Mind Taking Some Um.. Dictation? (olvcp reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Bolio
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Mind Taking Some Um.. Dictation? (olvcp reviews)

Post by Bolio »

How high do you plan to go in this company, baby?[/pants]
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Leaf
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Post by Leaf »

Chris Combs:
I don't know if I've heard your stuff yet. Is that a tuba bass line? It sounds like something like that. I like the quirky instrument mix, I am going batty at the tuning...well, lack of tuning. Uggh... this has some promise.. I like the direction of it.. I'm not always partial to sparse music... I'd be totally all over this if the tuning was together... production quality seems ok, but I can't take the tuning anymore!
LISTEN AGAIN? I want to, but I won't.
RECOMMEND? no.

Hostess Mostess:
You sir, can sing and play. Very cool tune. I like the drum pattern, but not the tones...they seem very... dry and uppity..which kinda fits a corporate theme I suppose... reminds me of the police even though it really doesn' t sound like the police, more like McCartney... I like this. I love the "creepy" crunchy guitar sitting in the background like some kind of menacing thought ... this is deadly. CONTENDER.
LISTEN AGAIN? oh yeah.
RECOMMEND? oh yeah.

Huma
I'm not usually partial to slow, +passionate, moody bits.. but I really enjoyed this one. It certainly faded into the background as I'm working away here... which can be a good thing... so I re-started it and give it a more direct listen. It's nice, nice vibe, cool bits. Moody.
LISTEN TO AGAIN? probably
RECOMMEND? I'm not sure... maybe just play it in the background and see what people think.

The Idiot Kings

You love the 80's. At first, I thought this as an intro. Nice soundscape... this makes me feel kinda crazy... it's cool, but I'm not as googoo about it like I feel about your tunes usually.. experimental sounding. Ok.
LISTEN TO AGAIN: maybe
RECOMMEND? maybe, depending on the individual.

Mint Handy

This has a cheesy PBS children's show style to it. Nice singing and playing, stylistically, this one isn't doing it for me. Well done though.
LISTEN TO AGAIN: possibly.
RECOMMEND? probably not.

NO Cash Value:

Another musical number... some cool singing going on here... I wonder if this is Freudian Slip? The emotional zing in this one makes me feel like I'm hanging out in some lounge... I just finished my pasta and the singer is laying on the piano, doing the show... it's ok. This could benefit from a better piano sound.
LISTEN TO AGAIN: Maybe
RECOMMEND? Probably not. I don't know anyone who would groove on this...

Songfight Orchestra:

I'm in jazz school again... bossa! Nice. I need to download the latest compliation set ... I have no idea who this is this week... it certainly gives the next contributor somewhere to go... cool.
LISTEN TO AGAIN? Oh yeah, in the compilation!
RECOMMEND? Check out songfight orchestra!

Tubatoothepaste

Nothing here that 's grabbing me to much. The sound is ok, the tones sound very familiar in a not too intriguing way. This has a campy, theatre vibe to it as well. Seems to be the calling card of this fight.
LISTEN TO AGAIN? Not really.
RECOMMEND? No, sorry.


Well, It's hostess mostess for me by a quadra mile.
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Post by MintyHandy »

Hostess Mostess

+++ Great production value
+++ Strong lyrics and delivery
--- Bridge lost all the intensity and energy
--- The ghostly wailing at the end unsettles me
/// Fun, well put together, I like I like

No Cash Value

--- Vocal stylings too over-the-top for my taste
--- Can't tell if this is two alternating people, or just an odd vocal choice
+++ Reasonably well-arranged musically
/// Moldy coffee cup image won't leave my head -- ew

Minty Handy (me)

/// Sometimes you open your mind and a big ball of cheese comes out
/// My wife's voice is so much better than this song deserves
/// Up with people...having sex in conference rooms

The Idiot Kings

+++ Funny idea
--- Can't really dig the song out of this
/// Couldn't get all the way through it, sorry

Tuba Toothpaste

+++ High production value
--- Chords sound like they were chosen at random
--- Vocalalalal Echohohos
/// Decent, but not cohesive enough to stick

Song Fight Orchestra

/// I like the transition from last weeks' SFO
+++ Unusual but compelling, in a way I can't describe
+++ Good soaring arrangement at the end
--- Oh! Why did it have to stop so soon? Damn you SFO!

