Sunday, August 7, 2016

Champions Vs Shadows #2 Round 2 Reviews: Ted Kiper

I hate writing these reviews so late, especially at the last round, when everyone usually puts in their A-game. At first, I didn't very much care for these entries. They seemed to lack some power. But over time, I've grown to adore all three of them in their own ways. So here is the challenge:

Arcade Anthem - Write a song about a classic videogame & include an audio sample from the game.  The sample shouldn’t just be tacked on, it should be an integral part of the music.  As an added challenge, you need to collaborate with someone else on your team.  (2 minimum length) (they had 8 days)

Now let's see how I thought you guys handled it:

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1. Heather Zink - Ms. Pac-Man
Score: 44

Challenge: 9
Lyrics: 5
Composition: 7
Songcrafting: 7
Arrangement: 3
Performance: 4
Recording: 3
Judge's Whim: 6
Summary: Simple and catchy, just like the game. The sound effect inputs are precisely enough to be there, not distracting. Early 20th century feel? I like it. And the swirly melody? Quite captivating. You've done very well this competition, and I think you should win because everything here and last round fits together in a tighter package.

2. Governing Dynamics - Dark Energy
Score: 44

Challenge: 9
Lyrics: 3
Composition:7
Songcrafting: 6
Arrangement: 4
Performance: 4
Recording: 4
Judge's Whim: 7
Summary: Compared to the last entry, this is much cleaner, and I absolutely appreciate it. So you've used all these sound effects for the drummy percussion? Excellent job! I would've never guessed. My big criticism is the excessive monologues. (Maybe if I had played Half-Life 2 like I always wanted, then I wouldn't mind it, I guess.) I think I will say this is my favorite composition of the round, perhaps even the last one.

3. Ben Taggart - Ballad Of The Mushroom Kingdom
Score: 41

Challenge: 10
Lyrics: 6
Composition: 5
Songcrafting: 6
Arrangement: 2
Performance: 3
Recording: 4
Judge's Whim: 5
Summary: Solid song, but perhaps a bit too safe. It justs seems a bit long, with sudden events not as powerful as your previous entry. You certainly use sound effects, but I'm afraid the other two competitors had either better execution or better creativity. But these past two rounds have showcased your composing skills much better, and I can't wait to hear more of what you offer.

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Conclusion: 
This was a floppy summer, wasn't it? Or perhaps you're happy to not have too many competitors to defeat? But you three should be proud to completing a song for the round--(faster than I can complete my reviews!)--and it was an honor to judge your works. I hope I get to hear you guys again for the next competition!

Rankings:
1. Heather Zink - Ms. Pac-Man
2. Governing Dynamics - Black Energy
3. Ben Taggart - Ballad Of The Mushroom Kingdom