Saturday, April 14, 2018

ST14R1 Reviews - Paul Rosenbluth

First, I am grateful to return as a Judge for another edition of SpinTunes.  I have continued my approach to judging from last time.  Quality of music and lyrics are weighted most heavily, but I also include creativity and delivery/execution (how well you communicated or sold me on the song regardless of production value). I also gave some weight to overall impression and first reaction.  I used a scoring scale with five categories based on my qualitative reactions as I listened.  I tried to not be biased by styles that are not my favorite and rather judge the work on its merits within the context of that genre and how people who like that genre would deem it.  I greatly appreciate the creative process of all the competitors in this round and thank you for the opportunity to share my reactions.

So here we go…



1.       Ominous Ride - Marco Polo
So much I like about this song.  The music gave this one an overall edge over my choice for #2.  Many elements were suggestive to me of comforting song favorites (perhaps a little Simon and Garfunkel or Tommy James and the Shondells), especially with the syncopated rhythm, echoing voices, flute sound (not sure if actual flute, synth, or if my ear is hearing it as such) and the piano and organ accents.  Strong entry from a band that gave me one of my SpinTunes favorites from last time, “Line After Line.”  Excellent.

2.       Temnere – Domesticity
Well crafted, driving, energy-laden track.  A strong, balanced composition overall with convincing lead vocal, guitar work, and quick paced percussion.  Very creative and sharply executed hard rock anthem.  Superb effort.

3.       Megalodon - Dignified Leisure
Really enjoyed the melody on this one.  A bit pensive and nicely answered with the guitar in the breaks.  Felt a touch of Ween or Joe Jackson.  Creative and well delivered.  Props for use of “otium.”  A nice piece indeed.

4.       Governing Dynamics - *boop*
Loved the cheeky lyrics in such a melodic tune: “singing the song of her people” and “evil mouse.”  Creative, pretty and well executed little number.  Well done.

5.       ShyFox - My Homie
One of the most creative entries to me.  Reminiscent of Beck, Bicycle, or Cider Sky.  Nice lyric work placing rhymes and weaving in spoken elements.  Light and playful.  Very well done.

6.       Boy on the Wall - Amelia, What Are You Thinking?
Really liked the contrast between the lyric and chorus on this one.  Nice melody a bit reminiscent at moments of “This is My World” by Darius Rucker.  Well-constructed and enjoyable.  Good job!

7.       Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken - Floating By
This is another one where I really liked the contrast between lyric lines and chorus.  An existential lament of good lyrics.  Love this line: “With you I don't even have to try.”  A solid, well-executed entry.  Nice work.

8.       PigFarmer Jr - SHADOW: Lazy Bitch
Would have ranked this #8 if in competition.  A good bluesy acoustic performance.  Get your shit together, Clyde.

9.     Riker's Island - Amy
Melodically like a lost track from Pink Floyd’s “Obscured by Clouds.” A bit meandering and abstract vibe yet with thoughtful lyrics.  A good little composition.

10.   Matchy Matchy - SHADOW: One of These Days
Homicidal pets panic and hang the DJ, I mean kill the mailman.

11.   Heather Zink - When She's gone
Simple and pretty with a “Porgy and Bess” vibe.  Felt like this was a good start to a song that wanted to be more.

12.   Menage a Tune - Who Needs an Alarm Clock?
Solid lyrics with a light, airy tune.  Reminds me a bit of John Hiatt’s “Slow Turning” and the accordion always makes me hear Camper Van Beethoven.  A nice entry.

13.   Jordan Carroll - Unloved
A well-constructed song.  I like the pauses and spoken interjections.  The beat and mood would be well suited to a proper hip-hop joint.  Nicely done.

14.   Edric Haleen - Bitch
This could be a fine number in the Broadway musical “Pets” with props to Kahn and Donaldson.  Creative and well-executed.  Good job.

15.   Glen Raphael - Lazy Sunday
Gordon Lightfoot would be a great name for a pet cat.  Mr. Pibb and Red Vines equals crazy delicious.

16.   Buckethat Bobby Matheson - You Don't Do Anything But Drink
Very creative take on the challenge.  “You Don’t Do Anything But Drink” is a great title and line “loaded” with imagery.

17.   Micah Sommersmith - Our Arrangement
Another creative take on the challenge.  Was worried you might lay an egg on this one.  Smart lyrics and well delivered.

18.   Josh, Just Josh - Best Friend
A bit simple but could be the start of something.  For me it needed a little more musical variation and less obvious rhymes in the lyrics.

19.   Rob from Amersfoort - You're So Fab
Just not enough musical hook for my tastes.  I did dig the drum spills on the outro.


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Special mention to Jerkatorium.  Yes, so stupid, right?  Curious what the proper demonym is for us Jeraktorium fans.  Jerkheads?  Jerkatorians?  Jerkers?  Inquiring minds want to know.


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Paul actually gave rankings including the shadows. Shadows have been removed and numbers adjusted for the aggregate totals, but here's how it would have shaken out if shadows were competing.

Track
Order
Artist/Song
17
1
Ominous Ride - Marco Polo 03:00
12
2
Temnere - Domesticity 04:53
15
3
Megalodon - Dignified Leisure 03:23
11
4
Governing Dynamics - *boop* 03:05
16
5
ShyFox - My Homie 02:19
10
6
Boy on the Wall - Amelia, What Are You Thinking? 02:40
6
7
Bubba and the No Longer Amiable Kraken - Floating By 03:46
19
8
PigFarmer Jr - SHADOW: Lazy Bitch 02:38
13
9
Riker's Island - Amy 03:19
18
10
Matchy Matchy - SHADOW: One of These Days 03:34
14
11
Heather Zink - When She's gone 01:59
7
12
Menage a Tune - Who Needs an Alarm Clock? 03:52
1
13
Jordan Carroll - Unloved 03:26
4
14
Edric Haleen - Bitch 02:36
2
15
Glen Raphael - Lazy Sunday 02:49
8
16
Buckethat Bobby Matheson - You Don't Do Anything But Drink 03:09
3
17
Micah Sommersmith - Our Arrangement 02:57
5
18
Josh, Just Josh - Best Friend 02:01
9
19
Rob from Amersfoort - You're So Fab 02:00