The lyrics are good here, if slight - a lot of direct quotes or references from the movie, somewhat sketchily strung together. In this case I don’t really have a problem with that since the music does the emotional heavy lifting.

6. Boffo Yux Dudes - Run Logan Run
I don’t know anything about this movie, but your lyrics provide a clear enough picture of some kind of sci-fi dystopia, and the music complements the lyrics very well.

The repetitive “Run Logan Run” refrain is a great simple hook, whose urgency is reinforced by its repetition, and the menacing, driving music backs it up, especially the insistent drums.

This is a song where I could quibble about the lyrics and whether they give enough detail to actually tell the story on their own, or just to serve as plot reminders to people familiar with the movie. (Procedure 03-03, hmm, gem on the palm, hmm, the ankh, yes, it all sounds very dystopian, indeed.) For me, the music and the chorus were enough to satisfy me and allow me to overlook any problems with the rest of the lyrics.


5. The Quantifiers - Dining in Dictionopolis
This is an extremely clever take on an extremely clever book. The lyrics are so well-done - the intricate rhyme scheme consistently maintained over all verses is on the level of Flanders and Swann, Tom Lehrer, Gilbert and Sullivan, etc. Same for the music: it has a classic, well-crafted feel to it. Emotionally, it doesn’t have a lot going for it, but that’s not really what you’re going for.

There are a few moments where the vocal delivery undercuts the rhyme, as if the singer didn’t really realize the rhyme existed - “said it all / quadrilateral” and “square meal / beware, we’ll” stick out to me. You don’t have to hit the listener over the head with the rhyme, but you shouldn’t make the rhyme harder to hear either.

The musical accompaniment and vocal performance are competent but not particularly interesting. Plenty of other entries have you beat in that regard, but the cleverness of the composition does a lot to make up for it.

Familiarity with “The Phantom Tollbooth” probably helps to enjoy the song, but I don’t think it’s necessary: the point - taking the phrase “eat your words” literally - comes across perfectly.

I could easily imagine this as part of a musical or concept album based on “The Phantom Tollbooth”. Wikipedia says that a musical adaptation already exists, but I say the more the merrier!


4. Ominous Ride - Running
This song does a great job of matching the emotional tone of the lyrics and music - the tense, panicked helplessness comes across really well in both. The main guitar riff is particular is great. I don’t know about starting with just the piano - I think it might be more effective to cut right to the chase with the bass lick leading into the full band intro. The piano sounds great within the context of the full arrangement but on its own it sounds a bit cheap. I do think the piano and vocal coda is effective though.

It feels like you have two choruses, the “And I don’t know where I’m going” section and the “In my head I’m fighting” section. The first feels a lot more effective to me, except the last line “What are the steps my feet are finding” where the instrumentation and feel shift pretty jarringly. The second section brings the energy down and feels tacked on. I’m not sure what the best fix would be, but I’d like the energy to stay up throughout.

The vocal performance is great, and the layered vocal harmonies are very well done. I’d never heard of this movie, but the emotional content is communicated effectively and this song stands on its own very well.


3. Timothy Patrick Hinkle - Sorcerer's Son
Glad to have you in SpinTunes, as I’ve loved many of your Song Fight entries. The melody, instrumentation and verse form give me strong Steeleye Span vibes, although the title, subject matter, and contrast of acoustic folk and prog-rock elements also remind me of Uriah Heep’s “The Wizard” - both plusses in my book.

Your six-line ballad-like verses fit the plot-heavy lyrics well, and well done maintaining the rhyme scheme consistently throughout. The folky instrumentation in the verses is great, and the heavier instrumentation in the chorus makes a nice contrast - and fits into a well-established musical tradition as noted above. The bridge (“The thought of disturbing my father’s rest”) with its spooooky organ feels out of place - I wonder if instead you could have repeated the chorus after the previous verse (where the crow mentions the narrator’s father) and massaged the bridge lyrics into another verse.

The overlapping vocal lines in the final chorus is great in theory but ends up sounding pretty cluttered - adding some kind of effect to the counter-melody might make them stand apart better, or even getting a guest vocalist, since that line steps out of the first-person narration.

My only other criticism is that your plot-heavy lyrics have lots of details in some spots and less so in others - particularly at the end. Why was he a fool to undo the spell? Who is this grand-master mage? What dark magic? Why did the narrator turn his back on his father’s work then, but still willingly reverse the spell now? It’s hard to figure out how to convey the story to someone (like me) who’s never seen the movie, and I don’t think it really affected my enjoyment of the song all that much, but it’s worth thinking about. All in all, this is a very well-crafted song that I had a lot of fun listening to.


2. Nick Work - All Kinds
I just read the Wikipedia entry for the movie “Badlands”, and I’m not sure it’s a story I’d want to spend two hours sitting and watching, but boiled down into a three minute rock song, it’s pretty damn great.

In the listening party, Chumpy compared your sound to Tom Petty, and I think the comparison is definitely fair. But it’s a great sound with or without a reference point - the confident vocal delivery, the instantly memorable chorus hook, the heavy guitar riff that follows the chorus.

My complaints are really minor: You have some nice guitar fills in the second chorus that I would have liked to hear more of in the other choruses as well. In the final “Nat King Cole” verse, you could have kept the drums silent until the end of the verse, so that the transition back to higher energy in the guitar solo is more effective. The first verse sets up an ABAB rhyme scheme that is not followed strictly in the following verses.

As I said, these are minor complaints; on the whole this is fine work and a very enjoyable listen.


1. Temnere - Amplified
You really know how to make a challenge play to your strengths - the progressive and metal genres already draw so heavily from science fiction themes and stories that your choice here is perfectly natural.

The lyrics don’t necessarily fill in every detail, but the important parts are there: hubristic scientists, an experiment gone awry, mortals reaching toward godhood, etc. And you know how to give specific lines their appropriately epic delivery, especially “All of your pain amplified.”

This entry includes more electronic elements than a lot of the more straightforward metal songs that you’ve done in SpinTunes, and it’s a welcome addition - I particularly like when the tapping electric guitar solo gives way to synth arpeggios. It’s a very clever bit of orchestration.

Since I’m supposed to offer some criticism too, I guess when you start tapping at 2:39 it feels like it comes out of nowhere, like “here’s a nice melodic solo, but I just remembered that I can do crazy fast stuff too, so I’d better do that now.” It doesn’t feel well-prepared or supported by the background instrumentation. Is this a tiny complaint? Yes, yes it is.

In SpinTunes 14 you got sunk in Round 3 for not venturing far enough outside of your comfort zone. We’ll see if that becomes a problem here, but for this round you’ve played to your strengths and produced a damn good track.


SHADOWS


Micah Sommersmith - Chariot Ride (Shadow)
This started as a scrap of lyrics that I wrote without thinking of this challenge at all, but when I got to the Achilles heel bit I realized I could connect it to the Iliad, which steered the rest of the song. I didn’t worry much about focusing on a specific scene from the Iliad, because I don’t have to worry about actually being judged on whether I met the challenge. So there.


