Monday, February 27, 2012

SpinTunes #4: Round 3 Songs

I actually got to hear the LP this time (thanks to Edric), even if I wasn't in chat. Great work Tom, maybe for the last LP I'll be able to join the chat & listen. ;p

The songs are now available for FREE download, and you can vote for your favorite entries as well. Many of you will be asking friends and family to support you in the popular vote. That's great, but when you do, please ask them to listen to all the songs & vote for their favorites. You can vote for up to 5 different people, so they might as well listen to everyone.

Until the round 4 songs are posted I will only allow people to download the round 3 album as a whole. But even after that, PLEASE download the entire album vs downloading just a handful of songs while the contest is on going. BandCamp limits how many free downloads I can give away, and 1 album download counts the same as 1 song download.

Since 1 person was cut by the deadline, the judges only have to eliminate 9 people this round instead of 10. Good luck everyone.

You can find the album on BandCamp by clicking the image below:

- You can vote for your favorite songs with the poll in the right sidebar. -->

- Popular vote stays open until 11PM on March 2nd.

- Judges & guest judges have until 11PM on March 2nd to hand in their reviews.

- I will try to post the Reviews & Eliminations before 11PM on March 3rd.

- March 4th 1AM (Sun) - Fourth Challenge is announced.

(Graph provided by Edric Haleen)

If anyone wants to make a video for their song, I'll include it here:

Seven Letters by David LeDuc

My Tights by Rebecca Angel

I.O.U. by Common Lisp

Reviews & Links Of Interest For This Round:
(If anyone writes any reviews or song bios please send me the links & I'll link to them here.)

- Edric Haleen posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Jacob Haller posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Common Lisp posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Kevin Savino-Riker posted a Song Bio for his entry.

- Menage A Tune posted a Song Bio for her shadow.

Round 3 LP & Deadline News

13 people managed to turn something in on time, which means that 1 person missed the deadline & has been eliminated. At the time of this posting there are 2 shadows that have been turned in as well.

The listening party will be hosted by Tom, and it starts at 8PM TONIGHT! Like always, we're going by my time, not yours. (counter has been updated for you) Tom will play the songs in the order they were submitted. I hope you decide to stop by, and bring friends. The show officially starts at 8PM, but Tom said he'll have a preshow that starts around 7:30PM (maybe earilier). All songs will be available for FREE listen & download shortly after the LP.

Listening Party Location:

Deadline Eliminations:
Robert Borden

- Judges will now have to eliminate 9 people.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

SpinTunes #4: Round 3 Challenge

Lucky Seven: Choose seven letters of the Roman alphabet. Now write a song using ONLY words that begin with those seven letters. No exceptions will be made for minor parts of speech or vamping at the beginning of the song or the end. When you turn in your song you must identify the seven letters you intended to use. (1:37 minute minimum) (your submission is due February 26th 11:59PM)

- We of course run things by my time...not yours. The link at the top of the blog may be helpful to you when it comes to deadlines throughout this contest.

- The bold part is just the title of the challenge/album. Everything after that is the actual challenge. "Lucky Seven" will be the title of the album & should be included on any submitted album covers.

Submitting Entries:
- Entries must be received by the given deadline. Otherwise it'll be posted as a shadow. Received means that it has to appear in my e-mail inbox by the given deadline. I will be going by the time stamp on the e-mail in my inbox. PLEASE do not wait until the last hour to send me something. If there is a blackout in your area, your computer crashes, or your dog actually eats your thumb drive...I will not care. You are allowed to send in a draft of your song early just in case something horrible happens & you miss the deadline. Then you can add polish to your song & send in a better version closer to the deadline. 1 minute late is still late people.

- Send your file in a format that Bandcamp accepts. (.aiff, .wav or .flac) (at least 16-bit/44.1kHz) You can find the specific requirements for Bandcamp files HERE.

- Name your file the song's title, but without spaces & punctuation.

- Title of the e-mail should be the title of the Challenge & your band's name.

- Include the song lyrics in the body of the e-mail. (If your song doesn't have lyrics...consider yourself eliminated. Instrumentals can be pretty, but SpinTunes does require lyrics.)

- Include information on anyone that needs credited if you collabed with someone.

- If you have a BandCamp account, you can just send me a link to your song on BandCamp if you include all the info I mentioned above. Make sure you have it set as a free download, and have it set so that I don't have to put in an e-mail to download it if you pick this option. THIS IS THE BEST FILE SHARING OPTION!

- Other file sharing options if you need them: YouSendIt, Sound Cloud, Drop Box, RapidShare, ZShare & MediaFire. Please send an e-mail as I already stated, but with the download link if you need one of these services. Please follow directions so your file doesn't wind up in my spam or trash folder accidentally.

Side Notes:
- Good luck everyone. I don't care who wins, but I hope you all have fun & maybe even learn a little something along the way.

- Remember that Dave & Tom have access to my e-mail now. If I'm not available, it's possible that one of them will respond to you.

- Remember that you are allowed to send in a little background about your song. Some people don't like to do that, and you don't have to, but if you want to write a couple sentences about your song I'll post it on the BandCamp page for people to see. Some judges will look at the lyrics & this extra info, but they aren't required to.

- If you didn't sign-up in time to compete in SpinTunes #4, you can still complete the challenge & send in a song. It'll be uploaded with the other entries as a "Shadow Song". Check the FAQ if you don't know what that means. You can even complete past challenges from previous contests.

- If you didn't sign-up you can also do a song for "Single Rainbow Across The Internet". You're song would be played during the LP as well.

- The only other way to get your music played at the LP is to cover "Today's The Day" by Inverse T. Clown.

- Feel free to leave any questions in the comments.

SpinTunes #4 Round 2 Totals

Once again a DQ was discussed, but the judges voted to save the party in question. Peter Coffin didn't finish his reviews by the deadline. If he sends in his reviews late I'll post them, but his rankings will not count this time. I would normally use my scores in his place since I'm the alternate judge, but we have a guest judge this round, so we'll just use her scores in place of Peter's.

Here are the links to your reviews:

Official Judges:
Dr. Lindyke - Donna Schubbe - Denise Hudson - Heather Miller

Guest Judge: Zarni de Wet
Alternate Judge's Review: Spin

You can listen to all the wonderful songs from this round by checking out the free album HERE.

The judges had to eliminate 8 people this time around. If your name is in bold you have unfortunately been eliminated. I really hope you decide to continue in the contest as shadows, and I thank EVERYONE for their hard work this round.

Total Scores: (Dr. L) (Denise) (Donna) (Heather) (Zarni) (Popular)
Brian Gray - 16 - 11 - 21 - 16 - 21 - 19 (104)
Rebecca Angel - 21 - 13 - 15 - 18 - 20 - 15 (102)
Ross Durand - 18 - 19 - 18 - 12 - 13 - 17 (97)
Robert Borden - 12 - 1 - 20 - 17 - 22 - 22 (94)
Governing Dynamics - 13 - 18 - 8 - 20 - 16 - 18 (93)
Edric Haleen - 20 - 21 - 10 - 14 - 17 - 10 (92)
Jacob Haller - 10 - 22 - 9 - 15 - 19 - 16 (91)
Jess Scherer - 17 - 8 - 13 - 22 - 10 - 20 (90)
David LeDuc - 22 - 6 - 22 - 21 - 5 - 7 (83)
Kevin Savino-Riker - 9 - 14 - 11 - 13 - 18 - 11 (76)
Common Lisp - 19 - 20 - 3 - 8 - 11 - 13 (74)
Gold Lion - 15 - 16 - 12 - 11 - 7 - 12 (73)
Steve Durand - 14 - 12 - 7 - 19 - 9 - 5 (66)
The Orion Sound - 5 - 4 - 17 - 4 - 14 - 21 (65)
Hazen Nester - 11 - 15 - 4 - 10 - 12 - 8 (60)
Felix Frost - 8 - 3 - 19 - 7 - 3 - 14 (54)
Noah McLaughlin - 3 - 7 - 5 - 9 - 15 - 2 (41)
Jon Eric - 7 - 10 - 6 - 6 - 6 - 4 (39)
Trader Jack - 2 - 2 - 16 - 3 - 8 - 3 (34)
Caleb Hines - 1 - 17 - 1 - 1 - 4 - 9 (33)
FauX - 6 - 5 - 14 - 5 - 2 - 1 (33)
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 4 - 9 - 2 - 2 - 1 - 6 (24)

Dr. Lindyke:
David LeDuc - 22
Rebecca Angel - 21
Edric Haleen - 20
Common Lisp - 19
Ross Durand - 18
Jess Scherer - 17
Brian Gray - 16
Gold Lion - 15
Steve Durand - 14
Governing Dynamics - 13
Robert Borden - 12
Hazen Nester - 11
Jacob Haller - 10
Kevin Savino-Riker - 9
Felix Frost - 8
Jon Eric - 7
FauX - 6
The Orion Sound - 5
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 4
Noah McLaughlin - 3
Trader Jack - 2
Caleb Hines - 1

Denise Hudson:
Jacob Haller - 22
Edric Haleen - 21
Common Lisp - 20
Ross Durand - 19
Governing Dynamics - 18
Caleb Hines - 17
Gold Lion - 16
Hazen Nester - 15
Kevin Savino-Riker - 14
Rebecca Angel - 13
Steve Durand - 12
Brian Gray - 11
Jon Eric - 10
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 9
Jess Scherer - 8
Noah McLaughlin - 7
David LeDuc - 6
FauX - 5
The Orion Sound - 4
Felix Frost - 3
Trader Jack - 2
Robert Borden - 1

Donna Schubbe:
David LeDuc - 22
Brian Gray - 21
Robert Borden - 20
Felix Frost - 19
Ross Durand - 18
The Orion Sound - 17
Trader Jack - 16
Rebecca Angel - 15
FauX - 14
Jess Scherer - 13
Gold Lion - 12
Kevin Savino-Riker - 11
Edric Haleen - 10
Jacob Haller - 9
Governing Dynamics - 8
Steve Durand - 7
Jon Eric - 6
Noah McLaughlin - 5
Hazen Nester - 4
Common Lisp - 3
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 2
Caleb Hines - 1

