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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Spintunes #4 Round 3 Review: Heather Miller

Governing Dynamics - Go To Sleep
Very moody & atmospheric. Love the guitar solo! It’s a little abstract plot-wise but the music definitely fits the lyric, sort of an angst-y grown-up lullaby. I’m wondering if reading the description in the Bandcamp track actually made me a little confused compared to if I hadn’t read it - are you talking to the girl, or to yourself?

Brian Gray - One Of Us
Catchy and a little creepy, which I think is the point! I’m not sure how much I would have really understood the song without the song bio. Musically this is pretty screaming, lyrically it’s a little hard to follow. I’d be interested to see how this song might evolve without the 7 letter restriction. Or alternately, I’d be interested to see this with a video that fills in some of the information gaps visually.

David LeDuc - Seven Letters
This is killer, a great driving song. Love the bass and the tambourine especially. Also a bit abstract lyrically, but it’s not really trying to tell too much of a plot based story, which I think works well for this challenge. I almost want it to be a bit longer, there may not be much more to say, but I wouldn’t mind rocking out to the groove for a bit longer before pressing repeat on this one.

Jacob Haller - Come To Me Now
Great job of creating dynamic interest and different sections musically. I think there could potentially be just a little bit more lyrical variety or layering to help keep the interest - like at the end where you alternate “Come to me now. (Come on, now)”.

Common Lisp - I.O.U.
Wow. This is beautiful, rich, honest, straightforward and real. I love all the layered percussion, paper crumbling, guiro, harmonies, bass, all of it. Something like this has the potential to be a mess, but you nailed it. Not much to say other than just great, great job. I’m totally crushed though, in your lyric you write “my lullaby” and in your recording you sing “this lullaby” which adds a “t” to your set of letters. If not for that, you would have been in my top 3 this round.

Steve Durand - A Song About Letters
I’m going to pretend that Sister Mary Agnes introduced the song because I really wanted her to be in all your songs this round. :-) I can see this being on a children’s show as is - great job with the banjo, glockenspiel, horns, sound effects, kids chorus.

Rebecca Angel - My Tights
Fun. (My very first SpinTunes song was about tights - superhero tights.) That pan flute thing you have going on is great. If you’ve been following along with reviews from previous rounds, you know that one of my “things” is having the emphasis on the syllables the same as when you speak them, so that’s one possibility to consider with the end words on your verses. The other thing is I get a little thrown by how you start out saying how happy your tights make you, and then use words like “garish” and “itchy, thick monstrosity”, because those don’t quite seem like happy words. Over all though, a sweet, fun song.

The Orion Sound - It Never Said He Wasn’t
Pretty rockin’. Nice guitars. So, the Bible never explicitly said that Jesus wasn’t a dinosaur? That’s a new one! Not my style of humor but I bet there are folks out there who are eating this up because it’s well done for what it is.

Ross Durand - Advice (Easy As ABC)
This is super sweet. The makings of a classic really. Pretty cool that you even followed the order of the letters more or less!! Didn’t pick that part up till I started reading the words. There were a couple lyric spots that pulled my ear, “Always be comedy” “And be cute”, “And be cozy”. I actually almost thought the first one was “Always be accommodating” which makes more sense to me in terms of offering advice and was thinking of suggesting that as a change, but that would mess up your ABCD of “comedy, dear”, so hrm. And with the other two, again, in terms of offering advice, telling someone to be cute seems a little dis-empowering, and I think of cozy as more for blankets than people. You’ve also got “Fun”, “funny” and “goofy” real close to each other. All that is just me getting super picky because really, I love it! I just bet you could tweak it a teeny bit and make it that much stronger.

Edric Haleen - The Terrible Things That Transpired Today
Verrrrrry clever! Well done with choosing “T” and being able to use both the T and the TH sounds. Great vocals and inflection helping distinguish the characters. The song really does make me appreciate the “he” & “she” pronouns in general, because it was a bit tricky to keep track of who was doing what to who exactly, but the “holy cow, he’s actually doing this!” factor comes in to make me mostly not even care that I was a little confused sometimes.

Kevin Savino-Riker - The Tin Knight
Beautiful guitar! This is one of those cases where I feel like it’s really important to follow the natural shape and flow of the language while you sing because it’s a very concrete, chronological storyline as opposed to a more abstract or free-form deal. I listened to this song many times (along with all the others) and it wasn’t until I sat down with the lyrics in front of me that I completely got it. I think if you kept the emphasis on the proper syllables and also made sure to pause between sentences rather than in the middle of them, I would have been able to follow along without lyrics in front of me.

Gold Lion - Crossfire
I love this. Very dynamic - the alternating intensity and quietness capture the struggling emotion of the singer so well. I love the percussion and how it weaves in and out. I think this was pretty brilliantly done in that it’s just abstract enough that the fragmented sentences sound natural and I don’t notice at all that you’re restricted by letters, it just sounds like a cool song. The one line that seems a little awkward to me is the very first “To withstand the truth is my weakest trait.” I’m just not quite sure what that means. Similar to Paul’s, this is another really upsetting instance though - you have one word starting with “F”, which is not in your initial 7 letters, in the line “I fought for my cause”. You too would have been in my top 3!

Jess Scherer - This Twisted Tongue
The music is absolutely great! I love that rag-time piano and the drums are fantastic. I love the story concept as well. There are a few awkward lyric spots, like “It seems we won’t have similar ideas”, but I know that’s mostly because of the letter restriction. It also seems to me though, that there could stand to be a little bit more of a transition or explanation or something between the part where the singer goes from telling Sally to stop using alliteration, and then suddenly decides that it’s ok? It’s pretty abrupt for me.

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