No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

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No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Sincerely,
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Post your lyrics here:

viewtopic.php?t=12565
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

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Songs posted!
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

I know I said I wasn't going to write reviews, but sheesh, everyone else is and it's nice of them and I feel like a slacker not playing along so here we go. My caveats hold, however. You may notice that I wrote a lot more about heine and that's just because I noticed he mentioned what he was hoping to learn in the reviews, so I had some direction.

heine:

I like this, it's got a lot of potential. Here's where I think it could jump the hedge into "great". I know that you know your vocals are a weak point. You put a lot of energy into your delivery, but as I'm sure you're aware, the pitch isn't there. Ways around this: 1) Do a million takes of every line, line by line, until you get one you are happy with. 2) Double-track. 3) Auto-tune. Also, I would add some reverb as that vocal is really dry. Your band sounds just great, and the vocal sounds too - "small" I guess is the term that comes to mind - next to it. It needs to be bigger. Not louder, bigger. Your instincts where to put the harmonies seem right, but you could take it further, such as doing multiple takes of the backup and throwing them far left and right. I also think you could tighten up the lyrics, as there are unnecessary words here or there and words that don't sit right on the tune that weaken the song's power. To me this song is about the groove, and all those words get in the way. Lastly, and I don't know what you can do about this, is that the heaviness and minor key don't lend themselves to lyrics like "that's how the healing starts".

High Vines:

I think in general this works pretty well. I was bugged during the verses, as the only harmonic information we are given the guitar plucking, and the tune isn't clear enough to telegraph any harmony, so during the verses I feel kind of adrift without enough harmonic information. Then when the chorus comes in and you have bass and other stuff to indicate it, everything starts coming together. But this is pretty good, nice job.

Johnny Cashpoint:

This sounds like a demo version of a terrific song. If I were producing the real version of it, I would have the band be more in the groove, so the guitar riff at the opening for example would be dead-on the beat, as would everyone, including the vocal. And I would change up the arrangement at the sort of chorus-y but that ends with the title. And I'd clean up some of the tongue-twister lyrics. Strong contender.

Milwaukee Youth Center Choir:

Wow, I'm not the only oldster coming back to the fold! This is just great. I love the uniqueness of the drum track, and your vocal delivery is top notch. I'll be surprised if this isn't the runaway winner.

The Pannacotta Army:

Really solid. Nothing I would do any different here. This is album-ready. If the above song isn't the winner, it will be this one. Shaker is perfect, guitar solos perfect, vocal delivery is just right, songwriting is right on target.

Pigfarmer Jr:

This chorus needs to be huge. If there were a bunch of attention paid to varying up the sizes of the different sections, I can hear this as a very successful epic kind of last-track-on-the-album thing where the chorus repeats a bunch of times. This song kind of sounds like it's better than you maybe realize it is.

Reve + Ujn:

This really really sounds like a lost track from Pink Floyd's The Wall. I don't have any problem with this song, but I found myself having trouble maintaining attention on it. Not sure what I'd do differently, but man it sounds like The Wall.

The Rogue Fedoras:

I had trouble getting into this because the vocals are not only seriously off key, they are also behind the beat the entire time. The female singer too. Often couldn't tell what the note was even supposed to be. Song just stops like you ran out of time.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by ujnhunter »

Not sure that I'll have time for reviews, but I just wanted to say that all of the songs are really good this week. I'm voting for Milwaukee Youth Center Choir (TV on the Radio?) for sure. ;)
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I Won’t Let You Go reviews

Post by High Vines »

heine:
I really like where the chords go for the 'If you'll keep on loving me' part. I would have liked to hear more of that vibe throughout.

Jim of Seattle:
This is great. I really enjoyed it.

Johnny Cashpoint:
Fun riff. I feel like it just needs to be tightened up.

Milwaukee Youth Center Choir:
What the heck... this rocks so hard.

The Pannacotta Army:
Love this. Reminds me of the kinks.

Pigfarmer Jr:
Most powerful lyrics of the lot for me. Very sad.

Reve + Ujn:
Sounds like it could have been a song that was cut from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Love the tone on that guitar that comes in.

The Rogue Fedoras:
The vocals were too off for me to get into it.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Toby Roktot »

Great cover art !!
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by reve »

Hello, Fight Friends! Thank you all so much for participating this week -- what a fun bunch of tracks!

