#1. James Young – The Shadow of the Wind. I love your melody. It’s a little unpredictable. It also, for some reason, reminds me of Spike from buffy the vampire slayer. This is not the kind of music I would normally choose to listen to. However, I can’t help but like this song. It’s so tasteful. It’s slow, but you keep things moving enough to keep it interesting. Your lyrics are fairly basic, but for whatever reason, in combination with the music, they work. I just think you put forth a great effort here, with great results. I found myself wanting to listen to this one multiple times. Very tasteful arrangement, you didn’t overdo anything. Sweet guitar solo. This is just a very confident song, really well done.
#2. Steven Wesley Guiles – Eyes of the Dragon. Ok, I’ll admit it, this is the one book here that I have actually read. Of course, I read it in like 1990. I don’t know whether that is affecting my judgment or not, but I really, really like this. I have an easier time saying what I don’t like about songs, so I don't know what else to say other than I really enjoy this one, and have listened to it at least 4-5 times. It seems like every round, one or two people just absolutely nail it. Steven, you’ve done it. I really enjoyed eyes of the Dragon in 1990, and I really love this song in 2014. I love that chorus. Also, you’re kind of screaming a little bit, and I like that. You are totally into this. You give a shit. And so do I. Nice job man. Very nice.
#3. Turbo Shandy – Ready Player One. I think we’ve already established how good you guys are. This song does pretty much everything well. I’ve been a little crticial of your lyrics. As a song trying to go mainstream and sell a movie, I like the way your lyrics work in this case. Very accessible. You fulfilled the challenge. I’d prefer that you turn the challenge upside down on its head and kick it over a fence, but hey, you still did a great job here, guys. Or guy. Guys and Gals....or whoever you are. I like it. But for the future, I think you guys should read MC-Ohm-I’s book and use it to help you write your lyrics.
#4. Governing Dynamics – Blackbirds. Nice job dude. I love how this is mixed. I really like your songwriting. You're always trying to do something interesting and I really like that. I like the effect on your voice in the middle of the tune—you used that sparingly which was a very nice touch. I can really hear your voice on this one , which I really appreciate. Very good song, it has feeling, it's technically sound and I really like it. I just happened to like three others a little better. But it's close, man. It's very close.
#5. Zoe Gray- The Tell-tale Heart. I don't know why, but I can hear this one set to a dark animated flick about this book. I love the change up after the first verse. This song really, really makes me think of the band 'Till Tuesday. Zoe, you’re probably too young to know who Till Tuesday was, but it was Aimee Mann’s old band. Ok, you’re probably too young to know Aimee Mann, but you need to go listen to her album Bachelor No. 2. Then check out Till Tuesday. Overall, I like this one. The verses are a little repetitive. I still like it because I’m a huge fan of yours. But the four ahead of you kind of had things nailed down a little more tightly. I might prefer it if you slowed the verses down altogether, but then edited it down. Sounds like you're sort of cramming a lot of words and thoughts into a small space.
#6. Brian Gray – Maus. The order of the songs might have hurt you here because now I’m on number 6 and these are generally so dark and slow and I’m just starting to hope for something a little more upbeat. I’d kind of like to hear a little more irreverence. Your chorus is fantastic, you have a real knack for those catchy choruses. This seems well constructed, but it leaves me feeling just slightly bored. This is a good song, but it just doesn’t grab me the way I'd like it to. It needs more piss and vinegar. Or maybe just vinegar.
Jailhouse Payback – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Utter and complete bullshit, but in a bad way.
Megalodon- Ready Player One. : Cool, a song based on the movie based on Turbo Shandy’s song. I’d probably have ranked this #1 if given the opportunity to do so. Or maybe 2, or 3. Or 4. God judging is so HARD! But hey, whoops, it's a shadow, I don’t have to decide. This is really good though. Love the unpredictability on the melody. For some reason it reminds of Fiona Apple when she did all the weird complicated stuff. This shit is complex, but also has some hooks.
Dr. Lindyke- The God of All Small Boys--- You wrote this for Robert Plant to sing, right? Like Robert Plant in his prime? Can’t you hear that in your head? But less of a Zeppelin ripoff than the Black Keys. Very cool and thoughtful tribute. I enjoyed it.