Huma

--- My eyelids are drooping five measures in
+++ Viva la office penetration!
+++ Harmonica lifts the spirit of things
--- Far too sparse and empty to carry the intended drama
/// Like James Combs if he is alone and sedated

Chris Combs

+++ Take one? Really? Gutsy.
--- Take one indeed -- and bassist working on a different song
+++ Friendly little harmonies
--- I wish you'd done a few more takes to do it justice
+++ Bedroom action
--- FoOoOoOorm
/// If you like Nesbit's Lime Soda, you might like this

Hostess Mostess walks away with it, though SFO might have had a shot if it had gone on longer.
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Post by Jim of Seattle »

Favorites in blue

Hostess Mostess
This is well-done. I like the arrangement a lot. The tune never quite hits me *right there*, but I think it would after repeated listenings. I think maybe you should have used a very contrasting sound for the chorus. I think your chorus is arranged too similarly to the verse, and that makes the song sound longer than it is. However, the long structure is very nice and feels kind of daring even. Right after that lovely groovy acoustic middle section, right around 2:15 or so when you go back to the main verse, I was ready for a bigger sound. I wish it had grown from that point rather than stay at pretty much the same energy level. But very good job, of course. High marks for just about everything I hear, but marks off for the two halves sounding too much the same, both all the way through, and as each other.

<font color=blue>Huma
For the first 20 seconds or so, I thought this was a crappy amateur song, but then it dawned on me that you were consciously in control of this sound, and I saw the whole thing in a different light from then on. I wonder very much what a whole album of this would sound like. Is this the sound the whole time, or would it have more variety? I wonder what a dozen songs like this would sound like. Very Hope Sandoval. Loverly indeed. Major contender. Doubt I'll hear another song tonight quite like this. I really love your unusual vocal style. Is this Johnny Cashpoint?? A+.</font>

Idiot Kings
Radioheady ain't it? Not quite sure why this doesn't excite me. The Radiohead songs that sound like this don't either, so I guess it's more my personal preference than the quality of your song. It's a noble failure for me. So you get an A with a smiley sticker, but the teacher tosses it as soon as the kids go home.

Chris Combs
At first I thought it was going to be a clever hip Hawaiian parody. After a while, I lost the sense of irony and started to think you were doing it straight, and that caused me to perceive the off-key singing as just off-key rather than tongue-in-cheek. So I don't know if I like it or not but I kind of think I don't.

<font color=blue>Song Fight Orchestra
Wow, I love this one. Is that because it sounds a lot like something I would do? Hmm… I am reminded of myself a lot here. That makes me sound like a conceited jerk. I'm a little embarrassed to say I like this a lot and it sounds like me. They aren't necessarily related. Anyway... I invited the next SFO participant before I heard how much fun it would be to follow up. If I'd known I would have saved it for myself. The understated "just practicing" vocal style is neat. I love how you follow the previous song so seamlessly, and how cool your transition into your own sound was. If I were to be the next week's SFO, I'd repeat that melodic verse. I want to hear it again. Fantastic!</font>

Tuba Toothpaste
I hear your enthusiasm for this song, and that carries me through. As a song I'm not crazy about it, and I don't care a lot for the arrangement, but I hear your sincerity in the vocals, so I don't want to say anything bad about it, and that counts as something you must have done right. Is anyone who knows western Washington reminded of Port Townsend (it's the name of a town, not a musical group)? That's a weird connection, but this song reminds me of Port Townsend for some reason

Minty Handy
I have trouble discerning how much irony you're going for. Somewhere between none at all and nothing but. At one moment I'm reminded of the school teachers on SNL played by Will Farrell, and the next it sounds like you don't really mean it, and at the end I think it's been a put-on but I'm not positive. I want to see what your costumes look like. An exciting three minutes. But I'm not sure I get it. But I'm not sure I don't get it either. I'm also not sure what color the aliens secretly trying to kill me are. Should this paracgraph be blue as a favorite? I'm not sure of that either. Help me someone...

