Judging was harder than I anticipated with a well rounded group of songs. I've judged based mostly on how things strike me, but not necessarily a first impression. I've listened multiple times over the course of the past several days and I'm beginning to enjoy these songs as a group. I think that says a lot about all of our contestants as a group.
Baseball Cards - Trader Jack
Whistling? This isn't so much an ode to a toy as an ode to retirement planning as a child. Hopefully better than this guy. That being said, I do like the take on the subject. Maybe I'm just a sucker for irony. The song itself isn't bad but its strength is most definitely in the angle rather than the execution and more specifically the production (although I like the lyric.) This one is okay.
My Nerf Gun And I - Blimp Exhaust
Good production, I can hear everything nicely in the mix even with the dirty guitars. The hook grabbed me immediately with the doubled vox (which is a nice touch, btw.) And after perusing the lyric I think it's a highlight, too. I really like this one.
Action Man - TurboShandy
I liked the doubled vox at the beginning but it was a bit hard to hear. The mix is drum heavy and the vox isn't quite as clear as I would have liked. That background melody is a nice touch and works well, imo. The chorus is the highlight of the song. I also liked the end. I think this song works pretty well, though. I like this one.
Pong Song - RC
This one has an easy, laid back feel kind of like a rock version of a toy story soundtrack song. Which is a pretty good connection to make for this challenge. The title line is a decent hook, too. This is solid songwriting. Although I don't think it does anything extraordinary there are also no real weaknesses, either. But you sell the hook and the pong sounds and happy beat. I like this one.
You'll Shoot Your Eye Out - Governing Dynamics
Props on the title right out of the gate. I like the vaguely Jeff Tweedy vocals. Both in tone and in phrasing, I think. The mix isn't bad here, but I can't hear the vocals very well when riding in my car (even with the windows up in 90 degree weather.) They aren't off by much... I like the guitars in places. I liked it more at the beginning than by the end. (ear fatigue? I dunnae) This one is okay but I want to like this one.
This One Is For Blankie - Mariah Mercedes
Is a blankie a toy? I think you convinced me with the lyric. I liked this song pretty much from the start, definitely from the chorus on. The mix is okay, it's sparse, but the overall volume is down a bit. I like the arrangement and the simple but effective percussion although it doesn't vary much. I really like this one.
Slinky - Jasper Lewis
Good guitar work. I enjoyed it very much. And the melody is good. The phrasing is good. It's a nice change of pace from a typical blues or bluesy song. The digital clipping is awful, though. I like the song but I hate that distorted track. I want to like this one more than I do.
Teddy - Ominous Ride
I read through the lyric at the start and I really like how you went about this one, the angle. It's a good take on the challenge and it's very well executed. This song fits your moniker, it's ominous as much as sad. The arrangement is very good as well. I really like this one.
Twenty Years On - Edric Haleen
Lyrically very good. The arrangement is perfect for the tone of the song, sparse as it is. Your vocals remind me something right out of a Disney movie like "Beauty and the Beast." I didn't get the Hobbes connection straight off, but after a discussion (and I read the lyric) it was a pretty ingenious take on the song. Very creative, and well performed. I like this one.
Perfect Place - Menage a Tune
This is sick. Both sick as in awesome and sick as in sick. I have to admit I love what you did here. The blatantly off pitch vocals might not work for me elsewhere, but here they are perfect. The pull string trick is genius. Some of the pads, or the mix in general, is a bit too much mud for my ears, but overall I like it. Nicely arranged. Just the right amount of tension and creepy factor. I really like this one.
Eat Your Hair - Niveous
Nice and clear mix compared to some of the other songs, but there's a lot going on in the chorus. I like the beat and the chorus (especially the chorus melody) but I don't think I get this one like I should. I want to like this one more than I do.
Fireball XL5 - Steve Durand
I like the near mariachi horns and the "theme song" hook. Vocally it doesn't quite hit the mark. It's catchy as hell, though. I want to like this one more than I do.
