So, with so many songs the first thing that is going to grab any listener is exactly that. Can you listen to it without struggling to do so? Does it grab you instantly. Is there anything different about the track that makes it stand out above any others. I’ve been brutal with Round One simply because it takes hours just to listen to them, let alone evaluate and critique.
So layout below is. Song Number / Artiste / Critique / Marks out of Ten / Placing.
1 - Ryan M. Brewer - At 2:15 this kicks in and becomes very interesting.. if the rest of the song had been like the middle 8 it would have been much higher up... Everything about the middle 8 is better, including the tone of the mix. (6/10) - 20th
2 - Kyleen Downes - Lyric needs tightened up. Chorus is too much of a switch to sit comfortably with the song. (Or the song is too slow to fit with the chorus) 4/10 - 30th
3 - Lucky Witch & The Righteous Ghost - Very bad sound on this. guitar starts sounding out of tune. I like the hook a *lot*. The whole thing has a very 60's, psychedelic vibe (Kevin Ayers). But it needs better backing. Guitar sounds awful... 6/10 - 18th
4 - Governing Dynamics - Sound is excellent on this. I do always wish Travis could get a vocalist. Not that his own performance does not suit the tune... Song holds itself together well. Guitar near the end loses its way a bit...8/10 - 9th
5 - Dr. Lindyke - Unusually bad mix for Dave... Delivery is a nice switch. "Every vote is for me!". Recording means it loses replay value. 6/10 - 21st
6 - Edric Haleen - So, this has been DQ'd. And I understand why... but the song still needs to be heard. 8/10 – DQ’d
7 - Kevin Savino-Riker - If not for the multi-vocals I would have sworn this had been recorded 'live' in one take? It's a bit rough and ready. Decent enough song though. 7/10 - 14th
8 - Heather Zink - Piano sounds great. Vocal is lost in the background. This is a very good song, sung very well... but I can't hear it. 8/10 (would have been ore had it been audible) - 6th
9 - Shyfox - Ukelele aside... Sung well, good lyric. but still more bad recordings. 6/10 - 25th
10 - Domingo - Not my kind of music. Don’t like the singing style. Don't understand the lyric. Like the guitar, but the flamenco percussion sounds off to me. 4/10 - 29th
11 - Steve Steams - This one started and I thought.. YES! Lyric sounds like it is referencing something cultural (Book/Movie?) IF it's not, it's too obscure. If it is.. it's still a bit obscure. BUT that doesn;t stop it being a good song. 8/10 - 13th
12 - Zoe Gray - Like the chorus... the verses REALLY remind me of something else, so much so it seems lifted, but for the life of me I can;t think what... I'm also not certain this meets the challenge to be honest... 7/10 - 15th
13 - Brian Gray - No idea who this is about, and the song is sung in such a way that it expects it to think that I should, because otherwise it's just a bit of juvenilia. Doesn’t hit me at all. 5/10 - 27th
14 - James Young - Yes. I liked this. Lyricf a bit rough, but really like this one all across the board. Hood hook, well recorded... 9/10 - 4th
15 - Rob From Amersfoort - All over this one too! Rob meets 60s Pink Floyd. Rob, I did vote for you. 9/10 - 5th
16 - Bryan Schumann - Love the sound of this... (VERY Sting-ish!) Simple but effective. sounds polished and well mixed. Lyric stands by itself without the need for gimmick or effect. Let down a little by the middle section.. but the whole song changes when that kicks in. 8/10 - 10th
17 - Ross Durand - A nice song. A bit Americano centric.. but get the gist. 7/10 - 16th
18 - Jerry Skids - Another badly recorded song. Rhyming Valley and Goldie...? Nah.Like the idea of this.. It just didn;t sit with me at all. 5/10 - 26th
19 - Turtle Fence - Sounded like a Monty Python experiment that's gone wrong. Didn't like this at all. And songs about "Loyal Britons" will never sound good to me! :) 4/10 – 31st
20 - Mick Bordet - The backing of this one is haunting. The vocal gets a bit muddy at times. I like the atmosphere of this one, but overall it's a hard one to say I would listen to again. 6/10 - 24th
21 - Army Defense - This one drives along quite well, but then seems to run out of steam at the end! (7/10) - 17th
22 - Emperor Gum - As soon as this started I thought.. This is "Ernie- The Fastest Milkman in the west" The underlying tune is the same, even the structure is the same ("Ernie was only 52....")