Heather Miller:
Jess Scherer - 22
David LeDuc - 21
Governing Dynamics - 20
Steve Durand - 19
Rebecca Angel - 18
Robert Borden - 17
Brian Gray - 16
Jacob Haller - 15
Edric Haleen - 14
Kevin Savino-Riker - 13
Ross Durand - 12
Gold Lion - 11
Hazen Nester - 10
Noah McLaughlin - 9
Common Lisp - 8
Felix Frost - 7
Jon Eric - 6
FauX - 5
The Orion Sound - 4
Trader Jack - 3
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 2
Caleb Hines - 1

Zarni de Wet:
Robert Borden - 22
Brian Gray - 21
Rebecca Angel - 20
Jacob Haller - 19
Kevin Savino-Riker - 18
Edric Haleen - 17
Governing Dynamics - 16
Noah McLaughlin - 15
The Orion Sound - 14
Ross Durand - 13
Hazen Nester - 12
Common Lisp - 11
Jess Scherer - 10
Steve Durand - 9
Trader Jack - 8
Gold Lion - 7
Jon Eric - 6
David LeDuc - 5
Caleb Hines - 4
Felix Frost - 3
FauX - 2
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 1

Popular Vote Totals:
Robert Borden - 226
The Orion Sound - 47
Jess Scherer - 20
Brian Gray - 17
Governing Dynamics - 14
Ross Durand - 13
Jacob Haller - 13
Rebecca Angel - 12
Felix Frost - 12
Common Lisp - 12
Gold Lion - 12
Kevin Savino-Riker - 10
Edric Haleen - 9
Caleb Hines - 6
Hazen Nester - 5
David LeDuc - 5
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 5
Steve Durand - 4
Jon Eric - 3
Trader Jack - 3
Noah McLaughlin - 2
FauX - 2
(452 votes in R2)

Popular Vote Scores:
Robert Borden - 22
The Orion Sound - 21
Jess Scherer - 20
Brian Gray - 19
Governing Dynamics - 18
Ross Durand - 17
Jacob Haller - 16
Rebecca Angel - 15
Felix Frost - 14
Common Lisp - 13
Gold Lion - 12
Kevin Savino-Riker - 11
Edric Haleen - 10
Caleb Hines - 9
Hazen Nester - 8
David LeDuc - 7
The Boffo Yux Dudes - 6
Steve Durand - 5
Jon Eric - 4
Trader Jack - 3
Noah McLaughlin - 2
FauX - 1

SpinTunes #4 Round 2 Review: Zarni de Wet

Zarni is a talented musician who made it to the finals of SpinTunes 2. She graduated with a double major in Songwriting and Music Education from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. You can find out more about Zarni by visiting her website: Just so you can put a face with the name, here's a video of her singing one of her original songs live.

*You might want to thank her for doing reviews, especially since we had a regular judge drop the ball this round.*

- Spin

Robert Borden - Julia
Your voice is SO SO great to listen to. Seriously beautiful voice. I had to look you up to see what else you were up to musically and you are great. This song is really well written and I loved all the references. You clearly put a lot of time into this and I must say it is one of the most polished choruses I have heard in this contest. Great production as well and the musical elements all really worked well with the message. A production note…The counter melody played by (I couldn't really tell) recorder or midi organ or whatever it was…I felt that was a bit loud for the production. I would've MUCH rather heard the background vocals more.

Brian Gray - Man Crush
Great job! This was so funny and enjoyable to listen to. You've got some really really witty lyrics in there that not only create a clear picture of the character but are just really entertaining. The chorus is catchy- I'm going to be singing If I were gayyyyyy all day long! I was expecting some kind of rhyme for Crush, but after hearing the chorus a few times it didn't really matter to me that it didn't rhyme. Good writing and great creativity! Nice piano work too in the production. Worked really well with this song!

Rebecca Angel - Insignificant You
Your voice is beautiful and so very enchanting. I really loved that jazzy arrangement too. Really nice melody in this song and nice chord accompaniment. You clearly have a good sense of what works in the jazz style. You didn't do too much on the was just enough. Maybe there could have been more of a melodic emphasis (or more of a rhythmic change) on Insignificant You just to make it stand out more.

Jacob Haller - From Your Neighbors
Well…I just laughed that entire song through. I think writing a funny song is one of the hardest things to do and I think you have done it extremely well. It doesn't seem like you were trying too hard. Its just genuine and people can relate and I think THAT is what makes a good funny song. Despite the funny topic, in all seriousness I think it's well written. Great way to describe an entire apartment building including the barbecues and the kids asking questions. It's very real life and I think you honed in on exactly the right things. It's entertaining and doesn't drag on too long. Only one tiny suggestion…The last two lines of the chorus don't resolve as nicely as they could. Take any of those funny songs, the last night of the chorus is 'supposed' to melodically feel complete. The line "But these walls are thin…" has new chords and a higher melody and almost sounds like it's going into a second chorus. When the chorus then ends, it's disappointing. I would say stick with the simple IV V I chords and a simple melody that finishes. More like how you end the entire song. I hope that makes sense because I think the song is great and frankly..People would enjoy it live.

Kevin Savino-Riker - Got Away
Wow beautiful guitar. Absolutely loved that. It was really refreshing to hear some really well played instrument not covered by other production elements. Great harmonies on here too! I loved the phrasing and lyrics. My only comment is that I would've liked a clearer sense of form and a clearer sense of exactly where and what the chorus is. The harmonies and melody are really nice on "one that got away" I just wish that it was in a more consistent place so that I as the listener could expect the chorus, get the chorus and be satisfied. After a first listen this seems more through-composed and I'm not sure if thats what you intended. It's great to listen to though luckily so it doesn't matter too much, this is just me being picky about form

Edric Haleen - To My Significant Self
Your voice is beautiful. I so wanted this to be a musical theater piece. I love that it starts out a cappella (lots of prosody there….Prosody is the marriage between lyrics and music)

I loved the melody and you have great phrasing. The verses feel complete and natural and your rhymes are satisfying, not too predictable and sometimes creative. For instance, I love that you rhymed with ValenTINE in stead of Day. It just makes the phrases more interesting and not so back heavy. And besides, day doesn't have that many cool rhymes. It makes the fact that it is a cappella not matter as much because the phrases have momentum. Bravo on doing something brave and different!

Governing Dynamics- I Shouldn't Blame You
This song makes a great first impression with the production and your voice is enjoyable and easy to listen to. When I started listening, I felt like…Wow this song is going to have a nice sense of form (verses, chorus etc) but as the song developed, I found that I wasn’t really sure where the chorus was. There are great lyrics in here and it really paints a picture. I don’t know if you were going for something Rock/Pop commercial, but I was craving some more repetition. Maybe it would be useful to go through the lyrics and eliminate some of the unnecessary lines. I bet you there are a few that don’t necessarily add to the story but are just reiterating something you’ve already said. If the Oh Heather part is your chorus (which would be awesome), it could maybe benefit from having a higher vocal melody line and less lines. For instance Left alone theres a part of me that saves up self minted currency is SO cool and unique. I don’ know if you really need Unspoken Thoughts, untested words, discarded dangerous things…It’s sort of implied. I also felt the production was just a tad bit too heavy at times

Noah McLaughlin - Hey Joe
Ha! Great idea to write about and I can definitely relate to this. There were some inconsistencies in the melody that I would've like to see a bit more organized just to have a clearer sense of form and 'catchiness'. I love the production change in the bridge…That really works well for this part with the lyrics and it accomplishes what I think you intended. The drums were a bit loud in the mix but I am certainly no mixing master. Lastly, really liked the creative rhymes in the last verse

The Orion Sound - Valentines Stalker Song
Nice! I was really into it the whole time. The verses are SO cleverly constructed and definitely make you smirk the entire time. You used the production, the melody, the chords and the lyrics really well to create a character. I also don't know if you intended to do this but this is sort of a play off of every popular song on the Top 40 charts (the form and the silly things they sometimes do) and I think that worked really well for the light hearted, tongue in cheek attitude of this song. Good goin! The only thing I would say…it struck me every time you said "Valentines"…I'm not sure whether it was the way you were pronouncing the word or having to stretch the word out over the chords but it sounded a bit unnatural and I think there were other ways to go about making that first line of the chorus really pop and more catchy!

Ross Durand - Space Opera Valentine (For Leia)
Great job…I think this song has a lot of strong elements- Great progression, melody, production, phrasing and lyrics. I think it is well crafted and the feeling of satisfaction after "space opera valentine" really felt like a good pay off. That tells me that you wrote everything leading up to that line really well. The parts of the song work together well. My only problem with this (and maybe I'm thick) I'm not just not really sure what the Space Opera Valentine is that you're talking about. There weren't enough allusions in the lyrics to make it clear and thats the only thing I would've wanted slightly different other than that good job! (6.7)

Hazen Nester - Precious Little Life
Catchy song and a quality production! This is an enjoyable song to listen to and its sort of reminiscent of the old hit songs. I only have one minor adjustment to the chorus that I think will add to the momentum so that the catch phrase, precious little life will stand out more. The first two lines of the chorus are catchy, memorable and have a great natural flow to them. The repetition of the melody in the second two lines (“I need you in my world” etc) is nice but the word “regardless” kind of slows it down. The entire cuplet:
Regardless if I have to go and fight

Armies to make you mine

'Cause now I'm bored with my precious little life

doesn't have as much pizzazz as it could. Say the sentence "Regardless if I have to go and fight armies to make you make", over the cool rhythm you've got going on. I don't know about you but that seems a bit awkward to me compared to the first two lines that feel natural. You kind of had to squeeze "Armies" in there to make it work. I would just suggest finding a simpler way to say that same thing…Maybe start by a substituting the word "regardless" and then taking out some useless filler words.. (have or and etc). Thats just a suggestion! I felt the chorus could pop a bit more otherwise it was great! Good job. Loved that you used amicably too…I felt that was a pretty appropriate thing for the character in this song to say.

