An Unfair And One-Sided Review
by Sammy Kablam
Fight: The Road To Hana
Alright! Finally, the next installment of Song Fight, and with a number of entries that doesn't bring my soul to weep on its knees. I have no idea what "The Road to Hana" is or means -- is it a legend? Is it a local metaphor? I couldn't tell ya -- but I expect it to be made nice and clear, since it's the weekly challenge. So, without any more talk, let's jump headfirst into unkown waters!
Well. If U2's illegitimate offspring formed a band and wrote a theme song for the grand opening of a planetarium, this would be that song. Honestly, it sounds like something I'd put on reapeat for background noise next time I spend a night on acid, staring at my Xbox menu screen. Ambiance is good, but there's this thing called "overkill". When your music makes me zone out completely -- before I even GET to my stash of illegal substances -- then I miss out on the lyrics. Which means I miss out on the point of the song. In fact, this thing kinda sounds like the end of a movie, where the credits are rolling and everyone is leaving, so nobody's paying attention to it, anyway. But if they were, the lyrics they DID hear might make them wonder if you're on a road trip or trying to recruit members for your cult. Overall, the music is nice and epic, but it's background/montage music. And I still don't know what "The Road to Hana" means.
What the... Hold on, I need to listen to this again.
O.k. Um. Forget not knowing what "The Road to Hana" is; what the hell is THIS? Less than two minutes in length, the first half is instrumental, and when the lyrics kick in...well, what the hell are you talking about? And the music sounds like a hotel lobby version of a MegaMan stage. But then the singing sounds like a Norse battle hymn. And they don't exactly mesh. I mean... Really. This is like one of those sitcom gags, where they take ice cream, pancakes, licorice and V8, dump it in a blender, and one guy drinks it like a delicious concoction while everyone else throws up. That's not to say the ingredients are bad, but cramming so many unrelated things together doesn't make the end result enjoyable, it makes it confusing and awkward. I really don't have a damn clue what you were going for here, which brings me back to the fact that not only did this not make any sense, I still don't even know what the challenge is supposed to be!
Y'know, I don't come across a lot of disco-rap. It's amazing, the things you don't know you're glad you don't know about until some jerk says "Hey! Look at this miserable thing!" And then you're pissed. Anyway... I guess the message I'm supposed to take from this song is "I like to drive". If there's more to it than that, you'll have to draw me a picture. I would go into more detail, but there's actually nothing here to really talk about. Dude likes to drive, yo. Me too. Driving is...great. Oh, and I guess he's driving on The Road to Hana. But he doesn't care about that specifically -- if he did, he might tell us what the Road to Hana is -- or even just what fucking HANA is. But nah, see, that doesn't matter; the destination's not important, as long a Grand Masta Vroom... gets to drive. Oh, and you have a really stupid name.
This is not a bad song; at this point, I'd be surprised if I heard a truly bad Ross Durand tune. However, it is, so far, my least favorite. Even if I knew what Hana was supposed to be, I probably wouldn't be too keen on this one; it just doesn't have the same genuine feel as his previous songs. Might just be me.
The Chthurfin' Dead
I'll bet the Doors are pissed. Oh, and Depeche Mode wants their riff back. On the plus side, this was the shortest song on the list, so I didn't have to sit thru the pseudo-hardcore imagery and not-really-trying-very-hard lyrics for more than a minute. Oh, and speaking of lyrics, there's this thing I mention a lot called "lyrical rhythm". It's when lyrics flow naturally thru a verse. You have GOT to work on this. As Mike Myers might say, you often put the wrong emPHASis on the wrong sylLABle. It makes your lyrics sound both forced and unprofessional. And that means it sounds like they were written by someone who can't write. Just something to think about.
Your verses find me wondering what it might be like if the Swedish Chef did an album of AutoTune songs. Maybe call it "Buumer Shuuten" with the hit single, "Bork Me, Bork Me (All Night Long)". Maybe not. But I digress... What I'm getting at, is your lyrics are remarkably jarbled. Here's my recap of your first verse:
I'm a guy in a match / There was a hungry retard
And he's wasted / Always confidant to size
Much to la-ha-ha / Shoots the head above the clouds
Oh, feel your under / Times are just hard to cease
Now, I could go on, but you get the point. I would be admittedly shocked if those were the actual words to your song. Thus, the fundamental problem that I, perhaps alone, have with this song: as I don't know what the hell The Road to Hana is, your song may have been the key to finally understanding this particular premise. But seeing as how I can't make out your Navajo code, I'm shit outta luck. I'm starting to get the feeling that Hana is a really awesome place to be, and you bastards are doing your best to keep me from getting there. Like those manipulative pricks at PBS. I just wanted directions!!
The Weakest Suit
Sweet Mother of Cheese, son. I can't really think of anything about this song that wasn't incredibly annoying. I guess you play the guitar alright, but your "na na na na"s triggered a mild and involuntary grinding of my teeth. And your refrains...man. You just truly baffle me. With your level of skill (and I just said he has a level of skill, so that's technically a compliment, and this better make the damn cut) you should be aiming for witty -- dare I say comical -- angles of composition. You + Trying to be serious = really bad. But if you switched gears and had fun, instead of trying to be artsy and impressive, you might actually BE impressive. As it stands, you come across as someone who is trying so damn hard to appear to be deep and serious that you actually come across as a giant goober. This week, I'd say you are very aptly named.
This was not exactly great. BUT, it displays a great deal of potential. I will, first and definitely foremost, go back to my mentioning of lyrical rhythm. I believe I hear two distinct singers, so I'm going to say this: The 2nd vocalist is spot on. The first vocalist isn't terrible, but he may need more time to polish his vocals. And his verse lyrics are where the lyrical rhythm really gets busted up. That said, I am absolutely thrilled that this was the last song on my list; I was beginning to think I would end all my Song Fight reviews on disastrous downers, and I can safely say that this was my favorite entry of this challenge. A challenge I didn't understand, but so what? As flawed as these vocals may be, this is my #1. No offense, Ross. :)
So. Is The Road To Hana a spiritual experience? A transcendence into paradise? The retrival of a lost love? A horshky dervin doovish bork, bork, bork? I still don't know. And I probably never will. And to be honest, that's o.k. As a matter of fact, I think I have my own definition for "The Road to Hana": Being caught up in phrases or terminology that have no clear explanation, and are so open to personal interpretation that they appear to hold no legitimate meaning of their own.
Unitl next time,
(I didn't edit anything in the review this time. Normally if I think the comments are too mean or don't have anything constructive in them, I take them out. I've started a list of Song Fighters who want the negative comments posted.(no matter how bad). So those people I will never edit out of Sammy's review. If you want added to that list, just leave a comment below, or contact me on Twitter or YouTube.)
Sunday, January 31, 2010
An Unfair And One-Sided Review