Brian Gray - A New Story (Shadow)
Anthemic, beautiful, filled with pathos, almost enough to make me not sick of zombies as a pop culture trope.


Just Ducky - Under the Big W (Shadow)

Just fun!
Last edited by BoffoYux on Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

ST16R1 REVIEW - Mary Ann Randall
(Dave's note: Mary Ann's reviews are on the way and will be posted here when I have them. In the meantime, she has sent her rankings.)


REVIEWS

TBA

RANKINGS

1 Ross Durand
2 Glen Raphael
3 Ominous Ride
4 Jerkatorium
5 The Quantifiers
6 Steve Stearns
7 Temnere
8 Nick Work
9 Mike Lamb
10 Governing Dynamics
11 Jocko Homomorphism
12 Vowl Sounds
13 Good Guy Sojabe
14 The Brewhouse Sessions
15 Caravan Ray
16 OutLyer
17 Timothy Patrick Hinkle
18 Jordan Carroll
19 Lichen Throat
20 Faster Jackelope
21 Menage a Tune
22 “BucketHat” Bobby Matheson
23 Mandibles
24 Rob from Amersfoort
25 Jeb and Iwa
26 Boffo Yux Dudes
27 PigFarmer, Jr
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Cybronica »

Edit: I’m not a judge, I just like sharing my thoughts. Thanks to all the judges for your feedback!
so many good songs! Here are my reviews, and I didn’t edit them because there are so many. It would take too long; so, sorry for any typos. Good job all!


Joko Homomorphosm – John Goodmans crowbar
There is a very specific type of percussion that strongly reminds me of the powerpuff girls, and this has it. The music is good, but I find the vocals/melody a little lacking. I suppose it matches the style, but the simplistic verse melody and the ve ry syl la bi fied de li ver y doesn’t seem to match the subject matter. I like the killing cars bit at the end with the increased breaking glass sounds, and I like the spoken words bit. Again, this might be genre bias, but I think what the vocal line needed was, to use a classical singers term, legato



The quanitifiers – Dining in Dictionopolis

I love this book!! No other childrens fiction leans so deeply into puns and word play so successfully. This song’s lyrics has similarly satisfying wordcraft. Light meal/sight We’ll is a great rhyme, as is said it all and quadrilaterals. I do think you rushed the deliver on ‘laterals,’ losing some of the impressiveness of that rhyme. It has a rather baroque feel to it with the basso continuo and single vocal line. I could see this being played in the court of King Azaz the Unabridged! I am interested as to whether you managed to get another draft done. I think it could benefit from a harmonic instrument, as well a more practiced sing through. It feels a bit like youre reading off of the lyrics page, hence the rushed laterals, etc. With more familiarity, better technique will always come! For the vocal tone, I would recommend a deeper breath for better support. Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful book.



Ominous Ride – Running

This song is so very emotional, especially that piano intro. The bass line is great. Actually, the whole orchestration is very well put together and nicely balanced. The vocals are really good, but theres something about the vocal recording that sounds a little off, like the vocal equivalent of being behind a pane of tinted glass. And then sometimes the backing vocals pop out as being a very different kind of vocal production, which is a little jarring, though not much. Your voice reminds me of Truth’s voice (the male singer in Mandibles), so I think I’m biased towards liking it. Lyrics are great, and seem to capture the moment for sure (I say that having never seen the movie). I could def hear this at the end of a movie as it fades to black and rolls credits.



Caravan Ray – Light as a Feather

I find it hard to settle the cognitive dissonance between the juvenile character of Huck and your mature vocal tone. The words are great, a nice expansion on this moment in the book, but I kept forgetting your song was about Huckleberry Finn because of that. If I ignore what the song is supposed to be about, its great! Well mixed, well sung, well paced, good rock sound, you know what you’re doing. Nicely done!



Steve Sterns – The Doctor has no time to see you now

The pisno in this song is like Bowie’s Oh you pretty things and Elton John combined with an added flourish of Katamari Damacy. The song is great, the words are fine, the singing is fine, though I suspect the breathing is pretty shallow. I like what you did with the vocal effects between verses and chorus. I am not a huge fan of the lyrics; they tell the story, sure, but they’re not particularly poetic. The chorus feels particularly clunky (see: Tom Lehrer’s comment about fitting as many syllables you like into a line). Not a bad song! But not my favorite. I think it could have benefitted from more contrast; the chorus has a moment of contracts, but it goes right back into being the same kind of sound as the rest of the piece too quickly.



OutLyer - Take me Away

I really really like this song. The electric piano is such a nostalgic sound, and mixes really well with the other sounds you chose. The vocals are really good, the declamation is excellent, and the delivery really evokes the emotions of the lyrics. I have no qualms with this. It's not what I normally would listen to, but this is going in my permanent collection.



Jordan Carrol - WALL-E meets Eva

Everything cute and wonderful in the world. Is it lyrics? Is it singing? Do I really care? It's a love duet. It's a lovely duet. It's in the permanent collection. Good job.



Tenmere - Amplified

You remind me of DragonForce. I really like this one, too. Another for the permanent collection. I have no idea what the story is about but it sounds like horror; I can't say that you capture the scene well cause I don't know it, but I do think you capture a certain mood very well.



The Brewhouse Sessions - The good bad ugly of it all

The start of this strongly reminds me of bowies stamen (lots of bowie influence this round). Its catchy! The chorus keeps getting stuck in my head. I'm not a huge fan of the vocals, but I think that's genre bias. Guitars are good, and the lyrics fulfill the challenge, but it feels a little overly narrative, like you're just describing what happened. It gets the job done, though. ...And having gone back and read the description- Your first song? It's good! Really good! Better than my first song. Everything wcame together really well. Nice work!



BucketHat - This aggression will not stand

So, I'm not the biggest fan of the subject matter, but I gotta say, I like your lyrics a lot. The repeats of money and Bunny are really catchy, and I like how plaintive you sing "It really tied the room together.' The arrangement is great, instrumentals are well chosen. Your vocal harmony does not line up much of the time, and I find that distracting. It just sounds like it needed some more takes to get it right.



BYD - Run Logan Run

Cool synths. Reminds me of Metroid Prime Echos. I like the computerize effect on the vocals. How did you do that? It so subtle on the main vocals, and then really prominent on the back ups in the chorus. I'll probs put this in the perm collection. The play out is really nice, too. Good song!



RFA - How to stay afloat

This is so very you, your sound; its been a while since Ive heard one of yours. I like it. The back and forth between types of vocal filters is really cool. How do you get the effect on the verses? The subject matter is creepy, and normally would turn me off, but man, I really like this song! Sometimes the mix is a bit off- volume seems to go up and down pretty often- its subtle, but there.