Common Lisp - A Brother's Valentine
This gave me a good laugh and I enjoyed the whole idea about the bromance. I felt some of the phrases were unnatural because emphasis was placed on unusual parts of the words. I think it’s important to preserve the natural shape of language so that it does not distract the ear. I love that you did a rap for this project and there were so many clever lines. Try to change up a few of the rhythms in the rap to add some spice!

Jess Scherer - Carbonated Love
You have a nice voice and this is a cute production for the song…I think it works well for it. I also think you went a really creative route for this song and I commend you for that! Some of the phrasing bothered me a bit (sometimes I wanted you to start singing earlier than you did, or somethings I wanted you to pause longer) and I felt that the melody and the chords before the chorus could have built up a bit more in order to say "the chorus is coming!"

The allusions to soda (fizzes into a thousand tiny parts) were really creative and enjoyable to listen to!

Steve Durand - The Woman Of My Dreams
Great production and well written song. It's really easy to listen to and the phrasing is natural so the lyrics have a nice flow to them over the music. The only thing I would say is that I wish we discovered Sister Agnes earlier in the song and then some more details about her would have brought the comedic element out a lot which is what I was assuming you were going for

Trader Jack - You Can Be My Joey Ramone
Great production and feel for the song…It's catchy and it reminds me of a lot of those old rock tunes. Frankly I didn't know who Corin Tucker was so this was slightly over my head but I praise you for the cool references and the creativity

Gold Lion - I Love My Dog
This song is really cute and I thought the imagery you used was great. Nice voice and good production. You maybe could've done a bit more in terms of making sure the song was sticking to the assignment. It might have been funny to incorporate Valentines day and what you and your dog do on Valentines day or something. Just saying

Jon Eric - Friday February 13th
I like the shape of the melody…There were some pitch problems so I’m wondering if it was slightly out of your range. The progression is really nice and with that nice melody over it, it makes for enjoyable listening. I appreciate the sparse arrangement for this song. Your voice reminds me of Ben folds at times…I hope that’s a compliment! The bridge is an interesting change and it is satisfying when you return to your original melody in your last verse.

David LeDuc - 3rd Grade Valentine
Great production and your voice sounds really nice. I'm torn about this song because melodically and musically speaking I think it's really strong. I also like the idea of the 3rd grade Valentine and all the options one has to explore with that. I feel, however, like these two elements (music + lyric) did not compliment each other very well in the song. It was almost as if the music was too good to be about "chipping my teeth, you bastard". I'm not saying you had to go totally 3rd grade and playful on the production… Even heavy rock or heavy metal (something totally opposite) would have brought the tongue and cheek, comedic element out of the music. I wasn't sure whether it was a serious topic or whether you felt tongue and cheek about it. I would LOVE to hear this melody, your voice, the production and chord progression set underneath subject matter that you really want to write about (perhaps a side project after Spintunes is done). You completed the assignment very well, it just may have needed a different musical/production treatment

Caleb Hines - To The Administrator Of Extraplanetary Research
I'm not sure how to comment on this. I applaud you for doing something creative and for the sophisticated use of language…it was even somewhat satirical which I appreciate and you obviously put a lot of time into constructing this piece of writing pertaining to Valentines day. I haven't heard any of your other songs so I don't know how unusual this is for you. In terms of musical critiques….no comment.

Wait What - She Just Wouldn't Understand
Lots of creative ideas and cool tongue in cheek ideas in this! The production could have been a bit stronger- maybe some bass or guitar to just keep the chords going. It sounds a bit empty with just drums and synth in the background

Felix Frost - Amber Avalanche
Really interesting…Definitely a creative piece. I had a hard time hearing a lot of the words because of the heavy production and some of the vocal effects. Im all about time signature changes but there is a bit much going on. There are frequent (too frequent to get into each one) time changes and then on top of that, wordy and unconventional lyrics. This entire combination makes it extremely difficult to follow the song. If you are going for lyrical clarity, this maybe needs to consolidation. If you were going for an interesting musical exploration for the ears…You got that!

FauX - Back Down To You
I love that you wrote about Mother Earth. I totally feel all those things too! I thought the production was solid, the lyrics, the form, phrasing and basically all other elements. I didn't however feel like this was as true to this assignment as some of the other songs. Had you addressed Mother Earth in some Valentines day setting with some allusions of V-Day that might have worked more for this assignment

The Boffo Yux Dudes - A letter To Bernie
Creative idea! This is definitely different than what a lot of the other contestants did. The speaking parts, in my opinion are the most solid and entertaining! It was hard to distinguish what the melody was in the singing parts when the harmonies were there. I would've liked to hear the vocals/harmonies a bit more in tune

Emperor Gum - <3 Shadow
Great rock production. The guitars sound really full and the drums sound good too. I wanted the main vocals to be a lot louder! Unfortunately I did NOT know who Scott Pilgrim was so the song did not make very much sense. It was however pretty well written with a clear sense of form.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - Be My Valentine
This mix is interesting because it starts pretty low then gets really in your face. I don't necessarily mind the inconsistency…it's just rare. I wasn't sure where the chorus was because there are quite a few similar sounding melodies. If you were wanting a catchy chorus, more repetition is necessary. Also, don't be afraid to lay back on the production. Sometimes less is more. Also at the end of the song I heard some out of tune things that were bothering me…Maybe discrepancy between chords and vocal melody? I couldn't tell because there was so much going on

Drei Viertel Drei - Goodbye
I would've loved to have a clearer sense of what the main melody was in the beginning. The mix with the background harmonies was a bit off and some of them were out of tune so it was difficult to follow and get into musically. Also, the phrasing is disjunct so thoughts are broken up…in other words…Sentences aren't preserved in their natural form so by the time you finish the sentence, the ear has already forgotten what the beginning of the sentence was. This could make songs feel a lot long than they actually are and could make lyrics really hard to understand unless the listener is following along with the lyrics

Menage A Tune - My Best Friend
It's nice that you wrote a song about best friends… Im surprised more people didn't do this. Try adding a noise gate to the vocal track on Garage band to avoid hearing all the little vocal/mouth noises that you can hear before you start singing. It took me the longest time to figure that out and Im still trying to master it. I liked the piano part..I wish that was a bit higher in the mix too. The form of this song was pretty clear and I liked the fact that the verses built up to that last phrase "You're my best friend". It made it sound polished and clear

Menage A Tune - Fractal Choice
Nice play on Robert Frost. Some of the melodies in here are nice however some of the vocal parts are out of tune and the voice sometimes doesn't sync up with the background instruments or the background harmonies. The production was creating kind of a cool ambient dark setting. I didn't think the "flip a coin, make a choice"part fit well with this mood

Rosalind - My Favorite Time Of The Week
Creative topic! I thought that was clever and Im glad you did something different. Make sure that the voice is more in sync with the piano. I'm not sure how this was recorded, but I think it's important that the voice sounds like it goes with the piano. There isn't really a sense of consistent rhythm in this song…it sort of lacks a heartbeat. I would suggest playing along to a drum loop (much more fun than a metronome) to just get that sense of pulse. It is difficult for the ear to follow along if that is lacking

Spintunes #4 Round 2 Review: Denise Hudson

Jacob Haller - From Your Neighbors
This is the quintessential valentines song for this round. It was part of the reason my reviews were late as part of a top five that I flipped around several times. I'm using it as the introduction to my reviews. I want everyone to read it. Because it's about sex and also about couple-hood and community and togetherness and maybe about the flipside of Valentine's Day … which is that it is so HARD to concentrate on intimacy and togetherness because guess what

…WE can hear YOU fu

…and that is the essence of valentine's day, for me. Is love more valid just because it's making lots of noise? Or is a tasteful statement of concern which makes no sound but slams point home just as, or more, effective? What's the best kind of valentine's card. What really sums up the whole concept of Love, of this Day. What made me Feel it. This was what it came down to. And for me, this really did it in the most satisfying way because well … just look around. It doesn't even have to BE Valentines day. No, sir … and no ma'am. Every single day …

We can hear you...

1. Anyway … my husband and I, at least, could literally make this our theme song, and sing it once a day to people that post things on our Facebook Feeds, or on Google+, or just anywhere. We are surrounded and alienated by LOTS of data about peoples PERSONAL LIVES - and on this valentine's day … your extremely well mixed song pulled me out of a day I'd gotten kind of down. There wasn't too much extraneous noise, I had to get real picky to notice it. None of the soloistic instruments detracted in the least. Everything was well layered and didn't detract from the message.
2. I had cried over a couple of entries and a couple posts on a couple walls had made me feel all freaky. It was one of those days. I did not want to know anymore, I did not want to hear anymore, I wanted privacy and I just wanted a little bit of class and I just wanted to imagine myself going up to my proverbial 'neighbor's' door, tired of all the TMI all up in my face to say, "hey amigo

…we can hear you …"
3. A simple country instrumentation that was well stated and non distracting. An endearing voice that I could imagine a nicely throated neighbor from my part of town playing at the local bar. I would tip you generously. I'd come to all your gigs. This review is long.
4. Also, there are times and places for cussing. I noticed you asked about whether or not, and then lobbed a well placed expletive right where it needed to be to really illustrate a nice crass situation. Because really, what more is there to say of the Elephant in the room other than …we can hear it …{annnnnnnyway ….}

Edric Haleen - To My Significant Self
1. I never know what to do with you. I am really glad that I did not know that you made a Card before I heard the song, because I would have spent the whole song trying to figure out the Angle of the thing. This time, I took you at face value and experienced the whole song knowing nothing about it and just being surprised as it unfolded.
2. This was a beautiful song and it made me cry. I don't know what it meant to you or if it was just a skillful filling of a challenge; but it meant something to me in the same way that the Happiness Board that you have means something to me and gets me a little choked up - because the small bastion of a tiny happyhope against crushing Lonely or Despair or a brave voice in a room of Alone is a tear bringing thing.
3. Well atmosphere-d vocal and perfectly performed. Quite a lot of gumption going for such a long statement. You actually could have made it shorter and it wouldn't have hurt your message at all. I don't know what that would have done to the rhythm of the poem though - it may have changed the entirety of it.