No Cash Value
One of my favorite styles, so I think I'm hearing exactly what you want me to hear. You need a better vocal microphone. That should be your VERY NEXT investment in your music. Also, the vocals are too dry. They need some processing to match the more electric sound of the accompaniment. In this song they stand out strangely. At about 2:00 I got bored with it. Good effort. On the plus side I hear Bacharach and good 70's r&b, so I'm excited to hear more from you, on the minus side I hear a little bit of amateurish musical theatre.

Curse you, Evil Ones, for damning me with the agony of choosing whether to vote between Song Fight Orchestra and Huma. I curse you. I shall smite you ere long for such effrontery. Hello. I sound like a big geek. I'm not, really.
Here's my record label page thingie with stuff about me if you are so interested: https://greenmonkeyrecords.com/jim-of-seattle/
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Post by MintyHandy »

and at the end I think it's been a put-on but I'm not positive.
Tough call, isn't it? I can't say I didn't start with sincerity on the music and chorus, but as soon as I began writing the primary lyrics and arrangement I realized I had initiated an uncontrollable cheese-fest, and decided to run with it instead of starting over.

So is it more successful because you couldn't tell if I was being sincere or not? I say yes, but then I would, wouldn't I? I promise something more seriously musical (instead of seriously like a musical) next time.

Oh, and for what it's worth, I personally visualized us in standard office dress, but with dancing file cabinets behind us...
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Post by Bolio »

leaf wrote:I don't know anyone who would groove on this...
What, do you live on an island or something? :)
Jim of Seattle wrote:On the plus side I hear Bacharach and good 70's r&b, so I'm excited to hear more from you
Right on man. This project is fun, it's nice to have someone else write the lyrics & sing the song (& do a very good job IMO.) More rewarding to focus on arranging & playing backround sometimes. And thanks, Burt Bacharach is one of my heroes [\nerd]

Reviews coming later
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Post by roymond »

Having met my wife through similar violations, its been a blast hearing these songs! Hostess is tops at this point. I will attempt reviews, but no promises.
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Post by shadowdog »

Ok this is hard this week (still getting over the quality tunes from last week) so I will only comment on the up and up since I need to listen to many of these again (most were not to inspiring at first)...

Hostess Mostess -> great
Chris Combs -> kinda cool (starts kinda like Shrek), a little out of tone but works well

verdict -> HM for sure...
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Post by Edge of LA »

Minty Handy: "We're laid off, but at least we're laid." :lol:
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Post by Bolio »

Just told the secretary to HOLD MY CALLS while I do reviews.

Chris Combs – Intro made me think I was listening to Let it Be ‘Two of Us.’ Boy+Eukelele? Nice Hawaiian groove to it, good contrast to the temperature outside. Love the chorus, though the vocal performance is forgettable (the note you hold out is way off.) Doesn’t sound like you had a melody in mind before you recorded the vocals. I like this little bridge, changed it up a little so I’m tapping my toe again.

Hostess Mostess – Great style. Reminiscent of 70’s Simon & Garfunkel (Big Green Pleasure Machine? Completely.) So of course this is automatically a keeper. Love the way you’re doing backround vox, actually there aren’t many individual parts but together they create an amazing picture. Flaunting the guitar on the bridge, awesome production. Neat outro. Very, very well done.

