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Saturday, July 17, 2010

SpinTunes #1 Round 2 Review: Julia Sherred

17 - Edric Haleen - Love
Without being meta, I love this song. The things I really appreciate about this song are: it is not gender specific, anybody could be singing it about/to anybody else which makes it highly relatable; I adore the 3 parts and how the music under each movement matches the emotional tone; it is real and runs the full journey one could experience when going through love; the transitions are excellent. It is one of the few "love" songs that doesn't cause me to roll my eyes. It does not victimize. It is about the emotions and choices we face. And it made me tear up during the "So now, / ‘Though many things remind you/ Of what you’ve lost;/ Things gone awry -- " section. There are a lot of lines that I just find brilliant. The 2nd person was a very nice choice. It could have gone horribly wrong. When writing in 2nd person, I think you need to take care that it is universally relatable and as I've already stated, I think this is. Gushing Jules is gushing which does not happen often.

16 - "BucketHat" Bobby Matheson - Space Pirates
Paul and Storm watch out! This song is just so fun and brilliant and I can't help but to call it The Captain's Wife's Lament 2.0. You need to redo this when you are not pressed for time. The cough is a bit of WTF but this song is just all kinds of awesome. The lyrics are so smarrrrrt. Space Pirates FTW! I can see a Red Dwarf meets Monty Python type series based on this song. The transitions work well. This song makes me gush as well. It also makes me want to do a little jig and overall puts me in a very pleasant mood. I cannot say enough how freaking awesome this song is!

15 - Godz Poodlz - Identities Assumed
This song doesn't try. It just is. Nice smooth transitions. Unlike a lot of of the songs, my brain didn't get jarred out of the moment when they occurred. It reminds me of something but for the life of me, I cannot think of what that something is. I think the synth works in this one. For me, synth is a very hit and miss thing and I would say this one is a hit. Another thing that really makes me happy about this song, (and this may be a peculiar comment) when I listen to it, I can see choreography in my head. I can see how this song would play out. It paints a lot of wonderful images, colours and flavours in my head.

14 - Caleb Hines - Insomniac Lullaby
Unlike the other songs that jar me from the moment, in this song it works extremely well. Especially as a function to set the tone and discomfort of the character in the song. 5/8 is very nice and uncomfortable, mimicking that awful feeling you get in the brain when you are suffering from insomnia. Then there is the excellent transition to 3/4 and a nice lullaby and just when you think you can fall asleep, you are jarred awake again. Simply fabulous. I really enjoy it when song writers use music to no only move the song forward but to really match what is going the story within the song.

13 - Governing Dynamics - Eleayna Dreams
Something about it I just wasn't feeling. I wish I could say what but it is a feeling thing. The transitions worked nicely. I like the song. I like the lyrics. I just wasn't feeling the emotion of the song. Nothing it in really made me sit up and want to pay attention. It is a very nice song to have playing in the background as a way to relax while working but nothing pulls me into it. I also enjoyed the sound of the choruses much more than the verses and I think that may have taken away from it a bit. Nonetheless, it is a very solid song.

12 - Charlie McCarron - Sleep On It
I dislike meta songs. And in my opinion, this song is plenty meta. BUT I really love the music. It reminds me of the entire Vanilla Sky Soundtrack all balled into one song. This song has that dreamy disjointed ambiance of the entire soundtrack to it. Lyrically, I find it very soft. However, I do get swept away in the dream state of it and could melt into it if I needed a bit of an escape from reality. And even so as a general rule, I would rip this song apart because of the lyrics, this is one of the few songs where I don't care. And at the very end of the song, the lyrics "So thank God/ Life is not one song/ No, life is not one song" made up for the rest. It caused me to smile and agree.

11 - Ross Durand - Waltz With The Devil
I really enjoy the Bob Dylan quality to it. Nice transitions. I like a good protest song even if I don't agree with what the protest is about. There are a couple things you speak about in this song that I could debate over at length. But I'm not going to. It is your protest. The only critique I have of it is the possible non-relevance in a decade or so. And the reason I bring that up is because the some of the best protest songs I can think of stand the test of time. I don't know if this song will and that isn't really here nor there. Overall, I think this song is solid (despite the cliche first time "Black gold, Texas Tea).

10 - Denise Hudson - Flex Time
Despite what I think others may think, I like the drums, shakers and tambourine. However, there is a certain emptiness to it. I think it could have used more percussives. I love the choruses. The verses left me confused even so the whole song just made smile. I have no idea what it is about aside from knowing it is quite naughty and innuendo-y. Choreography also play out in my head while listening to this song, which is good. There is a very slinky and slithery sexual movement to this song. Songs that have a quality of movement to them are very nice, plain and simple.

9 - The Offhand Band - Another Universe
Very interesting use of transitions within verse/chorus instead of in between. I really like that choice. I love the choruses but the verses don't really grab me. I find the piano in the choruses to be quite pleasant. This is another song where I see choreography in a very Broadway Bob Fosse style. I just wish the song had more. Last week I critiqued you for having too much, this week it is the reverse. Some parts feel a bit too empty. There is a dreaminess that I think you are wanting to achieve with this song but it isn't quite there. And for me, it took a bit away from the song.