High Vines
So the vocal performance on this is fantastic. I'd love to try to like, remix this in the vein of early Strokes or something? Seriously, though. If you're interested in sharing your stems maybe Ujn and I could take a crack at it?

Milwaukee YCC
Yeah, like Ujn I can get some TVOR vibes. This is the best vocal of the fight, but -- and this may be my crappy sound system -- the electronic kick drum was kinda overpowering.

Jim of Seattle
I immediately got Steve Reich vibes, and this was reinforced as the vocals came in at the end. I had to flip through some stuff, but I'm thinking "City Life" in particular. Please let me know if you've heard that record or if you were explicitly referencing it!

Panacotta Army
If Dr. John wasn't dead... or... wait. No, if Dr. John was my zombie piano slave, my first order of business would be to have him sing this song.

Pigfarmer the Great
The production here is super slick; certainly the most polished track in the lineup this month. I.e., the only one that made be be like "wait, did songfight end and the player just move on?" FOr me the not-rhyming and then rhyming kinda pulled me outta the mood, though.

Johnny Cashpoint
This is very good. You remain my SongFight hero and the platonic ideal of what we all should be.

heine
That's a great bass tone. My first listen was in the car, but the stereo field really comes through on headphones, and that reverb-heavy snare on the chorus works great!

Rogue Fedoras
I really like the chorus effect you have on the guitar! While the pitch of vocals don't bother me like they did Jim, the timing does kind of detract.

Winner? I'm goin' with High Vines. :D
-- reve mosquito.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Heine »

I Won’t Let You Go - Reviews

It was a very pleasant fight with some really outstanding tunes.

High Vines:
This one is nice! It reminds me of MGMT. Is it an Oboe-Sample? I really like the way you're singing! First I thought it was mixed in mono. Nice idea to open up the stereo panorama when the chorus starts! Well arranged! I'd prefer a cleaner production but this works fine anyway.

Jim of Seattle:
Same concept as last fight (congratulations btw), but more orchestration. Well done.
I have heard your version of Witchita Lineman (amongst others), so I know that you can vary in style. But these more or less jazzy, artful instrumentals really show where you're at!

Johnny Cashpoint:
I really enjoy the bass line. Guitar sounds fine. The key sounds are a little cheap (or psychedelic? reminding me somehow of Pink Floyd's debut) – but that's a matter of taste. I think the drums could use a bit of variation (maybe a straight part?). The lyrics seem to be rather fun. But I can't get quite into the way of vocal delivery – but who am I to criticize?

Milwaukee Youth Center Choir:
I think the drum samples are great and work well. However, most of them seem to sit a bit too prominent in the mix. Great vocal performance! Good production.

The Pannacotta Army:
I instantly get the same vibes as listening to Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime! Nice tune. The banjo fits fine. Well executed!
"Loving you's a one way street but I'm not in the driver's seat!" – Great line! (And yeah, I feel with you ;-).)

Pigfarmer Jr:
A very serious topic. I'm a bit lost for words. Overall, it is a nice country song that I can imagine to be played by Neil Young (in his higher voice register). Compared to last week's entries I think that this one is played a bit sloppier. But I don't mind too much about it, the song itself works fine.

Reve + Ujn:
Wow! This is different. It kept my attention all the way thru. Great soundscape! Now that Jim said it… The Wall comparison is near at hand. But I really like it. The short drum part could have been played more relaxed. (Maybe in some kinda Nick Mason style? ;-))

The Rogue Fedoras:
The backing track is smooth and nice. But both of the vocals seem to sit much too prominent in the mix and they aren't always in sync/in tune with the instruments. I'm not a big fan of Autotune - but why not try?

