Saturday, July 15, 2017

ST13R1 Reviews - Dave Cheetham

And here are a few of my un-schooled observations on each song:

Sara Parsons - Crikey!
Crikey indeed. This is a really nicely crafted song. Musically and lyrically creative from start to finish. It’s hard to find fault in it, but if I had to, I would suggest the bridge could be tickled into shape a tiny bit -  only with a word or two here and there.
My hat is currently off to Sara and will stay that way. Personally, I would have been very proud indeed to have knocked this song out.


Jerkatorium - Center Square
This is a very catchy tune. Sounds like an early ‘Barenaked Ladies’ tune and that is a great thing for me. Just enough ‘cheek’ in the lyrics to raise a smile too. Throughout the song the lyrics are well-crafted and captivating.
Excellent work.


Melissa Phillips - Never the Fool
A lovely song with heartfelt and meaningful lyrics. Beautifully sung too, Melissa has a great voice. The bridge at the end offers a real lift heading into the last chorus.
If I had to change a thing it would just be one word - I’d take out ‘manic’ in the chorus and swap for ‘tragic’ giving a stronger rhyme. But it is a tiny change and one that I could be totally wrong about. It would seem a shame to change anything about this beautiful song.

Jailhouse Payback featuring John Sievers - The Greatest Bond
Excellent use of lyrics with just enough comedy. In fact the performance lies somewhere between ‘The Divine Comedy’ and ‘The Barenaked Ladies’, both bands that I like and admire. If I had to make one change, I would drop the ‘The was Sean Connery’ line altogether. It seems an unnecessary complication in an otherwise excellent chorus to me.
A very nice piece of work indeed.


Boy on the Wall - Bail Me Out
Very neat structure throughout the song. A truly 'hooky' chorus and a well placed and constructed bridge. This is a smasher of a song.
Hard to find Robin Williams in there unless you are told that’s the meaning behind it but I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all. It is an excellent song without having to rely on sentiment or sympathy, so that would come as an additional bonus when you found out.
Great work Boy.


Governing Dynamics - Final Flight of the Electra
A well written song with a catchy chorus. It felt to me that the lyrics could have done with a little spit and polish here and there though. All that said, this is a foot-tapping, ear worm of a song that these guys should be very proud of.


James Young - Singularity
Although it’s not my chosen genre, I really like this song. It’s full-on from the start. The chorus is instantly memorable and the repetition drives that home nicely. In fact, the song is such a nicely packed rock-parcel, it’s easy to miss how good the lyrics are along the way.
It may have been better to have slotted in another verse, to establish the pattern before launching into the chorus and It could possibly benefit from a bridge.
Also Personally, I would have dropped the vocally-held word at the end of the first line of the verses, they come across like a bit of a rock cliché.


Ominous Ride - Line After Line (Wired)
I love the soft start then the sudden launch into ‘Rocksville USA’. Musically I like the rapid fire vocal delivery too. If I could change one thing, it would be to drop the ‘That Lonesome Road’ and replace it with something less cliched.
But other than that, a very nice piece of work.


Glen Raphael - One More Thing
From the kick-off this song makes the listener raise an inquisitive eyebrow.
Listening beyond the slightly out-of-tune finger picked ukulele, the lyrics are very well crafted and the melody is unique and interesting.
All in all, a very good song which would flourish with the help and benefit of studio production.


Alex Valentine - Adolescent Minds
A very tidy song. I like the way that Alex has captured the sound of Cobain in the process of writing this song. A series of references to Kurt’s lyrics are cleverly woven in. The structure is good but there is room for a touch more emotion and exploration of the pain - Kurt’s, Alex’s and the listener’s.
That killer reveal or painful revelation could be added with a bridge or middle eight and would add tremendous weight to the song.


Micah Sommersmith - The Sisters of Mercy Again
Another cracking song with carefully crafted lyrical references throughout the verses.
For me, using words like ‘preternaturally’ and ‘portal’ make the lyrics a little bit clunky and come across as working a little too hard to be clever. But that problem only pops up in the second verse, the rest of the song flows with conversational ease.
It feels to me that the chorus could do with a little punch somewhere, particularly towards the end. And it also seems like the song misses the emotional focus that a strong middle eight could bring.


Megalodon - The Quiet One
A good sing but I think there is still a little work to be done - both lyrically and musically. It has the potential be be a really good song but the lyrics have a few sharp edges which need smoothing off. It also feels like it ends rather unexpectedly so I feel some attention there may lead to a more satisfying listening experience.


Rob From Amersfoort - The Blonde Bombshell
A stop-start fractured song that needs a bit of work to pull it together. In my opinion this song is at its best in verse two when it picks up the tempo a little and could possibly benefit for that treatment throughout.
I do like the celebrity soundbite in the middle, it adds a tiny peak in an otherwise linear tune.


