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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Champions Vs Shadows #1 Round 2 Reviews: Ross Durand

Ok, the Finals!!!!! There were four  parts to this challenge: (1) Write a good song, (2) have the song be about counting down to something (3) have the music also imply counting down (4) use an appropriate collaborator.

I assume everyone's honest about #4. I don’t feel like any of the participants hit challenge #3, I think I can hear what three of you were doing to attempt the challenge, but, for me, none of those hit.

All good songs on their own terms - but I had to rank, so I did.

So if I am ranking based on only two criteria, I guess I will rank on two criteria. The rankings are very tough for me because there really are different strengths and weaknesses in each song related to the challenges and composition. Here are my reviews in the order they appeared on the band camp album.

Zoe - I like the way you use the building percussion to build tension - not sure how I feel about that implying that time is getting nearer. It is clear lyrically that you are counting down to growing up. I just got back from four weeks of summer camps (which I’ve been doing for 30 years), one of our key campfire songs is “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell, which has a similar theme and structure, sort of, so it is hard for me to not compare in my mind. Singing is great, but I have to admit that as a guitarist the string buzz on the ukulele is driving me nuts, especially since it is pretty prominent in the mix.

Governing Dynamics - excellent use of the guest - you guys sound great together, and the song is written to use that duet tool very well. This is my favorite song in the set, in terms of listening to for my own pleasure and such, but I am trying hard to find the part where the music is also implying the countdown (is it just the mechanical sounding drum programming?), as well as being unsure about how vague the words are along those lines - except for the countdown reference in the chorus. Is that how they get out of dreams in inception or something? You sound great on this one Travis - the Governing Dynamics sound I love.

Jenny Katz - this is very pretty, but not very interesting to me. I think the lyrical sentiment fits the lyrical part of the challenge, and the ending build seems meant to imply counting down, but somehow it comes off as more like accepting loss.

Bubba - thoroughly enjoyable - also I don’t really feel like I here the music implying a countdown. but I really like your fun changes and harmonies both the chorus and the bridge (is this the only one in the group with a bridge, need to listen again) nice build - good sentiment, love the screwed up counting in the last chorus. Probably the most skilled “composition” in the group by my preferences.

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