They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
Post Reply
User avatar
Niveous
Gorilla
Posts: 6733
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 6:45 am
Instruments: vocals, songwriting, guitar
Submitting as: Lucky Witch and the Righteous Ghost
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Contact:

They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by Niveous » Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:31 pm

free-candy-van.jpg
free-candy-van.jpg (153.13 KiB) Viewed 4898 times
"I'd like to see 1984 redubbed with this in the soundtrack."- Furrypedro.
NUR EIN!
X-Tokyo
Lucky Witch and the Righteous Ghost
User avatar
josh
Tamarin
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:43 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Kazoo, Vocals, Keys
Recording Method: Reaper, 4-Track Cassette
Submitting as: Zack Facco
Location: Cambridge, MA
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by josh » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:07 pm

Berkeley Social Scene

Great Production again. Really solid song structure and playing. For me the weak spot is the vocals. They sound a bit strained. I do like the harmonies though. Cool lyrics, too.

The Chadderandom Abyss

Wow, that got right into it! This is some wild, freeform stuff.

The Chocolate Chips

The synth sounds and everything are great. And the whole song has a very cool feel. Laid back and slightly mysterious/spacey. Nice groove, too.

Cookie Blue

The multiple voices approach works really well. I like the simple beat and instrumentation.

Cord Smith

Great groove and tight production.

Foobar

Really like some of the chord sequences. Reminds me of another song I really like, but can't put my ear on it. Very melancholy.

godescalc

I like the fingerpicking! Recordingwise the sound isn't great, but it's a good song.

J.A.N.

The beat is pretty intense. Seems to overpower the vocals. And the vocals just don't seem to sit in with it very well.

John Lampson

Very nice sound. Mellow and sad. Seems like you're having trouble finding some of the notes you want vocally (or you want some oddly pitched notes :-) ) But a lot of the vocals are dead on.

Klownhole

When I saw the song was 7 and a half minutes, I was gonna skip around, but I got sucked in. It's over the top and sludgy. I like it.

Lonbobby

Haha. Did you sample the farts using your own equipment ;-) Goofy and funny.

The Mystery Airship

Feels incomplete to me.

Nick Soma

Some pretty good pop sounds. I like the marimba/xylophone sound in the back. And is that a Mellotron flute?

Paco del Stinko

Lots of cool changes and sounds. Very fun vibe. I like this vocal style better than what I've heard you use on the couple other songs I've heard from you. Love the decending harmony part.

Ross Durand

I really like the lyrics on this one. Popped out more than any of the others. Simple but inciteful.

Sockpuppet

I really love all the sounds and the slightly dissonant arpreggios.

someguycallednoel

This is a really tough genre to go for. I used to hate this kind of sensitive, vulnerable kind of sound, but listening to folks like Nick Drake and even Elliot Smith has turned me around a bit. I think you do a good job with it. Your vocals have a pretty pleasant, quite tone to them.

Steven, A.D.

As seems to be the case for many of us, pitchy vocals take something away from the delivery of the song. Also could use more variation, but I do like the old school beat.

Toby Roktot

Some pretty good lyrics. Tells the story well.

Zack Facco

I liked the idea for this song a lot, but I'm not crazy about the way it came together. Rhythmically it's sloppy as hell... The rap came out surprisingly cool except hard to understand. Vocals are pretty strained and occasionally off pitch.

My Vote: Had a tough time deciding between Del Stinko, Lon Bobby and The C.C.'s... ultimately I thought The Chocolate Chips was the best executed and just had such a mellow feel.
pauley g
A New Player
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:50 pm
Instruments: percussion, piano/synth/programmer, some guitar
Recording Method: mac, logic 9, apogee duet, voxengo plugins, hate.
Submitting as: My Social Uniform
Location: somewhere in ohio?

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by pauley g » Wed Apr 23, 2014 10:52 am

Berkeley Social Scene
strong and well mixed as always! backing vocals are great and a good use of the topic...I also like the guitar @ around 1:20. gets my vote

The Chadderandom Abyss
I appreciate the avant garde of this, but it's still lost on me... maybe you could lighten up the compression to let the anger breath a little more?

The Chocolate Chips
nice intro and a very cool overall arrangement. it reminds me of b-side Duran Duran during the meddazaland era. you set a quality mood. vote

Cookie Blue
the percussion is good and meaty, overall has a Haim quality to it I think. the harmony is great, but I would like to hear the lead vocal not doubled...you have a great voice, let it do it's thing! vote

Cord Smith
the vocal gets lost in the chorus I think...could it be punchier overall? I like the breakdown @1:45 or so. I also couldn't get 'stranger' out of your lyric

Foobar
is that a piano sample? if it is, it's fantastic! lyric here is cool and a neat chord progression. I would like to hear more contrast at the chorus...minimal and sweet.

godescalc
your accent makes the vocal in this song! I would try changing the rhythm up at the bridge for some salt. nice outright.

