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Saturday, March 18, 2017

SpinTunes #12 Round 4 Reviews: Joe Lamb

Glad it isn’t up to us to decide on this round!
So – usually my stance on The Challenge is that it is either met, or it is not, and the song then stands or falls on it’s own.
Problem with this round is that the challenge (to my mind) IS the song.
With the instruments being intended to “represent” the characters.
All of the finalists have certainly used a singular separate instrument (or approximation of one) when singing about different characters...
The problems arise when you question – are those instruments representing the characters, or just being played at that particular part of the song....
Whereas, in Peter and the Wolf, the instruments were not there to play the same tune just on a different instrument - the tunes themselves and the style of the music also changed for each character...
So, is that difficult to do in one song?
Yes... yes it is... but that is why this is the final.
And, to my mind, only one contestant met the challenge to its most complete form.
So, in running order...
Zoe  - Like the song – it’s a very *Zoe* song! (Glad to hear it had none of the 1700 Ukes!)
There’s no doubt you are developing your own style... just try and be careful that style doesn’t become too much of a millstone.
There’s nothing wrong with having a *sound*, but things can start to become a little same-y if you’re not careful.
The coven was a good idea. The playing of the same tune on different samples maybe wasn’t. (But you’re not alone in doing that in this round.)
The characters are never really defined enough. If you had shortened the chorus and extended their thumbnails it might have worked better, but the instrumentation should have been altered for each one.
Looking at the characters, I might have thought; windchimes and ethereal glissandos for the first. Dischordant chordage for the second. Minor keynotes and bells for the third.
Just not the same little bit of melody played on a different sample.
In order for this to have properly worked, you need to know where to break the rules of song writing. And I think you played it too safe.
If my votes counted: 2nd

Ryan – This is how different instruments represent different characters.
It is clear who is who when the instruments come in. (Nice touch to make the female character the heavier electric guitar.)
The Narrator.. perfect choice.
And the *Rap* for God is precisely what I mean about changing things up for the characters to be properly represented by the instruments chosen for them.
On top of that, it is (I think) the best of the songs this round.
Excellent stuff.
If my votes counted: 1st

Steve – Same problem here as with Zoe’s song. It’s just a standard song (albeit a very good one)  with different instruments playing at certain times in it.
(I like the line “What’s the sound of one mind snapping”) But... treacle and people..?? Oooooh!!!!
Still, yeah, nice song, nice hook, just not adventurous enough for the challenge set.
If my votes counted: 3rd

Brian – Well....
Personally, I don’t see this as being more than one character. “Me” is still “me”. regardless of the mood or situation I am in? And that doesn’t equate to separate characters.
Instrumentation... I struggled to hear the differences, and that’s not good for something which is supposed to be actually representing the characters.
Decent enough song, your best of the contest to my mind... But, to be honest... I can’t get away from the fact that it sounds like you are trying too hard to be Jonathon Coulton.
(Even down to the intonation of the word “Unpleasant” in the first line.)
If my votes counted: 4th

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