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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Champions Vs Shadows #1 Round 1 Reviews: Joe "Covenant" Lamb

I must admit to being a little disappointed that only 4 'Champions' showed up for this.
However, I think the fact that there are so few made the eerie line up on the LP end up being the rank I put them in less spooky than if there had been a few more!  :)

So, in descending order:

Jenny Katz - Thoughts on Leaving You
A mix of Joan Armatrading and Suzanne Vega and Alanis... which works wonderfully well.
But stops very suddenly.... Not very often that one wants a Spintunes song to be longer... but this is the exception.
Think it may have missed a trick with not listing "what free means" :)
Lyric perfectly captures the insanity of relationships (married or not!) and the probability that everyone listening to this could hear a couple of the 'Pros' and think... "Yeah...."  :)
Favourite line: "The moments in bed when we briefly forget that there's anything wrong..."
The only one of the bunch that would get repeated play from me, I'm afraid.

Governing Dynamics - Room Stop Spinning
Shades of Blondie's 11:59 to this one.
This one comes over as  a bit of a workhorse... (yeah that word again!)
Travis generally produces the goods, but this one feels a bit rushed and pedestrian...
Favourite line: "How's the DJ's never heard of Sublime or Nirvana?"

Matt & Donna - Reasons My Kid is Crying
The (stylophone?) was really off-putting.
Vocals very muddy - a bit ironic that one of the lines that I heard most clearly was the hookline "can't understand you, but I don't have to"
I read the lyric (I kinda had to) and I could see the bones of what this song wanted to be - I just don't think it was fleshed out too well.

MC OHM-I  -  My Favourite Games
I get the fact that a lot of Rap is, frankly, pinching bits of other songs or 're-doing' them. But this isn't an original song as the melody is ... well... we all know.
And what happens to the vocals around 01:21 to 02:12? They are so behind the mix they are mostly unintelligible.  Don't know if this is subject to disqualification or not (tune-wise) or even content wise (as an argument could be this is *about a list*) - but either way it still comes last in my standings for the Champions.

Shadows:

Dr. Lindyke - Day After Day
ELTON!.... Well, actually, No. This is nothing but Dr Lindyke all the way.
For me, this is a great building song - not only about building (The relationship and the metaphorical sandcastles) but also about their deconstruction... to be rebuilt.
Overall - I think this stands as a counterpoint to Jenny's "Champions" song  (it *builds a bridge* between the challenges you could say)  :)
Nice song, nice lyric, nice playing.... but it's too long, Dave! (BUT it doesn't actually 'seem' too long... there's an odd one for ya!)
Oh.. and your vocal's too low!  :)

James Young - Sandcastles
Excellent musically. Lyric was a bit pedestrian and wasn't enough of a hook to be repeated three times. Could (and should) have been about a minute shorter. A bit of judicious editing would have had this at the top of the list. (I always liked early Pink Floyd...)  :)

Pigfarmer Jr - River Of Tears
This would have been a lot better being a bit faster. That way I don't think I'd have grown tired of the really jarring guitar motif being repeated over and over. Conversely from the track before it, this one seems a lot longer than it actually was.
Yeah... plodding is probably the best way to describe this one.

Bubba & The Amiable Kraken - Bluebird
Yeah - I like this one.
If it were me I'd not have had the electric guitar on whatever effect it is on... it hauls me out of the song.
The solo, sadly, kills it for me and drags it down the list a little.

Rob From Amersfoort - Dream House
This could have met both challenges!
Quirky... but in the good way that quirky done properly can be.
Yeah - I liked this more than I thought I did... (what!?)
Last verse shouldn't have been detached so much - seems like an afterthought.

Brian Gray - I'll Do It Myself
No denying that this one hits the challenge head on.
Lyrically it is a bit crammed (I get the reason for it, but some of the scans seem very forced-especially the second verse) and melody-wise seemed... obvious. Middle eight... "So elite..."???
Just didn’t grab me.

Trader Jack - Building
IS this about building...?
If drawing could be described as building (which at a push it could) then I guess it is. This is one 'Emperor Gum' would be proud of, I think.
It certainly has its own mad beauty about it... I kinda like mad beauty from time to time.   
However.... does this really make the 2 minute mark because it has some 'off mic' rambling at the end to take it to exactly 2 mins?

Hotel Rex - Bridge
Lyrically this is all over the place.
I can't see this as a building song. The metaphor doesn't work as all the things being discussed in the song (which we must remember is set in the same day-first line- "Quit my job today") But then says the day started anew... with a note that said "find a job"... Doesn't work.
To have it make sense the first line would have to have been about "yesterday".
Pedantry aside - it still isn't about building, as nothing is being built at all. (There's been no time) ... all of which is a shame, because I really like the tune and melody - couple of lyric tweaks and it would be nice one - but probably still not about building.

Zoe Gray - Satisfaction Guaranteed
Marina and the Diamonds?
Other than a cursory first line, this song wasn't about building anything.
Vocal effect was a bit off-putting and didn't hide the fact that the song seemed pitched just a shade too high. For a song that relies so much on the vocal, the vocal would have to be spot on perfect. Sadly, this one wasn't.
Middle eight... again seems a bit forced - the lyric loses its way there - which is a shame because it generally works all the way along... until the last four lines.
I'm assuming the whole point of this is to be repulsed by the idea of such a creation and the inhuman treatment of something inhuman?
(At least I hope so, because it made me feel uncomfortable)

The Boffo Yux Dudes - My Tiny House Is Too Tiny
Unfortunately - the same as Zoe's - other than one line saying "So we built a house" it isn't about building something.
Love the idea of this one; cute little jokey song but doesn't meet the challenge.

Jutze - Ballad Of The Emperor
Sorry Jutze - Not 2 mins.
Nice fun idea, well enough presented... but... not 2 mins.

Ben Taggart - Building Me (Shadow)
I can hardly hear this...
Sounds like a last minute recording, which is, I am assuming, why it is a shadow?
Bad mic technique, piano almost non existent.
This would maybe be a far better song properly recorded, but as it is...
Another little bit of a plodder I'm afraid.
The chorus is exactly 50% too long, or should be re-worked...
and the last twist on the chorus just didn’t work for me I'm afraid...

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