Vowel Sounds - Squid Linguistics

Good movie choice, and I love the fake out with the lyrics, and how you weave in other bits of the movie into the scene, the way the movie is wibblywobblytimeywimey. Is that you on the low vocals, owl? I thought it was Vom at first; man, your voice is low! I'm jealous. This song sounds strongly like streets have no name (and other bits of the ouija-verse) , so, congrats! You have found your sound! It's really cool. Good song.



Faster Jackelope - Scotch and Soda

Fun fact: After listening to this a bunch, Facebook has started advertising to me a line of clothing called scotch and soda by some fancy designer. Modern advertising is terrifying! This song is so very FJ- ex, the opening screams Glennny, and Truth's vocals are as always phenomenal. This song is like if prog rock happened in the 50s. I'm not wild about the lyrics. Reading them, it's fine poetry, and the music is clearly excellent, but something about the two together feels a little odd. Like, the line, "And I can woo the woman who drives me wild;" I totally appreciate the alliteration etc, but in the song it sounds awkward and forced, which is atypical for your songs.



Mike Lamb - Falling Down

I don't know the movie, so maybe I'm missing something, but the lyrics are not what I would call inspired. It feels kinda like you found words that rhymed and wrote the song around them. The song is not bad- the music is good, nice guitar work, though I think there might be a few wrong notes in the bass. If there are not any wrong notes in the bass, I would lean into the intentional dissonance some more to make it sound less accidental. The voice is also at times a little pitchy. I think better breath preparation and more familiarity with the song would would be helpful.

Hinkle - Sorcerers son

Cool song! I like the (lute? Mandolin?) Instrument. this one also feels a little overly narrative, but for some reason this one doesn’t bother me. It works, maybe because I expect this Renaissance/fantasy sound to be a great ballad telling an incredible tale. I like the stomp boxes you have on the guitars (is this GarageBand? I think I recognize the pink one...), and I like how you use them and drums to break up the sound, keeping it from getting too monotonous. Vocals are good, and I think exactly what youre going for.



Governing Dynamics - China City Blues

I’ve never read this, so I have no idea what’s going on, but the lyrics are just vague enough to keep me feeling involved. I quite like this one, and I think a lot of that is the (to me) nostalgic sound of your vocals; the song is like if the guys from TMBG sang in Arcade Fire. This is good driving through the city at big music. It might get added to the permanent collection



Nice work - all kinds

Man, this movie sounds like a trip. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this song here. It’s not my cup of tea, I’m not a big fan of this vocal style, but the song is clearly well put together and though through. The two vocal takes dont always match up, and I think that adds to my dissatisfaction. I like the tone on the one guitar that isn’t distorted- I would have liked to hear more of that.



Jen and Iwa - Memory Thief

First off, love your album photo. do you have the ipa of your name tattooed on your arm? Baller. I like the harmonium, and the the music in general. the music is so very spooky and twisty, and the vocals fit that aesthetic really well, but the vocals put me off. It might be because they sound like a friend of mine, but also it might be spooky twisty nature. I’m creeped out. I would think this Was from a psychological horror drama I haven’t seen Amelie, but I didn’t think it was horror? I dunno, the music is like from a 70s psych horror movie.



GGS - into the maze

Interestingly, I don’t get as strong a bowie vibe on this one as I did on some others, likely because a couple others sounded like very specific songs. This one tries to capture the bowie aesthetic, which is hard considering how many aesthetics he had in his career. I will say you got it spot on with the vocals. The delivery sounds a lot like bowie, esp labyrinth era bowie, and the double tracking adds to that effect. I also like how you let the melody play at the songs you were quoting without direct plagiarism.



Ross Durand - back to the beginning

Great song! I like how you wove in the lines from the movie into the lyrics. This song is good writing. Snicker snack! What a great word! Also rhyming ointment With disappointment- how delightfully unexpected. The sound has the Spanish feel I assume you were going for. It’s so good! I love the arrangement, and I love how it goes into V on the chorus. very fun



Lichen Throat - clear skies cool water

I like this song more and more as I listen. I’m already a big fan of your instrumental arrangements, especially your drums.it’s been a while since I’ve heard you; your vocals have really improved! I found myself singing along with you on my commutes, even harmonizing along. Speaking of which, your harmonies were a really nice addition in the chorus. This is great. I do think it ends a bit too abruptly, though. Needs an outro



Ménage a tune - Peter and...

Was this all done in one take? I am impressed. The singing is pretty good, though gets a little pitchy at times, and also sometimes they don’t line up with the harp(s?). I imagine this because you were playing and singing at the same time; practice will help with the timing, and more solid breath support will help with the pitchiness (particularly the last note, I think it needed a little more behind it to help it diminuendo a little more evenly). I like when you guys are trading back and forth line, but I would have had the lines overlap instead of waiting until the next bar, to keep up the pacing. Both of you have lovely voices, and the harp playing is lovely but I’m not qualified to critique it.



Glen Raphael - Right as rain

G&G done very well. I’m impressed that this is just done as a voice memo; good bathroom acoustics! Your singing and playing is good, and quite enjoyable to listen to. Very nice.



Mandibles - Rock beats paper

Truth wanted write a happy song but due to life events I was unable to write happy lyrics, so I convinced him to write about the lottery instead. For some reason, that’s the first this that came to mind when I read the challenge, which is strange because it was really traumatizing to me when we had to read it in 7th grade; I was very caught off guard by the ending. Anyway, the song was a group effort between the three of us, and I’m happy with what we got in the end. I’ve submitted an edit with tweaked vocals to eliminate pitchiness and give a better, more balanced mix between the acoustic and electric instruments. Hope y’all enjoyed it!



PigFarmer jr - they’re here

Hmmm cool concept, but not enough song for all that intro. I would have preferred you just copy and pasted the song part to have it play twice. As of now it’s a bit unbalanced. Pretty neat, though. Captures the feel for sure. Not long enough.



Jerkatorium- in the future

I reeeeeaaalllllly like this song. The tautological chorus, the stops that get long let as you go, the excellent production quality, the really cool robot vocals and triumphant chord of the bridge, and the falling, almost collapsing sound of the last “in the FU-ture “ make this so fun. And i Love your voice (Chumpy, right? You do mains?). The tremolo vibrato is so aesthetically pleasing. Perm collection.



Micah _ chariot ride

LOVE LOVE LOVE - still consuming grin? Brilliant. Tendency of tendons? Amazing. Patroclus in all form? Inspired. This song makes the high school latin/classics student in me giddy (I know it’s in Greek. The latin teacher also taught Greek, and also the Aeneid talks about Achilles and Patroclus). Permanent collection. So much Greek mythology shade omg so good.