Little Bobby Tables - Star Man
It’s a case of one-verse-too-many for this embryonic masterpiece. Like a fine piece of granite, this song needs pieces chipping away until it leaves only a beautiful sculpture behind.
Little Bobby would do well to fine tune some of the rhyming too, which would make the song flow more smoothly.
The chorus shows its strongest form at the end of the song and left me wondering why it wasn’t the way throughout.
A good song which is in need of a little housekeeping.


Boffo Yux Dudes - What Ailes You
With regular moments of genius, this song is a little difficult to follow structurally.
All that said it has several unique hooks that keep tugging away at you ear lugs.
The song is packed with intrigue and musicality and I can’t help but feel there is a great song hidden inside this good song, just waiting to be re-crafted and revealed.


Gorbzilla - Drowned in Moonlight
Clever lyrics and a tidy framework make this a very respectable song indeed. With the benefit of percussion, instrumentation and harmonies this would unfold into a really nice song.


Inflatable Vegetables - Another Blackstar Fallen
This song has captured the Bowie feel very well. The chorus is catchy and well crafted.
There are several instances where it feels as if there are one or two syllables too many.
This ’squashing in of words’ seems to break the musical and lyrical flow now and again which is a shame as the song is a nice piece of work.
Personally, I would have dropped the diaper reference in the first line and gone for something with less negative association.


Lucky Witch & the Righteous Ghost - Sour Boy
A touch on the dreary side for my personal taste but there is sometime intriguing about this song. It does feel like there is more to add though - a climb, a lift, a change of direction that could provide a reward for the listener’s patience.


Army Defense - The Ultimate Gift
With its percussive piano and irreverent undertone, this song has a strong flavour of ‘Ben Folds’. Whilst I like the musical elements, it feels like there is still a bit of work to do on the lyrics. The words roll out like an unordered list and could do with a little more to support them or to bring them together.
Musically, it feels as if the last line in the chorus is clipped. As a listener I feel as if there is something still to come at the end of the song.


W8 What - Wake Up!
A cleverly constructed song. I like the way it interlaces lyrical refiners with musical similarities, subtly painting a picture of George in his glory days.
The lyrics are well put together but I do feel that although it is trying, the song isn’t quite getting is message clearly through to me.
After several listens, I still don’t know why you didn’t wake him up. Maybe it was because you ‘could’ not wake him up?


\αlpha . ßeta\ - Relativity
Whilst it has a nice lead riff and musically it is nicely put together, this feels like it is not even half a song - a song which is screaming out for more content. It could be three or four time the length, then it wouldn’t have to rely on the ‘red Shift, blue shift’… chant to fill in time at the end.


Kevin Savino - Riker - Ode to the Sportsman
Nice lyrics, well stitched together.
Structurally the song seems a little untidy and the chorus is just too long coming so the listener is left wondering where the hook was. In actual fact, the listener is left wondering where the chorus was.


Jordan Carroll - Trickle Down
Whilst not without potential, this tongue-in-cheek ’Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ style song is a little short on content and the content that does exist is in need of some TLC. It would benefit from a bridge and maybe even and extra verse or two as they zip by so quickly.


Edric Haleen - In Memoriam
A pleasant tune with a Broadway musical feel. But something is missing. In fact, lots of things are missing. Currently this just seems like a list set to music.
The beginning of a great song. But only the beginning.


Jubilation - The Delirious Lord Made Flesh
This song feels like the musical version of a brainstorming session where you scribble down as much information about a subject as possible in a limited amount of time.
There is great stuff in there - but it is extremely well hidden.
This song has potential but it is time for a re-write.


Matt Walton - The Coming of Enlightenment
I have never spent time in a monastery or been certified with a psychological disorder so I am afraid I am under qualified to judge this song. However, I do feel that if Jack Black or Will Ferrel were to perform this during a funny scene in a movie, it would come become a legendary tune.


Emperor Gum - He
Although there is some nice stuff here, structurally this song is impossible to follow.
The lyrics are a little clumsy in places too. With some care and attention, they could be polished up nicely.
With a chop and shuffle, this could become a great song but until then it will continue to tempt, taunt and confuse.


JoAnn Abbott & M.A.T. - Fly . . . And Be
Not without potential, this tune is all a little ‘jerky’ for me. Too many stops and starts and changes in tempo. It feels like two or three songs combined at the moment.
There is plenty of good stuff within the lines but it all needs gathering together and slotting into a more regular structure.


Zoe Gray - Play On (Shadow)
Excellent lyrics and a very catchy melody line . The chorus feels a little awkward in the last two lines and with a tiny tweak or two to those lines this could be an absolutely beautiful song.
Great work from Zoe


Pigfarmer, Jr. - Cheeto Blues (Shadow)
The satiral comedy song is a tough genre to crack and this one does that very well indeed. However, this standard blues framework leaves little work for the creative songwriter to do other than drop the words into pre-defined slots, so it’s hard to award much for musical imagination.
A good job from Pigfarmer Jnr but musically, he took something of an easy route.