Huma – Empty. Kind of a Radiohead feel to it, love the style with almost whispered vocals. Harmonica break is nice. Second one sounds distorted? But kind of cool in contrast. Intriguing enough that you should definitely keep this track around to work on.

Idiot Kings – Early day WreckdoM flashback. Disjointed parts not coming together as a whole. Well a musical whole at least. Can’t believe this is the same group that did ‘Hold This For Me.’ Bring teh rock back.

Minty Handy – Love this style, can almost hear John Sebastian singing Welcome Back… la la la la la la la Yet I picture you with a piano on stage in some kind of musical. Fun song all around, great performance.

No Cash Value – So don’t come to us for a refund! My stuff can get too thick sometimes, this one is only 6 tracks. Wanted to simplify things. Backround didn’t change much after FS wrote the Lyrics & recorded the vocals. I'm happy with it.

Song Fight Orchestra – Too great of a tune to end so suddenly like this. I could have used 4 full minutes of this awesome style right now. I’d no doubt be voting for this song if it was complete. Blasphemy.

Tuba Toothpaste – Is that annoying sound in the backround intentional? (rhetorical question but you get the picture) I like the synth but it covers up even more interesting things happening on guitar. Not enough to hold my attention.

Mostess deserves this one.
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Post by Ross »

Doing reviews in hope that more will do the same

Tuba toothpaste – Old school sounds (bass, arpeggios)… just saying. Complicated chord change sequence in the verse, but I like how it builds tension. Sounds like you push the edge of your vocal range at melodic peaks. I like your word work – good rhyming couplet (“taboo”). Fairly brief, but good structure (except maybe for the lack of a bridge). I like the high energy/anxiety aspect.

Chris Combs – Reminds me of “Two of Us,” too. Good rhymes in this one, too. Not too fond of the chorus… exact tune three times? Also I find the accent on “policy” distracting. One more take on the lead vocals might have cleared up some notes that are pretty far out of tune. I like the form 21-B line. “Company bed” seems like an odd inclusion. If you’re working with mixing, the fretless bass on far right is quite a bit too far out there and not rich enough in the mix. A lot of good moments, but they didn’t add up for me.

No Cash Value – Why does the vocal move from left to center? Same character? No? Ooh, rhyming “anymore” with “more”? I don’t feel like you’re saying much here. I like that you went for a sexy feel. Personal v. Personnel great play on words. There are a few plusses but it just comes off real campy.

Huma – “Office penetration?” This starts out sounding like a reflective, 3am heartbreak song, but that line blew it for me. Not altogether a bad sound. I am not a reviewer with a genre bias against what everyone is calling boy-and-guitar, in many ways I believe it can be the pinnacle of our art form, as string quartets are often considered for composers of concert hall music. But just as boy-and-guitar (or girl-and-guitar) can reveal the power of song in the absence of beat, volume, and virtuosity, it can also reveal a songs weaknesses. This one didn’t hold for me – hard to say exactly why, I think in some ways it is just a mismatch of content and idiom.

Hostess Mostess – Good phrasing with delayed rhyme. Oh … here we go! Cool chorus. Except for the voice this would have been a great Squeeze song. Excellent arrangement. I like the theremein reference in the second chorus. Acoustic break on bridge is good. Is it kicking in now? Oh, I wanted a stronger kick out of the bridge (which I also think may be a smidge too long). Green – Limousine. Lots of good rhymes in this fight. The last chorus didn’t quite kick it up as far as the song seems to promise. But nice outro – kind of Revoler-ish. Contender.

The Idiot Kings – Ahh, A man and his computer. I like this take – when I considered this topic I was thinking of a man and his internet porn (accessed on a work machine, of course). Your words get overcome by the sounds so I’m not sure if I got the whole story. I am having a struggle with pieces like this and whether I truly consider them “song.” Just a semantic/philosophical sticking point for me. Interesting idea, pretty well done, Open to multiple interpretations. Would be my number two right now based on it’s ability to provoke thought, except for my ambivalence to call it a “song.” …. Ok I’m a geek – I just went to my dictionary (my favorite book). I expect flaming, but…”a brief musical composition written or adapted for singing”…hmm.

