Saturday, February 4, 2017

SpinTunes #12 Round 1 Reviews: T.C. Elliott

How likely am I to listen to this song again? If you meet the challenge criteria then you will rank higher on my list if I am more likely to want to hear the song again than if not.  This presents some problems. What if there is a well written song in a genre that I don't particularly care for? What if the singing is not to my taste, but the song is well written? All that is taken into account. I try to be fair. But ultimately, my ranking is based mostly on how much I enjoy the song.  To be fair, I do enjoy iphone recordings sometimes (if the song is to my liking) and sometimes the best produced song just turns me off because it isn't creative enough in some area (lyric or melody for instance.)  I HATE it when a judge ranks my song low and then tells me that it was one of his/her favorites. On the other hand, it aggravates me, but I completely understand and respect a judge that ranks my song low because they didn't like the subject matter in an otherwise good entry. If they don't like it then they don't like it. It's subjective but it is what it is. For what it's worth, it was very hard to rank these songs. I could easily move songs around quite a bit. This was a damn fine group of songs.

Here are my reviews:

1. Ryan M. Brewer - ReCount Revenge:  I loved the lyric of the first verse and the rest of the song was decent enough. The arrangement was to my liking (guitars sound good, sparse but energetic.) The first time I heard the "Dangling" line it was a bit odd, but I really like it on repeated listens and even by the end of the song.  Vocal/melody is creative and well performed.  I like this song and I would definitely listen again.

2. Bryan Schumann - Royal Blood:  I like this arrangement and the build.  I like your melody and vocal performance.  I'm not sure Kings are elected, though. It IS possible, I suppose. But your royal blood line makes me think that maybe this was a skirt around the challenge. But man, I do like this song a lot. I would definitely listen to this song again.

3. Mariah Mercedes - Election Of Love:  That vocal hit me in just the right way from the very first note. It fits the subject matter and perspective on the challenge very well.  This is my favorite vocal performance of the challenge.  The arrangement is interesting with nice phrasing in both the vocal and guitar and enough interest to keep me snapping my fingers along throughout and a nice, thick chorus. I like the angle but is winning or losing a boy really winning or losing an election? But I like it and  I would listen to this song again.

4. Zoe Gray - Long Live The Queen: Good arrangement and production values on that vocal, although it doesn't really build or change as much throughout as I would have liked. I like the shorter lines in the verse. The melody is good, I like it a lot. I have a question or two in the lyric for instance the "I only want my mother" line although I like the implication that (maybe only) I get from that line.  I would definitely listen to this song again.

5. Steve Stearns - Overthrown:  Cool bass line. You had me moving in my seat. The lyric is cool, your perspective/angle on the challenge is creative and I think it's cool. I'm a bit disappointed that there are no libertarian candidates on Titan Colony, though. I'm kind of heartbroken, to be honest.  But this groove and the good production and the killer bass combine to make me really like this song.  I would definitely listen to this song again.

6. James Young - Vote For Me!:  The verse melody/performance  was kind of plain or at least, it didn't grab me much, but the chorus melody and vocal really rock. I like the guitars and I like the groove.  I liked the "she'll get trumped line" that was funny.  I couldn’t stop moving in my seat.  I would definitely listen to this song again.

7. Ominous Ride - 19 Never Comes:  I like the arrangement. With a good melody and vocal performance you kept my interest throughout. Yet another good perspective on the challenge.   I like the way you worked the counting into the lyric in a way that seems natural and pushes the song forward. Another good entry. I would listen to this song again.

8. Governing Dynamics - Concessions:  I like the melody, especially in the chorus and the production is good. I like the build to the chorus. This is a good angle with a good hook in the line "here's to the losers."  That solo is cool with a good use of dissonance to push the emotion to the listener. There is something about the vocal that isn't perfect for me. It isn't bad, but it wasn't as stellar as the rest of the song. I do like this song.  I would listen again.

9. Rob From Amersfoort - Why: You've got a signature sound that works really well in this setting.  The verses are interesting and the chorus worked as almost a relief from the energy and active verses. This is good.  I would listen to this song again.

10. Kyleen Downes - Do What You Do: Love your voice. The melody suits it nicely. I liked the contrast  between verse and chorus. The chorus phrasing and pronunciation was a slight turn off (very slight, not being too critical) that I think is highlighted by the vocal being just a hair up in the mix (not terrible mind you.) I would listen again.