In closing, you pull this off in pro fashion for sure and like you said, to a T. But that's not really the point of it, for me. And certainly not why you rank so highly. Bravo.

Common Lisp - A Brother's Valentine
1. Oh snap.
2. Your bass line is sicker than five babies at once during flu season. Nice job on the screams.
3. Your chorus is hilarious and well layered… oh .. wait a minute. What's that I hear? …oh gee. Paul is singing. Wow. That sounds FANTASTIC. meticulous production suits you and your decisions are on. I'm not saying you didn't produce meticulously last time, or that there is not more than one way to do things.
4. Perhaps you have inaugurated a new genre. It's almost like if they were to ever allow rap on NPR in any serious way (now I'm talking the ethic of your content, really) … Like … All Rap Considered. 'This American Rapplife' … Prairie Rap Companion … hell - maybe I'm not even being droll. I know you were thuggin' up your polly-tikki and bustin the tude,' yo - But the Liberal Elite Posse could get down wid yo shizznit.
5. In all seriousness, the best thing about this is actually not that you scored *A* song, but that you ARE scor-ING with your total MUSIC and personal style. Thusly, you are developing music-wise, and personality-wise, as an artist. Well done, indeed.
6. I think this all proves a point I didn't feel comfortable saying last round in response to your annoyance over the reviews - which was that it DOES matter how you present a work. If you deeply care about your vision, you have to put yourself into the shoes of your audience and think of how things are going to come across. If you disdain an audience (of many or of few) because you feel they lack the capacity to "get" your work they will hear that and they will not thank you. Showing that you care enough to couch your acerbic message in production allows you to say what you want. You get your point across. So, because you used the dark side of the force, but you seduced with it; perhaps you will score a valentine with this one.

Ross Durand - Space Opera Valentine (For Leia)
1. I can see the cutest video for this. Perhaps in cartoon. When I start seeing people in my own little cartoon videos they have succeeded in amusing me.
2. This tune wasn't in my top seven originally, even. You are just so good at this you really can't be not put in a top 3-5 at this point. Your songwriting just really can't be argued with. Watch nit-picky production things and nail risk taking and you will win each and every time because you are one of those rare lucky people who is close to flawless (dammit :) … no. I'm not REALLY jealous … :)).
3. Your vocal is really well done. There are some cheesy bits, but it's a cheesy idea, and a cheesy song, and you deliver and nail every line into precisely the right place and the hits keep coming.
4. Putting 'I've got a really bad feeling about thiiiiiiissss….' right there was pretty damn money.
5. Really good strings and really great stops.
6. I don't really have a lot else to say about this except endearing, tight songwriting, that got the job done-stuff. I'd also like to mention that it has crawled up a bit in the ranks too because we are living in an AWFULLY meme-y time right now and your treatment of this subject felt sorta Old-School for lack of a better way to put it … remindeding me of watching 'Empire Strikes Back' as a kid before all this insanity began. Can't beat that, really… {smile}

Governing Dynamics I Shouldn't Blame You
1. I am hoping that this making me cry at the listening party wasn't situational. You suck for making me question my motives! You have bounced up and only slightly down in reviews, and were once in first. You're killing me here.
2. Your guitar is a real accompanying instrument and takes second place to your lyric and your voice and your message. Congratulations, you have written a song and not a long twisty Pole of Guitar Philosophy that my Brain has to undulate around in order to keep its musical license. The lovelorn emo girly thing in me who wants to listen over and over to a tune I can rewind over and over thanks you.
3. This vocal is earnest and cute and special and strong and vibrato-y and one of your best.
4. And this is at least your second best song. Crushy kids everywhere besides me will connect to this genuine-ness of yours. And you're cool without the hipster pretension. It's refreshing and rare, really.
5. This had structure and development and even though it was specific and included 'our famous name' ;) … had universal Hit Appeal, I think - with a catchy hook …on a personal note, from me to you, this was also damn ballsy. So one thing I do know, is that the mojo from your situation made it have that … something … that a good song needs. And I think - you can hear that stuff.

This is pretty suave, man ...

If you don't get a marriage proposal or at least something Sorta Smoochy-ish out of this I'm going to die. Of course, this is none of my business. What is this?? As The World Turns??? {voyeuristic grin…}

Caleb Hines - To The Administrator Of Extra Planetary Research
1. The delivery of this is just so well done, so much so that I feel questioning whether or not this is a "song" is not a matter of Illogic-being-the-issue … it's about whether or not this was Fun and felt like Music in a Songwriting Millieu. And it did, Songs-y Meat between two slices of Sesame-Seed-Fun.
2. Speaking of sandwiches, the layering of this is just expert. I had some idea that you had a just barely tapped deeper singing voice that you have sorta just started scooping into; but now I know it because you have this AMAZING speaking voice.
3. This was so creative!!! Reminded me a bit of Sammy's rant, except … calmer. Muuuuuuuucccch caaaallllllmmmmer. And the writing was really amusing and kept me entertained. Your delivery was precious.
4. Taking that really important note out of the scale during the passage about Cupid and lowering it stepwise was really effective and kind of added to your poor character's confusion. I wanted to send him nice tasty candy presents. You know …to aid in his further research.
5. This was delightful and I am tickled green! {kind of like a Vulcan. But from Xondor.}

Gold Lion - I Love My Dog
1. This mix has a really nice balance. Really nice feel. This could be in a dog movie.
2. There is no question as to whether or not there is any hidden cynicism in this song because it might be too cute or saccharine or over the top or that it has any strong emotion other than bedroom slippers and a kind of hot-cocoa feel. It just kinda made me want to go out and get a dog.
3. Your vocal was perfect for this. Toned down a little bit from last time and still raw and rough in the mix. Matching your guitar and all in the same environment. Panned really well. Perfect for your age somehow making you sound mature, pro, pop, and alternative at the same time.
4. Good structure and good stops. Perfect length. Just can't really think of anything bad to say and even to improve recording quality would cheapen this, really.
5. Really, this is one of the songs I'm most pleased with this round. Well done indeed, ma'am.

Hazen Nester - (Bored With My) Precious Little Life
1. Your vocal is well treated and this is REALLY well mixed. Your style is amazingly presented. Listening to your old things for comparison idly a couple days ago - you have REALLY developed.
2. The song itself is kicky, cute, and catchy. It could go (once again), into one of these movies that are popular nowadays with the 20-somethings. Specifically a movie about unrequited young yearning … oh now, he's thinking about me after all, all whilst I pine for him. You have that cute-nerdy-guy voice and nerds are The Thing now so you go Ride That Wave all the way to China, my dear!
3. The wedding march motif was cute and a clever way to end the song.
4. Your hooks are reliably Beatle-ian. Of course, I've never heard about a hook being a bad thing in a song contest. :)
5. I want to hear you do something that busts you open because you are doing so well I want you to keep growing out. I think I am saying this because of the subject matter of the song. I want to hear what happens when you ruin the existing relationship, take this chance, and get with this girl. I want to hear the Hazen Nester treatment of THAT song too. Would it do the same Beatle Space Pop or go Sweet Horror like Round One where you controlled us with Preciously Hideous Theatrics? Or would you break apart and would we fall in love with you? Who knows these things?

Kevin Savino-Riker - Got Away
1. You are channeling Alanis. You are varying your rhythms and there's something about your style that is sticking.
2. This sounds mature and confident. Maybe I'm just getting used to your style or your way of doing things and it's growing on me. I don't know. Hmm. Maybe it's your chorus-y harmonies and the singsongyness of it. Your phraseology is coming off.
3. Your guitar sounds just lush and beautiful and I love the line about "insides…costumes at Mardi Gras…" for some reason this tempo and mix reframes the cheese factor that honestly gets at me about you into something yummy and it's all fine and dandy. Maybe I've just had an attitude adjustment. Geez. Am thrilling to your poetry a little - sexy and undulating within the percussion just the right way.
4. All this lets YOU get away with a song that goes on just a tad too long. You're a meanderer. But when you put all this interesting TEXTURE into things and get FLASH like that …

… well then you can do what you LIKE to draw things out, can't you?

Rebecca Angel Insignificant You
1. Great vocal with amazing vibrato. Sometimes it distracts from the lyrics because it is stylistically variable. Different textures seem to pop up as you switch from register to register. This is kind of a picky thing though ... and this isn't a singing contest anyway, so …
2. This song is very cute and catchy without going over the top and retaining a lot of jazzy class. Your play on the title and challenge is great.
3. Production needs even more tightening. Like the pop in the mic during "PPPersue … me" and the reverb faerie spreading love and glee indiscriminately all over your track.
4. I wanted more arc in the piano solo. Some of it was tripping over itself and the accompaniment felt as though it was not quite connecting with the melody. I wanted the solo line to have a phrase shape which did justice to your catchy melody, and for the left hand to support it more adequately. I also wanted your piano sample to be a little bit more round - less bleedy and also less synth soundy in the middle registers. Piano sounded even better than last time though.
5. With more flawless production you could maybe leverage your presentation into "hit." I can see you managing this fairly well.