Minty Handy – From a 1974 Broadway musical about the work place?? Your wife IS a great singer. There’s even a role for the chorus (mailroom guys?) “Resources” great…more good rhymes in this fight (but, shagfull?) This was totally moving into second until you got to the “Photocopy my ass” part. That dropped the song a couple of notches right there. You took what was pretty clever and made it crass. But it does make me wonder what it would take to get my wife to sing “photocopy my ass” into a microphone J

Song Fight Orchestra – Ahh..finally some techno, I knew something was missing from this fight. In my three weeks I have learned that SFO is not likely to contend, but this is quite compelling…then it ends. Might have been in my top two if it had been completed. As far as SFO you have left a heck of challenge for the next guy trying to create a smooth transition…Curse you red baron!!

SO..I think Hostess takes this with a pack that has Tuba Toothpaste leading Chris Combs and Minty Handy a serious threat but a poor finish.
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Post by nyjm »

really new to all this, but i feel it's important to participate. you should take all this with a grain of salt; i'm at best a part-time amateur.

for this category, it seemed like humor was the flavor of the week, which seems fitting, but i think too many peopple tried to force the title into their song with an ill-fitting melody. kudoos, though, to those who married lyrical and musical humor.

Chris Combs
- interesting little ukelele riff.
- need to tighten up the vocals, especially the harmonies
- chorus melody seems forced
- funny lyrics; made me snicker

Hostess Mostess
- reminds me of another band i can't quite place; kind of an 80's vibe in the vocal melody
- "cupid's buying shares in us" haha!
- again, the "our love violates corporate policy" melody seems forced; it's not very prosodic - just let it go
- well-mixed; nice balance on all the parts

Huma
- nice guitar work, but i would up the vocals in the mix
- ooh, nice harmonica (or whatever it is) line! but what's with the distortion at the end?

The Idiot Kings
- hey! someone else with a computer voice! (c.f. my submission for "me the merciless"; i'm just a sucker for the effect.)
- creepy beginning
- but it doesn't go anywhere; i suppose that could be the point, but i would like more of a build

Minty Handy
- hello 50's du-woop! sounds like it's from "Grease"!
- cute lyrics "we're laid off, but at least we're laid"!
- nice backing vocals/counter harmony

No Cash Value
- same kind of vibe as Minty Handy; is it the piano, maybe?
- nice smokey sound to your voice, but you could explore your range some more, perhaps?
- more clunkiness with the title in the lyrics

Song Fight Orchestra
- only 46 seconds? there's got to be more to this
- good riff, though
- EDIT: so, yeah, i knew there would be a special thing about this; an admirable collaboration effort you've got going. still want to hear more than 46 seconds, but now i understand why it's so short. keep up the good work.

Tubatoothpaste
- cross between They Might Be Giants and Nick Cave
- hey, a good melody with the title
- love the synthesizers; a nice little musical humorous wink
- oh, but i want more! ends too soon.

saving my vote till i can give these a re-listen, but thought i'd share my first impressions.
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Post by Leaf »

So, as I sit here typing various disciplinary action reports into the HR data base, I listen to this fight.. and it just fits the mood of what I 'm doing... Mint Handy, your tune seemed especially funny and was working for me today... I'm still lovin Hostess Mostess, and The Idiot Kings was especially creepy...
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Post by j$ »

Chris Combs - I don't think the 'we're live, us' intro adds anything. Vocal is a bit loud but a pleasant voice you have - the bass is too hard-panned and out-of-tune. really out of tune? Spoiling the song for me I'm afraid. Also I felt the point had been made at about 1.50ish .... that bass is really distracting, and the BVs are a bit messy too ... there's stuff here I like, and the song is a good one, but the various bits and pieces that annoyed stopped me appreciating them too much. Sorry.

