Kevin Savino-Riker – “My Daughter”
Very nice! Everything about this song was sad and beautiful. The constant and hushed instrumentation never got too repetitive and was actually calming, much like a heart beat (especially the drums, which at the end was really cool!). I really enjoyed the story-telling quality of the song as well, the words of the song and the vocals were very much the focal point and the music just floated in the background. The only thing I didn’t like about the song was the small vocal ‘ooh’ at the end when the story was done, it was a little disappointing, but I’m glad the music went on and didn’t end with that. Really great, Kevin!
Governing Dynamics – “Revolving Door”
The approach you have taken to this song is one that I hadn’t given much thought to and it’s horrifically sad, and honestly, I probably connect most with this one. I really think that this was a good challenge for you, because you typically do the slower, sadder sounding songs, but in my opinion in the past two rounds, your weak spot was your lyrics. With this challenge, you really had to pay more attention to the lyrics and really make them count. I was really pleased with this entry, Travis! Nice job.
Caleb Hines – “Will You Miss Me”
Caleb, this song was really beautiful. I really liked your musical choices as far as the light and flowing parts, talking about the beauty of living, the darker part of reality, and the chorus seems to be accepting but hoping that he will be missed. A song from the point of view of a dying newborn is something I hadn’t really been expecting. Also, the fact that every time you sang, “Will you miss me when I’m gone?” you got quieter was a great dynamic choice! Lesson to all: when you repeat lyrics, convince the audience that there is a reason that they are being repeated, that they are important. You convinced me, Caleb. It was terrifically sad, thanks for the great entry!
The Offhand Band – “Will It”
There was some really great music here! This was another song that was sad and in a way that I hadn’t considered much during my predictions of what people would be writing about. However, it is a very sad reality that so many people have to go through. Your lyrics and the story you told really fit the challenge, but I really how as every new verse came about it seemed to become more real and terrifying for the characters in the story, and you were really able to translate that into the music. Nice job!
Ross Durand – “You’ll Be Gone”
Ross, your songs are always nice and have a good quality to them, but I find that they’re never anything that will really stand out among the others. They aren’t the worst songs by far, but they are never my top picks. I feel like I had a strong, decisive opinion on your songs from the last two rounds, but, this time I’m not really sure how I feel about it. Sure, it’s a sad scenario, but it’s nothing overwhelming and a scenario like this makes me feel that it was thought out and chosen for the better (or maybe I’m just reading into it more than I should?). I feel like it was a really solid entry, as always.
Sara Parsons – “Had To Be You”
This song was pretty generic for me; something I had been expecting from the time we had picked this challenge. I didn’t really feel much of anything during this song, other than I knew it was sad, because it was, but having it be sad was part of the challenge, so I didn’t feel like there was enough sadness. Also, I felt as though the story could have taken place well after birth had taken place, but I feel like it still works, too. Otherwise, you still had the quality production and rich sound that you always do, along with beautiful lines. So, this was another pretty solid entry.
Steve Durand – “Her Mother’s Eyes”
This was a decent song, Steve. Your music is usually quality, and it still is this time, however, it was happy and danceable! It was a sad story, but it had my head bopping the whole time. So, I really wasn’t feeling sad. As usual, nice use of horns. I liked the song, just didn’t cut it for me as far as the challenge goes.
Edric Haleen – “The Star”
The first time I listened to this song, I was having trouble feeling sad because I was mostly thinking, “OH MY GOD, this is SO cool!” This was my favorite song in the round, since it really brought out my choir nerd inside, but not my favorite interpretation for the challenge. I loved the agony in the song, especially the opening line. Using Latin, and using it properly, is another aspect of the song that I highly appreciate. Also, it’s kind of sick how well you pull off a cappella; it’s such a difficult thing to do. Also, a creative approach helps with the points. You’re really talented, as I’ve said before, at emoting, as you know how to put chords together and use notes to sound sad. That being said, the challenge was to write a song about birth, and while there might have been a smidge of that, most of the song was about the annihilation of this other planet/life/civilization. I’m really, very pleased, though, with the direction in which this challenge took you.
Charlie McCarron – “A Song For Sam Bell”
Charlie, I really like your songs more each round. They’re very unique to you and I love the way you can write a very simple and beautiful song. I feel about your song very similarly to the way I feel about Edric’s. There is an element of birth, but I don’t feel like that’s what the song is about. The song is about how lonely Sam Bell was on the moon and how sad he was there. So, there was a hint of that birth requirement in there, but not enough to fully suit the challenge. However, I highly respect your creative approach and by no means is this my least favorite song this round, just not my favorite interpretation of the challenge. Good job.
Brian Gray – “Not Even Close”
This song was brilliant, Brian! I’m so glad you shadowed! As I’m sure you’ve already heard, it doesn’t really meet the ‘sad’ requirement of the challenge, though it is a bit heartbreaking. It was a great approach and the musicianship and quality were there. You really had some cool effects in there as well, and on top of it all, I have another name on the ‘what will I name my baby someday’ list (Khaghlalghah is charming). I hope to hear from you again! Thanks for the music!
Dr. Lindyke – “A Special Day”
You two are such a great team; you always have the most beautiful work. I really liked this song because, though the story was similar to others, the focus was different. While most songs that have a similar story seem to focus on the baby, your song really focuses on the mother. This song is very moving and perfect for the challenge.
JoAnn Abbott – “Lullabye”
Very nice job, Jo! This song felt very personal, not particularly to me, but I’ve noticed that a lot of your lyrics are parental and it’s obvious that being a parent/grandparent is very important to you. I liked the feel of the song, very dark and delicate. The only thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of was the recorder playing the melody line through the whole song. But, I’m glad you’re still trying new things and you’ve already come a long way!