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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Spintunes #5 Round 4 Review: Steve Durand

Governing Dynamics – Houses
Challenge: Met - a nice philosophical tack that I really enjoyed.
Lyrics & Melody: The lyrics are easily the best part of this song. The idea of staying in one place to leave a legacy vs. “making tracks” is a very strong idea. The melody is very strong and memorable. Nice chorus.
Performance & Production: You did a good job of having the music serve the song. With your tunes I often feel it is the other way around but you did a great job of balancing that this time. The singing is only so-so. It seems like you don't really know what note to sing at the end of the verses and chorus often, or at least you are singing it flat.
Rank: 1. I thought this was very close call between you and Ross but your lyrics pulled me in a little better.

Ross Durand – When The Tide Comes In
Challenge: Met – Very clearly can be tied to the photo. Pretty much the kind of approach that I would have expected.
Lyrics & Melody: I think that the lyrics are pretty much the expected take on the picture. The impermanence of the things that we do. I don't think that the verses really expand on the idea any however. Melody is good and fits your style well.
Performance & Production: Very nice guitar work as usual. Your vocal recording sounds a little harsh. Whatever set up you used brings out the treble a bit more than usual.
Rank: 2

Maria Mercedes – Footprints
Challenge: Met – The footprint is an integral part of the story.
Lyrics & Melody: Maybe these lyrics mean something to you personally but they didn't really have much of an impact on me. I didn't really get sucked in by the melody either. Especially after the first two verses the rest of the lyrical content and melody just seems to drag.
Performance & Production: Nice guitar accompaniment in the first verses. Although the volume is kind of too low. The doubled vocals in the first verses don't work well because they aren't tight enough. I like the changeup in the backing music after that. And the harmonies and multiple vocals in the rest of the song are nice.
Rank: 3

Edric Haleen – My Friend
Challenge: Met-I can clearly see how you got this idea from the photo.
Lyrics & Melody: OK, this is just dumb. I don't know if you were trying to go for funny but it just fell flat for me. As I was listening to it I thought that you could have had a great song if you had played it more as a coming-of-age type of song like “Puff the Magic Dragon”. But you actually played it pretty straight as if you really were meeting up with Bigfoot. The melody was very strong and enjoyable.
Performance & Production: Singing is strong as usual but after listening to many of your songs now repeatedly I get a little bit tired of the showtune style. The production sounds very good. Nice to listen to. Rank: 4

Brief comments on some shadow songs.

RC – Orange Beach Not much to say about this other than I thought it was very good.

Dr. Lindyke – Carbon Footprint There is just too much cognitive dissonance with these lyrics for me to enjoy this song. For example: You sing about gills but then you put in dolphin sounds, there is not possibly enough water in all of the world to reach the top of Mt. Everest.

JoAnn Abbott – The Mermaids Waltz A faithful retelling of the Little Mermaid story. But, as with your Poison entry, I would prefer it if the songwriter made up their own story. Your singing is all over the place so I can't really tell where the melody is supposed to be. The guitars are very nice.

The Boffo Yux Dudes feat. Osmium – Wash Away This is the first BYD song that I actually like. I looks like when you're not trying to be “Boffo Yux” you can actually write a really good song.

Gray Havens – Onward to the West I saw somewhere that this is about The Lord of the Rings, but it's been so long since I read that I really couldn't relate to it. The singing is very nice and the juxtaposition of the voices works very well. Really don't like a lot of the backing “instruments” but I guess you have to work with what you've got. I don't really feel a very strong tie with the challenge photo.

JoAnn Abbott – First On My List What a deplorable lack of judgment you have in submitting this song. Why would you want to do this and risk becoming a pariah among a group that has been, for the most part, very supportive of your efforts? If you intend to continue participating in any kind of songwriting contests you're going to need to grow a thicker skin. I think that, as a songwriter, you have grown tremendously over the last couple of years. But, as a person, I think you're last on my list.


  1. Hey, Steve!

    Thanks so much for judging for SpinTunes! As the champion of SpinTunes #4, I hope you had fun on the other end of things this time around (and I hope it wasn't too bittersweet passing your crown along to Travis!). But of course, while you were judging, we missed your music. I'm hoping you'll be back in the ranks of the competitors when ST6 rolls around. Thanks again, and long live SpinTunes!



  2. You're welcome Edric.

    I'd much rather be participating than judging.

    I'll see you next time.