Hostess Mostess - I love the first 20 seconds and the stompy beat incredibly. The lyric is passing me by a little and the chorus is a little less appealing than that which preceds it - not that it's bad - it's brilliant as always - great production, well played, just not grabbing me despite the fact there's so much going - I love the girly backing vocals and the acoustic with odd noises break down. It sounds like an indie cover of a song from a musical to me. Hmmmm. Contender, despite my reservations about the over-elaborate chorus ...

Huma - As much as I like the fragility of your voice, I feel like you're right up against the top of your range ... maybe transpose the song down a semitone or three? Or maybe just some heavy heavy reverb on the voice to give it some more width??? Nicely played guitar and I like the harmonica-thing - doesn't really go anywhere for me personally, but I can appreciate it for what it is...

Idiot Kings - Nah, this isn't working for me I'm afraid - maybe I was just expecting a more indie rock thing as before - it sounds like a better produced Hentai kitty Death to me, which is no vote winner for me. Kudos for experimentation though!

Minty Handy - Lovely voices - they wrok very well together. Good mix. Cute lyric. Most obvious and yet clever take ont he title so far. 'we're laid off but at least we're laid' made me giggle. I like the telephone voices. Doesn't outstay its welcome. Good stuff. CONTENDER.

No Cash Value - Very nice. I will quickly list the things I don't like because it's a MUCH shorter list than the things which I do ..... I would drop the drums from the verses and maybe ditch that very easy listening keybaord swell, or swap it for something else. There is something of The Carpenters to this (whom i adore) and I think doing the things I list would really bring the female voice to the fore and the vocal performance is so good.... CONTENDER

SFO - Hah! This makes a perfect follow to NCV. This is great. Though it feels like a 30 second demo of a full song that you get ons ome websites ... CONTENDER

Tuba Toothpaste - great bass synth tone. Vocal is really good, but when you miss the notes occasionally, it's more distracting than some of the lesser singers I have heard ... I dunno why that should be ... anyway, cute tune .... I like!

When it comes down to it, Minty Handy or No Cash Value. Ermmmm, I'll think on that ....
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Minty Handy

Post by Gemini6Ice »

Very clever and very fun. I can totally see this as a musical number in a campy show. I wish it were longer. Right now it has my vote. There are three more songs to listen to, but this amused me so much that I <i>had</i> to leave a comment.
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Re: Minty Handy

Post by Leaf »

Gemini6Ice wrote:Very clever and very fun. I can totally see this as a musical number in a campy show. I wish it were longer. Right now it has my vote. There are three more songs to listen to, but this amused me so much that I <i>had</i> to leave a comment.

and the title is...
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Re: Minty Handy

Post by Gemini6Ice »

Leaf wrote:
Gemini6Ice wrote:Very clever and very fun. I can totally see this as a musical number in a campy show. I wish it were longer. Right now it has my vote. There are three more songs to listen to, but this amused me so much that I <i>had</i> to leave a comment.

and the title is...
And, yes, it does go to Minty, after I listened to everything. I don't quite understand your prompt.?.
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Post by thehipcola »

ahh..don't worry too much about that, it's just part of his first-thing-in-the morning flurry of one line posts. :)

but on a quick reread..your post didn't seem to identify who you were reviewing...
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Bjam
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Duh. :P

Post by Bjam »

Read the subjects.
Songfighter since back in the day.
thehipcola
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Post by thehipcola »

DOH!

I never do that inside a thread...but I guess I should. My bad.

:)
Gemini6Ice
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Post by Gemini6Ice »

TheHipCola wrote:ahh..don't worry too much about that, it's just part of his first-thing-in-the morning flurry of one line posts. :)

but on a quick reread..your post didn't seem to identify who you were reviewing...
Oh, yeah, I suppose the subject line really isn't that prominent on posts. Sorry about that.
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