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Saturday, February 18, 2017

SpinTunes #12 Round 2 Reviews: T.C. Elliott

How likely am I to listen to this song again? You will rank higher on my list if the more I want to hear the song again as long as you meet the challenge. Here are my reviews:

23. Ryan M. Brewer featuring Raven Faith Brewer - Existentialism On Senior Spring Break - I like the title and the melody appealed to me right off.  The harmony vox are killer. You did an excellent job of incorporating "runnin' off the rails" and "running from momma's lies" in the lyric to bend it towards a driving song. Which it is, but essentially this is a faded youth song dressed up in a driving song. I, for one, like it. I expected a full band to kick in at some point and that would have been very welcome for me. But I would definitely listen to this song on my next road trip.

22. James Young - Drive-Thru! - I really like the idea of a highway song about the drive through. I think the lyric is solid. I liked the shimmering guitar, the rhythm guitar and the vocal is  pretty solid, too. I think this is solid, but it suffers or benefits in comparison to other songs instead of on standing on its own.  I'd probably listen to this song on my next trip down the highway.

21. Steve Stearns - The Ride - The arrangement, structure, vocal phrasing, guitar tones and playing all are perfect for a road song. That 70's rock sound and the hand claps all work beautifully for the challenge. The song itself is solid and I like it.  I would bring this song on the next jaunt to St. Louis.

20. Governing Dynamics - Three Places (I-80) - I like the guitars, arrangement and performance. The melody is solid. The vocal tone and phrasing is pretty good, but there is something just slightly off in the performance for me. Maybe it's mixed a hair too high for my liking or just a bit too muddy in the lower part? Still, the energy is good and the "driving" rhythm works very well.  I would listen to this song out on the road.

19. Dr. Lindyke - On My Way - There is a hint of "7 bridges road" in the melody that is a cool connection to make on a road song.  I like the arrangement/genre.  It's a bit hard to hear the bass in the mix, but the vocals are mixed very well. I like the lyric well enough and the vocal performance is solid. This is pretty good. I'd listen to this song if I were to take a road trip soon.

18. Brian Gray - Code Red - What a great angle for a driving song. And the style suits it as well. The combination technology and bluegrass instrumentation looks like it would be a major traffic pile up, but somehow it corners on rails and arrives just on time.  I absolutely loved listening to this and would definitely include it on my road trip play list.

17. Ominous Ride  - Colipsis - I'm surprised at how many slower tempo songs were entered into a road trip song. I like the melody and arrangement and here the vocal performance is pretty darn solid.  Your mix has a cool depth to it, and this brings up images of travelling through a mostly deserted major city thoroughfare in the dead of night. But I'm afraid it might put me to sleep if I were to listen to it while driving. I'd listen to this song on a trip down the highway (Assuming I don't crash due to the relaxed state it'd put me in.)

16. Megalodon - Accelerator - I like the guitars, and that's what I think of as a typical road song.  I like the title a lot, but I was expecting a typical take. The lyric works well enough and I like that it isn't a cliché take on the challenge.  I like the melody on the pre-chorus a lot, but the rest fails to stand out for me. I like the guitar solo, good tone and playing and suits the song. I'd probably listen to this song on my next road trip.

15. Zoe Gray - Drive To California - Oh, this reminds me, very, very slightly of "cars" by Gary somebody…  I like the nearly spoken verses, your phrasing and delivery are nearly perfect. And honestly, it saves the song for me. It isn't a poorly written song and there are no major faults, but it doesn't do a lot for me. I do like that it isn't a guitar driven road song, but it's a little bit of a risk. I think you pulled it off, but I wish I liked it more.  I'd probably listen again if the road trip were long enough.

14. Kyleen Downes - Taking Daisy For A Drive -  Your first line made me think a little harder than I like (which is not at all) but you had a good twist and I thought you crafted the lyric pretty well. I like the melody. This song is well written enough that I can hear a full band playing it as well as this more stripped down version. I like that you included the rhythm (such that it is) which helps. I think this idea goes up against the idea of a high energy road song .This ain't it. And it's not quintessential, but it's solid from a writing stand point and you performed it solidly. All in all I like the idea of the song better than the song itself, but it definitely isn't a poor entry. I'd  probably listen to this song out on the highway.

13. Ross Durand - Til I Get There - I like your vocal performance and that's a cool commentary angle on travelling. Not sure this is really a road trip song, though.  It's definitely a travel song. Is there a difference?  But I can hear myself listening to this on the road so I think it counts, right?  And the message in the song is ultimately a good one. I like this more than I thought I would. By the end you had won me over. I'd probably listen to this song on the road.

12. Rob From Amersfoort - Still On The Road - I like your guitars, the staccato off strums work really well. The arrangement and structure works well for me. But this just seems a bit slow for a road song. Either the delivery or the breaks hold it back for me. The lyric is just odd enough to catch my attention and I like that you are have a deeper message than a typical driving song.  Still, it this song doesn't stand out from the crowd a whole lot for me. I might listen if the road trip were long enough.