J.A.N.
I love electro so I'm already in! drum samples are good, arpeggio is good and gritty...I feel like your melody doesn't quite fit with the arrangement. I really wanna love this song and it's very close, just needs some tweaking

John Lampson
this is beautiful song...until the vocal got pitchy. it pulled me right out of bliss, I'm sorry! everything else here is top shelf. just a thought- I don't think the setup for the final chorus needs to be there.

Klownhole
this is cool. I think the rhythm guitar steps on the vocal a little, also the crash overpowers everything when it comes in, but these are just details...is the slowdown half way through intentional? even if it wasn't, keep it...gives it a broken-in kind of feel.

Lonbobby
awesome sub bass! I think it'd be cool if you did the entire vocal vocoder...builds are really good and effective and I love the concept. vote

The Mystery Airship
the white noise is so distracting! melody and chords are strong, go and build this into a complete song!

Nick Soma
this has an identity crisis...full on electro in verse to almost a classic rock style chorus. the good news is you almost pull it off! overall, I feel like this is a little flat...not sure why. maybe a vocal redo?

Paco del Stinko
quality submission. sweet bass line, vox arrangement is awesome, the ending tight as hell....caught myself tapping my foot.

Ross Durand
maybe a little wordy? polish this a bit, then pitch to tv/movies...I think it's universal enough to work.

Sockpuppet
cool concept, very current sounding indie-electro. I love how this is not crowded musically, very sublime. I'm left wanting more emotion out of the vocal though.

someguycallednoel
instantly I think of Neil Young, and that's a compliment. are there two guitar tracks here or are you using the omnipresent phase trick? sounds pretty good either way, I'm just curious. the bridge screams for some strings or whatever to mix it up a bit.

Steven, A.D.
excellent drum programming...the chorus here is great. you were losing me @ 1:30 then brought me right back with the chorus, definitely the strongest part of the track.

Toby Roktot
I'm simply not a fan of harmonica. not your fault. otherwise, the lyric is solid... melody could use a little polish, it feels like it sputters out at times. the song begs for bass.

Zack Facco
I like this. you took a risk with the rhythm I think...very complex and sometimes seems to fall apart almost like its a little loose. this much syncopation has to be super tight or you lose the momentum it's trying to create...does that make sense? overall, pretty well done and I love the solo.
"Leaves a slightly dirty feeling for me that I can only get rid of by cheesegrating my ears off" -Furrypedro
User avatar
jlampson
Tarsier
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:17 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Recording Method: Presonus Studio One
Submitting as: John Lampson
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by jlampson » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:51 pm

Just a quick note saying thanks for the reviews. I recorded those vocals in about 15 minutes before I had to leave for work one morning just so I could make the entry deadline. I didn't have time to record new ones but I will be fixing those things before this gets released to the greater public on my summer release.

I have listened to about half the entries and have enjoyed what I've heard so far. I'll be getting in a plane headed for San Francisco and won't have time to review until I get back but I wish you all happy song fighting!

John

P.S. I also agree that the final buildup isn't necessary. I intend to cut it from the final version.
User avatar
chocolatechips
Tamarin
Posts: 301
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:29 pm
Submitting as: The Chocolate Chips
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by chocolatechips » Wed Apr 30, 2014 8:41 am

looks like some kind of record for lack of reviews/responses ... well, while waiting to see if I make it to the next round of Nur Ein I'm going to do my bit (green smiley faces for my four favorites/votes added when I complete reviews)

Berkeley Social Scene - big fan of the backing vocals. a pretty rockin' track indeed with some nice guitar riffs and good drums (I like the percussion too.) maybe not quite as clean sounding as BSS tracks usually seem - seems like the bass is maybe mixed too high on my monitors. Overall one of the better BSS songs I think and a very likely vote. :mrgreen:

The Chadderandom Abyss - there's some neat ideas in here but the chaos is a bit overwhelming at the moment.

The Chocolate Chips - experimenting with a vocoder effect on the vocals, I think I got it sounding pretty good on this track. I've actually had a hard time recreating this effect as well (getting a nice mix of clarity and robot tone.) I'm happy with the "stranger, stranger, every stranger way" bit. Video = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oY95WlEWOk

Cookie Blue - nice energy and I like the what I can make out of the lyrics. the vocals have a lot of potential I think but I don't think they're quite where you want them to be yet.