This is all really nitpicky stuff. It was a really good listening experience for me. Great job! :)

Steve Durand - The Woman Of My Dreams
1. You brought the nun back. This was win.
2. That keys part was mixed in a questionable way. It's so cool though I really wanted to overlook it.
3. The rhythm of the lyrics of this was really AbAb and STRONG slow dance 1234. You are lucky that the horn parts served it well because it forced you to do things like sing phrases Always BEEEEE th wmMAN uv my DREEEEEEEEEMS (2, 3, 4) … fortunately this fits your cinematic voice. I feel like I'm in a world of carnival fantasy and cannot figure it out in the least. This is fine.
4. Oddly, the horns are kind of low in relation to other things about the mix.
5. If you write about Sister Mary Agnes for the whole contest I am tempted to put you through the whole way just to see what you do. Like legitimately vote-through. You're spinning a good yarn, and you can really tell a story.
6. As a songwriter, you are really just such a compelling fellow.

Bryan Gray - Man Crush
1. I don't often wish to be a man because I like being a woman, but I've got a complicated girl friendship with a complicated Human who is complicated and when I heard the phrase "we've got mantivities to do" I thought of her and I wanted to dedicate the song to my Man-crush who is her. When you get a pocket song with such universal appeal like that you know you have a good songwriter. Thank you for allowing me to take up #1 with my schmoopy personal vignette.
2. This is another heavily reverb-ed song and your piano is a bit sloppy, with some loud bits in there. In fact, I really would remix this whole thing with a different set of instruments.
3. The line "caught in a mad bromance" was one of the best lines of the contest.
4. Your last bit of the chorus is a little awkward, but sheesh, so is the song and it just really needs to stop there so you can get to the stalker verse.
5. This would have scored a LOT higher with tighter production. Such clever lyrics and good singing. You have a nice voice.
6. Also, "jerkball" is damn funny. ………. I'm all over that.

Jon Eric - Friday February 13th
1. Vocal was endearing and strong even when wavery. I liked some of the bluesy figurations you used. It suited your lyrics well and helped a lead sing that you didn't nail quite as well as you did on the last round.
2. This song grew on me with subsequent listens, as did your vocal. This was not true of your last round song, which took hold immediately and stuck because it was catchy and the vocal was undisputedly slam dunked in my opinion.
3. You really benefit from a bit more up-tempo and flash, or if not that - accompaniments which sustain or provide a running pattern in absence of a quicker tempo to bolster you up. Slower tempos leave open spaces for long held exposed notes.
4. Clever lyrics as usual. Perhaps too clever? When the tempo stayed the same alongside a texture which did not vary much I felt that the lyrics were really hard to interface with.
5. Still, the piano IS consistent and its tone has a clarity and urgency even though the feel could have stood a few clicks beyond jr. high dance tempo. Maybe that wasn't your goal though. Feeling awkward and thirteen ultimately is appropriate to the subject matter … that we DO know and so a pass could possibly be give both to the tempo I've gone ON about, and to a few awkward vocal moments that you manage to stretch to a youthful sounding endearing ambiance. So, setting a tone works for you - hopefully enough to get you through.

I can't share your sentiment though. I never hope they're happy later. I probably should invest in some Personal Growth of some kind.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - 'A Letter To Bernie'
1. Good mixing with a nice touch and a clear vocal.
2. Larger than life, hall of mirrors, stretchy cartoon plot made me feel I was trapped in some kind of Roger Rabbit on Crack situation.
3. I frantically culled through my mind to try to remember if there has EVER been another song written in the history of time referencing "chapped ass" - and came up empty.
4. Speaking of that, your sound itself is also completely unique - almost as though you had to make up an entirely different modality and way of thinking to supplement your spacey and oddball comedy. It sort of sits there in this Just-Been-Spanked kind of way. You say "well OKAY then…" but it's all okay. You become a BYD disciple, of sorts. I don't know. This is what happened to me. I've started thinking of it as 'The BYD Brain Wall.' … oh boy, here it comes … the wall of inner voices. Sometimes I hear them in my sleep. I associate them with song contests. They whisper evil challenges to me …
5. This was a pretty fancy tale, by the way. There was no possible way two people were going to think of this. A case could be made that this wasn't a card, per se, but a legal plea of some kind - but considering the nature of the legal trouble, and the fact that Cupid is the character here getting the book for the love arrows - I'd say you ended up an even bigger card than Edric this round. Stunning feat, really. {winkysmile}

Jess Scherer - Carbonated Love
1. A little more power to this tune than your last, which is nice.
2. The song. Still sweet. Still cute. Still kinda the thing you bring. You could really sell this stuff. Well written.
3. Oh, sweet little hook. I want to punch it and say mean things about it, because I am Wednesday Adams. But I won't. Instead I am going to buy you a cupcake and shut up and rank you well-ish and say damn that is a well done song and reward you for writing a hook that is unabashedly oozy.
4. Now. Whatever effect(S) you are putting on your vocals can really stand to be tightened up on the tail ends because on some of the words there is a quavery little twing to them that oscillates almost a little bit too fast. Combined with your reverb it makes your vocal sound a little bit artificial. But this might actually be appropriate because your lyrics are a little bit sugary anyway.
5. The instrumentation is pretty subtle and well done. I'm not sure whether or not Christine McVie is gonna run over you with a Fleetwood Mac truck because at the beginning of this I thought you were gonna take off into 'Say That You Love Me' or something … {smile}

Noah McLaughlin - Hey Joe
1. Your vocal tuning is not quite on this time I'm afraid. You are having these songs which are misses for you less and less though, so you are really learning what to do.
2. It's too bad that this one was not a pitch-score because sometimes you made some interesting rhythmic choices. In a good way. Also some of the ways that you pulled off your phrases are good decision making and reflect good musicality.
3. An odd kind of smurfy tonality kind of tries to hold hands with your uncomfortable vocal like it needs coffee a little bit. The hootsy synth and your good production push you up a bit and you create enough of a package to at least ballpark your point.
4. I am going to have to disagree with starting a song with waking up and getting out of bed because the Beatles already did it, and of course better but you are not going to argue with this of course. Who would? They are the Beatles!
5. Your drums again, are distracting from the push of the song from phrase to phrase.
6. I actually thought it was sort of cute to write the song to a cup of coffee. I can see that, although it is I suppose debatable challenge-wise.
7. This is not my favorite song of yours and unfortunately suffers in the presence of stronger performances and production.

David Le Duc - 3rd Grade Valentine
1. This has a really cool ambiance. And really good layering.
2. Things get old and your layering drops out and I start watching the clock a little bit. I am really not sold on "you bastard" as a hook. It's kind of … over-the-top-emo.
3. It sounds like you are sick of the cool hook and the idea and the whole thing and you could have shaved off a whole minute of this and it would have been fine.
4. This is one of those songs I put into the 'good on a rainy-day-date-that-will-end-in-a-breakup-or-something-ick' brain box. Just kind of red light on a wet street-y. I like that kind of scene-set.
5. The bass piano in this is great, and your vocal fits it well. An epic vocal, really. Neat synth.
6. Structurally, I'm not buying this because you really do just seem to not make enough change to justify the length.

FauX - Back Down To You
1. mother earth? really? seriously? This is one of those times where I feel like saying something direct and growly about these lyrics because they are making me feel cringe a bit … but I don't know if you are gonna feel bad because you are an earth activist and you were super serious when you wrote all this down with your fifth-grade lines and your earnest love poetry. I feel hoodwinked into being respectful.
2. I really like the vamp in the middle. that's pretty fly. it kinda starts to groove a lot. Your layering is so good in a lot of places that you can't NOT know how cheesy this is. So … yeah … Particularly with that note at the end.
3. You are really good musicians. Your musicianship is better than it was in the first round, but still not as good as in other things I've heard. You are a very diverse act and your vocal is starting to grow on me just a little bit … especially if I think you are being cheeky. You have risen in my estimation but it's not because of your subject matter. I felt preached to and jerked around a little bit, and the whole song wasn't as cool as the breakdown. If it had been, I might have gone for it.
4. This really does have a cool drive to it, and I really do like your breakdown lick.

Oh. Yeah. I like the earth and I recycle. I'm just totally being a harda$$

The Orion Sound - You (A Valentines Stalker Song)
1. Your voice is really strange and is either right in tune or sort of oddly out. But it's a really … GOOD voice. So I'm confused about what to say about that because I'm not sure how to deal with that.. Sometimes I feel you go off the path there even though you've got good raw material to work with.
2. The lock of hair next to your shrine line … is a great line, as was the bit about the burning letters on the lawn.
3. I really like your piano! It's one of the best ones in the round simply because it is so interesting and depth-y and well handled recording-wise. Things are kept simple and well reflected.
4. "viagra / niagra?" … seriously? oh dear ….
5. You're a pretty good piano player as well. There are so many other distracting things though.
6. "love ya spin." it was meta but that was damn funny ….

Felix Frost - Amber Avalanche
1. The shifting time signatures are clever and well put in but really distracting - and the synths are grating. I don't really like your synths much - but they are well played.
2. Your layering is well done, but some of the voices are just as distracting as your time signatures and your synths.
3. This is really chaotic!
4. This goes on for a really long tme but it is so varied that it's hard to complain about it. For part of this I felt kind of Revolution No. 9 only more thematic.
5. The lyrics are hectic and hard to pay attention to. Something about the chorus that you put on your lead vocal is bothering me and perhaps if you'd used a different EQ. You really stacked the lyrics together strangely.

Altogether, I don't think this is something that I am going to listen to again, but it is not a bad song - just not my taste. You know how to play and mix though and shift around well, creating a freakylittlegroove.

Trader Jack - You Can Be My Joey Ramone
1. Writing a musical valentine to Corin Tucker is such a corduroy pants wearing thing to do! Wow. You're cool!
2. You have some really kicky energy and I feel you might be a real showman.
3. You were doing so well … so cool. You owned the coffee shop vibe in this undisputed way in the first round, narrowly wresting it from the more broody Kevin with your unconcerned gum-smacking glam. Now I feel a little snowed under and kinda like you hipstered on my parade a little. Too much hooping and hollering and nonchalance. Almost like you did cross that imaginary line that you managed to stay on the right side of last round.
4. Your guitar is really cool and you kept this short.
6. The rhythm drove nicely.
5. Nonetheless, you did not sell me on this one. Still you can sing and you can perform so I am still a fan of your rambunctious little ways, in general. I just don't think I'm cool enough to get it and think I may be a fan of an earlier disaffected generation, perhaps. Even so, nobody ran over the "hi, how are you frog" this day. So who knows these things?

