Saturday, December 8, 2018

ST15R3 Reviews: Travis Langworthy

Even though I don’t run this thing anymore, I do keep an eye/ear on it.  Since I didn’t judge the past rounds here’s what I thought of them.

Round 1:  Hated the challenge, and the songs were meh overall.  In my opinion Red Watcher’s shadow won the round.

Round 2:  Challenge was meh, but the songs were MUCH better.  Faster Jackalope won the round for me, and I became I fan.  The shadow from Dr. Lindyke was probably my 2nd favorite entry.  Solid album overall.

How I Plan To Judge:
It’ll be pretty much like I have in the past, but for the new competitors I’ll go over it again.  Most importantly was your song enjoyable to me.  I don’t care how you met the challenge or what amazing thing you did in the song…if I got bored you will not get ranked highly.  I will take into consideration the challenge if 2 or 3 songs are really close in my rankings, but if you didn’t get DQ’ed...how you met the challenge probably won’t make or break you in my rankings.  Normally I’m a fan of more upbeat funny songs, and I focus on the lyrics a lot because I’m not a musician myself.  As this is my busiest time of the year (I’m in retail) so I won’t be reviewing any shadows this time.

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Brian Gray - Boy And His Kumquat Tree
I’ve not really bought into your alien trilogy thus far, but at least with the previous entries I could have picked out something positive.  Like your vocal performance, music….something.  This one left me bored & disappointed from start to finish.  The nicest thing I can say is the other competitors will surely be grateful to you for setting the bar so low with the first song.
Zoe Gray - Old Lovers’ Bridge
I enjoyed this.  I don’t listen to a ton of Hank Williams, but I get my share when I visit my grandpa.  The lyrics & music held my attention, and while I could never say you have a bad voice, I will say I didn’t think it fit this style all that well.  But you got the job done without it being too much of a distraction.  I read your short bio, and I’m afraid your references were lost on me, but luckily I didn’t need to get them to enjoy the song.  Well done.
Vom Vorton - Silver Streak
Not sure a 2004 Toyota Corolla was the best choice in cars for this song.  Other than picking a car that’s a little more badass I felt this was well done.  Not a huge fan of 1 line chorus, but it makes since in this case.  I’m actually surprised at how much I liked this since I’m not a big fan of Fu Manchu.  I’ve enjoyed your work thus far in SpinTunes...keep it up.
Faster Jackelope - Ghia’s Got Room For Two
I questioned your choice when I saw that you picked The Ronettes, but after listening I was impressed.  I’m not a car guy, so I didn’t know what a Karmann Ghia was at first, I was relieved to find out it’s a car.  I felt the vocals were maybe a little hot in the chorus, and there was a transition I didn’t really like at 2:11. Other than that, I can’t complain much.  It was fun to sing, and I look forward to hearing anything else you write in the future.  Well done to everyone who contributed.
PigFarmer, Jr. - Who Are You?
I could listen to this at every SpinTunes LP...not even kidding.  In the past I’ve pushed for rap to be more a part of SpinTunes.  I voted to get a rap challenge multiple times, and eventually schemed enough to get it done.  Seeing you take on rap when others have publicly wimped out in the past means you get lots of props from me.  You really embrace the spirit of SpinTunes when you compete, and this is a good example.  As much as I liked this I have to admit your flow didn’t feel all that natural.
Temnere - The Grifter
I wasn’t familiar with Bed Religion so I had to go listen to some of their music.  I think you hit the nail on the head with the style, and I was into the song.  Then it just ended way too soon.  At first I worried you would be DQ’ed because there used to be a rule about songs being at least 2 minutes long.  After checking with Dave to find out that rule got thrown out I was relieved.  I’m not going to knock you for the song being under some preconceived time limit that I wish you would have hit.  I will knock you a little for the song feeling like it had more in it than what you gave.
Sometimes I need a dictionary to follow along with your lyrics, but you had some that really stuck with me as well.
“the grifter, a righteous pantomime 
one day you're the star 
but then you find its gone too far 
a whisper, of conscience on your mind 
the itch of an old scar”
That might be my favorite bit of writing from SpinTunes 15 so far.  This will be in my top 4 for sure.  Well done.
Good Guy Sojabe - Ahab
Vocals were a little too muddled with the lines “Out of my mind, Out of my head”, but other than that I enjoyed the performance.  Lyrically it wasn’t really for me & overall the song was too much of a downer for me.  Just not my bag.  Not that it’s a bad song at all, just my personal preference in style worked against you here.
Mandibles - Right Again
For me...the catchiest song of the round.  I’ll be singing...
“Right again,  
What does it get you when you’re right again?”
...for a few days.  The lyrics were clever, well sang, and no issues with the production.  I wish I had a negative or 2 to throw in…  I am a little annoyed that you’ve made it harder for me to pick my top 4...so yeah...that’s all I got.
Third Cat - Hideaway
Lyrically I was confused, and musically I was bored.  There were a couple Yoda moments with the lyrics, and that always annoys me.  When I look at your round 2 song it’s clear you can provide good vocals with an interesting sound.  But again with that round I didn’t really connect with your lyrics.  I like clear stories that leave little room for interpretation usually...and that’s not what this was.
Governing Dynamics - Leave It At That
I was really looking forward to this song.  Mostly because I wanted to see you get outside your comfort zone more.  And if this is the result, you should do it more often.  I do have a number of your songs on my PC that I listen to (so it’s not like I dislike your regular style), but you have played it safe a lot more than I’d have liked in the past.  This shows me, and hopefully you, that you can do other things, and do them well.  This was my favorite song from you this contest.  Lyrically at times I don’t connect with this, but I’m sure you saw that coming in my review already.

RANKINGS:

  1. Mandibles
  2. Faster Jackelope
  3. PigFarmer, Jr.
  4. Temnere
  5. Zoe Gray
  6. Vom Vorton
  7. Governing Dynamics
  8. Good Guy Sojabe
  9. Third Cat
  10. Brian Gray