Cord Smith - nice guitar/vocal riffs. I am digging the rap vocals over the acoustic vibe. I was going to say that the vocals are a bit too soft but it kind of works for what you're going for I think. This is pretty cool, inventive, quirky weird stuff. I like the lyrics. possible vote.

Foobar - compared to earlier Foobar songs I've heard I think your piano sound has improved and your vocals are improving too. I like the minimalist production on this, I think it works well for this kind of song. Really nice piano playing. Your "strangers, strangers ..." bit kind of reminds me of my own song. possible vote.

godescalc - good personality in the vocals. reminds me a little bit of Neutral Milk Hotel (I'm a big fan.) pretty good.

J.A.N. - this is an intense track with a lot of stuff going on. there are a lot of cool sounds in here but it does seem like maybe there's a bit too much going on sometimes - although it could be one of those things where on repeated listens it makes more sense. I like a lot of stuff about this, I think on repeated listens it may be one of my favorites.

John Lampson - second guy & piano song ! we usually have lots of guy & guitar, but guy & piano is becoming a thing here too. I like it. Like Foobar's song I think it's a good choice to keep it minimalist (and you even left out the percussion.) Your piano sound is excellent. Your vocals are strong too and I like the sound you got on them, super clear but with a warmth to them too. Your chorus is maybe the catchiest thing I've heard yet this week and that's probably the #1 reason that this is a likely vote. :mrgreen:

Klownhole - cool heavy rock sound with a kind of minimalist vibe (I'm not sure I hear more than drums, one guitar, and a vocal? .. so far anyway) I like the repeating guitar riff. Obviously 7 minutes is a lot to ask of people in a song competition sort of scenario. overall I think this is pretty cool for something that isn't really right up my alley.

Lonbobby - there's some neat stuff going on here production wise and sound wise but it does sound like maybe a ear candy salad without really working together as a whole. the Facebook lyrics kind of make me cringe - I don't know why, but I don't like lyrics that namecheck things like that.

The Mystery Airship - this is pleasant, I just listened twice. I really like your vocal quality and it's a nice tune.

Nick Soma - the tinkly keys + distorted guitars are a pretty interesting mix (not sure it works 100%, but it's neat.) the backing organ synth type sound is pretty good (could be mixed higher?) I dig the melody on the chorus. Maybe the strongest melody of the fight so far. Likely vote. :mrgreen:

Paco del Stinko - impressive musicianship/production as always with Paco del Stinko. I like the handclaps. the vocals are the weakest point for me.

Ross Durand - good but not my cuppa.

Sockpuppet - I'm liking the music a lot but the vocals don't always work (sometimes they are fine, but at other times they seem a bit off.) The trippy instrumental take-off at 2:20 really makes it, I love that bit. Possible vote. :mrgreen:

someguycallednoel - lot of guy & guitar songs this week it seems. this reminds me a bit of Iron & Wine ... and Akron/Family's first album. This is quite nice actually. It's growing on me as I listen. Possible vote.

Steven A.D. - there's some neat stuff in here but the vocals are a bit low in the mix I think and maybe they're too dry. this is pretty good but I'm just not getting into it for some reason. it does seem overly long too. personal note: I really need to listen to these songs backwards sometimes as I think sometimes I'm biased against the songs towards the end just because I start getting burnt out on reviewing. (good reason to call yourself AAA Band.)

Tony Roktot - the mix makes little sense to me, not well recorded. vocals sound whispered. lacks energy which I think you need a lot of to pull off this kind of guy & guitar thing. the highlight of the song is the harmonica playing (it also sounds better recorded than the rest of it.)

Zack Facco - I read your review of your own song and it seems you already know the elements that need work (sloppy rhythm / strained pitchy vocals) ... and I agree that the rap came out pretty nicely, it kind of surprised me when it came in (in a good way). I'm also really impressed by the lead guitar that comes in at about 1:45.

OK. Votes/Green Faces added. Good stuff. Makes me want to write and record a "Bitter Monday" tonight to be in next week but I also haven't even started my Nur Ein song either. .. time to get busy!
Last edited by chocolatechips on Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
fluffy
Baboon
Posts: 9855
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: The Plaidlands (also, Seattle)
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by fluffy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:43 am

I started reviewing but as usual around halfway through I felt that anything I could say wasn't adding anything to what's aleady been said.