heine:
I think if there weren't 3 or 4 different choruses it could have been catchier. But it develops lyrically into these "Love will find us in the end"-kinda lyrics (which may seem a bit kitsch-y).
There wasn't a lot time to do this track. And what puzzles me most are the backing vocals. They could have been a lot better. Sometimes it takes a long time for me to realise that some parts could have been played or sung more in tune – am I the only one who doesn't get all the flaws instantly? - But I'll keep on trying...
Thanks to Jim for his detailed review. Yeah, I really wish I could sing like High Vines or MYCC, but I have this rather "thin" but clear voice, especially in the higher registers. So maybe I should try singing with my deeper voice? I tried to use Autotune several times but never liked the results for my songs. Maybe my listening habits are written too deep into my DNA; I'd prefer each Lou Reed-/Dylan- or Gnidrolog-Song over any new stuff without any bit of humanity.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Thanks to everyone for the reviews. I'm heading out of town but might be able to listen to the fight in the car and do some phone reviews.
reve wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 9:26 pm
the not-rhyming and then rhyming kinda pulled me outta the mood, though.
If you have the time, could you pinpoint exactly where you were expecting rhymes? I've had my own issues with rhyme scheme lately and I'd love to know what you were feeling on this one. If not, then I completely understand.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Jim of Seattle »

reve wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 9:26 pm

Jim of Seattle
I immediately got Steve Reich vibes, and this was reinforced as the vocals came in at the end. I had to flip through some stuff, but I'm thinking "City Life" in particular. Please let me know if you've heard that record or if you were explicitly referencing it!
I've been a Reich fan since the 80's. Based on your recommendation I listened to City Life. I've heard most everything by him at some time or other. After a while it all starts sounding the same. City Life actually sounds less like this piece than other stuff by him does. His "Music for a Large Ensemble" is the piece I cut my minimalism teeth on.

I had decided I'd do a minimalism thing for this title, and knew it would end up being Reichy. But I wasn't setting out to mimic him specifically. His sound is embedded in my soul now though. Good on you to pick it out.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by reve »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 8:52 am
Thanks to everyone for the reviews. I'm heading out of town but might be able to listen to the fight in the car and do some phone reviews.
reve wrote:
Wed Dec 13, 2023 9:26 pm
the not-rhyming and then rhyming kinda pulled me outta the mood, though.
If you have the time, could you pinpoint exactly where you were expecting rhymes? I've had my own issues with rhyme scheme lately and I'd love to know what you were feeling on this one. If not, then I completely understand.
Yeah! Listening again, it didn't hit me nearly as much -- I had to listen for what I was talking about. But since you asked, I said "rhyming-not-rhyming," but really "cadence, stress and rhyme" is a more accurate description. I apologize for my poor word choice, and I also apologize as I'm probably not numbering my lines as you did yours. But look at the rhymes, syllables, and stress inflections in lines two and four:

1: First line... lungs
2: STARE at the mach-INE / BREATHE-ing for YOU
3: Cold... falling
4: As I TRY/ not to CRY/ not KNOW-ing whAT To do

Line 2 has nine syllables (with syllables 4 and 5 in quick succession); Line 4 has eleven. You throw in a sub-rhyme (cool), but in doing so you alter where the stress falls... based on that stress pattern, you have a third stress on "know," but then the next stress happens kind of between "what" and "to." You slur it out like a cool singer/songwriter does, and I'm sure it's seamlessly effective for some people. But when the straight-ahead chorus comes in, it threw me.

I recognize this may be an intentional artistic decision -- the whole song is about subverting expectations, after all. But when I get caught up thinking about whether a technical decision is a meta-reference to the song's subject, I'm just thinking about the song and no longer simply lost in the magic, y'know?

Cheers!
- rm
-- reve mosquito.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Oh, that’s great feedback. Thank you.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by the panna cotta army »

Heine wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 8:29 am
The resonator fits fine.
FTFY ;)
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Heine »

the panna cotta army wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2023 8:45 am
Heine wrote:
Thu Dec 14, 2023 8:29 am
The resonator fits fine.
FTFY ;)
Oh! Yeah... I see, um... hear... :)
Thanks for fixin'!
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Quick listen through (I either fell asleep in the car or was too sick to listen while travelling back home to do a deep dive.)

My favorites are Reve+Unj, High Vines and Heine followed by Milwaukee and TPA.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Milwaukee Youth Center Choir return after over 10 years to grab their first win in over 20 years.
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by ujnhunter »

I'll take (tied for) second place to the song I voted for any time. ;) Congrats!
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Re: No key to the handcuffs so (I Won't Let You Go reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Just the other day I was telling someone how I always liked DH's singing vocals on MYCC and Duboce Triangle better than his more famous persona, and then I find out that he did exactly that and won with it. Heck yeah, welcome back to Song Fight!, please continue to be awesome.
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