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Saturday, February 18, 2017

SpinTunes #12 Round 2 Reviews: Zarni de Vette


Turtle Fence - Best Man
I like a lot of the elements of this song; melody and descriptive lyrics. I thought the Best Man angle was pretty cool because it is one thing you think of when you think Vegas Road Trip. That being said, I don’t think it followed the prompt as well as some of the others as it seemed to focus more on other things than the road trip itself.

Army Defense - Autoreise
The production is cool but I just can’t rank this very high in this round because of how hard I feel other people worked on their lyrics and music to paint these road trip songs and I feel you could’ve done a little bit more; you clearly have the skills and the poetry

Lucky Witch And The Righteous Ghost - Hey Mister
Intro was a bit long…I liked the cool sounds but it lasted for almost a minute. I liked the hidden story in your lyrics- I didn’t quite latch on to the melody in the verses (the first few notes and the last few notes) rubbed the chord a bit too wrong for my ears

Mick Bordet - Autobahn Hype
Cool idea with the autobahn- the faster and slower sections are cool! The melody and overall tightness could be improved, I think

Emperor Gum - Singalong
I liked the cultural music play with the story line- this is more of a migrating song rather than a road trip song, right? I think the Singalong is clever, in keeping with what it’s about, but I would’ve liked for it to have more of a ’sing-along’ quality, in that I wanted it to be easier to follow musically (more repetition, cutting out words you may not need, trying to make the rhythms of the phrases match- just a few ideas)

Boffo Yux Dudes - The Last Road Trip
Cool production! I was really intrigued by this title and I think with the direction you took this in, the last road trip, and details about that is more what I wanted to hear. By the first stanza, you had made a powerful and good point about energy and I suppose I understood it, took it in and was ready for something else having to do with that topic. It could’ve been cool to incorporate the hypothetical ‘last road trip’, like your great title implied; it’d be a powerful feeling for a listener to imagine themselves only being able to take one last road trip because of the governments disregard of environmental issues…

Rob From Amersfoort - Still On The Road
Your production was really cool and I like the effect you had on the vocals. The melody and the chords weren’t as well ‘married’ as I would’ve liked them to be and for that reason I found it a bit hard too follow- in other words some notes might’ve sounded better, in my opinion, over different chords. I’ve heard that many times on well known songs though too so it’s, like always, an opinion thing. Good work though

Megalodon - Accelerator
Really cool production..I wasn’t exactly sure where your chorus started. I’m assuming it was one “things got bad” but that melody  didn’t stand out as much to me as some of your other melodies. I like your pre chorus melody a lot and in theory the chorus one should be even better than that melody. The angsty tone of the lyrics suited the music so well

Jailhouse Payback - Wall
Interesting phrasing and cool production as well as a cool melody! This was interesting because, up until the end, the lyrics seem to act as descriptors only and not as a means to express your stance on the experiences along the way (in most songs, it seems like there is an underlying opinion in all the lyrics) and this didn’t have it until the very end   (“we see something in the eye of everyone”….love that line btw!) and then your stance smacks you in the face- much like seeing the wall would! It was a cool twist, albeit very unexpected. I can’t decide if this is, for me as a listener, a good or bad out of the blue thing

Sumner Wynn - Singing My Heart Out
I like the post chorus “whoas”- works great following the line singing my heart out. Im not sure that you needed the section of Oh’s or Hey’s that follow that…That might’ve been a cool bridge idea since the melodies in those sections are cool. Im always a fan of concise sections though, so I may be partial. Your lyrics were really in keeping with what its like to be in the car for a long time and all the random things that would come up…I thought that was really cool. Some lines had a more poetic language “they’re only over yonder”…”what a treasure it is out there” and some of it was very straight forward literal language. If you meant for this to be so different then cool because on a road trip, the conversation does change tones but if you didn’t mean that, then I would’ve found it a bit less distracting if I had one tone I could latch on to

Adam Sakellarides - I Need A Break
Fun production… I like all the elements you brought into what makes a great road trip. The phrasings in parts were a little off kilter- as if the rhythms of the melody and the words didn’t totally gel (one example is how “Led Zeppelin” falls on the melody) Your chorus felt super natural, so I wanted more of that for the verses. I think simple rhythmic adjustments (or dropping words you may not need) would keep it feeling as conversational as I think you intended

Dr. Lindyke - On My Way
I’m so torn about this because I love the driving sound of the bluegrass vibe and the beautifully descriptive lyrics of different sceneries. I don’t think it matches the prompt very well (not saying that doesn’t make it a good song) but I would never have guessed the prompt was ‘a quintessential road trip song’ if I heard this. With a few simple changes, you could make it obvious to the listener that he is seeing these things, driving in the car instead of hypothetically dreaming of these sceneries and saying Im on my way… that line is just obscure enough to maybe mean other things

Ominous Ride - Colipsis
Way to make the 7/4 time signature work! That was sweet. Cool Sound Garden like production and lyrics that matched it well

Kyleen Downes - Taking Daisy For A Drive
Cool play on this idea! Nice melody and your rhyme scheme made it refined. I think I would’ve liked some different melodies in the chorus- it didn’t stand out to me as much as your verse melodies…that verse melody is what I’ll be singing still and though thats a great thing…i would’ve liked that for your chorus too.