So I'll just say that these are the ones I liked enough to vote for:

steven AD - some really cool uses of sounds, and the way things build up and change is great. I also love the ear-bending chord progression in this. My one complaint is that the vocals track too closely with an instrument all the time which weakens both.

cord smith - I get a great Dave Matthews vibe from this. also I think the lo-fi vocal recording works in your favor here.

chocolate chips - I love the chord progression, and the eclectic mix of instruments gives this a great vibe. The vocal processing makes the lyrics a bit hard to comprehend though.

john lampson - Sometimes keeping things simple is the best.

cookie blue - I can't state objectively why I like this, I just do.

and the obligatory talkin' about my own entry:

sockpuppet - it's about senile dementia, inspired by the sorts of conversations my grandma had during the last few years of her life. Slowly forgetting everything in your life as you go forward, and being unable to remember things causing conversations to loop shorter and shorter until the day you die. I have a family history of this and thinking of going through it with my mom, and later with myself, scares the shit out of me.
User avatar
ken
Lemur
Posts: 3471
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:10 pm
Instruments: Guitar, bass, drums, keys
Recording Method: MOTU 828x, Cubase 10
Submitting as: Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff
Pronouns: he/him
Location: oakland, ca
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by ken » Wed Apr 30, 2014 10:02 am

Quick reviews for the heck of it.

Berkeley Social Scene
A fun BSS track this week. I first recorded the vocals an octave down and after listening for a couple of days decided to try them an octave up. I agree that the backing vocals are maybe the best part of this song. Overall, a fun cohesive BSS entry.

The Chadderandom Abyss
Crazy cacophony! I'm not sure if this is a tape collage or there is a song buried in the muck somewhere. I keep expecting this noisy part to be the intro to an actual song, but it seems to be the whole thing. I'm tempted to close with, "not my thing" but instead I'll suggest you try emphasizing the song elements next time and lay off the noise.

The Chocolate Chips
I like the atmosphere on this. I like the robotness of the vocal, but it is just a little to quiet for my taste. It sits just a little too low for me to focus on, which I want to do. I hope you were going for a Flaming Lips thing, because I think you almost made it.

Cookie Blue
This is a nice song. I think the vocals are a little too loud or just take up too much space. They seem to cover up the rest of the instruments. I find the loose doubling/overlapping vocals a little distracting. You seem to have a nice voice, so why do you need to obscure it so much?

Cord Smith
Well produced. I started to wonder if this song has anything to do with the title. No lyrics in the lyrics thread, so who knows.

Foobar
Enjoying the excellent piano playing. Your vocals are good too. Don't really love the drums in the background. I'm not sure you really need them and the repetitiveness is very distracting for me.

godescalc
I like this song. I will vote for it.

J.A.N.
Very cool. I like the noisy electronic background, but feel like the vocals don't quite match the music's intensity. Even a touch of distortion on the vocals would have helped this. I would like for this song to have a bit more development, but by 3 minutes it is feeling fairly repetitive.

John Lampson
This is a nice ballad. I think your vocal could use a little more reverb and delay. The piano is nice, but the vocal doesn't match the ambiance. I'm sure you know already that a few notes in the vocal are sour. It sounds like maybe you hadn't quite figured out the vocal melody when you tracked your vocals. As this song goes on, I realize that a subtle delay on the vocal would really help. Especially in the chorus.

Klownhole
Whoah, too long intro! Vocals come in a little past my tolerance for plodding RnR. Crash cymbals mask the vocals in a very displeasing manner. Geez, take that crash cymbal away from your drummer! He has used it up on this song. I actually like the main guitar riff, I just don't need to hear it for 8 minutes. This song tests my patience a bit. Is that your intention?

Lonbobby
Wow, cool use of vocoder and vocal delay! I think with a couple of tweaks and a weird video, this could be a HUGE hit on the internet with the kids. CHECK YO FACEBOOK STATUS!!!

The Mystery Airship
Short and sweet. Very earnest entry. Keep at it!

Nick Soma
This is a good song. But something about the way it is put together doesn't work for me. It doesn't quite rock enough, it isn't quite electronic enough. It just lacks a bit of energy. Maybe I want this to sound more like No Doubt musically, and it just doesn't quite make it. I'll bet this would have really great energy live.

Paco del Stinko
Nice. Did you steal my synth line? Solid as ever. Well done. Love the use of major/minor chord progressions.

Ross Durand
Cute song. They will love this one at summer camp. I hope you teach it to everyone. One technical comment, the guitar sounds thin to me. Maybe don't roll off so much of the low end next time?