Brian grey - new story

Hm I see what you’re doing, and it’s fine. It does feel like as many references you could think of got put in. I was tickled by “time for busting out the yes ands...” I can’t decide if I like this. It’s very like a lot of new musical theater. It’s well done. I’m interested to see where else you’ll go



Just ducky - unser the big W

I don’t want to like this song but I DO and that BOTHERS me. Baby don’t tell I’m driving like hell can anyone tell is so catchy and you deliver it so unironically i can help but enjoy. The saxophone is so fun. I like the intro a lot. This song is like Gogol bordello but less intense. The lyrics are fun to listen to, despite how repetitive they are. It should annoy me, but it just makes me like it more, against my wishes. I begrudging will have to put this in my permanent collection. Good stuff.
Last edited by Cybronica on Sat Feb 08, 2020 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Cybronica »

so many good songs! Here are my reviews, and I didn’t edit them because there are so many. It would take too long; so, sorry for any typos. Good job all!


Joko Homomorphosm – John Goodmans crowbar
There is a very specific type of percussion that strongly reminds me of the powerpuff girls, and this has it. The music is good, but I find the vocals/melody a little lacking. I suppose it matches the style, but the simplistic verse melody and the ve ry syl la bi fied de li ver y doesn’t seem to match the subject matter. I like the killing cars bit at the end with the increased breaking glass sounds, and I like the spoken words bit. Again, this might be genre bias, but I think what the vocal line needed was, to use a classical singers term, legato



The quanitifiers – Dining in Dictionopolis

I love this book!! No other childrens fiction leans so deeply into puns and word play so successfully. This song’s lyrics has similarly satisfying wordcraft. Light meal/sight We’ll is a great rhyme, as is said it all and quadrilaterals. I do think you rushed the deliver on ‘laterals,’ losing some of the impressiveness of that rhyme. It has a rather baroque feel to it with the basso continuo and single vocal line. I could see this being played in the court of King Azaz the Unabridged! I am interested as to whether you managed to get another draft done. I think it could benefit from a harmonic instrument, as well a more practiced sing through. It feels a bit like youre reading off of the lyrics page, hence the rushed laterals, etc. With more familiarity, better technique will always come! For the vocal tone, I would recommend a deeper breath for better support. Thank you for reminding me of this wonderful book.



Ominous Ride – Running

This song is so very emotional, especially that piano intro. The bass line is great. Actually, the whole orchestration is very well put together and nicely balanced. The vocals are really good, but theres something about the vocal recording that sounds a little off, like the vocal equivalent of being behind a pane of tinted glass. And then sometimes the backing vocals pop out as being a very different kind of vocal production, which is a little jarring, though not much. Your voice reminds me of Truth’s voice (the male singer in Mandibles), so I think I’m biased towards liking it. Lyrics are great, and seem to capture the moment for sure (I say that having never seen the movie). I could def hear this at the end of a movie as it fades to black and rolls credits.



Caravan Ray – Light as a Feather

I find it hard to settle the cognitive dissonance between the juvenile character of Huck and your mature vocal tone. The words are great, a nice expansion on this moment in the book, but I kept forgetting your song was about Huckleberry Finn because of that. If I ignore what the song is supposed to be about, its great! Well mixed, well sung, well paced, good rock sound, you know what you’re doing. Nicely done!



Steve Sterns – The Doctor has no time to see you now

The pisno in this song is like Bowie’s Oh you pretty things and Elton John combined with an added flourish of Katamari Damacy. The song is great, the words are fine, the singing is fine, though I suspect the breathing is pretty shallow. I like what you did with the vocal effects between verses and chorus. I am not a huge fan of the lyrics; they tell the story, sure, but they’re not particularly poetic. The chorus feels particularly clunky (see: Tom Lehrer’s comment about fitting as many syllables you like into a line). Not a bad song! But not my favorite. I think it could have benefitted from more contrast; the chorus has a moment of contracts, but it goes right back into being the same kind of sound as the rest of the piece too quickly.



OutLyer - Take me Away

I really really like this song. The electric piano is such a nostalgic sound, and mixes really well with the other sounds you chose. The vocals are really good, the declamation is excellent, and the delivery really evokes the emotions of the lyrics. I have no qualms with this. It's not what I normally would listen to, but this is going in my permanent collection.



Jordan Carrol - WALL-E meets Eva

Everything cute and wonderful in the world. Is it lyrics? Is it singing? Do I really care? It's a love duet. It's a lovely duet. It's in the permanent collection. Good job.



Tenmere - Amplified

You remind me of DragonForce. I really like this one, too. Another for the permanent collection. I have no idea what the story is about but it sounds like horror; I can't say that you capture the scene well cause I don't know it, but I do think you capture a certain mood very well.



The Brewhouse Sessions - The good bad ugly of it all

The start of this strongly reminds me of bowies stamen (lots of bowie influence this round). Its catchy! The chorus keeps getting stuck in my head. I'm not a huge fan of the vocals, but I think that's genre bias. Guitars are good, and the lyrics fulfill the challenge, but it feels a little overly narrative, like you're just describing what happened. It gets the job done, though. ...And having gone back and read the description- Your first song? It's good! Really good! Better than my first song. Everything wcame together really well. Nice work!



BucketHat - This aggression will not stand

So, I'm not the biggest fan of the subject matter, but I gotta say, I like your lyrics a lot. The repeats of money and Bunny are really catchy, and I like how plaintive you sing "It really tied the room together.' The arrangement is great, instrumentals are well chosen. Your vocal harmony does not line up much of the time, and I find that distracting. It just sounds like it needed some more takes to get it right.



BYD - Run Logan Run

Cool synths. Reminds me of Metroid Prime Echos. I like the computerize effect on the vocals. How did you do that? It so subtle on the main vocals, and then really prominent on the back ups in the chorus. I'll probs put this in the perm collection. The play out is really nice, too. Good song!



RFA - How to stay afloat

This is so very you, your sound; its been a while since Ive heard one of yours. I like it. The back and forth between types of vocal filters is really cool. How do you get the effect on the verses? The subject matter is creepy, and normally would turn me off, but man, I really like this song! Sometimes the mix is a bit off- volume seems to go up and down pretty often- its subtle, but there.



Vowel Sounds - Squid Linguistics

Good movie choice, and I love the fake out with the lyrics, and how you weave in other bits of the movie into the scene, the way the movie is wibblywobblytimeywimey. Is that you on the low vocals, owl? I thought it was Vom at first; man, your voice is low! I'm jealous. This song sounds strongly like streets have no name (and other bits of the ouija-verse) , so, congrats! You have found your sound! It's really cool. Good song.



Faster Jackelope - Scotch and Soda

Fun fact: After listening to this a bunch, Facebook has started advertising to me a line of clothing called scotch and soda by some fancy designer. Modern advertising is terrifying! This song is so very FJ- ex, the opening screams Glennny, and Truth's vocals are as always phenomenal. This song is like if prog rock happened in the 50s. I'm not wild about the lyrics. Reading them, it's fine poetry, and the music is clearly excellent, but something about the two together feels a little odd. Like, the line, "And I can woo the woman who drives me wild;" I totally appreciate the alliteration etc, but in the song it sounds awkward and forced, which is atypical for your songs.