8 - Kevin Savino-Riker - Here At The Door
I find the transitions to be a bit abrupt. I have no idea what this song is about. The polyrhythm didn't work for me. I think the song would have been much better without them. The disjointed nature of the polyrhythms made my brain twitchy and half way through the piece, it became very difficult for me to listen to. It is a very solid piece of music, no doubt. It just didn't sit well with me. What saved this song from being lower is, despite the polyrhyrthms not working for me, it is a solid piece of music. There is a lot going on but maybe a bit too much. I do appreciate that it is a very complicated and intricate piece. So well done.

7 - Jenny Katz - Miss You
I like the jazz in the choruses. The verses have a bit of circus feeling to them which I find enjoyable. I found some of the transitions (chorus to verse) to be a bit abrupt and it pulled me away from the song. I find the verse to chorus transitions work better. Despite there nothing being overly unpleasant about this song, nothing really grabs me. I find my thoughts wandering while I listen and have to make a conscious effort to listen to it which is a shame because it is not a bad song.

6 - Heather Miller - Bullseye
The transitions are very sudden. Also, the song just seems to end when it shouldn't. I feel like there should be more but instead we get nothing. It left me a bit disappointed because of this. I like that the lyrics say what they need to say without embellishment. You give the bones of the story and allow the listener to add their own flavours and colours. I think it is a very good attempt but it just didn't completely work for me. Though, as I said, the bones are there. It would be interesting to see if you can build on them later down the road.

5 - Sara Parsons - A Little Time
I really hate this song. The lyrics completely killed it for me. The first " Spend a little time with me/ But don't waste your time on me", I rolled my eyes, said okay and I wanted to stop listening. It reminds me of someone who slams the cupboard door and says nothing is wrong. Unfortunately, I couldn't stop listening because I had to critique it. I tried to ignore the pity party and listen to the music. But even the vocals and music didn't do anything for me. The only thing saving this song from being last is I can be objective and can see the appeal for others of your music despite the fact I really do not like it. Regardless, It is a solid piece of music. At least the transitions are good. And this is my nice review of this song.

4 - Steve Durand - Rara Avis
There is something about the timing of all the instruments that just doesn't mesh. I really enjoy the jazzy feel but the syncopation between the different instruments within the choruses seem to be a millisecond off. Or as if some of the instruments are coming in a bit too early. Or maybe it is a balance issue. This makes it uncomfortable to listen to. This also made it difficult for me to hear the vocals,especially in the choruses, because my mind was so occupied trying to figure out what isn't working with the music. Or maybe the vocals are getting buried in the mix. I can't quite tell. If it were not for those things, I would have enjoyed this song more.

3 - Emperor Gum - Smoulder (Yaoya Oshichi)
I really like what you do musically but regardless this song didn't do anything for me. I found the transitions to be jarring. I got bored with the song quickly even so there are a lot of things musically that I enjoy about it. Instead of smoldering, the song kind of fizzles. I really dig the lyrics. There is a lot of nice imagery in it. I really wish I could give you some sort of constructive criticism but I am at a in regards to what you could have done differently to make it better. And even so the production didn't play a factor for me this time, I do want to mention that there are a couple parts where the bass is just way too high and sounds a bit like feedback.

2 - Gorbzilla - Than Infinity
This song made me crack up. As a parent, I LOVE IT! It is so adorable and wondering and would be a great thing to sing to either parent or even your child. But here is my issue. There is a lack of effort in your song that the other contestants put forth. Even so you technically met the requirements, I think it a "just barely" with the one line chorus. This song is so fantabulous and really perfect for what it is but when compared structurally to the other songs, it falls a lot short.

1 - JoAnn Abbott - Life
Such a very wonderful attempt. I have to give you HUGE props. You did very well considering you are not a musician. I can ignore the poor sound and pitchy vocals. I realize that not every one has the equipment needed. I can ignore the lack of ability to play an instrument. The transitions were very sticky but considering the above, I feel horrible critiquing it. You really did make a valiant effort. But there are a lot of things with the structure of the lyrics that does not work. The verses are too long and too wordy. What you wanted to say could have been said in a simpler, more fluid way. The song could have been a lot shorter. And unlike Edric's 2nd person narrative, your 2nd person narrative took away from the song. At least for me it did. I found it difficult to relate to. There were even some lyrics that offended me slightly because at times it seems to be on the cusp of preachy and gave a sense of "this is what you should want with your life" but I was able to get over that. And I doubt that was your intent anyway. It would have been a load better if it were told from 1st person. Excellent effort.

Shadows - Short and Sweet

Boffo Yux Dudes - How Low Will You Go
So wrong! I love it. I can see people getting angry over this song. But I adore songs that shake people from their comfortable zones and step all over socially accepted topics of discussion and what is and isn't acceptable to joke about. Rape isn't funny. But this song is.

Dr. Lindyke - Minutes And Hours
I can hear all kinds of instrumentation behind this song. It is the first Dr. Lindyke song where I can hear how it can be more. It is reminiscent of fantasy movies I grew up with in the 80s. I can float away in it. Very nice jobs, sirs.

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