Saturday, August 12, 2017

ST13R3 Reviews: Paul Rosenbluth

Round three.  Very interesting to say the least.  I took the same approach to this round as last with special consideration to how well the song was reimagined.   

I’m still incredibly impressed with all of you.  This was a particularly difficult challenge I expect and yet everyone submitted quality work.  It might have been interesting to not have the new tune constraint and see what that would have produced (I was secretly longing for a reggae version of something).  It would have been fascinating as well to hear each of you reinterpret a competitor’s song.  Nonetheless, I enjoyed your work immensely.  Thank you for your songs.

So here we go…

Sara Parsons – DAY(by)DAY
Okay, wow!  I can go on and on about this one.  An excellent complete reimagining of this song and stands as a great version in and of itself.  I really don’t know which version I like better. I love the hypnotic, seductive lounge vibe suggestive of Cocteau Twins or Beth Orton.  I could totally hear this song on a movie soundtrack – driving with the top down through the streets of Manhattan at night with the city lights all around.  Absolutely great!

Jerkatorium – Center Square Redux
Very different than the first. Also a great version in and of itself.  I really like the juxtaposition of the fast paced guitar riff with the airy, pensive stanzas.  Excellent guitar solo makes this a complete work.  A truly excellent version.

Megalodon – The Quiet One 2 (Shadow)
Would have ranked third in competition for me.  Really love this version.  Edgy and punky reminiscent of the Ramones or Violent Femmes.  Some very catchy signature musical phrases make this stand out.  Great job!

Boy on the Wall – Bail Me Out (Do Over)
A really great arrangement and instrumentation choices suggestive of 80s alt pop.  A very catchy, good refrain calls to mind fun songs by Yaz or Dead or Alive. The synth work really incorporated nicely on this one.  Very well done!

Kevin Savino-Riker - 22-Over
So much going on here!  Love the music on this one.  Has a great King Crimson vibe to it.  The syncopated lyrics against instrumentation really works here.  A totally new song results and is great.  Has an element of funk and attitude and calls on the best memories of the Pacific Northwest 90s sound.  Really a fine piece!

Governing Dynamics - To A Stubborn Young Man In The Year 1998 (red mix)
A very good reinterpretation of the original.  Methodically paced with a longing singing style like a Radio Head joint.  Nice guitar work playing against the vocals.  Really makes the listener follow the lyrics and music.  Very nicely done!

Jailhouse Payback - On Wax
Really good instrumentation choices and well delivered in a nice reinterpretation.  Even has a nice Grateful Dead vibe which is awesome with the reference to them in the lyrics.  I probably like the first version better but really like this one as well.  Super job!

Little Bobby Tables - Star Man Redo
I really like the arrangement on this one, especially the keys leading into the initial lyrics.  A very good redo and I think I like this version better.  Had a nice Depeche Mode vibe for me which really works with the lyrics and subject matter.  Excellent.

Melissa Phillips - For You - Do Over
A perhaps simple yet sweet arrangement.  Plays great to Melissa’s great voice and excellent lyric writing.  I preferred the first version and this didn’t quite grab me for a real connection.  Nonetheless, I could listen to Melissa sing all day and this is definitely a solid effort.  Well done.

\alpha.ßeta\ - Stop! Redux (Shadow)
Definitely liked this version better.  Love the slow deliberative pace and the collaboration between sultry vocal and rhythmic bass line.  Excellent rework of this song.

Alex Valentine - Past Adolescence
I like the underlying hypno guitar line on this one.  A good redo, different from the first, but yet still somehow quite similar.  I suppose that speaks to Alex’s signature style which is a good thing.  Nice work.

Glen Raphael - One More Thing
The lone guitar work on this is very good.  Definitely different from the first but also very similar.

JoAnn Abbott & M.A.T. - A Swinging Happy Birthday To We
Liked this version better than the first.  I liked the swing inspiration. Couldn’t help but think of Ella Fitzgerald’s version of Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing” absent the scatting.  No need here with plenty of lyrics to tell the story.  A very nice reworking of this song.

Micah Sommersmith - Sisters (Shadow)
A good reworking of this tune.  Lyrics hold up and nicely executed although I really didn’t feel a connection with this musically.  Solid effort nonetheless!

Rob From Amersfoort - Letter To Self (Shadow)
Liked this version better than the first.  Weird and quirky but I am guessing that is the goal here.  Not really my style but well delivered in context.

Pigfarmer Jr. - Shrooms (Shadow)
Actually a really nice rethink of this one.  Some really interesting musical ideas I would enjoy seeing developed more in a longer piece.  Enjoyed the bass and lead guitar work punctuated with the bongos.

Edric Haleen - Beating the Challenge
Cheeky and creative.  The encoded verses are reminiscent of a long intro to a Pink Floyd or Yes composition.  Indiscernible as the same song from before.

Rob From Amersfoort - My Platinum Blonde (Shadow)
Different from the first and well executed.  Just couldn’t make a connection with this one.