Governing Dynamics – Alive Again
Nice happy groove. Enjoyed the harmonies in the lyrics very much. In the beginning of the song, the first verse was a little too low in the mix and I had trouble hearing what the lyric was as a result. This seemed to resolve itself as the song went along.
Nice progression, with plenty of changes in the song. When the song started modulating into different keys toward the end, the lyrics seemed to struggle a little with regard to staying right on key and/or staying as crisp as they had been.
I wasn’t always sure what the song was about. Only on my second time through did I figure it out, and even now I’m still not entirely sure that the meaning I got from it is correct. Is it a song written from the perspective of a guy who is already dead, waiting for his significant other to die so they can be reunited?
Overall really nice entry, I enjoyed it a lot. Recording was clean, melodies well defined, good upbeat sound.
Gold Lion – In the Afterlife
Really sexy sound. I like it a lot! Funky and groovy.
My only criciticism is the lyrics were at times a little muddy sounding… Not so much the enunciation per se but the filters or settings used on the recording itself. I’m sure this was a bit of deliberate ambiance, and part of me really liked the “smoky” quality of it which lends itself to the subject matter. But a few times I kind of had to strain to understand what was being said, so I would’ve liked it just a touch cleaner sounding on the vocals.
Overall, a very spunky, enjoyable entry. I could get my groove on to this any day.
Dr. Lindyke - Wake Me When It's Over
Absolutely beautiful. Soulful, thoughtful, in fact uplifting. I would play this at my funeral!! A very positive celebration of death as an inevitable, inextricable part of life that is to be cherished and honored, not feared.
Great use of a few instruments to achieve a moving, full sound. One of the best entries not only in terms of the musicality of it, but especially in the relevance to the theme.
At times I wish the lyrics were just slightly higher in the mix, so they can be heard a little more easily (especially in the first 40 seconds or so). That is my one and only criticism.
Alexa Polasky – You Will Never Die
I like it! Although, a little bit of a melancholy sound, not exactly a “happy sound” as the challenge calls for. As much as I like it, I have to deduct points for that. If the “happy” wasn’t a requirement of the challenge though, I have mostly only positive things to say about this entry. Nice vocals, nice sound to everything. Nice and clean sounding. I liked the “breath sounds.” Nice touch.
The Offhand Band – All Over
Nice Beatles reference in the beginning. While that made me feel instantly at home listening, it’s also something to be careful of in the future. When making references like this, you can’t make a song sound too similar to whatever you’re referencing, for copyright reasons. This probably wasn’t close enough to “Get Back” for someone to call it a “sound alike” and claim infringement. But always better to be safe than sorry… It’s close enough for me to tell what it was intended to remind me of, so… Just be careful of that when making original music. The last thing you’d ever want to happen is to have a hit--have a song go huge--only to get sued by someone because it sounds too much like theirs and seems obvious that it was inspired by theirs.
I liked it overall, nice, happy sound, upbeat, not overly complicated. Fun and boppin’, and nice keyboard solo at the end.
Matt Walton – We’re All Going to Die
I liked this very much. It struck a chord with me, the awkwardness of life and dealing with other people. The lighthearted sound juxtaposed with the honest blunt look at the facts—that we’re all going to die someday in one way or another—made this pleasantly humorous to me. Not sure if that was the intention, but it added an extra bit of pleasure for me. Made me chuckle out loud actually.
Great entry!! I like the simple use of acoustic instruments, this is a great happy little tune.
Brian Daniell – Cubbies Will Win
I liked the music, the sound, and all, very happy and upbeat. But, I could not understand the lyrics half the time. Too muddy. I think this was a problem with the engineering/mixing of the recording. I enjoyed the song very much in spite of this, but would have enjoyed it even more if the sound of the vocal track was a lot more crisp and clear, and maybe even should’ve been a little higher in the mix so it could be heard more easily. The only time I could understand the lyrics without straining was during the breaks where all other instruments stopped.
Otherwise though, the song itself is well written and I like it very much. My criticisms are only of the recording itself, more than the song per se.
Byron Blocker The Offbeats – She’s Dead
Great humor! Thoroughly enjoyed this!!
Great recording. I appreciate the attention given to making sure the lyrics were not too low in the mix, and not engineered with too much ambiance, so they could be heard clearly. I love your voice!! Awesome.
Great use of multiple instruments for a lot of texture. This tune rocked from start to finish, made me want to knock back a drink with you to celebrate the bitch being gone. Can’t wait to hear more!