Mike Lamb - Falling Down

I don't know the movie, so maybe I'm missing something, but the lyrics are not what I would call inspired. It feels kinda like you found words that rhymed and wrote the song around them. The song is not bad- the music is good, nice guitar work, though I think there might be a few wrong notes in the bass. If there are not any wrong notes in the bass, I would lean into the intentional dissonance some more to make it sound less accidental. The voice is also at times a little pitchy. I think better breath preparation and more familiarity with the song would would be helpful.

Hinkle - Sorcerers son

Cool song! I like the (lute? Mandolin?) Instrument. this one also feels a little overly narrative, but for some reason this one doesn’t bother me. It works, maybe because I expect this Renaissance/fantasy sound to be a great ballad telling an incredible tale. I like the stomp boxes you have on the guitars (is this GarageBand? I think I recognize the pink one...), and I like how you use them and drums to break up the sound, keeping it from getting too monotonous. Vocals are good, and I think exactly what youre going for.



Governing Dynamics - China City Blues

I’ve never read this, so I have no idea what’s going on, but the lyrics are just vague enough to keep me feeling involved. I quite like this one, and I think a lot of that is the (to me) nostalgic sound of your vocals; the song is like if the guys from TMBG sang in Arcade Fire. This is good driving through the city at big music. It might get added to the permanent collection



Nice work - all kinds

Man, this movie sounds like a trip. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this song here. It’s not my cup of tea, I’m not a big fan of this vocal style, but the song is clearly well put together and though through. The two vocal takes dont always match up, and I think that adds to my dissatisfaction. I like the tone on the one guitar that isn’t distorted- I would have liked to hear more of that.



Jen and Iwa - Memory Thief

First off, love your album photo. do you have the ipa of your name tattooed on your arm? Baller. I like the harmonium, and the the music in general. the music is so very spooky and twisty, and the vocals fit that aesthetic really well, but the vocals put me off. It might be because they sound like a friend of mine, but also it might be spooky twisty nature. I’m creeped out. I would think this Was from a psychological horror drama I haven’t seen Amelie, but I didn’t think it was horror? I dunno, the music is like from a 70s psych horror movie.



GGS - into the maze

Interestingly, I don’t get as strong a bowie vibe on this one as I did on some others, likely because a couple others sounded like very specific songs. This one tries to capture the bowie aesthetic, which is hard considering how many aesthetics he had in his career. I will say you got it spot on with the vocals. The delivery sounds a lot like bowie, esp labyrinth era bowie, and the double tracking adds to that effect. I also like how you let the melody play at the songs you were quoting without direct plagiarism.



Ross Durand - back to the beginning

Great song! I like how you wove in the lines from the movie into the lyrics. This song is good writing. Snicker snack! What a great word! Also rhyming ointment With disappointment- how delightfully unexpected. The sound has the Spanish feel I assume you were going for. It’s so good! I love the arrangement, and I love how it goes into V on the chorus. very fun



Lichen Throat - clear skies cool water

I like this song more and more as I listen. I’m already a big fan of your instrumental arrangements, especially your drums.it’s been a while since I’ve heard you; your vocals have really improved! I found myself singing along with you on my commutes, even harmonizing along. Speaking of which, your harmonies were a really nice addition in the chorus. This is great. I do think it ends a bit too abruptly, though. Needs an outro



Ménage a tune - Peter and...

Was this all done in one take? I am impressed. The singing is pretty good, though gets a little pitchy at times, and also sometimes they don’t line up with the harp(s?). I imagine this because you were playing and singing at the same time; practice will help with the timing, and more solid breath support will help with the pitchiness (particularly the last note, I think it needed a little more behind it to help it diminuendo a little more evenly). I like when you guys are trading back and forth line, but I would have had the lines overlap instead of waiting until the next bar, to keep up the pacing. Both of you have lovely voices, and the harp playing is lovely but I’m not qualified to critique it.



Glen Raphael - Right as rain

G&G done very well. I’m impressed that this is just done as a voice memo; good bathroom acoustics! Your singing and playing is good, and quite enjoyable to listen to. Very nice.



Mandibles - Rock beats paper

Truth wanted write a happy song but due to life events I was unable to write happy lyrics, so I convinced him to write about the lottery instead. For some reason, that’s the first this that came to mind when I read the challenge, which is strange because it was really traumatizing to me when we had to read it in 7th grade; I was very caught off guard by the ending. Anyway, the song was a group effort between the three of us, and I’m happy with what we got in the end. I’ve submitted an edit with tweaked vocals to eliminate pitchiness and give a better, more balanced mix between the acoustic and electric instruments. Hope y’all enjoyed it!



PigFarmer jr - they’re here

Hmmm cool concept, but not enough song for all that intro. I would have preferred you just copy and pasted the song part to have it play twice. As of now it’s a bit unbalanced. Pretty neat, though. Captures the feel for sure. Not long enough.



Jerkatorium- in the future

I reeeeeaaalllllly like this song. The tautological chorus, the stops that get long let as you go, the excellent production quality, the really cool robot vocals and triumphant chord of the bridge, and the falling, almost collapsing sound of the last “in the FU-ture “ make this so fun. And i Love your voice (Chumpy, right? You do mains?). The tremolo vibrato is so aesthetically pleasing. Perm collection.



Micah _ chariot ride

LOVE LOVE LOVE - still consuming grin? Brilliant. Tendency of tendons? Amazing. Patroclus in all form? Inspired. This song makes the high school latin/classics student in me giddy (I know it’s in Greek. The latin teacher also taught Greek, and also the Aeneid talks about Achilles and Patroclus). Permanent collection. So much Greek mythology shade omg so good.



Brian grey - new story

Hm I see what you’re doing, and it’s fine. It does feel like as many references you could think of got put in. I was tickled by “time for busting out the yes ands...” I can’t decide if I like this. It’s very like a lot of new musical theater. It’s well done. I’m interested to see where else you’ll go



Just ducky - unser the big W

I don’t want to like this song but I DO and that BOTHERS me. Baby don’t tell I’m driving like hell can anyone tell is so catchy and you deliver it so unironically i can help but enjoy. The saxophone is so fun. I like the intro a lot. This song is like Gogol bordello but less intense. The lyrics are fun to listen to, despite how repetitive they are. It should annoy me, but it just makes me like it more, against my wishes. I begrudging will have to put this in my permanent collection. Good stuff.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by vowlvom »

Cybronica wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:06 pm
Is that you on the low vocals, owl? I thought it was Vom at first; man, your voice is low! I'm jealous.
We're both singing on there so the lowest stuff is almost certainly me!

Thanks to Cybronica and the judges for your comments. I don't think I'm going to have time to review this time around (maybe the later rounds) as I'm doing FAWM as well, but my favourites this round were Boffo Yux Dudes, Jeb & Iwa and Nick Work.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by leighdf »

ST16R1 Review
Russ Rogers' Reviews


Jocko Homomorphism - John Goodman's Crowbar
A Gary Numan/Cars Vibe. Big Lebowski Theme. I bet there will be a LOT of those. Begins with what sounds like 30 seconds of Metal Machine Music. I've never seen Big Lebowski. That's on me. I own Metal Machine Music on vinyl. Dear Lord, trim that intro!