11. Ross Durand - Homeroom:  The sound of your voice and melody sound very good. I like the arrangement, it's just enough to stand out of the normal guitar and vox arrangement.  We all know how it can be hard to stand out in a simple arrangement, but you've done a damn fine job. And the take on the challenge is another interesting one. You've managed to make this personal and immediate to the listener (me.) Good performances.  I like this song, too.  I would listen to this song again.

12. Army Defense - Elected:  I like the rock sound and the production was solid but the drums sound just a hair muffled. The melody worked well enough. I'm not sure the slight dissonance works well for me.  I like the lyrical angle of the song, although they don't do much to grab my attention. I would probably listen to this song again.

13. Kevin Savino-Riker - The Damn Breaks: I like the guitar and your vocal and melody is good and works really well in this arrangement. I like the performance on both instruments.  It is hard to a simple guitar and vocal arrangement throughout and grab my attention, but you did a pretty good job of it.   I actually like this song quite a bit. I would listen to this song again.

14. Brian Gray - Abernathy Fitzgerald: Love the angle. The lyric works well and it's a fun little song. Is this what the winners really think but won't say in their victory speech?  This is a creative perspective. This fun and while it's solid production wise, it doesn't really do a whole lot to stand above the crowd.  But your fun performance and inventiveness in meeting the challenge are great. I would listen to this song again.

15. Alex Forger - Change The World (I Hope):  I like the vocal melody performance (you've got a good voice and use it well here.)  The arrangement is pretty static throughout, although I do like the muted strums verses the lively strumming to change things up (while you sing "change the world.")  Lyrically this works well enough but it doesn't stand out among many of the other entries. I like this song, but ultimately the arrangement keeps you from being at the top of my list. But this is well written, especially in that meldoy. I would probably listen to this song again.

16. Jailhouse Payback - How To Lose A School Board Election: I like the alternate genre and the song sounds good enough production-wise. I like the idea in the  arrangement with the step up in tempo and energy on the chorus and the change of gears.  I like the melody, though it's pretty standard fair for this genre throughout.  Your vocal performance works well.  I like this song, but I'm nitpicking it a bit because there are so many good songs in this challenge. I would probably listen to this song again.

17. Jerry Skids - The Ethical Ballad Of Mayor Goldie Wilson: I like the melody and the arrangement. But ultimately the production values are a little thin. It could cost you a place or two in the ranking, but the writing and vocals are really well done.  The doubled vox works wonderfully. I like your angle in the second verse a lot. I definitely like this song. And I would listen to this song again.

18. Dr. Lindyke - Doom's Day:  Production value is decent, but sound quality is not quite up to some of the other entries. I like the angle of the song. The lyric works really well with this setting. And it's a creative vocal performance that fits the challenge very well. This song works well and is a good entry, but it doesn't grab me as much as I'd hope with the creative angle.  I would probably listen to this song again.

19. Boffo Yux Dudes - Bully For You:  Oh, wow, that's an angle I wasn't expecting at all. I like it the angle and the history lesson toward the end.  The performances are decent, although the drums are a bit active with all those cymbals, it still works for me.  But there really isn't a build or climax other than the spoken word section that would make the arrangement stand out for me.  Another decent entry in a competitive challenge. I would probably listen to this again.

20. Megalodon - Democrat Pixie:  I like parts of the melody quite a bit. And you've kept my interest musically throughout. I don't much care for the left panned synth sounds in place being just a hair too "up" in the mix. But I do like the laid back feel and your angle/perspective on the challenge is unexpected and almost refreshing.  I would probably listen to this song again.

21. Shyfox - Berdie:  I like your melody and the vocal performance is decent enough if not stellar.  A fairly straight forward arrangement is helped by the whistling and the use of a uke (or high strung guitar) instead of a standard sounding guitar. I like the lyric but it is "further" not "farther" in the first verse. *evil grin* And that last verse, the hook/title doesn't carry the weight of the rest of the lyric. I might listen to this song again.

22. Sumner Wynn - The Great Weight: I dig those guitars although maybe just a hair less fuzziness (or a hair less volume) would let the vocal sit in the mix better. The lyric is part personal revelation and part condemnation which surprisingly to me, works.  I like the melody especially in a few parts, but the muddy mix, the vocal not sitting just right in the mix and the straight forward arrangement lasting forever kind of takes me out of it. I do like the single note guitar lines, though.   I might listen to this song again.