And then later in the song, Bennie Hill is referenced. In the same way that Edric was DQ'd for an interpretation of a known tune (but not an exact copy) *I* think this is enough for it to be DQ'd. But, it is what it is, an old-style piece of light satire. Not something gimmicky enough to be catchy, or with a hook to drag you in. 5/10 - 28th
23 - Mariah Mercedes - Sounds great. Nice hook, let down by the opening line and the fact that the crowbar used to jam it into the challenge left it sounding a bit forvced. 6/10 – 22nd
24 - Alex Forger - This was a pretty good song.. apart form the imagined hook of "I Hope"... it weakens the song. If it had been incorporated into the begining of each last line it would have been better, but "I Hope" just sits there. "Change the world" would have been a far stronger hookline. 6/10 – 23rd
25 - Caravan Ray - A well played banjo! There's something unusual enough to be different! Layered vocals that can be heard. Clever lyric, good chorus. Yeah. 9/10 – 3rd
26 - Adam Sakellarides - Donovan does Kang and Kodos with a tip o' the hat to Coulton. Silly, Funny, deceptively 'simple'. Well sung, well recorded, well done. 9/10 – 2nd
27 - Jailhouse Payback - This is a great little song. Still more excellent musicianship, a lyric which flows. Something that would work even if the subject matter were changed. 8/10 - 7th
28 - DJ Ranger Den - This is how you do quirky correctly.
That is... if the section where the line keeps repeating was deliberate! And it wouldn't be a Den track without what appears to be a pointless run out, which ISN'T pointless at all (Gotta love Easter Eggs) 8/10 - 8th
29 - Boffo Yux Dudes - And here we have the winner of this round (for me) It just works. Music, lyric, lots of good "...tion" ryhming, a great litle hook... And even the use of the vernacular works. (It's all about placement, people!) 9.5/10 – 1st
30 - The Crack Fox - No lyric. No attempt to meet challenge. (The Mighty Boosh would be ashamed!) DQ'd – 33rd
31 - Sumner Wynn - Doesn't help when I can't make out the first line. Was this recorded to a click track because it *sounds* like the timing drifts. Drums (samples?) are monotonous instead of driving. And I can't get past the vocals... sounds like you're trying to be Thom Yorke or Bowie, and failing to capture either. This song is perhaps 3 times longer than it needs to be. And the spoken section... Nice idea, but would be better if they could be heard. 4/10 – 32nd
32 - Ominous Ride - This started really well... Vocals are manipulated just enough to be intersting and not contrived. Unfortunately the 1234567 thing turned me off a little. When the background 'speech' came in I was wanting the song to lift and expand. BUt unfortunately it stayed where it was just and repeated the previous section more or less. This song could have been great. 7/10 - 12th
33 - 27 Tikis - Another Ukelele, eh?? Okay, but at least this one is relevant to the subject. Nice little fun song, good sampling but the muted toms (?) kept drifting away and bugged me. 7/10 - 11th
34 - Megalodon - This started well, but as it went on, I got less and less enamoured with it. The electronic bass swamped everything else. and the lyric began to get lost. I had no idea what the song is actually meant to be about. The line "It's true I don't play to lose, and if I still do..." I really liked. 6/10 - 19th
Shadows... If not DQ’d, they would ALL have found a place higher than the lower ones in this list...
What I took from this, is that the songs (generally) seem to have gotten better as list went on... Is there something here about people taking that extra bit of time and not rushing to get them in? IIRC, the songs are usually listed in order of Travis receiving them? And singing... people gotta do better... It’s *as* important (if not more so) than the amazing musicianship MOST of the contestants are showing.
Onward and Upward.