The Quantifiers - Dining in Dictionopolis
Cello. Needs ukulele, even if that's a DoubleClicks thing. Wear your influences on your sleeve. CLEVER lyric!!! Lovely, innocent vocals. The melody runs up and down the scale like Gilbert and Sullivan or a Children's Song. But, that's what it is. I'm only two songs in, and this is one of my faves.

Ominous Ride - Running
Great Production. Piano gets buried after the intro. That's too bad. Dark lyrics. Journey meets Toto thing. I can't tell what movie or book inspired this. But I like it.

Caravan Ray - A Soul as Light as a Feather
Drums, Bass and Vocals. Huh. Capt. Beefheart? Do these people even know of Capt. Beefheart? Nice Production. Who is Miss Watson? (Mary Jane?) I want to know. Great vocals. I don't know the book or movie. I just don't care!

Steve Stearns - The Doctor Has No Time To See You Now
Piano and Melodica? Neil Innes-like. Funny title. Funny punch. Great Piano HOOK! I'm hooked. I was expecting to hate this (don't ask why--no good reasons) and I loved it instead. WOW! What a pleasant surprise.

OutLyer - Take Me Away
Theme: Peter Pan. This sounds like a rough draft. It's got a chorus and ONE rap break. Then it repeats. It needs a verse. I needs more. Who had the recent pop hit with a Peter Pan Song. My daughters sing it all the time.

Jordan Carroll - WALL-E Meets Eva
Chip Tunes, cool. Minimalism with Vocoder. Clever. I get it. But I never need to hear it again. The joke gets stale before the end of the song. It needs more. Less Minimalism, I guess. I don't hate it. I just wouldn't put this in a playlist.

Temnere - Amplified
Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto. Styx meets TR-1. Robots...IN SPACE!
"Feast on your misery"?
"All Pain Amplified"?
I'm too depressed. It's too much winter for this dark stuff right now.

The Brewhouse Sessions - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of It All
America vibe to the strummy-strum guitars. Strained vocals. Even more strained rhymes.

"BucketHat" Bobby Matheson - This Aggression Will Not Stand
Buried Guitar. Odd Vocals. Another Big Lebowski song? Fame is double edged. I was hoping for more Accordion.

Boffo Yux Dudes - Logan's Run
Bad synth patch. Very 70's Sci-Fi. That's probably intentional. But, that is an angry wasp in my ear.

Rob from Amersfoort - How to Stay Afloat
Why is his voice in a well? The song is only two minutes, but I'm drowning.

Vowl Sounds - Squid Linguistics
Hypnotic Vocals. Why did I write that? I will have to listen again. Great production.

Faster Jackelope - Scotch and Soda
Swirling guitar intro. Cool sound, but too long. Everybody's intros are generally too dang long

Mike Lamb - Falling Down
Full production. Shaky vocals. People. It's rock and roll. You don't have to sound good. You just have to sound CONFIDENT. Don't bury the vocals with effects. Don't sound like you don't know your own melody. Dive in!

Timothy Patrick Hinkle - Sorcerer's Son
Mandolin. Ren-Festy! Jethro Tull's step-son.

Governing Dynamics - Chiba City Blues
Great Production. Buried vocals.

Nick Work - All Kinds
It's a Tom Petty song! Seriously, that's a good this. Nice, classic pop/rock! I needed this right now.

Jeb and Iwa - Memory Thief
Witchy vocals. Like Maleficent is singing. Not enough melody. Needs more memorable tune in a song called, "Memory Thief."

Good Guy Sôjàbé - Into the Maze
Peter Gabriel Vocals...no, wait. That's BOWIE!
Nice production, but there's a weird vocal effect. Weird vocals are just weird, not creative. The voice is great. Put less junk on it.

Ross Durand - Back to the Beginning (The Ballad of Inigo Montoya)
YES! YES! YES! Clever lyrics and a meringue (some Latin Rhythm). Fun. I expected more Princess Bride this round. This stuck to one scene. Very nice. And a real chorus!

Lichen Throat - Clear Sky and Cool Water
Two notes on a Bass is not a hook or an intro. It's Tom Sawyer! Another Capt. Beefheart guy. But the vocals are more confident. Poetic lyrics that do not scan. Rhyme needs Meter as much as Meter needs Rhyme. Neither has to be perfect. But don't break the Meter or Rhyme just to pack in more words. Hey, on the bright side, there's a real chorus and it's upbeat and catchy! Kudos for a happy chorus.

Menage a Tune - Peter and...
Peter Pan should have been avoided as a theme. It's a bigger cliche than The Big Lebowski. I LOVE the harp accompaniment. The woman's vocals are buried. The harp should not be louder than the vocal. The duet part is cute, but it just repeats the first two verses together. There should be more payoff there. The straight repeat makes the song too long and too ponderous.

Glen Raphael - Right As Rain
Great guitar. Perfect. Glen's vocals have a jingle -jangle quality that is distinctive. A REAL CHORUS! A BRIDGE! YES! And. Yes. Bang. Bingo! Packs a punch. I want to learn this song!

Mandibles - Rock Beats Paper
Another D&D Jethro Tull, Magic the Gathering thing? No. Wait. The distorted guitar kicks in and it pick up. The chorus is very cleverly worded. And here's a guitar solo that I can actually stomach. Kudos.

PigFarmer Jr - They're Here
Poltergeist. Into is too long. Into is WAY too long. I command thee song, begin NOW! More than halfway in, still no song. Melody is swiped from somewhere. I'll figure it out eventually, if I ever get back to this song. 30 seconds of song for something 2+ minutes long? Nope.

Jerkatorium - In the Future
Funny, punctilious, pedantic, redundant lyrics. These guys like They Might Be Giants. Nice dragged out....
...pause. Funny. I wish it rhymed and had a more memorable melody. I will listen to this again, but I doubt I'll be humming it tomorrow.
--
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 RESULTS

Post by leighdf »

Here's a breakdown of the scoring.