Robert Borden - Julia
1. This was sweet but I have to admit that it set me off to write a tune to a YouTube ukelele celebrity. I tried to keep the ooook down. It was REALLY fansy-pants.
2. Cute harmonies. Harp in the back got to me. So did the Julias in the back. If you had shaved a minute off of this it would have bumped you five to seven up in these ratings. Instead there was too much time to think and to start feeling that Societal Internet Discomfort that I Get. This is not your fault but it doesn't serve you well here, unfortunately.
3. I started longing for the Beatles to come save me. Reality check to see if I was jealous of Julia. Nope. There's a minute left on the clock.
3. When you rhymed Ashton and Demi I thought … it's yet ANOTHER one where I'm being sorta mocked and you can't really be serious. Maybe you're making fun of celebrity crushes. Hmmm.
I am going to go ahead and say that you have a fascinating voice and I'll probably go looking for you and feel stupid when you are silly famous that I put you at the bottom of this pile of people. No, I won't. Because I don't know why you wrote about this. I'll probably go find out why.
4. This reminds me of Molly Lewis a bit.


1. This is adorable. I so wish that you hadn't gotten knocked out. This is the way I think to do a sweet little punky number and you would have made my job even harder in the rankings really messing up the high middles and throwing a wrench into things for some people.
2. This was also real fun and the way you are meant to throw fun little things into a song. This, by the way, is the quintessential "listen to THAT cool accent" type of thing that you hear about from our side of things.
3. I really liked your guitar tones and the fat fuzziness of things.
4. The balance was not good and the vocals sounded really buried in the mix. If you had looked at your levels (dunno if you were watching meters or not) and everything was dancing all right level-wise in the correct places like I'm sure it does when you are doing your big orchestrations I've heard before, this might have gone a lot smoother and been casual-but-pro. I dunno. There was something endearing about the lo-fi messiness. Especially when it was so on.

BOFFO YUX DUDES - Be My Valentine (Settle For Me)
1. Good decision making this the shadow. Cuz dude. What the hell?
2. Weirdly though, even with this raw and kind of messy style from you - we are still getting the BYD BRAIN WALL. Even your messes are pretty tight now so you're kind of becoming an establishment.
3. Your instruments are grating and not nice on my headache. This is hard to judge. I sure would have rather had a surf guitar or something.
4. By the end of this it had grown on me. Hmm.

MENAGE A TUNE - My Best Friend
This is nice to hear because your vocal fits the style here well. The piano is thin and doesn't match the environment of the vocal in the least and you are in completely different rooms in the mix, even. Your tuning, however, on this is probably the best I've heard from you at all ever. This is really well done JoAnn. And it's an endearing song that makes you sound interesting and compelling and nice. If you did other songs like this and worked out some feasible instrumentation along the lines of what you made in round one, you could establish a style that might really go someplace for yourself because you are developing nicely. This would have scored well and I hope that you would have made this your official entry if you had stayed in and not the other one, but I have an odd feeling you would have gone with the other one that is more produced. I could be wrong. But this one is a performance you pretty much nailed in a way you haven't done others in that they've been pretty good, but this one had some Polish to it. So whatever you did with or to it …

WAIT WHAT (The Band)- She Just Wouldn't Understand
1. Angels who eat Skittles …
2. This was a really good idea that I thought was going to go really well and be funny. By the second verse I was done with it.
3. The way that you said "baybee" was great.
4. Just the funny things you said like the balloons popping and the pregnant babysitter and the soup with weird ingredients. Really good.
5. You didn't need to say the arsenic thing twice. Maybe it was a cry for help.

1. I really like your drum sounds (except for your kick drum, it's shifty). But your rim taps sound really good and I'm fond of the cymbals in the mix as well.
2. Good effects on the vocals and nice layering.
3. This dragged on a bit but the ambiance was nice.
4. I do have to say that the vocals did get a little pitchy and clashy sometimes. They were handled well engineering-wise though. the guitar sounds really good.
5. It was very wistful and the lyrics got a bit repeat-y and could have been more concise I feel - but there was some real poetry in them and they were sweepy and rainy feeling and cold and sad.

ROSALIND - My Favorite Time Of The Week
1. You have the most hard to peg down style … you are consistent in things I think of as mistakes and I am perhaps thinking, maybe they are not.
2. You are shifting and lurching in time but you are doing it forcefully and deliberately like this is a big plan of yours and I'm buying into it because you are selling this odd performance.
3. You have a really lovely voice and you aren't clipping like you did last week. You improved and would have done better than last week.
4. Now, I really wish that you had stopped at around three minute mark. Because it does go on and on.
5. Your tune is real interesting and meandering and doesn't have a hook but earworms into the brain just the same. You definitely have a style and you could develop tightly into it because you are obviously a strong player with a good strong tone in your vocal. Tighten up. {smile}

MENAGE A TUNE - Fractal Choices
1. Your tune is nice. I don't know how your process went and if the music came first and then the words, but your are lining things up beautifully. You can make a good tune. It's hard to judge the entirety not knowing who's who in the process or the story behind your collaborator. What I will say is that I liked his sounds better this week.
2. Who, what, how, and huh? is this a musical valentine's card? I get the card / card metaphor at the end but it's really abstract and seems like a stretch to get the prompt concept to conform to a song you wanted to write already. Which you actually did pretty skillfully with your lyrics, but still a tad awkwardly. Still, I've never been a challenge stickler ...
3. I didn't really say much in your review about your tuning but ranked you accordingly within the standings based on your level of improvement in relation to where other people were and their levels of improvement and their songs. But since now you seem to want to understand a certain amount of disparity …you might want to work on fitting your voice into the ambiance of your song. This song is a little more modern. This isn't church. It's almost more of a sensual layering of more synthy sound. Your excessive vibrato which often meanders off the pitch (although it has improved quite a bit) pulls the tune out of its environment and - moving on from that, when you go into the spoken word section, you are using the wrong inflection for that, in my option. with this kind of swishy foresty vibe you almost could use a less clipped style. Your automaton chant there doesn't really get your point across. I'd almost like to hear a different EQ on you and some interesting effects and perhaps some fade-ins and outs and maybe some choruses.

Spintunes #4 Round 2 Review: Heather Miller

Jon Eric - Friday February 13th
I like the piano. I like the doubling effect in the “I’m yours” section that brings in the idea of a girl’s voice saying that part. I do wish this had some sort of chorus or hook, though I guess torch songs follow more of this storyline structure rather than having a repeat or hook, so this could still work, but then I guess I would want it to have a bigger build and finish. It also feels to me like many of rhymes are forced, or the words are crammed in a bit awkwardly in order to rhyme. I’ll just give one example, the line:
"I'm yours, and how good it is
Of course, that's how Cupid is"

First of all, try speaking it out, no singing - it’s not conversational. Secondly you’re rhyming “is” with “is”. I’d go back through the song and speak it out to see where it feels rough and don’t sacrifice meaning for rhyme.

Rebecca Angel - Insignificant You
Voice and piano are both beautiful and I love the concept. It took me reading your mini description to really understand and appreciate the song better though. Without that description, I need to know sooner, more clearly, that you are already with someone. The first time I heard “I made it clear I’d never leave”, I didn’t know who or what you weren’t leaving, I thought maybe it was the room or your house! It might be as easy as tacking on “I made it clear I’d never leave him”, or maybe it would need something else, but that is definitely the point in the song where I need that information. Also the word “forgettable” rubs at me the wrong way, because he may be insignificant and peripheral, but he’s clearly not forgotten if it’s a year later and you’ve been writing songs about him all that time.

Felix Frost - Amber Avalanche
Cool instrumentals and sound effects. Sounds quite like it could fit beautifully as a soundtrack in a video game, especially the ending part. I read your song bio and appreciate the structure you wanted to create, but even knowing that it’s meant to be non-traditional, the words are too crammed for me, and I can’t really understand a lot of them unless I’m reading along. A question to consider (this goes for all songs, not just this one) - is it more important for you for people to pay attention to WHAT your lyrics are, or HOW you sing them? If you want people to understand the lyrics and plot, your delivery should be more conversational. If you want people to focus on the cool sounds and what you can do with your voice, then conversational tone isn’t as important.

Governing Dynamics - I Shouldn’t Blame You
OK. There’s a chance I have an unfair bias toward this song because it has my name in it, but I really like it. It has a catchy chorus. It feels really honest. It’s conversational. It has a great balance of concrete details and inner emotions. I can understand the words and the storyline without having to read the lyrics. The musical dynamics are great. The lyric bit that feels weakest to me is, “Winter's cold and bitter/And in february's middle/That suits me more than not” and there are a couple tiny places where the emphasis is on the wrong syllable thing going on, but it doesn’t bug me in this case.

Common Lisp - A Brother’s Valentine
I like the concept of this. It’s real, honest, important, clever, funny. It’s a little edgy and crude in parts for my personal taste but I think it fits the style of the song you created, so that totally works. I love the bass line. Well done.

Hazen Nester - (Bored With My) Precious Little Life
Awesome instrumentation (love the organ coming in on the chorus and the super shredding after the bridge), catchy melody and I like the plot idea. A few lyrical parts that were awkward for me: “Regardless if I have to go and fight/Armies to make you mine” For one, I don’t like the way the idea splits over two lines, and for two, this guy comes off as a bit of a dreamer/slacker in the rest of the song, so I don’t believe he’d even come close to fighting armies. But maybe that’s a Scott Pilgrim reference that’s going over my head?

