Tuesday, April 17, 2012

BONUS REVIEW ST2R4: Jerry Buckner

Not too long ago I had the idea of having special guest reviews posted even while SpinTunes isn't in progress. I thought about it, and decided I would do it, but only when I got an idea that really excited me. I didn't sit down & try to think of someone to get as a guest reviewer. "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner & Garcia just happened to come on shuffle, and I thought...these guys would be the PERFECT guest reviewers for our videogame album.

Unfortunately Gary Garcia is no longer with us, but his long time friend & songwriting partner Jerry Buckner was kind enough to take on this task solo. For more information about Buckner & Garcia please visit http://bucknergarcia.com/.

Pac-Man Fever
We have a few youngsters in our community, so if you're not familiar with them, here's a video I found on YouTube that should make you an instant Buckner & Garcia fan. - Spin


I want to thank Travis for asking me to listen and make comments on the songs in your competition.

I agreed with mixed emotions to do it as I appreciate how much time and effort one puts into writing and recording a song and to have someone critique it especially in a negative way can be devastating to say the least.

Although I have been fortunate enough to write a couple of hit songs I do not consider myself a valid judge of other people’s material. In fact I am quite uncomfortable with that but I will give you my opinion and that is all it is.

I encourage all of you to keep writing and producing despite what anyone says about your songs because if you are like me you do it because you enjoy doing it and that’s all that matters.

Good luck to all of you.

1. Mitchell Adam Johnson - In Another Castle 02:06 / Good song and arrangement. This track reminds me a little of “Hey Mickey.” Fun melody, good lyrics and nice feel however the quality of the music tracks is distracting. I do like the singer. I think she is the best part of the track.

2. Chris Cogott - In Bright Falls - Great song, great vocals, great production! I love the Beatles feel especially the “Paper Back Writer” harmonies at the end. The players or player on the track is very good and the arrangement well done. Someone spent time on this and came up with a really good track.

3. Zarni De Wet - The Bleeding Effect - I fell in love with this track the first time I heard it. As a keyboard player I especially love the piano lines and melody. When we wrote the songs for the Pac Man Fever album we tried to write quality pop songs first that could stand on their own. This song accomplishes that. It is moody and hypnotic and would be a great song with any lyrics. In addition the vocalist is fabulous and delivers a top shelf performance. Strings arrangements are very nice too. This singer/songwriter is on the way to great things. By far my favorite track.

4. Rebecca Brickley - Where I Am - Nice song. Interesting chord changes. Good vocals. A little more instrumentation would have helped to keep up with the previous tracks.

5. Charlie McCarron - The Pac-Man Duet (Shadow) - I listened to this track a couple of times and I’m not sure what I am hearing but you can’t say it isn’t original. I thought the 2nd line “I’d eat till I puke” was interesting. All I can say for sure is that it’s different and entertaining in its own sort of way.

6. Mark Humble - I'm Q*Bert, Babe (Shadow) - This is a nice laid back track with an easy to take melody and arrangement. I like the vocalist (watch your pitch) and I think the lyrics are good too. This is good track to listen to driving down the road. I like it.

7. Brian Gray - Hard To Get (Shadow) - Not my favorite style of music but well done. Memorable hook and lyrics. Good vocals but again watch your pitch on the lead and back vocals. A nice track that’s easy to listen to.

8. Boffo Yux Dudes - Floating Away (Shadow) - “Ground control to Major Tom.” I felt the presence of David Bowie in this track which isn’t a bad thing. But there are some pitch problems and somebody bumped the reverb button. Eerie and moody but I liked it.

9. JoAnn Abbott - Go For The Eyes (Shadow) - I could hear this song on Glee. It has that Broadway feel and arrangement. It’s not my as they say my cup of tea but written and produced pretty well for what it is.

10. Boffo Yux Dudes - One Level Down (Shadow) - I listened and don’t know what to say except that its different.

11. David Ritter - Pitfall! (Shadow) - Probably the best song from the “Shadow” collection. I like the feel and emotion in this track with a matching vocal.

12. Boffo Yux Dudes - Elf Shot The Food (Shadow) - I would try and get this song to Devo. I hear they are recording again and this song would be perfect for them.

13. Caleb Hines - The Writing On The Wall (Shadow) - Nice chord changes and melody.

14. Governing Dynamics - One Four One (Roach) (Shadow) - Moody and dark. Again. Interesting chord changes.

15. Inverse T. Clown - I'm Tops (Shadow) - Everybody loves a clown. Good song and arrangement. I like how the sound effects are used. It should have been placed higher in the list.