Sockpuppet
Cool arpeggios. Sometimes it seems like the vocal melody and the chord patterns are at odds. Good instrumental development in the backing tracks. I really like the solo.

someguycallednoel
A little too quiet and repetitive. You could add some other elements to break this song up some. Why does this song just fade out?

Steven, A.D.
Love the old school drum machine/beat. Vocals are a little too low in the mix. They sound so much better when you have an instrument playing the vocal melody. This is a good trick people could learn from. You could also use those same instruments to play a counter melody between the lines of vocals. This would add more interest to your song. I feel like this song went on a little too long.

Toby Roktot
I feel like the quiet delivery of this song is at odds with the upbeat nature of the song itself. Like if someone was playing this song with more energy it would be so much better. I imagine Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band making this a huge arena rock hit. Are you forced to record in a closet in the middle of the night? If not, try singing out a bit in the future. Bonus points for sweet harmonica.

Zack Facco
This reminds me of my early 4-track cassette recordings: direct recorded guitars, simple drum machine, etc. I'm not sure what to suggest to help you improve. There are good elements to this song, it just doesn't all come together for me. Maybe work on the timing issues?

Anyway, just some thoughts for you. Take it or leave it.

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

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
User avatar
chocolatechips
Tamarin
Posts: 301
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:29 pm
Submitting as: The Chocolate Chips
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by chocolatechips » Wed Apr 30, 2014 4:28 pm

ken wrote:Quick reviews for the heck of it.

The Chocolate Chips
The Flaming Lips
yes - they are a big influence for me, especially The Soft Bulletin & Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.

and I just noticed how well our song from last time did in the voting. :shock: thanks to your vocals/lyrics I imagine - that's much better than my songs usually do around here it seems
foobar93
Tarsier
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:48 pm
Submitting as: Foobar

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by foobar93 » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:32 pm

Berkeley Social Scene

I like it, especially the bridge which has nice texture and contrasts well with the rest of the song.

The Chadderandom Abyss

Sorry, just can't go there.

The Chocolate Chips

Vocals just slightly hard to hear. I'm not sure if the issue is the level in the mix or something with the processing on the vocals. Overall nice texture and stereo width. The vocals sit in a very specific physical place, which I always enjoy. Cool atmosphere but not sure what this song is about.

Cookie Blue

I like your vocals, and there's a lot of cool stuff happening here. but it's extremely distracting that everything is sitting in the exact same space in the mix. It literally sounds to me like two singers are sitting in the same exact place as the rhythm and guitar. So I want to follow the words of the song, but I can't make them out. Must be really crowded in there! Still, I wish I could sing like that, so keep at it.

Cord Smith

Like. The total levels are low, so I have to turn it up quite a bit to follow and then I really feel like I'm amplifying a lot of noise. By 1:30, it feels a little repetitive. I'd like some more variety. The echo effect on "college / career" strikes me as cheesy. As does the wailing after 2:05. What's happening? I am lost.

Foobar

This is my effort this week. Personal stuff has kept me away from making music for quite a while, so when I found myself with a few unexpected free hours I threw this together. Hope you like. For those that asked, the piano is the Roland V-Piano modeled piano. It's actually a different tech from sampling, happy to geek about this if anyone is interested.

godescalc

Solid, good energy and songwriting. Some production issues but they didn't bother me since the emotion of the song came through so clearly.

J.A.N.

I was rocking along with you until about 0:50 when it got too noisy and confusing. There's just too many things happening at once, and I find it dissonant. By 1:30 I am losing interest. The spoken word vocals (which are admirably clear during the verses) are just kind of monotonous for me. There are parts in here that I like, but the overall effect is a turn off. I was literally about to turn the track off until you got to the quiet reboot around 2:05. But the new build isn't really living up to my hopes - it's just a return to that same texture as before. OK, I really tried hard to finish but I couldn't. Sorry.

John Lampson

Like. I like your voice a lot, but the occasional pitch error really knock me out of the song (especially around 1:20-35). I also think a little more dynamic in the piano part would be nice, esp in the chorus. And the ending is too abrupt. If that's what you really intend, it ends on a very bleak note. Too sad! I also wonder what this song would sound like if the tempo was about 20% faster.

Klownhole

When the wind starts howling, you are really promising something epic. Let's see if the song delivers. Too many intro repeats, IMO. By 0:40 I'm like, when is this song going to start? Ok, once you get going there's a lot to like. Vocals are way too soft, though, and don't really cut through. I think if they ducked back the guitar whenever you're singing, this could be very epic. And the drums often feel like they are in the room down the hall, not really up front. OK, I was totally with you until about 2:00 but now you've lost me. Things are going off the rails. Turn off that cymbal, it's like torture. I couldn't take it any more, and skipped ahead to 4:30 to see if the song ever returns to non-cymbal. But seriously that's all I can hear. I have to stop.

