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Saturday, March 18, 2017

SpinTunes #12 Round 4 Reviews: Ted Kiper

        Hello, everyone! As much as I enjoyed listening, I'm relieved to see a round with less songs to judge. I had a busy couple of weeks, and I was afraid I wasn't to make it through.
But I suppose it doesn't matter too much at the end of it all: it's up to you guys who should win. What did you guys think of the challenge?

Peter & The Wolf - Tell a story in song involving at least 3 people & have each person represented by a different instrument. (2 minute minimum length) (they had 8 days)

You can thank Spin for this one. I insisted for him to add something he always wanted to see done here, and I hold no regrets. You guys made it look so easy.

As a bonus for reaching the last round, I decided to throw in some thoughtful haiku poems in these reviews. I took account of your style, profiles, and my admiration of you. Let me know if you like them!


1. Steve Stearns - Shiny And New
Disco? Funky? Pop? 70s? Whatever it is, I love it, and it's so far my favorite of the round. Weird at first, but it works enough to grow on me quite well.
Coupling two different instruments per person was a neat idea. Why settle with one, I suppose? I don't know if I would've noticed the doubling if you hadn't mentioned it on the lyrics page, but the subtlety of their use was pleasant.
The music feels like it wants to go all over the place, but somehow it stays together cohesively. I'm a keyboards guy, but the second verse might be my favorite arrangement.
I find the lyrics workable, but the message nicely light-hearted. The positive mood is very attractive. I hope the voters agree.
Where have you been before Spintunes 12? You've done amazing stuff here. 

Favorite Submission: This is difficult. I've liked all your submissions, and "The Ride" was nearly perfect in craft, but my favorite might be "Shiny And New". It caps your great run with good feels.

This chameleon
Sets kaleidoscopic eyes
On electric fun

(2.) Wendy Fisher - Clickie Clappie (Shadow)
Goodness, the arrangement is absolutely fascinating! Story-wise, I find it very bizarre; but for songcrafting purposes, it's freaking brilliant. In reality, I can see this simultaneously fit for THREE challenges:
1) ST1R1 - Those are some funky super villians. But despite limited lyrics, I like their character.
2) ST4R4 - This a capella piece could replace the song "Don't Miss the Rainbow" anyday, just with the 5/4 timing alone.
3)  ST12R4 - In my most flexible mood, I can see how the different percussive mouth-sounds can represent different parties to satisfy this challenge.
I'm not being sarcastic. I sincerely see much potential.

Dropping off a tune
Super shiny, flickers brightly
Hope you come back soon

2. Ryan M. Brewer - Second Coming Semantics (Part And Parcel Bound)
Huh. Unexpectedly, we come back to a musical style similar "ReCount, Revenge"; and yet, this is completely different. This one blasts me with creativity, perhaps even more so than "Mareno".
I think you did well with meeting the challenge, even if they are guitars. I certainly couldn't think of any better ways with what you have played here. The personified instruments are clear and straightforward, and to this I thank you.
The lyrics, not to mention the topic of choice, are mystifying. It takes such a subtle, personal view with a backdrop of epic circumstances.
I'm not sure why God is rapping, and I'm not sure if it hasn't been done before. Because drums are not melodic, so no need for a God melody line? Perhaps. But I seriously can't decide if I'm appalled or impressed with the bold choice of song-style direction. It was delivered like a strange musical bypass that I didn't know existed or was possible. And it's not a part that one could cut and not miss--the song hinges on the God section. I don't know; certainly, this "way is mysterious".
I hope you win. You were so very close in ST8R4, I remember it very well; "Christ Speaks" was an amazing submission. You deserve it.
Favorite Submission: "Existentialism On Spring Break". I feel you did more adventuring with "Mareno", but "Existentialism" has such raw confidence that keeps me coming back. It is truly an addicting piece.

Driven, golden heart
Journeys to the epic truth
With a sharp guitar

3. Zoe Gray - The Coven
Such delicious moods. I wish there was more of this stuff. I am musically in love with your style.
The songcraft structure makes this very easy to discern what each "instrument" represents which verse-person. And I very much appreciate this, thank you.
Although the motifs for the coven girls is fantastic and precise, I'm not a fan of the melody line. If there was a hook here, I'm not quite satisfied by it, particularly for the chorus. It does only what it needs to.
I also find that the beat doesn't want to explore to new ideas. Perhaps the next step in production is to add more development in the percussion department throughout the song. Just an idea.

Favorite Submission: "Long Live The Queen", for sure. The layers were properly introduced, played well with each other, and with seductive songwriting and  dynamic production, delivers something very hypnotic.

Pretty, dark and smooth
Siren calling, bright and tall
Basking in the moon

4. Brian Gray - Happy Me
You took the challenge was such stride, I almost forgot about it. Three instruments? Pfft, let's do five, why not ten? You make it seem so natural, but honestly, you've always had a knack of making anything seem natural. 
I actually admire the personal level of this song. It sounds sweet and sincere. 
My favorite part might be the instrumental bridge going crazy before the Poser Me verse. The unpleasant chord changes provided the sense of collapsing anxiety, shifting gears to something somber, and picking up with collective agreement. 
Maybe it feels a bit too long, even though it's less than four minutes. But really, I can't find anything wrong here. 
Haven't you won Spintunes already? No? Well then it's about time. Best of luck!

Favorite Submission: "Code Red" would be my choice. I didn't like "St Wendigo's Day"'s production, despite tasty chords. "Abernathy Fitzgerald" was so cheesy I found it more frightening than funny. And unfortunately, insightful "Happy Me" isn't as catchy. "Code Red" doesn't even need the accent to hold the replay value. You made good stuff this competition.

Introspective mind
Soft performance strongly stores
Personal delight



You know, I was planning to put in a shadow too. The transitioning of Spintunes inspired me to add lyrics to an older piece of music I made long ago, stuck in compositional limbo. In the lyrics, I wanted to name some of the many Spintunes artists that impressed me, mentioned with endearment and preserved like a time capsule; but I also wanted it to be thankful and self-deprecating, to show that the person I'm most critical is myself. Yes, I have to be. You guys really set the bar high for me. 

Don't worry, someday I'll get my recording computer to work properly again, and you'll know what I mean when I say I got a lot of catching up to do! Hope to see you all by then. 

Finally, I'm sure you're tired of hearing it from me by now, but to you, Travis, thank you for hosting and delivering all your hard work. This happy community is a reflection of your good leadership.

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