Edric Hadleen – I Hope You Die
I liked the humor very much. This would go great in a comedy movie during a montage scene.
Awesome transition from the slow sad intro to the fast boppin peppy hilarious verses!! I chuckled out loud a few times while listening to this. The ending made me laugh!! This was a great entry!!
The crisp clean vocals thoroughly engaged me from start to finish. This recording was engineered really well. Awesome clean sound!
Charlie McCarron – Grandma and Grandpa
This was magical. Beautiful sound, made me tear up, no joke. Wonderful dreamy sound while maintaining clarity. So often people try to overdo ambiance and end up making a song too slushy, and this was absolutely not the case here. You did a great job of making this uplifting and dreamy sounding while not getting muddy sounding.
Inspiring lyrics, and great use of imagery!! This was absolutely one of my favorites. In terms of getting an emotional reaction from me this song took the cake.
Spencer Sokol – Keeping Calm
The lyrics were a bit ambiguous with regard to the topic of the challenge. It wasn’t blatantly obvious what the song was about. Kind of had to search for it. Still, very insightful. I liked the heartbeat, nice touch.
Wasn’t quite as “happy” as the challenge called for perhaps. Overall, a nice entry.
Luke Brekke, Esquire – Cannibal
I enjoyed the humor in this, but would’ve liked it better if the vocals had been a little stronger; I felt they got a bit lost in the sound of the organ at times. It’s tricky getting the mixing right, so vocals can be heard without overpowering everything else, and I felt you could’ve made them a little higher in the mix.
The “because he’s a cannibal” was funny, but lost its charm a bit when it became a little overused in the last portion of the song. Sometimes a little less is more.
“Bucklethat” Bobby Matheson – No Worries
Nice positive take on death. I like it. Making lemonade out of lemons. Interesting choice of instruments (accordion) but it works!
I liked the increase in tempo and addition of more vocals and instruments during the happy chorus.
Great mixing, very clean and crisp, and everything could be heard clearly. Very good relevance to the challenge.
Alex Carpenter – The Day I Died
Grabbed me right from the beginning, really powerful sound. Very good recording/mixing/engineering.
Good soulful sound to the lyrics.
My only criticism is, the minor chords that anchor the verses weren’t always very happy sounding, as the challenge calls for. While they shift between minor and major chords, overall the feeling of the song is slightly more melancholy sounding than happy. The chorus is very happy sounding, so I won’t go so far as to say that you missed the mark with regard to the “happy” part of the challenge. I don’t want to give a mixed message here, just thinking out loud. Could’ve been slightly more consistently happy sounding just in terms of the competition. But if that wasn’t a factor, I would say this song absolutely kicks ass. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Inverse T. Clown – Caroline is Dead
Great sound on the intro!! It was like a cross between Gospel and Barbershop.
Good happy bouncy sound, this song left absolutely no question what it was about. Simple, direct, clean and clear. Such a positive turn of events!! LOL Great straightforward drum fills. Very nice.
Very humorous and pleasantly cheesy. Nice melodies, good recording and mixing. This song had me bopping my head back and forth! Very funny. Great entry!
Jutze – I Love The Dead
Very funny lyrics! Great imagery, really took me along on a story that always made sense and never had me guessing what it was about.
Good clean recording!
As a songwriter, you are very creative. Awesome job!
Godz Poodlz – Wake at the Sunnyside
Nice boppin’ pop sound. Made me want to dance goofy like a white boy at a wedding. I love the creativity of the subject of this song with regard to the challenge--a parody of a happy advertisement for a funeral home… Great idea! In fact this is so good it could actually be used for an extended commercial!! Love the humor of this entry. Great job!
Tally Deushane – My Dead Goldfish
I like your voice a lot, but when you hit your 5th (the repeating main note in your phrasing) it was a little piercing. Mixing could’ve been a little better for this reason. The vocal level could’ve been a little more consistent. Dynamics are good, just be careful that it isn’t bordering on overmodulation, especially for a happy folk sounding song like this. Great ending!! I enjoyed the humor of this entry. Overall I like this song. Just could’ve been a little better recording I felt.
Ethan Ivey – The Four Year Itch
Not a bad song, but it just didn’t quite “grab me.” The eulogy was a nice touch of humor but I was already feeling a little bored by then.
I’m not sure if this was intentional, but if that was a real piano (and not a digital “honky tonk” piano sound) your piano needs tuning.