11. Jailhouse Playback - Wall - The beat/rhythm works well with the guitars (Reminds me of a slowed down version  of "the breeze".)  The mix is just a bit muddy, but I like the arrangement well enough. In fact, the more I think about it the more it reminds me of the other song. I guess that's a good template for a road song, though.  Doubling the vocal seems to work pretty well.  I think this is a good effort at trying to nail the challenge. I'd probably listen to this song while driving.

10. Sumner Wynn -  Singing My Heart Out -  The melody works fine, but it seems to be a bit wandering in the verses and comes together better in the chorus sections. I like the Oh woah parts, except that I was perfectly happy after one line of them.  The lyric could have been a little tighter, imo. But I didn't dislike it. All in all, I don't dislike the song but it didn't really do a lot for me. I might listen to this if I were to travel soon.

9. Shyfox - Are We There Yet? - I probably wouldn't have made the association unless I'd made the connection with another song, but I hear an element of "Cars" by Gary… somebody. Numan!  In the repeated guitar line (as in the ending bit) and in one little phrase of the melody, "she wants to know." Which I think is cool, but I have to wonder is it on purpose (probably not and it might be partly my imagination at this point.)  So this is a solid entry into the road song challenge. But again, it doesn't do a whole lot to make me remember it.  I might listen to this song if I were driving later today.

8. Bryan Schumann - Open Road - Slow tempo, ballad-like songs don't often enter my consciousness when it comes to road songs. But you've managed to make this seem like an easy ride down the highway without a care in the world.  And I think this song stands out for it. And I like the chorus which, in comparison, has a bit more energy and lends itself to the road song challenge. I'd probably include this song on the next mix for the road.

7. Boffo Yux Dudes - The Last Road Trip - The beat/rhythm keeps the energy high which is needed with the relaxed vocal phrasing and delivery. I like that you tried to get some depth to the road trip lyric, and I like it well enough, I wonder if it holds up to the weight of the message.  The more I listen the more I liked the sound of the song.  I'm not sure I can picture listening to this on a road trip. I might queue this song up when next I head to K.C.

6. Turtle Fence - Best Man - I like the lead line tone/sound. It's retro but not too dated. The rhythm pushes the song forward nicely. I like the perspective, the reason for the road trip. The vocal melody, phrasing and inflection doesn't quite live up to the potential in the song, though. I might listen to this on my next long drive.

5. Army Defense - Autoreise - The vocal doesn't do a lot for me, although I like the creative vocal effects. The lyric is road worthy and I like the dystopian element. Honestly, this is another one that grew on me the more I listened to it. But it's still not something I'm likely to play on the road.

4. Adam Sakellarides - I Need A Break -  The guitars are just a hair too mushy to mesh with the organ sound. The melody is fairly derivative and I'm not a huge fan of this particular vocal performance, although you aren't singing poorly.  I feel like Sha-na-na should be singing in the background and that this song should be about heading to the hop.  I do like some of the lines in the lyric, how you keep the verses consistent.  The throwback feel should have worked, but it just didn't for me.  I'm not likely to listen to this song on my next road trip.

3. Emporer Gum - Singalong -  The vocal phrasing and performance is just off enough to be distracting in places and while I like the rhythm a lot, I'm not sure it works for a "road trip song."  This is undeniably a travel song, but a road trip song?  Yeah, I'm not sure it really hits the challenge head on, but giving you the benefit of the doubt and some credit for a unique angle on the challenge, the song still doesn't excite me much.  I probably wouldn't listen to this song on a roadtrip.

2. Mick Bordet - Autobahn Hype -  I like that brief vocoder bit and the more distant vocal lines which suit the rhythm and synth sound. And reducing the tempo is a cool twist that can help this song stand out. I'm not convinced in the vocal performance and the melody is all right at best. The musical arrangement is appropriate to the idea. But ultimately I'm not likely to include this song on my next road trip mix.

1. Lucky Witch And The Righteous Ghost - Hey Mister - A horror story turned driving song. Reading through the lyric as the intro sets the mood and I like the angle before hearing the first lyric. I'm not sure that you really needed a 1:11 intro, though. And while I like the melody well enough, it doesn't stand out that much and the vocal delivery is just too relaxed for a driving song and not creepy enough for a fearful song. This is too relaxed to be saved by the really cool idea. I probably wouldn't listen to this song out on the highway

Andy Glover - Highway Memories - SHADOW - It's hard to pull off a relaxed road trip song but your melody and vocal performance makes this one work well for me. I enjoyed listening to this quite a bit.

Boffo Yux Dudes - Roadside Attraction - SHADOW - I like this title a lot, it seems to fit the challenge very well.  I like the doubled vox lines.  And the fun you had recording this is infectious.

Mariah Mercedes - Runnin' Free - SHADOW - Another solid vocal performance. I want you to sing one of my songs one day.  This works really well for a Girl and Guitar arrangement. The clapping rhythm track and energetic chorus combine to make this hit the challenge head one and work really well.

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