Joe Dave* Micah Mary Ann Russ Total
Steve Stearns 2 1 8 6 4 21
Ominous Ride 5 3 4 3 10 25
Ross Durand 6 6 17 1 1 31
Glen Raphael 1 14 18 2 3 38
Jerkatorium 13 2 14 4 7 40
Nick Work 3 25 2 8 5 43
Temnere 8 4 1 7 24 44
The Quantifiers 20 26 5 5 2 58
Vowl Sounds 18 9 10 12 11 60
Timothy Patrick Hinkle 14 7 3 17 19 60
Mandibles 16 5 11 23 6 61
Caravan Ray 10 12 9 15 15 61
Good Guy Sojabe 23 10 7 13 9 62
Faster Jackelope 7 8 12 20 16 63
Governing Dynamics 15 16 15 10 13 69
Jocko Homomorphism 9 23 23 11 12 78
Boffo Yux Dudes 12 22 6 26 14 80
Rob from Amersfoort 4 19 13 24 20 80
OutLyer 11 17 19 16 26 89
“BucketHat” Bobby Matheson 17 13 21 22 18 91
Menage a Tune 19 15 16 21 22 93
Lichen Throat 21 27 20 19 8 95
Mike Lamb 25 21 26 9 17 98
Jordan Carroll 27 11 22 18 25 103
The Brewhouse Sessions 26 18 24 14 23 105
Jeb and Iwa 22 20 25 25 21 113
PigFarmer, Jr 24 24 27 27 27 129

It's very simple: judges rank the bands from best (1) to least (27); the numbers are added together, and that's the score. Low score wins. I break ties; and we have several ties this round but as none of them affect who's staying and going, I'm going to let them stand as ties.

Remember, scoring is not cumulative. Your goal is to get to the next round.
Good luck!
--
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Cybronica »

vowlvom wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:12 am
Cybronica wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:06 pm
Is that you on the low vocals, owl? I thought it was Vom at first; man, your voice is low! I'm jealous.
We're both singing on there so the lowest stuff is almost certainly me!
Ah, I should have trusted my gut. This goes to show your voices blend really well. Beautiful singing
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Caravan Ray »

OK Ill have a crack at reviews:

Jocko Homomorphism
The Quantifiers

Jesus fucking christ - these two are both fucking awful.. Just stop it

Ominous Ride - OK this is OK.

I think I need to re-address this reviewing thing and initially sort out the absolute crap.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Caravan Ray »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:10 am
OK Ill have a crack at reviews:

Jocko Homomorphism
The Quantifiers

Jesus fucking christ - these two are both fucking awful.. Just stop it

Ominous Ride - OK this is OK.
I think I need to re-address this reviewing thing and initially sort out the absolute crap. And there is seriously a lot of absolute crap here. lets not sugar coat it..
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Caravan Ray »

fuck

how does this work?
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

Updated with reviews

ST16R1 REVIEW - Mary Ann Randall
To start, I am a newbie judge… I may be a bit, er, conservative in my approach as this is my first time so I must proceed gently.

Also, as a female, I may be succumbing to my maternal side in some reviews so that may explain some of the approach and why it took my so long to finish (besides trying to do them during a week of the flu running through the house, and trying to finish up while playing dance mom at a dance competition all weekend…and I’m OCD AND clinically ADHD.) So it took me awhile to find a “style” of giving reviews.


REVIEWS

Jocko Homomophism – John Goodman’s Crowbar
The song definitely follows the theme, and there’s inspiration there, I just think it sits on the hook and looses my attention (even the background sounds don’t break it up enough to me.)
Mom answer: Good job, I’m proud of you, win or lose.

The Quantifiers – Dining in Dictionopolis
I liked the ever clever poetry of this song, about “eating your words” lol. Intellectually speaking sounds like an English language lesson you might hear in a classroom.
Mom answer: I’m sure you will get an A on this assignment!

Ominous Ride – Running
Nice production, I have to admit I’m a sucker for nice easy guitar hooks… Sounds like nice song you would have at very end of movie credits to set that kind of “closure” to the mood. Radio ready, no but I could hear this on the alternative rock station.
I thought it nailed the theme.
Mom answer: I’m gonna post this on facebook!!

Caravan Ray – A Soul as Light as a Feather
Kind of groovy, low key, late night bar listening song. Kind of like that original song a band will work in in-between cover stuff and the local groupies love it.
Mom answer: Let’s go listen, I’m so excited that tonight they are debuting one of their original songs!!

Steve Stearns – The Doctor has no time to see you now
My favorite application of the theme to a song. The tune was fun, had a tv sitcom kind of feel to it. Fun, laid back sound! Only challenge I had, is I just had a hard time recalling the tune specifically.
Mom answer: This is so good! You should put that up on your Spotify!

Outlyer – Take Me Away
I had to fast forward, the beginning just took a little long, my attention span struggled getting to the beginning. I liked the effort to do the “rap” style interjected, I just couldn’t stick with the song, it just dragged for me.
Mom answer: That’s lovely… did you do any other songs? I’d love to hear those too.

Jordan Carroll - Wall-E Meets EVA
I wanted to love this. I did. I think it’s got a great catchy little tune in there, but somehow the creativity lagged after that. I’d revisit the tune and see if it can get further off the ground.
Mom answer: Great start, but I think you need to go back and review your work again, I think you can add a little more to it.

Temnere – Amplified
Late night stoner music. I think I got caught up in the heavier rock sound of this, and I am a sucker for fantasy lyrics, guitar solos, and a solid inclusion of drumwork.
Mom answer to the neighbors: I don’t understand this rock music they listen too, I’ll ask them to turn it down (but secretly really likes the music and doesn’t actually make good on the request.)

The Brewhouse Sessions – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Kind of Dylan sounding alternative folk rock sound… this song could be popular with the coffee shop crowd… I couldn’t find a reason to love it, couldn’t find a reason to dislike it.
Mom answer: I’ll never completely understand what’s cool and what’s not these days.

Bobby Matheson – This Aggression Will Not Stand
I got it, it met the criteria for the theme, . Not a bad song, I just didn’t get into it…
Mom answer: I think you tried, let’s just see what everybody else thinks.

Boffo Yux Dudes – Logan’s Run

I found this song took the theme a bit too dead on… I did want to run by the end of it. It was just too repetitive for me, although if you think about it, it did fit the theme.
Mom answer: Ok, that’s enough of that for now.

Rob from Amersfoort – How to Stay Afloat
I struggled to stay afloat, the song didn’t help. Maybe it was the raspy production, it was uncomfortable to listen to for me, the melody didn’t stick with me.
Mom answer: Not everyone likes everything everyone else does.

Vowl Sounds – Squid Linguistics
The title of the song gave a completely different impression of what was about to play. I was expecting something very weird but instead got a nice driving song with a pleasant tune and I felt like there was a flow to the “story” of the lyrics.
Mom answer: Let’s all sit and listen to the new song they just wrote, I’m sure you will all enjoy it!

Faster Jackalope – Scoth and Soda
I’m not sure how I ranked this down as much as I did, the kind of slightly “off” tune was a unique change to your basic “catchy” tune… but I think the sort of “off” sound may have been what contributed to getting pushed down when I was doing relative comparisons to other songs I ended up ranking higher.
Mom answer: Sometimes that happens, keep trying I think next time will go better.

Mike Lamb – Falling Down
Song about one of my favorite movies. Annnnd another Dylan-esque sounding style… Ok, ok, I’m gonna favor a strong guitar interjection, especially with a great chorus to mix it with… I think what really caught my attention is I could definitely remember the song in my head after listening to it. Strong production, strong lyrics imo.
Mom answer: You should use that for your next audition!