You have good potential, just needs something more to give it more “punch”
Matt and Donna – Lady on the Gray
Very engaging. Nice chord changes, nice use of the “Ahhh ahhh.” Nice use of trumpet. It was so clean sounding at first it made me wonder if it was a synth!
The song wasn’t blatantly obvious that it was about death; the lyrics seemed a little obscure to me. In terms of just the nice happy sound though, this is a great song. I like it overall.
Ross Durand – No Taxes
Very creative lyrics, good use of cheesy humor without being too over the top campy. Good mix, great recording.
It’s difficult to pull off a raw sounding folk vocal without it being hard on the ears, and you do a great job of having that casual sound while still being clean enough that it’s not a turn off.
Menage ‘A Tune – Isn’t it Nice
A little too campy sounding for me. Obviously you have a lot of creativity, and I enjoyed the humor in this, but for some reason the sound of the song just didn’t grab me. It was almost like a bad comedy sketch where it could be funny, but just ends up more annoying than funny.
Also it wasn’t blatantly obvious that this was about death. I wasn’t led on an easy to understand story.
I don’t mean to slam you!
Glen Raphael – When You’re Dead
It’s hard to do a cappella (or near-a cappella) well. First it’s difficult to eliminate background noise (hiss) with a lack of other instruments. Secondly, your vocals need to be always spot-on on key, and yours were most of the time, but the times when they weren’t ruined it for me a little. (For example when you said “I don’t have a clean solution” at around 1:20.) Doing a cappella is a huge risk and I give you points for attempting it, and it certainly wasn’t bad, but I have to be honest; I felt you just missed the mark a tiny bit with this entry. I have had this difficulty myself with a cappella. It is very tricky to do it and nail it and get it right. When not done just right, it can be annoying instead of enjoyable. Yours was a bit of both for me. But I wouldn’t say to abandon this style in the future; you just need to work on it and clean it up a little.
Good relevance to the topic of the challenge though.
Doom Skittle – A Better Place
The transition after the intro was a little convoluted at first, musically. I felt confused for a moment and then it made more sense.
The overall sound of the song wasn’t happy, so I have to deduct points for that. It wasn’t sad either, it was just sort of… I don’t know, I kind of felt like a lost puppy not knowing what to do or where to go.
I liked it, but felt it fell a bit short in terms of being a finished product. It left me wanting something more; it wasn’t happy and just left me kind of feeling awkward.
Wait What – Death: Everyone’s Doing It
Haha, this song had me chuckling right away. Very funny. A little bit campy, but it worked. You sold it. It’s difficult to be cheesy and campy without being annoying, and unlike a few of the other entries you pulled it off nicely.
This sounded like an expert parody of a children’s song you might hear on some cheesy TV show for kids (until the F bomb in the rap portion, anyway—LOL). Very creative lyrics, good clean recording and mixing, and just the right amount of camp.
Liked it a lot!! Very funny. The transition into the rap totally surprised me!! This song just makes me laugh, really good entry.
Steve Durand – Die Happy
Great use of the brass. I love when people use wind instruments; it adds so much to a song and most independent artists these days don’t do it.
Very creative lyrics! Good recording, great mix, I could hear everything clearly and nothing overpowered the vocals or vice versa.
Great finale!! I could easily hear this song in a comedy movie with Will Ferrell.
Jason Morris – Burning For You
Nice sound. Very happy. Really clean drums and guitar, and good mix.
It wasn’t the most relevant to the topic of the challenge though; I was kind of left trying to figure out exactly how this was a song about death. It was more a song about love and attraction, like the angst of a guy pursuing a girl, and I still can’t quite figure out if it had anything to do with the topic of the challenge at all. So I have to take major points off for that, even though I thoroughly enjoyed the song a ton. Really a shame because this is a great song!
Caleb Hines – Haven’t You Ever
Nice use of humor. I like this entry a lot. Good mix, nice use of instrumentation, nice and cheesy without being annoying.
At times I felt the drums were maybe just a tiny touch too low in the mix, but I think that’s more a matter of personal preference. (They were still there, it’s not like I couldn’t hear them. Just maybe felt they could’ve been a tiny bit more prominent in the mix, by just a hair.) This is a very minor criticism though, and overall you did a great job with the recording and mixing.
Bryce Jensen – Thank You
Very enjoyable. I liked how the drums came in at the second half of the intro and how you added more instruments to build to a full sound. Very humorous too.
I felt the vocals could’ve been just a little more on key during the chorus and a few other points here and there (“the cargo van,” “where the sentencing was lenient,” and the repeat/backup vocals during the chorus). Good clean sound on the vocals, just not always quite as right-on-key as I felt they should’ve been.
