Saturday, March 7, 2015

SpinTunes #10 Round 4 Reviews: Jane Lui

I don't remember how long I've been following Jane on YouTube, but at least as far back as 2009 (according to my blog).  Whether it's a cover, mash-up, medley or one of her original songs, she's always entertaining. A talented musician with just the right amount of geek for SpinTunes. I'm happy to have her as a guest judge this round.  While you read her reviews, listen to one of her original songs embedded below.

- Spin


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Pete Murphy - Dance All Night
What I love:
GREAT SONGWRITER!! "Starstruck lovers in bloom" - gorgeous line. This is such high energy and the lyrics so perfectly motivated while not being overly linear. you chose specific moments of the dance to wrap and weave the lyrics around tastefully, fantastic! Strong choices in production, strong melodic strength and clear build of song architecture. I found myself wanting the dancer to step up to the song because it's simply a very strong piece that wasn't made to depend on the video at all. I love that I can hear who you are, THANK YOU. 

Possibilities:
everything I can think of I personally think you would achieve if you weren't locked into a video length.

Zoe Gray - Smooth
What I love:
Great mysterious vibe that hooked me from the start yet awesomely outside the box! love the 80's 90's style rapping that uses lyrics to motivate his movements. the ending that just drops is also a very strong and tasteful choice. lovely job with the word play - especially the Mr. Peanut part. I think it was a smart choice to go into some singing to change it up a bit. Thank you for the fun piece!!!

Possibilities:
In terms of song form, it hooked me for the entire first verse, but then I wanted to hear something new in addition, either in added hook melody after each verse to sweeten the deal for each A section, or a build in production as the song changed. It had one lovely groovy dynamic to it, though in the dancing something changes near the end that the song didn't completely support... until the drop at the very end of the song that made total sense. 

Ross Durand - Brand New
What I love:
The song was meticulously crafted for this video, and I truly appreciate the hard work you took to directly translate the dance into the song every second of the piece! I like the concept of Brand New, and you are lyrically clear with the purpose of his dancing. I like this bluesy almost sloppy style and think it fits with the dance very well, something I'd see in a musical. Thanks for the thoughtful hard work!

Possibilities:
I can totally tell that you can write songs, especially lyrics - and for this final task you followed the instructions of writing to the dance So Well, that as I listen I wanted to hear more of who YOU are, rather than the Dancer. I wanted to hear the types of melodies that made you tick, the same way I can tell that minor IV chords and organic/acoustic sounds make you tick. 

Edric Haleen - Dance!
What I love:
So much hard work you've put in! Great harmonic work on the underlying song, the musical theatre genre fits your voice so well! lovely production and piano work. love the whimsical lyrics that changes rhythmic attack so often. you have a strong sense of building highs and lows, so i love that the song wrapped around the dance without the lyrics being overly linear in describing every move he was making.

Possibilities:
I wonder if you recorded this as you watched him dance, which may have created some rhythmic discrepancies. With a big band sound like this, I wanted to find a groove or rhythmic pattern to hold on to, but didn't find it til the coda, which was very nicely built. You followed the instructions so well, but I can tell you're a skilled pianist with a mind for whimsical writing, so I wanted to hear greater departure of your personality! 

Ranking:
1 - Pete Murphy
2 - Edric Haleen
3 - Zoe Gray
4 - Ross Durand