23. Heather Zink - BeFuhrer:  I like the sound of the piano. Another simple arrangement that works pretty well. The vocal performance works well with the lyric which I also liked well enough.  The vocal is down just a bit in the mix and there are a couple of places that it clips, both of which distract me from enjoying the song. You definitely hit the challenge and I like your perspective. Ultimately your (relatively minor, but obvious) production issues cause me an issue or two.  I might listen to this song again.

24. Lucky Witch & The Righteous Ghost - Spoiler: The slightly out of tune guitar bugs me right from the start. (To be fair it isn't terrible, but it still bugs me.) I like the bells. I don't particularly care for the arrangement as it stayed static pretty  much throughout. The melody was good and I really liked it on the chorus.  Not a bad song with some good elements and I might listen again.

25. Caravan Ray - Party Games: Banjo stands out immediately. You don't wanna be another guitar and vox arranged entry? I KNOW! GET A BANJO!!!! Hehe. Well it works well enough for me. I like the doubled vox and the shaker and your vocal performance fits it well. The slow build with the drums work, too.  This alludes to the recent election but from the perspective of a different set of candidates which makes it less personal, I think. Anyway, it works better than I might have thought. I might listen to this song again.

26. DJ Ranger Den - My Fellow Mannabadoos:  I like the melody and vocal performance, but the straight forward arrangement didn't add a whole lot for me. The odd (really odd) mannabadoos repetitions was kind of cool but it took me out of the song. At least it was interesting.  I might listen to this song again

27. Adam Sakellarides - A Better Place To Live:  This one is odd. I like the idea of an alien election, but aliens running for President of the U.S.?  I guess it works well enough since we don't really follow the constitution when we don’t' want to.  Just doesn't fit well with me, even though it's a creative angle.  Your performance was done well enough, but I probably wouldn't listen to this song again.

28. 27 Tikis - Kahuna Of The Corn Tropics: I like the vocal arrangement and it's performed well enough.  I am enjoying the lighter take on the challenge but there is nothing that stands out either good or bad about this song for me.  It just doesn't grab me enough to stand out. I might listen to this song again.

29. Domingo - Buleria de Persuacion:  If I gave points, you'd get some for the creative style. The arrangement works but is pretty static throughout the song. I like the lyric well enough. This is fun, but just didn't capture my imagination as much as it might have. Even though I like your creativity, I probably wouldn't listen to this song again.

30. Turtle Fence - Mr. Brexit Or, Nobody Loves EU):  I like that you included the round to break up the otherwise plain arrangement.  But the melody and accompaniment doesn't grab me all that much. I give you credit for the round, but I probably wouldn't listen to this song again.

31. Emperor Gum - Lucifer: Nice angle, lyrically, this reminds me a bit too much of the monster mash musically to take seriously. But then, who would want to take this seriously? I like what you did here and you had me smiling, but ultimately the melody was too similar sounding for me to enjoy too much. I probably wouldn't listen to this song again  even though I like the creative angles.

32. Mick Bordet - Democracy Inaction: The phrasing and overall vocal performance never drew me in.  The view point isn't strictly about a person who won or lost an election. This song just comes off as a condemnation of the result of someone else's election results. It never drew me in and I'm unlikely to listen to this song again.

D.Q. Edric Haleen  - This Changes Everything: It definitely doesn't meet the challenge. It is creative, though. I like this more than I want to, to be honest. But I probably wouldn't listen again. I wouldn't turn it off if it came on random play, though.

D.Q. The Crack Fox - Erection: I'm not sure why you chose to participate in this challenge, to be honest. This entire song could be trimmed down to make a good intro to an actual entry.

Dr. Lindyke - A True Democracy SHADOW:  You got me stomping my foot and clapping out of time. I like that you stuck to the genre and  gamed it up for the challenge. I hear this being played on the LPs for years to come.

Dr. Lindyke with Cherry Pi and Spintown - It Happesn To Everyone SHADOW: The vocal and melody reminds me of a top 40 country song, but on the almost midi sounding background I'm just confused as to what this is. But I think that's almost the point. I love the payoff line.

Andy Glover - Ratings Are Down (For Now) SHADOW:  I like the tone and performance of the vocal and I like the melody.  This is actually a pretty nice change of pace. I'm not sure it's enough to make it stand out in a crowd, but I liked it well enough and enjoyed listening to this song. (And after listening to 37 songs, most of them multiple times that must mean something, right?)