Overall though, good job; with just a little refinement on the vocals this could’ve been a great song instead of just a good one.
Pat and Gweebol – Baby Go To Sleep
Nice piano intro. I like this song very much, but the sound of the vocal in the mix was a little too smoky sounding, and so the actual lyrics weren’t as clear as I would’ve liked. I couldn’t easily, readily understand what was being sung. Much more so with the sound on the male vocal tracks than the female. It’s always tricky to get a slightly dreamy sound to lyrics without making the sound too mushy or muddy so that the clarity of the lyric suffers. If I could give you one piece of constructive criticism, it would be just to be a little more careful with that in the future. Both of your voices are very pleasant and easy on the ears, however, so I don’t want you to walk away thinking I didn’t like your vocals.
The Boffo Yux Dudes
Very happy and spunky! I like the bouncy quality of this song and the English accent always adds a bit of cheer. I felt the vocal track had just a touch too much reverb/echo, and could’ve sounded a tad bit more clean and crisp. That detracted from what was otherwise a really good recording and a very well executed song that was really tight.
Overall I liked this entry a lot!
Young Stroke aka Young Muscle – My Name Is Death
Very funny! I’m not a big fan of rap, because so often the sound of the lyrics is abrasive, overly arrogant, aggressive, and self centered. But--I am a fan of this song! Your take on rap (at least with this song) is that of a comedic context, which I always enjoy, and your voice and vocals aren’t hard on the ears so I liked it. I’m not sure if you’re making fun of the genre—I kind of think you are—or if this is simply your style, but either way I like it. It’s hip hoppy without being annoying, which for me is saying a lot and difficult to do.
This song would make an amazingly funny animated music video. I think you should find someone who can do good, funny animations and partner with them to produce this!! It could be a huge hit on YouTube with the popularity of rap & hip hop these days.
Right on topic too. Great job.
Chris Cogott – Drag Me Down
This song grabbed my attention right from the beginning. The lyrics were an interesting take on the challenge; great use of imagery. I knew this was a song about mermaid infatuation long before you mentioned fish parts. Very creative!!
At first I kind of felt as if death was more of a secondary topic to the main topic of mermaid love, but later in the song it took center stage. This was super creative and the way you used death and rebirth in your story was really awesome.
One of my favorite entries!
Happi – The Next Part of Life
This is a really different take on rap. British happy pop folk rap...? LOL Very fresh sound! Really different from almost anything else I’ve heard before.
At times during the intense parts I felt a little overwhelmed by the vocals, but this is more a matter of personal preference; I am not a huge fan of rap and it gets on my nerves quickly, in general. Your rap style is less annoying to me than most, however, so that’s saying something.
Overall I liked it. Good mix, clean sound, all of it works.
Emporer Gum - Frequency
A nice song. Overall, I liked it, although for the first half until the tempo picked up, I felt like it was maybe a little bland and could’ve used something more to give it some pep. I liked the use of clarinet though, very much. And the sound is very easy on the ears.
I did feel though, that the story line of the lyrics didn’t really grab me, and didn’t jump out at me that it was a song about death.
Jon Eric – Birthday
I like your happy take on death very much. Well written lyrics, and good mixing and clean sounding recording. Great imagery! Your song really told a story, and it took me right along with you on that journey from this world into the next. Excellent execution! The out of body experience imagery was a great idea and you pulled it off really well.
One of my favorite entries!
Hudson and Day – Silly Baby
I liked the music in this very much but I felt the vocals did not do justice to the music. They were a little too raw and off-key more often than not for my taste. At times the vocals sounded great, so I know you have the potential to sound great, but unfortunately I think maybe not quite enough takes were done, and/or not quite enough care was given to listen to what you had and make sure you had enough takes that really nailed it. I kind of felt like the old time radio filter sound on the vocals was almost done to hide the lack of refinement on the vocals.
This song could’ve been one of my favorites if more time and care had been taken to make sure the vocals were tight and more right-on-key. It’s really tricky putting a lot of soul into your vocals. You have to sound like you’re flying by the seat of your pants but do it without bumping into the walls as you speed down the corridor of wailing full blast… You have a ton of soul and groove, but just be careful that you don’t overdo the raw energy at the expense of remaining on key. Your vocals need to be clean and on key often enough to make the soulfulness add to your sound rather than detract from it, and I just felt that you didn’t quite nail it with this. Great effort, great song, great soul, just a little too out of control on the execution of the vocals for my taste.