Ross Durand - Space Opera Valentine (For Leia)
This is quite clever, and I’m a Star Wars fan, so I do appreciate all the jokes/references, but I think you sacrificed some traditional song quality in order to fit all of them in. For example it’s a bit confusing to say you have a bad feeling about it turning out to be like kissing her brother, but then you turn around and still want her to be your valentine? The more I listen to this while reading the lyrics, I get it overall, but it was a bit confusing to me on the first couple listens plot-wise, so I still think there is potential to tighten it up/make it more clear for folks listening on their first run through.

Noah McLaughlin - Hey Joe
A love song to coffee! I bet most of us can relate! I definitely get the Beatles reference, it almost made me a little uncomfortable right at the start with how close it was to A Day in the Life, but after that it was great. Watch the pronouns - is “tilt your head” and “your motor” meaning your head or “Joe’s” or is there a third person in the song who then disappears for the rest of it? You’ve got “fine” twice in the final verse, maybe something like “this bold aroma” or some other word in there would make it stronger.

Edric Haleen - To My Significant Self
I like the concept, just the wiser self, talking to the bruised ego self, unadorned. Beautiful melody, beautiful plot. The pause between the “True” section and the “Hey” section was just long enough to give me a little jerk/jolt when listening to it without reading along, as it I almost thought it was over and it was a teeny bit of a shock for it to come back in. I don’t know if that could be solved by having the pause be a bit shorter, by having something instrumental underneath so I knew it wasn’t over, or by watching you perform it live to see that it wasn’t over, or if it was just me being too jumpy. :-)

Jacob Haller - From Your Neighbors
Funny stuff. Most folks can likely relate, great concrete details. A few awkward emphasis/syllable rhyme forced things but it pretty much works. Swearing is obviously not for everyone but I think it works really well for the song as opposed to feeling totally gratuitous and purely for shock value. The end cuts off a little abruptly.

Jess Scherer - Carbonated Love
I love this, I think it really fits the Valentine Card part of the challenge especially with all the cute soda reference/puns without ever actually name-dropping an actual brand. I feel like I can picture the cardboard kit of valentine cards with a soda theme that you would pass out in grade school based off the song. I also love the sugar sweet, she-bop, soda shop harmonies.

Brian Gray - Man Crush
Pretty funny, kinda creepy, great social commentary. I like the musical structure and the bridge is cool. The song is a little unbalanced but that works with the unbalancedness of the character. The one line that just doesn’t work for me is “Whenever I exist, That's the perfect time to think of you and me.” I think you could get what you mean there across in a stronger way.

The Orion Sound - You (A Valentines Stalker Song)
Argh. You did it again, made me confused and split half and half. It’s catchy, wonderfully melodic, great instrumentals. But lyrically, it’s creepy, crude, and demeaning to women. Even if it’s 100% meant to be a joke, it’s not the kind of thing I can stand behind joking about.

Faux - Back Down To You
The piano, the beat and the instrumental break are all great! I like the concept overall but the lyrics could be a little stronger I think. You use the word “stuff” a lot, which isn’t very descriptive at all. Rhyming “you” with “you” is weak as well. It would be great to get more descriptive language throughout, especially because the first couple verses really pack a punch when you realize that it’s very literal - we need Mother Earth to survive. But after that the words feel more generic. I don’t think it would take much, but a few well placed, strong words would really kick this up several notches.

Gold Lion - I Love My Dog
This is really cute and sweet. I love the hand claps and harmonies. Check your pronouns for consistency though. You start off saying “You” - speaking directly to your dog. Then you switch to “she” - telling us about her, then back to “you” speaking to the dog again. Pick one or the other and keep it that way throughout the song. In the case of this particular challenge, since it’s meant to be a card to someone, you’d probably want to stick to the “you” version, which I’m guessing would probably change up your chorus significantly. After the contest is over, if this is a song you want to keep going forward in your own performing setlists or album, you’ve got free reign to change it to whatever way best serves the song. Try it both ways, see what works best!

Trader Jack - You Can Be My Joey Ramone
This has a fun punk rock sound, I could see myself really rocking out to this in a live situation, but I can barely understand any of it without looking at the lyrics. I’ll repeat what I said to Felix: A question to consider (this goes for all songs, not just this one) - is it more important for you for people to pay attention to WHAT your lyrics are, or HOW you sing them? If you want people to understand the lyrics and plot, your delivery should be more conversational. If you want people to focus on the cool sounds and what you can do with your voice, then conversational tone isn’t as important. I think you could get away with adding another chorus at the end because that’s the fun part that I can see people bouncing around and screaming a call and response type of thing - “Do you think you wanna? Yeah I think I wanna!!!”

Kevin Savino-Riker - Got Away
I like the guitar riff, it’s a bit Mayer-Why-Georgia-esque and that’s one of my faves of his, so I mean that as a big compliment! I like the harmonies and the guitar drumming during the chorus parts. A few parts I where I got a little confused - you say it’s “beauty only I saw” but then go on to say she was all exotic and wore in her insides like costumes at Mardi Gras, which sounds like it would be an obvious beauty to more than just you. Also kind of interesting that you say “I was always a waiter” but then it seems like she’s the one serving you a cup of coffee, is she a waitress? I think you mean in the first part that you wait for things, not that you serve people food, but do you see how that makes it a little confusing?

Steve Durand - The Woman Of My Dreams
Cute puns leading up to the final reveal, well done. Love the horns, guitar solo, musical dynamics. The one possible tweak that I’m not really even sure about but I might make is near the beginning. Maybe I’d say “I’m sending you another” rather than “I’m giving you another” because somehow that would make it more clear to me that you’re sending her a valentine, rather than giving her another lover, but again, maybe that’s just me!

Robert Borden - Julia
This is pretty adorable and earnest. Nice hook of “Julia”. Beautiful harmonies. I like the melodica. I’m glad I read that they are song title references, because without knowing that, some of them are a little bit awkward lyrically. As a card to her though, they’re perfect.

Caleb Hines - To The Administrator Of Extraplanetary Research
Oh Caleb. One the one hand I want to say good job for finding a loophole and you should be proud of creating such a cool piece of smart, funny performance art. On the other hand, it’s a little hard for me to call this a song, and it IS a songwriting contest after all. There is such potential to do even a FEW things to this make it more song-y. The aliens could communicate in a sing-song voice. There could have been sung “chorus” type bits inserted. There could have been more rhyming, making it more rap like. I really like it, I do think it can slide by as a song, but I think that everyone else in the contest, by submitting an entry that was MORE song-like, did a better job for the competition.

David LeDuc - 3rd Grade Valentine
I love the music. The language is conversational and the rhyming is natural, not forced. This is funny and so real, I think everyone can relate. I love the twist of the card with extra time spent on it is actually for your enemy, because my version was to put a few extra glittery stickers on the card of the boy I had a crush on, but only enough that *I* would know.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - A Letter To Bernie
I like the idea - one that it’s a song from Cupid’s point of view and two that he got sent to jail and is trying to get out on bail. Cupid’s voice is pretty funny. I think the transitions between spoken word and the sung choruses is effective. Feels a bit more like a bunch of jokes and references smashed together than a valentine card. I also can’t quite tell if there are parts that I’m missing the references or it’s just a little confusing because I feel like I don’t quite fully get it.

Wait What (The Band) - She Wouldn’t Understand
This is bizzare. Mostly funny, partly offensive, partly weird. The biggest thing I might do to make it stronger is look for places to add more contrast musically, because each section is pretty much the same. I think that maybe the sections with “Don’t tell my girlfriend” are meant to be choruses? It’s hard to tell because sonically they aren’t that different from the rest of the song, but they’re different enough from each other that it doesn’t give you that “Oh! This is the chorus coming back around again” thing.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - Be My Valentine (Settle For Me)
This has a good beat and a lot of funny moments, but it feels disjointed to me plot/storyline-wise. I mean yeah, I think I get it’s meant to be dark, the guy is totally out of sorts due to being dumped. You know, it sounds like a pretty good musician got dumped, got drunk on Valentine’s Day, went to an open mic and improvised a song while his drunken single buddies joined in wherever they could more or less figure out the words. All the drunk, rocking out people are having a great time and anyone sober in the audience is feeling fairly uncomfortable, but hey, at least it has a beat they can bob their heads along to for now.

Drei Viertel Drei - Goodbye
I like the concept of this, someone finally letting go of an unhealthy relationship, one that may never actually have been much more than in the mind of the sender, but it’s a crippling one in any case. The vocals are haunting and lonely which fits the melancholy mood, but also occasionally pitchy. I’ll bring up the thing again I’ve said to a few others this round (and will probably end up saying again next round), something to consider (this goes for all songs, not just this one) - is it more important for you for people to pay attention to WHAT your lyrics are, or HOW you sing them? If you want people to understand the lyrics and plot, your delivery should be more conversational, the emphasis on the syllables should fall musically the same way they would spoken. If you want people to focus on the cool sounds and what you can do with your voice, then conversational tone isn’t as important.
A question to consider (this goes for all songs, not just this one) - is it more important for you for people to pay attention to WHAT your lyrics are, or HOW you sing them? If you want people to understand the lyrics and plot, your delivery should be more conversational. If you want people to focus on the cool sounds and what you can do with your voice, then conversational tone isn’t as important.

Emperor Gum - <3
Yeah, I don’t know anything about Scott Pilgrim other than it seems to be inspirational source material for more than one entry this round, and so maybe I better check it out! However, I think this song makes enough sense out of context that it can stand on it’s own. I would have slowed down the “We are Emperor Gum....” line just a little bit and/or made it a little more clear so I could understand at least that much without having to read it. Nice crunchy guitars and I like the drums. I know you didn’t have to worry about time as a shadow, but I think one option could have been to have the chorus-y bit repeat a few times at the end. But besides simply making it longer, I think that could have strengthened the song by making it more sticky/hooky, I really would like to join in and sing along a few more times “Kim Pine, be my Valentine!” That part is so catchy!

Menage A Tune - Fractal Choices
I like the Robert Frost reference. I can so relate to that feeling of having too many choices and afraid to give up the things I’d lose by choosing one path! I think the musical changes are effective, switching from melodic to staccato and back to melodic. Definitely would be pushing the boundaries of qualifying, but as a shadow, hey yeah, it says card and heart!

