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Saturday, August 10, 2013

SpinTunes #7 Round 3 Review: Felix Frost

Edric Haleen

Really one of the most impressive submissions this round. I was so excited to hear a rhythm track to one of your songs, because they tend to be a bit of a rarity with you. But I think you knew it was needed, and you knew how to add one perfectly without distracting from the rest of the music.

 In reference to your song bio, I love the rhymes and the fact that you chose to write a jingle that “earnestly” sells the product, instead of trying to make a joke out of it or doing some kind of gimmick. I think that was both a bold and a safe choice, if that’s possible—safe because it makes the most sense but bold because I think you’re the only one this round who didn’t write a song that was supposed to be at least a little bit funny.

The deep, rich piano chords on this track really sold it, I think—but I guess the vocals are always solid with you, so maybe that’s the best thing about it. The vocals were mixed a little too loud I think. This recording is a slight production tweak away from sounding like a perfect commercial track.

You should do these kinds of songs for money, because you know how to write commercial jingles. Also, Simply Lemonade is delicious.

TurboShandy

You’ve impressed me again. I think this is the only song this round that in its entirety could be used in a commercial. It’s incredibly full of sound and power, and you put so much production and composition into a tiny little space. If haggis was a thing that lent itself to commercial jingles, I would say you should approach some big corporation with this song.

I also love that you kind of did a genre here and you did it quite convincingly. Thank you for not making the vocals painfully loud like so many others do. I like to hear everything else that’s going on without having to shut out the lyrics.

I’m putting you at the top of the list simply because of how much you crammed into this recording. I feel like even though you only had to write a 30 second song, you put just as much work into this as last time.

Blimp Exhaust

I LOVE Animal Crossing New Leaf. I was just playing it before writing this. Great choice of product, but I wonder if it might confuse a few other Spin-Tuners out there who don’t play video games as much? Who cares, it doesn’t matter!

It’s a pretty great song too. The guitar could be as angry as your other songs have been, and there could be a stronger drum track—it’s a little lighter flatter this time around, but otherwise it’s another Blimp Exhaust classic. It took me till my third listen to really catch that piano hiding out in the background. I like that part a lot. Maybe you should have used acoustic instead of electric guitar? I don’t know. When I think of Animal Crossing, I think of that white dog with his little guitar playing gentle music.

Menage a Tune

Really impressive piano part going on the background, but like I’ve said many times before the vocals are way too loud. If this was played on a commercial I guarantee the audience would be alarmed by how prominent they are. But it’s more of an irreverent song, I realize. You wrote about two sexual enhancement pills, so there was obviously a sense of humor involved.

The song writing’s actually pretty clean and careful for such a short piece. You didn’t slack off just because of the short runtime. Amazing work.

Ominous Ride

A wonderful little waltz about gas relief! This is one of my favorites on this album. The orchestral part, whether synthetic or not, is definitely the best thing about this song. The contrast of those gentle strings to the subject matter is brilliant. Also they just sound gorgeous in my ears. So soft and crystal clear. I almost feel like you stole the score from some classical ballad and parodied them with new lyrics, but I know you didn’t—and that’s what makes this so good.

Also the tuba coming in to symbolize the sound of a fart is hysterical and brilliant. I can’t believe you guys have been hiding this brilliance all this time. And it didn’t come out until a song about Beano! Oh well, you’re getting a high ranking from me this time, so best of luck to you in the home stretch!

Oh, and I almost forgot, the lyrics are really clever. “Volatile food on your plate.” Yes.

Governing Dynamics

Peddling an etsy store is an amazing idea, and one that I feel like we could maybe use someday. I know a friend of mine would love to have a jingle about her embroidery store. And you actually put the link to her store, which I love. I hope she gets some traffic after this.

That said I expected a different sound from this song. Etsy stores are usually delicate little things selling beautiful trinkets and artisan crafts, so you wouldn’t expect an upbeat guitar track. Then again, that’s maybe the point—because it’s obvious you didn’t take it too seriously. I don’t know what you could have done that wouldn’t have turned people off to the idea of visiting the store, so maybe a powerpop song was a good choice.

Some of the notes don’t sound right in this song though, like various parts—both instrumentally and vocally—just hit the wrong spot every now and then, but you didn’t have time to go back and get the polished recordings we’re used to hearing from you.

RC

I can’t believe you wrote a sexy funky song this round. You freaking nailed it. You’ve been doing this great country, folky, rock songs and suddenly you pull this versatility out of left-field. Outstanding.  I wouldn’t even know how to approach a song like this, so I’m really impressed. It’s funny and interesting and unforgettable. I haven’t heard of the product either, but I don’t doubt it exists.

The “Chillow” vocal parts sometimes seem to clash, but that’s the only bad thing I have to say about this song. I think the Chillow people might actually consider using this to market their product.

Boffo Yux Dudes

Great background track, but I was disappointed that 95% of this song was spoken word. It’s totally legitimate for advertising, but I feel like it was dodging the challenge a bit. You only have to do half the work with spoken word music. That probably makes me come across as a snob and a jerk to people who make spoken word music, but hey I love spoken word. My two favorite bands use it all the time. But in a songwriting contest, it’s just not as likely to impress. The production of this track is perfect though, with the sound effects and vocal filters. This could definitely be the entire recording of a toy commercial.

Mariah Mercedes

I love that you wrote about Settlers of Catan. It’s a fantastic game. And the mood and style of the song perfectly fit the color and character of the game, so well done with that. The synth orchestra parts make me feel like I’ve been dropped right into the medieval age or some other antiquated era of building brick walls and cobblestone roads.

The end of the song leaves me feeling unfulfilled for some reason, like maybe you could have expanded the sounds a bit and done more with it.

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