Furby Life - MC Ohm-I
This just didn't grab me on the first listen. Or the second listen, either. But on the third and fourth listens (when I actually started listening) I actually started liking it. This is purely an issue with my listening preferences and not the execution and creativity of this song. Because this is very good. Very well produced, written and performed. This is definitely one of the better songs in the challenge in a lot of ways. I may not really like this song, but I should.
Guardian - Emperor Gum
Not a bad effort . There are a few things I don't like about the song. It's not as strong vocally as some of the other entries and the reversed phrasing on the last line of the first chorus doesn't help. I want to like this one more than I do.
Stretch Armstrong - Army Defense
The mix sounds decent, it only suffers in comparison to the cleanest of the other songs. I like the hammer verse but I'm not sure the second verse fits as well as the rest of the song lyrically. I'm not saying it's crap, just not as fitting. There's something about the vocals that just doesn't sit right with me. I can't put my finger on it. I want to like this one more than I do.
WillieTalk - Jailhouse Playback
The vocals get a bit lost in the mix. The guitars are cool, but I wanna hear the darn words without having to concentrate this much. It's got kind of a cool retro verb with the vocal effect and the guitars. Using off or near rhymes seems to fit the message of the song pretty well. This is another song that I want to like better than I do.
8-Bit Skies - Sid Brown
Just a touch to muddy for such a simple arrangement and mix. The chorus is hooky, but I just don't like the emphasis on the O in Mario for some reason. I think the melody works, but... This is yet another one that I want to like more than I do.
Turn You On - The Orion Sound
I like the rhymes, I like the humor. Lyrically and melodically strong. I like this song.
Super-Elastic Bubble-Plastic Fabulous Rubber-Stretch Man - Boffo Yux Dudes
I like the bouncy rhythm and the title line. Something about those keys don't sit well, though. That steady one note pad thingy in the background doesn't work very well for me. (Yes, that's technical talk.) I want to like this one more than I do.
I Like Pong - Glen Raphael
The mix (simple though it is) doesn't sound bad. I think the vox are down a hair. This seems to be a solid song, but it doesn't stand out for me at all. This one just doesn't grab me.
Play Doh - Riker's Island
Lyrically this is pretty strong. The vocals, especially in the second verse, lacks character. I'm not saying it's bad, but.... This one is okay.
Among The Clouds - Cherry Pi (Shadow)
I liked the bass line, but that's kind crazy. Although this has a few wicked parts to it, this one just doesn't grab me.
My Zorlon Cannon - glennny (Shadow)
The vocals didn't grab me as well as some of the other entries. They make my ears tired. I don't know if it's the mix as much as the vocals, but.... Yar's Revenge is my favorite Atari 2600 game by far so I like the subject. The guitar solo part is cool in both tone and playing.
Old Tin Top - Ross Durand (Shadow)
I would have liked the lyric. This seems like a front porch song. I like front porch songs. Front porch songs are like back porch songs (the ones you share with friends and family) that you don't mind the passersby listening to.
Stick - Wait What (Shadow)
This is vocally heavy and something sounds every slightly out of tune in the music right from the start. I like this lyrically, vocally and the arrangement as well. I really like this one.
1- My Nerf Gun - Blimp Exhaust
2- Perfect Place - Menage a Tune
3- This One Is For Blankie - Mariah Mercedes
4- Teddy - Ominous Ride
5- Turn You On - The Orion Sound
6- Twenty Years On - Edric Haleen
7- Pong Song - RC
8- Furby Life - MC Ohm-I
9- Action Man - Turbo Shandy
10- Plah Doh - Riker's Island
11- Fireball XL5 - Steve Durand
12- Slinky - Jasper Lewis
13- You'll Shoot You're Eye Out - Governing Dynamics
14- Stretch Armstrong - Army Defense
15- WillieTalk - Jailhouse Playback
16- Eat Your Hair - Niveous
17- Baseball Cards - Trader Jack
18- Super-Elastic Bubble-Plastic Fabulous Rubber-Stretch Man - Boffo Yux Dudes
19- I Like Pong - Glen Raphael
20- Guardian - Emperor Gum
21- 8-Bit Skies - Sid Brown