Lonbobby

Funny start. Already laughing by 0:15. OK, this is amusing, but it never really goes anywhere. There are so many nerdy "I'm just fine without you" songs out there, but they all reveal at least something about the narrator. And Facebook is so absurd that there's plenty of material to work with. But musically, I admire a lot of what you did here.

The Mystery Airship

So much noise! If there's anything I can do to help you record at a more appropriate level, please get in touch. What I can make out of this is great. Keep at it, I look forward to hearing more. And seriously, if I can help just say the word.

Nick Soma

I like the contrast between the tinkly intro sound and the guitars. Your voice has a very distinctive sound to it. I don't know why but this reminds me a little bit of MGMT, which I think is a high compliment. Fun song, I like.

Paco del Stinko

Technical excellence as always. You also always have me waiting for the cringeworthy gross twist. I almost don't want to know. I am sitting here deciding if I should turn it off to avoid the part I can never un-hear. I stuck with it, and I'm honestly not sure if I made the right choice. Makes me wonder what would happen if you used your superpowers for good.

Ross Durand

Earnest. I think you're blowing out your mic at some of the louder parts. But agree with the other reviewers that if cleaned up this could be a very popular tune.

Sockpuppet

Have I played this videogame before? Intro sounds extremely familiar. Vocals go wobbly at moments, but there's something cool and dreamy about this. You've got a great concept here, but the lack of resolution drives me crazy. What happened to cause this? What happens next?

someguycallednoel

Lots to like here, but too repetitive for me. I like your voice. The humming parts don't land for me. Is the pitch off or is it something else? not sure.

Steven, A.D.

What ken said.

Toby Roktot

One of these days I will have the courage to use a harmonica in a track. Sounds great! More volume and tempo, please. Yeah, things really fall apart for me when you get to the first chorus. Just too slow and mellow for what you're trying to say. I'd love to hear more like this, with everything turned up 50%.

Zack Facco

I was just thinking how impressive it was that nobody went there with this topic. This doesn't work for me. I would certainly have turned it off by 0:45 if I wasn't reviewing. The scratchy quality in both the vocals and guitars are just hard to listen to. I think the lofi setup can work, but then you have to be a lot more restrained IMHO. There's just too much going on at once to work with so much distortion etc. Hope that helps.
User avatar
fluffy
Baboon
Posts: 9855
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:56 am
Instruments: sometimes
Recording Method: Logic Pro X
Submitting as: Sockpuppet
Pronouns: she/they
Location: The Plaidlands (also, Seattle)
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by fluffy » Wed Apr 30, 2014 5:37 pm

foobar93 wrote:Sockpuppet

Have I played this videogame before? Intro sounds extremely familiar. Vocals go wobbly at moments, but there's something cool and dreamy about this. You've got a great concept here, but the lack of resolution drives me crazy. What happened to cause this? What happens next?
That was completely intentional. See my own self-review a little higher up.
foobar93
Tarsier
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:48 pm
Submitting as: Foobar

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by foobar93 » Thu May 01, 2014 12:47 pm

fluffy wrote:
foobar93 wrote:Sockpuppet

Have I played this videogame before? Intro sounds extremely familiar. Vocals go wobbly at moments, but there's something cool and dreamy about this. You've got a great concept here, but the lack of resolution drives me crazy. What happened to cause this? What happens next?
That was completely intentional. See my own self-review a little higher up.
In that case, well done. Thanks for sharing.
foobar93
Tarsier
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:48 pm
Submitting as: Foobar

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by foobar93 » Thu May 01, 2014 12:49 pm

chocolatechips wrote:Foobar - compared to earlier Foobar songs I've heard I think your piano sound has improved and your vocals are improving too. I like the minimalist production on this, I think it works well for this kind of song. Really nice piano playing. Your "strangers, strangers ..." bit kind of reminds me of my own song. possible vote.
When I'm struggling, it's a huge shot in the arm to hear that someone think's I'm improving. Much appreciated. Thanks for listening.
User avatar
Paco Del Stinko
Lemur
Posts: 3210
Joined: Fri Apr 07, 2006 11:20 am
Instruments: Basic rock, at a basic level.
Recording Method: Roland 2480
Submitting as: Paco del Stinko
Location: Massachusetts. God save the Commonwealth!