Menage A Tune - My Best Friend
This is great - sweet, friendly and catchy! I can see this being on a children’s album or used in a school program or something of the like. Similarly to what I said to Emperor Gum, I think the song could stand to be a little longer and not only to meet the 2 minute time limit, it has such a sweet melody and concept that hearing parts of it again would be really nice. The bridge for example, has a really gorgeous melody that we only get to hear once. I might add the bridge plus the first verse on at the end, and you’ve got that much more ear-worminess latched into your listener’s brains! :-)

Rosaline - My Favorite Time Of The Week
Cute concept, a Valentine to a TV crush. So fun, indulgent and innocent those crushes! It feels like if you ran through this a few more times on the piano before recording it would have come out smoother. When I wasn’t reading along, I thought you said “got my DVR set for hate” which really confused me! I can’t tell if the two verses are trying to follow the same structure lyrically, but I sure would like them to, especially because the choruses are pretty well structured and catchy.

Spintunes #4 Round 2 Review: Donna Schubbe

For those of you who don’t know me yet I am Donna, half of the famed “Matt and Donna” from SpinTunes 3. My husband Matt so graciously decided to judge the first round so I am up for the second. There is a reason we like to make music together, because we have so many similar opinions and ideas about it. And so for the purposes of these reviews you should consider Matt and I a “matched set” like these salt and pepper shakers (they can be separated but they go together. Basically go re-read Matt’s judging criteria because that’s my criteria as well. One thing that may be different is my intolerance of boredom with a song. If a song bores me, or doesn’t keep my attention it does not bode well.

Off we go. I have ordered the songs by what I ranked first to last.

1. David LeDuc – 3rd Grade Valentine
This song really stood out to me above all the others. It felt so full musically. I love the piano & synth and the drums had a pleasing boom bap sound. Your voice is really lovely and you harmonized well with yourself. I liked that I was thinking this was going to be about a 3rd grade crush on a girl and then you surprise us with it being about a bully! This is one of the few songs this round that had a distinct verse and chorus and incorporated a bridge section as well. I could see this song being played on my favorite local music radio station. This is a song that I will go back & listen to even after SpinTunes is over.

2. Brian Grey – Man Crush
I love this song. It almost perfectly describes the relationship between my husband and a friend he calls his hetero-life-partner (except for the stalker vibe). You played the piano beautifully and you have such a nice voice, it was really strong throughout. I love the way it builds up as the song progresses. You have so many great pop culture refs in this song! It is super funny and enjoyable to listen to, great work!

3. Robert Borden – Julia
You have a great voice with beautiful tone! Your harmonies & backing vocals of “Julia” sound fantastic. I love the simple musical arrangement. This song really kept my attention even though I am not familiar with Julia or any of her songs. I thought the pacing was really well executed. Cute Ashton & Demi ref. I hope this song gets Julia’s attention.

4. Felix Frost – Amber Avalanche
Thank you for the song bio; it helped me to understand the story of your song so much more. I really enjoyed it! The marching type snare in the background is great during the verses. You really killed it with the synth; I am such a sucker for some good synth! I love the changes in tempo & emotion in this song - musically you really brought it. Nice instrumental before the last verse, I feel it gives the listener time to imagine the relationship between Wellington and Ms. Avalanche, I imagine there is some great adventures of flight happening in that part. It had a super fun video game type quality to it.

5. Ross Durand – Space Opera Valentine
This one took me a few listens to really get into. The lyrics are so clever – so many great Star Wars nuggets. You vocals are nice, strong and confident, much improved since round one in my opinion. There is a nice ebb and flow to this song that keeps my interest. Nice little guitar solo. This is such a fun concept with great production value. It is a great nerdy valentine with a country vibe.

6. The Orion Sound – You (A Valentines Stalker Song)
Wow, SUPER catchy. I found this song got stuck in my head much more than any other. It was hard to sleep sometimes because I couldn’t stop singing the chorus. Your voice is great, it has great tone and it is very unique, my favorite part was the way you sang, “see the signs”. I love the driving piano behind everything it makes me want to dance. There are few points where the piano gets a bit muddled during the chorus. I like that you didn’t complicate this with too many instruments. It really allowed your unique voice to stand out.

7. Trader Jack – You Can Be My Joey Ramone
This is the exact type of music I listened to in high school, so it holds a place near & dear to my heart. Your vocals aren’t perfect, but they work this the song and I actually like you voice a lot. But I would encourage you to work on your range a bit more. Fantastic guitar & drums, I found myself bobbing my head and really getting into this one.

8. Rebecca Angel – Insignificant You
Beautiful voice! I felt like I was in some swanky low-lit lounge sipping a martini while listening to this one. Nice and jazzy. The piano is lovely, very well played. My one critique - I did feel myself losing interest in the subject matter, this song felt like I could easily talk over it and just have it in the background that is the only reason why it is ranked a bit lower on my list.

9. Faux – Back Down To You
Cute concept of writing to Mother Earth, I loved the sweet & funny lyrics. The piano is nice and strong; it really drives the song along, well-played – great piano solo! I dig the synth in the background. Your vocals are good, but could definitely be stronger; there are parts that seem just a bit off key. This is a fun song and I could easily see this being played on earth day. Good work!

10. Jess Scherer – Carbonated Love
What a cute, fun, “bubbly” song! Your vocals are much stronger since the last round. Though it does seem like you are pushing your vocals too high & out of your range at times. But when you are in range your voice is great. I love the piano, and it sounds like a glockenspiel in the background? Adorable lyrics. Nice work.

11. Gold Lion – I Love My Dog
You have a wonderful voice! This song has a cute camp song feel to it. Handclaps are always a favorite of mine but they could have been a little cleaner. I could see this song in a dog food commercial. Though it doesn’t feel like a valentine card type song to me, it’s more of a love song about your dog. Pretty basic song, but you sang it really well.

13. Kevin Savino-Riker – Got Away
You play the guitar so well; I love it in this song! I really enjoyed the finger drumming on the guitar as well. Your voice is really nice and you harmonize well with yourself. It is such a cute story about thinking you found the “one” and having that girl be the catalyst the finding the real “one”. I would have liked a little bit more variation in range & melody during the verses. This song has a very coffee shop vibe, and maybe that is what you were going for.

12. Edric Hadleen – To My Significant Self
I see what you were trying to do here, but I feel you may have gotten trapped in the concept of just “yourself”. I had to listen to this 3 times to really appreciate it. Your voice is great and this sounds like it could be in a musical. I would have liked some instrumentation to break this up a bit, even just a piano. The song seemed to drag on a bit for me and I found I had a hard time following along, maybe due to the lack of instrumentation.

14. Jacob Haller – From Your Neighbors
Hmm… Obviously a concept most people wish they had the guts to do. Honestly it is not my taste, but the more I listed to it, the more I appreciated it both musically & vocally.

15. Governing Dynamics – I Shouldn’t Blame You
This has a very 90’s vibe & I think it works for the song. Great guitar. Your vocals are the best I’ve heard from you. There are a few pitch issues that could be worked on. I would like to hear some more interesting dynamics from you vocally, I felt like you were on a merry go round looping around to the same notes vocally for most of the song. There is a nice bridge that comes in and has come that adds a lot melodically to the song, but I feel it comes in too late to be as effective as it could be. Because of the repetitiveness I felt the story hard to follow at points.

16. Steve Durand – The Woman Of My Dreams
Nice trumpet & the base lines are really great. Vocally it could definitely be stronger. Do I see a nun theme? This song had a very sleepy vibe to me and maybe that is what you were going for, being that the song was about a woman from your dreams. I enjoyed the bridge with the guitar solo and I wish most of the song sounded more like that.

17. Jon Eric – Friday February 13th
The piano is well played and sounds nice. I like the harmonies in the middle. Some of the vocals seem a bit out of your range and strained, almost whiny sounding. The song didn’t have enough going on musically for me. It seemed kind of “one note” throughout. There isn’t a strong chorus to draw the listener in.

18. Noah McLaughlin – Hey Joe
I like the organ in the beginning. I love the concept, I would write a valentine to my cup of coffee too. The music is great but your vocals aren’t as high quality as your instrumentals. You were off key for most of the song. I like the floating/flying part. It feels like you were pushing your voice in an uncomfortable way. Maybe work on trying to find your range and what is more comfortable for you to sing in. Keep practicing!

19. Hazen Nester – (Bored With My) Precious Little Life
Musically this is pretty fun and played well but the vocal harmonies were really off and I found it hard to enjoy any part with those because it just didn’t work. I like the subject matter of Scott Pilgrim that made for some fun visuals. Great guitar solos! I would probably have ranked this song higher if you had not included the harmonies.

20. Common Lisp – A Brother’s Valentine
Nice base! I felt your lyrics were thoughtful and clever and I appreciated that. I did not enjoy the chorus, the extra high-pitched robot kind of voice really creeped me out and took away from what you were trying to get across in the chorus. Also the deep voice at the beginning and the end was a strange choice, because it didn’t register as the “sexy soul man” vibe you were going for. There are things I enjoyed about this song but, nothing personal, it really just wasn’t my taste.

21. Boffo Yux Dudes – A Letter To Bernie
This song unfortunately annoyed me right from the start. You do have some clever lyrics, but the song is full of cheese to me. The vocals are off key, and I really don’t like the talking parts. I do like the piano… but that is about it. I’m sure to the right listener this song would be hilarious and very entertaining but it is not my taste personally. I see this being made into a cartoon someday.

22. Caleb Hines – To The Administrator Of Extraplanetary Research
My first thought was okay… when is he going to start singing. When 2 minutes passed without any singing it made me frustrated. I really liked your concept but I think you could have made a better song out of this by changing it up musically and singing the lyrics rather than just speaking them or at least singing during a chorus. Also, because it was spoken word, it felt like it dragged on for way too long.