Shyfox - Are We There Yet?
Love this CCR kind of vibe. Your chorus melody was really cool! Your verse melodies are a little bit close to the song “All Right Now” by Free. If you change one or two notes though, I think that’ll be fine…a lot of those classic songs sound similar but this one was a bit too close for me, especially with the guitar riff underneath. Maybe that’s the one to alter a little bit..? Lyrics worked so well with this

Andy Glover - Highway Memories (Shadow)
Love the lyric “Up to my knees in highway memories”. Music was really a nice vibe for your lyrical approach.  I also really liked the melody on Highway memories. I was really hoping your rhythm on ‘good times such as these’ would happen in quarter notes (so twice as fast) instead of half notes. That would’ve been cool momentum to get out of the chorus…just a thought! Keeping the same melody would make sure it’s still hooky and you could even repeat ‘good times such as these’

Zoe Gray - Drive To California
Great job on the cyndi lauper-ish production to go with your vibe! I think your sense of form and arrangement is really good. Starting with the chorus is really cool and even the double chorus, which can often be too much, works great here! I was really satisfied to hear the 2 line little pre chorus (“Im not gonna stay home this season”) it was just the change you needed right there. You put a lot of effort into the lyrics to conjure up these cool images so overall great work! Your voice sounds great on something like this too

Boffo Yux Dudes - Roadside Attraction (Shadow)
Fun production; really matched your vibe well. And so true about most road side attractions…! Your lyrics were well thought out- the phrasing could’ve flowed a little better in parts but overall I really liked it

Ryan M. Brewer featuring Raven Faith Brewer - Existentialism On Senior Spring Break
Great lyrics and melody….It sounded like a good road song too which I loved. You have a great sense of form too- the lengths of all the sections felt just right to me. Can we take a second and talk about how crazy good your voice is? The only reason I ‘took points off’ for this compared to other entries is because it focused more on the existentialism and the youth than the road trip.

Bryan Schumann - Open Road
Oh my gosh this is so Lou Reed, I just love it. I hope you take that as a compliment because it is. This song was just beautiful in so many ways- the gentle vocals, the guitar ‘solo’, the melody and the strum pattern. I dont know about other people, but this is certainly what I like to listen to when I drive. I felt in the later verses, it would be really cool to hear one or two different notes in the melody to just for some freshness. Just a thought! The line “you’ve always been more of a home to me anyway” was so refreshing melodically. Having that happen once earlier on might be just a good pallet cleanser for the ear. I also wanted some different lyrics in the second verse…Unless it gains some different meaning after the chorus, I always feel like re-using the verse just feels a bit like the easy choice. I’m sure you have a lot of other things you could say in that second verse. All that being said- I want this song so I can listen to it many times over.

James Young - Drive-Thru!
I love classic rock so this was right up my alley. It made me smile the satire of this serious rock song against the idea of going to the drive through and that it’s this big adventure….very flight of the conchords which I just love. Liked your melodies and the background vocal echos- cool production too! I can already see myself singing this on the way to the drive-thru (which never happens…..)

Governing Dynamics - Three Places (I​-​80)
Production- the drums were a bit loud in the mix at points. I am SO impressed with your lyric ‘you broke my heart in at least three places”- thats totally my taste for lyric writing, The whole idea is great and your verse lyrics serve this line really well. Great job on not only the lyrics, but how they work with the whole pop rock vibe. Another note on production, I am a very new producer myself and i’m learning from friends that are great at it…its better to have fewer parts that are perfectly played and in time, than more parts that are a little busy and not as tight etc. I think with a few changes, you could clean up this production, release the song and people will really love it

Brian Gray - Code Red
Wow…this was so creative on so many levels, I don’t even know where to begin except to say I admire how your brain works because I never would’ve come up with something like that. I love the interacting with the spoken word and how it goes into the catchy chorus. Production is perfect for this and your spoken word sounded natural and easy to follow. NPR would love something like this

Ross Durand - Till I Get There
Music matched your lyrics perfectly. Also, very creative to take the ‘road trip’ prompt in the direction of him hitch hiking to travel- you still met the criteria but made it your own. My favorite part is in the second halves of the choruses (chord you go to on “hair”) and how that pays off your hook so well. Really well written

Mariah Mercedes - Runnin' Free (Shadow)
You’re so talented all around and a natural. It’s hard not to just hand it to you! Lyrics, melody phrasing, form- everything works as well as it should for this song.This particular round, I’m torn between you and one other contestant that I felt did a little bit more lyrically to really explore the road trip topic.

Steve Stearns - The Ride
Kickass production. Love how your melody works over the chords- the change that happens for the first time in the verse verse on the word “sound” with the melody and chord change was such a cool change to this classic sort of blues form. It builds tension and draws my ear in to hear how it is going to resolve. This sounds like a well developed song that, if you played in a band, you guys could play out and people would love it. This obviously isn’t your first rodeo. Great work!

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