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by Paco Del Stinko » Thu May 01, 2014 4:23 pm

Thanks for the reviews, peoples. I have been remiss in my duties the past several fights, for various reasons. I shall return.
Ken wrote:Nice. Did you steal my synth line?
Well, they do say to steal from the best. ;)
Foobar wrote:Technical excellence as always. You also always have me waiting for the cringeworthy gross twist. I almost don't want to know. I am sitting here deciding if I should turn it off to avoid the part I can never un-hear. I stuck with it, and I'm honestly not sure if I made the right choice. Makes me wonder what would happen if you used your superpowers for good.
This is an excellent review. I think. Or maybe not. Is it my voice that grosses you out? I didn't think this one had any disgusting lines. Cheap, sure. But not grody! Thanks for the comments.
Bringin' the stink since 2006.
j$
Gorilla
Posts: 5092
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:33 am
Instruments: Bass, keyboards, singin', guitar
Submitting as: Johnny Cashpoint
Location: London, Engerllaaannnddd
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by j$ » Thu May 01, 2014 5:42 pm

foobar93 wrote:J.A.N.

I was rocking along with you until about 0:50 when it got too noisy and confusing. There's just too many things happening at once, and I find it dissonant. By 1:30 I am losing interest. The spoken word vocals (which are admirably clear during the verses) are just kind of monotonous for me. There are parts in here that I like, but the overall effect is a turn off. I was literally about to turn the track off until you got to the quiet reboot around 2:05. But the new build isn't really living up to my hopes - it's just a return to that same texture as before. OK, I really tried hard to finish but I couldn't. Sorry.


Please don't apologise - sad you didn't enjoy the listen, but you have, in my opinion, just justified everything J.A.N. have set out to do, namely have fun and if possible challenge a few pre-conceptions about what constitutes "a song" along the way. I would unilaterally like to point out on behalf of the awesome singer there are are no spoken word parts in this song. Otherwise all I hear is "wah wah wah" ;)
Lester Bangs is still dead.
noma
Tamarin
Posts: 451
Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 12:59 am
Instruments: Guitar, programming, various other stuff
Recording Method: Audacity
Submitting as: Nick Soma

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by noma » Fri May 02, 2014 1:22 am

josh wrote:Some pretty good pop sounds. I like the marimba/xylophone sound in the back. And is that a Mellotron flute?
Yes, indeed it is. I put that song together quickly because there wasn't much time left. To all of you who liked it anyway, thanks. ;)
I didn't have anything specific in mind with that song so I just tried out a fun rhythm I rarely use, which you can hear during the verses.
And yeah, I'm aware of that problem that some of you have pointed out (electronic vs. rock song...) I think it's because I'm equally influenced by rock, folk and electronica and often don't know where I want the song to go. :? I'll work on that.
foobar93
Tarsier
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:48 pm
Submitting as: Foobar

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by foobar93 » Fri May 02, 2014 1:09 pm

Paco Del Stinko wrote:This is an excellent review. I think. Or maybe not. Is it my voice that grosses you out? I didn't think this one had any disgusting lines. Cheap, sure. But not grody! Thanks for the comments.
Maybe gross was too strong a word. I think I'd call your vocal style snarky, which (combined with past experience) has me on edge looking for the sarcastic twist every time. Either way, it's always entertaining. Do you do "serious" music under another pseudonym?
foobar93
Tarsier
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:48 pm
Submitting as: Foobar

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by foobar93 » Fri May 02, 2014 1:10 pm

j$ wrote:Please don't apologise - sad you didn't enjoy the listen, but you have, in my opinion, just justified everything J.A.N. have set out to do, namely have fun and if possible challenge a few pre-conceptions about what constitutes "a song" along the way. I would unilaterally like to point out on behalf of the awesome singer there are are no spoken word parts in this song. Otherwise all I hear is "wah wah wah" ;)
Fair enough. I'm always glad to be part of an experiment, even if it's not my cup of tea. Also, wah wah wah.
User avatar
jlampson
Tarsier
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2013 1:17 pm
Instruments: Guitar, Bass, Vocals
Recording Method: Presonus Studio One
Submitting as: John Lampson
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: They Have The Best Candy (Strangers Reviews)

Post by jlampson » Mon May 05, 2014 1:38 pm

I'll probably speed through these since I've passed the deadline for voting and most of what needs to be said has been said. Here goes.