Timothy Patrick Hinkle – Sorcerer’s Son
A modern minstrel? Rock minstrel? A storytelling song that tells a story. The lyrics kept me listening to finish the story – bad lyrics could have killed this on for me. Music style and lyrics were a great fit and it worked– that’s what made it!
Mom answer: Those theater kids are at it again!

Governing Dynamics – Chiba City Blues
This song makes me reminice back to my 2 week goth phase when I bought my first album by The Cure and the soundtrack to The Crow. Yummy distortion on this one. This is another song that got snagged in the relative perspective against the other songs based on the contest for me.
Mom answer: You look nice in black dear.

Nick Work – All Kinds
I like “driving songs” this has a very commercial sound to me. I’d toss it up on Spotify and see what happens.
Mom answer: “Nods head to the beat and smiles”

Jeb and Iwa – Memory Thief
I can see this song is trying to set a mood, and in context, I can see (er, hear) that. It just wasn’t listen-able by itself to me. It could possibly be I don’t recognize true art when I hear it… my opinion is just one of many.
Mom answer: Ok – I’ve heard some of it… Can we listen to the rest later?

Good Guy Sojabe – Into the Maze
This song sounds like it’s in a maze…. But the tune stuck with me, and I can see this playing on alternative rock radio. The production is strong, rich guitar and drum work and fits the theme it’s modeled after.
Mom answer: I used to listen to David Bowie when I was younger and that song reminds me we should rent that movie again sometime

Ross Durand – Back to the Beginning (The Ballad of Inigo Montoya)
Clever tune, clever lyrics, entertaining enough to make me laugh out loud the first time I heard it! Song style and lyrics were completely in line, and fun to listen to! Very much catches the spirit of its muse. Not only that, the melody, the song, stuck with me in the most pleasant way!
Mom answer: Anyone that hasn’t seen The Princess Bride can’t be friends with my kids (just kidding…. Maybe….)

Lichen Throat – Clear Sky and Cool Water
I liked the guitar melody in this one. I liked the words… it stuck with me… I’d rather heard more of a singing melody. Again, another song where what made it stand out “different” to me is also probably what hurt the ranking too.
Mom answer: Maybe we should get several opinions before making a decision

Menage A Tune – Peter and…
This song made me feel sad and kind of got lumped in with the group of songs where the tune being different stood out to me, but gave me conflicted feelings on ranking. Maybe relax a little, felt like the sadness was more pushed on me rather than let me just feel the emotion of the tune…. Perhaps the heavy enunciation made it sound like theatre teachers presenting a song for the play to their students. Soften up the singing, more wistful and less over-pronunciation.
Mom answer: This is an example of why we get 2nd opinions.

Glen Raphael – Right as Rain
I only put this 2nd because I had to do a 1st and 2nd and not 2 firsts. I would buy this song, and folksy music isn’t even my thing. I love the guitar work and the tune… the only thing that pushed it second was comparing the application of the theme with it being just a bit more obscure in application. Such a lovely little ditty in juxtaposition against a heavy violent movie.

Mom answer: “Taps foot, pours glass of wine, puts on headphones”

Mandibles – Rock Beats Paper
Heavy metal folk minstrel…. Trans-siberian type arrangement? Creative idea – I liked the guitar but the singing and the tune just grated on my ears. I wish I could be more constructive on this one…
Mom answer: Why don’t you try another style and see if that works?

Pig Farmer – They’re here

Half of a 2 minute song with an intro that doesn’t match…. I’ll leave it at that
Mom answer: Not every idea works, maybe just try again with something else?

Jerkatorium – In the Future
At first I hated this…. Then I couldn’t get the damn song out of my head. Bravo for establishing a place in my brain. Catchy and commercial ready!

Mom answer: The only song I can’t get out of my head aftre the baby shark song is……

Micah Sommersmith – Chariot Ride
I liked the piano tune, the song and lyrics – altho the tendon comment made me cringe a little - lol the lyrics were quite clever tho.
Mom answer: Why didn’t you enter?


Brian Gray – A New Story
Beautiful tune and lyrics and zombies! I love zombies!!! Easy to listen to, pleasant, interesting, and lyrics sneak up on the listener.
Mom answer: I’m so disappointed in you for not entering.

Just Ducky – Under the Big W
Refereshing different style! Very much the style of Puttin on the Ritz! Clever, interesting, fun to listen to….
Mom answer: I’m disappointed in you too for not entering.

RANKINGS

1 Ross Durand
2 Glen Raphael
3 Ominous Ride
4 Jerkatorium
5 The Quantifiers
6 Steve Stearns
7 Temnere
8 Nick Work
9 Mike Lamb
10 Governing Dynamics
11 Jocko Homomorphism
12 Vowl Sounds
13 Good Guy Sojabe
14 The Brewhouse Sessions
15 Caravan Ray
16 OutLyer
17 Timothy Patrick Hinkle
18 Jordan Carroll
19 Lichen Throat
20 Faster Jackelope
21 Menage a Tune
22 “BucketHat” Bobby Matheson
23 Mandibles
24 Rob from Amersfoort
25 Jeb and Iwa
26 Boffo Yux Dudes
27 PigFarmer, Jr
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Chumpy »

Caravan Ray wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 4:15 am
how does this work?
Jesus Ray, how many years have you been on SongFight and you still can't write reviews?
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by BoffoYux »

Hey, Chumpy -

Are the Jerks doing a podcast for ST16?

BTW - Loved your song and the video. The breaks totally screwed with my head during the listening party.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Chumpy »

BoffoYux wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:48 am
Are the Jerks doing a podcast for ST16?
We talked about it for round 1, but the timing didn't work out with Ryan's travel schedule. We'll consider it again for round 2.
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by neutronflow »

Cybronica wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:13 pm
Cool song! I like the (lute? Mandolin?) Instrument.

I like the stomp boxes you have on the guitars (is this GarageBand? I think I recognize the pink one...)
Thank you!

It's a mandolin.

I'm not in GarageBand; I record in Audacity. I have a Digitech RP50 that I run my guitar through. I like hearing that my guitar is making a pink sound, though.
Cybronica
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Re: SpinTunes 16 Round 1 ‘What a Concept’ reviews

Post by Cybronica »

neutronflow wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:03 pm
Cybronica wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 9:13 pm
Cool song! I like the (lute? Mandolin?) Instrument.

I like the stomp boxes you have on the guitars (is this GarageBand? I think I recognize the pink one...)
Thank you!

It's a mandolin.

I'm not in GarageBand; I record in Audacity. I have a Digitech RP50 that I run my guitar through. I like hearing that my guitar is making a pink sound, though.
Ah, well color me pink for impressed! I was referring to the phase tripper option in the GarageBand app (see pic if I attached it correctly). It’s a cool sound! I’m impressed that you’re able to do that with audacity!
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