Berkeley Social Scene
That guitar panned right seems to lose its way once in a while. I love the backing vocal during the chorus. THe little lead guitar thing around 1:15 is practically perfect, although potentially twice as long as it needs to be at this stage in the song. I think there were some comments about the vocals. I think it could have benefitted from being rekeyed a half or even whole step down just to reduce strain. But all that said, I really like this!

The Chadderandom Abyss
It's a little tricky to review something so outside of the zone of traditional song. I can't say things like "the rhythm is off at section A" because there is no rhythm and there is no section A. All I can say is I would bring the vocals up in the mix.

The Chocolate Chips
This sounds wonderful. I would like to be able to see a lyric sheet for this as well. That is my only criticism for this loveliness.

Cookie Blue
The only real criticism I have on this is that the timing between the main vocal and its chameleon don't match up consistently. When you do get them working together, it's dynamite. I really enjoy your stuff and look forward to listening to the next fight.

Cord Smith
Pretty cool acoustic intro! The vocals are buried and that's a shame because they seem to otherwise carry a lot of impact. Very catchy and does a few things here and there to keep the listener guessing.

Foobar
The piano sound is definitely really good. Great lyrics, too. I can't add much other than what's already been said. Very nice!

godescalc
This is, first of all, a really good song. I agree with the comments about making the sections seem more distinguishable. Harder to do with a simple acoustic/vocal performance but I think you are more than up for the challenge.

J.A.N.
Bees are attacking me. Good use of rhythm and effects. The vocal timing doesn't seem to match up very well with this really awesome rhythm, though. A shame since that very much distracts from what sound like good lyrics and I think getting a couple things in order would make this something even I (not an electronica/techno lover) would appreciate and vote for.

John Lampson
The main criticism I've heard is vocal pitch on my submission. I completely agree. In order to meet the deadline, I took 15 minutes just after waking up to record two passes, comp them, add effects, mix, bounce down, and export and e-mail it in. This just goes to show you that planning and warmups and taking your time during all stages of the recording process will pay off.

Klownhole
This would really benefit from some subtractive EQ so the guitars didn't mask your vocal. There's some really cool stuff going on here and I love that it sounds recorded live in one room. Cool breakdown after the halfway point. Overall, not typically something I would vote for, but you do some great things that I think being able to mix separately and facilitate some basic level and EQ would make even better.

Lonbobby
I don't really like this but there are some really good musical elements that you incorporate in here to drive the song along. I do like how around the two-minute mark you put in some sort of descending minor thing for a break but I think a more intentional lead line would serve well in this space.

The Mystery Airship
Right away, I love this song. I don't love the background noise. I can see this developing into something really good. Have you submitted before? I'll be looking for you.

Nick Soma
I like the switch between styles. That pre and chorus section is really good but I think it could use something "more". Not sure yet what the "more" would be. I wasn't expecting a synth solo when you have that sweet, ratty guitar going in the chorus. Cool stuff!

Paco del Stinko
Hand claps, yo! I can't add anything that would help. This rocks.

Ross Durand
I love the concept of this. Tightening up the vocal timing would help it a lot. The sound isn't what I would consider "professional" but it totally fits.

Sockpuppet
I know you received some criticism around the vocal delivery but I think I actually like it because it's the story of you being recalcitrant regarding all these unfamiliar elements. The vocal pitch and timing could use some work but that's really the only thing I can see as being "wrong" with this. I love the synth textures.

someguycallednoel
A nice, intimate opening. I can see some promise here but it does sound unfinished. But then so do some of those snippets off of several Smashing Pumpkins albums, which is what it mostly reminds me of. Someone else said Neil Young but I hear more of a James Iha thing. I like this!

Steven, A.D.
The intro lends a bit of mystery, like "what are we in for?" or something like that. There's a lot of nice arrangement touches where you build into what's to come. I do find that the vocals get buried during the chorus, which is a bummer since that's the strongest part of the song. I like the section after the second chorus a lot. Reminds me of a newer James song. This has some good sections but ends up seeming a bit long. Sometimes a song can be 7 minutes long and every second sounds like it fits. I would suggest working on what makes this song great and lose or modify what doesn't.

Toby Roktot
This is missing some energy. I think the harmonica adds a nice contrast but it's still lacking. Perhaps it's the whispered-sounding vocal or that the rhythm track is buried. I think it's a combination.

Zack Facco
There's a lot of potential here but the guitar, bass, and vocal rhythm all seem slightly out of sync with each other. This would benefit from an actual drum track of some sort. Cool outro solo but it's always tough when there's a solo and a vocal at the same time. I suggest you pick one of these and go with as doing both simultaneously is just going to end up with you working against yourself.
Post Reply