An Unfair And One-Sided Review
by Sammy Kablam
Fight: Let's Get Bloody
All right! We've moved on from the inexplicable "Road To Hana" challenge that had no clear-cut meaning, and onto a normal, universally understood phrase. And with the return of a widely recognizable concept comes, too, the return of an average number of contestants! Equal portions "hooray" and "fuck". So, let's roll up our sleeves and see who amongst us is truly the Bloodiest of All.
First, I suggest managing your levels; your music was kinda drowning out your vocals. I could make out most of them, but I had to focus to do so, instead of just listening. Secondly, let's talk about your music. As far as I'm concerned, the only guy who can get away with making a song limited to three chords is Tom Petty. Your little number here just doesn't cut it. And as if the redundancy of the chords wasn't enough, you have no hook: your chorus is the exact same thing as your chorus. You do a higher second chord and your drum beat simplifies, but it's the same thing. This sharp, nearly incesant repetativeness makes it very difficult to keep up the strength to stay focused on your lyrics. And when I do finally make it thru to the end? Well, this IS no end. It just stops. But, to be honest, I'm neither surprised nor complaining. There really wasn't enough creativity put into this to exect an ending, and I have no qualms with it being over as suddenly as possible.
The Weakest Suit
Your music's not bad this time. And I really do appreciate what you did with the challenge phrase. But I swear, I really have no idea what you're doing with your vocals. I can understand them, don't get me wrong. But they're fairly redundant -- not as bad as Scrap Heap's music, of course, but redundant nonetheless -- and the distortion kills me. It kinda sounds like you're singing thru a telephone. I will say, this is a pretty big advancement from your Road to Hana, and in relative terms, I'm impressed. But it still comes with a heavy sigh.
There are so many things going on here, I'm really not sure what I'm supposed to get from this song. Frogs and fiends and ancient Rome...and let's get bloody. I have no idea. And I don't just mean the lyrics, the music is very odd. Not bad, really, just...odd. I don't know what the tone is supposed to be, and the lyrics are so damn strange, I have no idea what message you're trying to get across. I keep hearing all these great things about you and your work; I hope to echo them eventually.
Ladies and gentlemen, our first Disappointment of the evening. The musical intro had me listening with genuine interest. "This could be nice," I thought to myself. Then the intro just kept going. Then the lyrics started, and lo and behold, it's T-Pain on valium. Can't understand a word, and it's such a "god dammit" moment, that I'm not going to bother trying.
The Hell Yeahs
Well...your music was alright. And your vaocals weren't as big a let down as Baby Jaguar's, because I could hear most of what you said. However -- and this is just a suggestion -- but if you're going to do a song about wanting to get into a fist fight, you might want to sound less like Spongebob Squarepants. Doesn't strike me as threatening.
...Would you like a lozenge? Half your music is fine, then--you know what? I can't listen to this. Damn, man. I'm sorry, but that's just a horrible noise.
As I was saying, before turning off your crap, half your music is fine, but then you start following the "melody" (I think) with what sounds to be a synth of some kind, and it really takes away from the whole. I mean, your shitty voice is the deal breaker. But minus that, that weird synth element takes away from the music, itself. I dunno what to tell you, really, except that sometimes less is more, and this was one of those times. Or maybe just use a different sound, or something. Or just...stop writing music.
The Big Let-Down
Turn up your vocals.
When your song started, I thought a very defeated "What the hell?" But when the mix started to fill out, I started feeling a little better. I can only hear half of what you say, but I get the general idea. It's pleasantly dark, but... I dunno. Not for me, I guess. It's very easy to tune out the vocals, and then it's just a weird ass beat mix. To be clear, there's nothing inherently bad about being weird. I just don't see a lot of repeat business on this one.
Music is fantastic. It feels like it's somewhere between Duran Duran and Broadway. Take that how you will, I guess. I do think your vocals could be louder, or at least clearer, at the chorus; the piano hits tend to overwhelm them just a little bit. But I really can't say anything bad about this one. I'd like it to be a little longer, but at this point, I'll take whatever goodness I can get.
I was skeptical as soon as I saw your name -- I didn't even want to type it into my review. Admittedly, the song isn't nearly as bad as I expected -- it's not even the style I expected. I was kind of blindsided by the late 80s half-rap techno pop. I hope you recorded this in legwarmers, with all your hair ponytailed to the left side of your head. In a scrunchie. Anyway, the song itself, for being what it is, isn't bad. It's not exactly a genre I'd long to break into, but then again, I wasn't a huge Chumbawumba fan. But, other than teasing you about your style, there's not a whole lot I can complain about here. So, I guess...well done.
This is written fairly well. But the presentation seems really sloppy. I dunno what it is, but it just doesn't feel very...tight, I guess. I like it, I think it could be a pretty cool tune, but it just doesn't feel very cohesive. And if you don't know what I'm talking about, that's fine, because I can't really explain what I'm trying to say. In fact, you should probably just ignore this entire thing, because I really doubt it'll do you any good in the long run, and I'm going to forget about it by the time I get to Anni Albers Quilts.
Anni Albers Quilts
How very 60s pop. But I don't like 60s pop, and that's the only thing about this song that stands out. Which means I don't have anything to else to say.
Berkeley Social Scene
This isn't bad, per se, but it's definitely forgettable. And amongst a collection of songs, as it currently is, it's very easily passed by. Not sure exactly what tone or feeling you were going for, but it's really kinda dull.
I get a very Insane Clown Posse feeling from this. And to me, that's good; I don't like much rap, but this particular style is A-O.k. by me. Also on the plus side, your verses are great -- not just written well, but, unlike other artists, I can hear everything you're saying. But the rhythm of your hook is really throwing me off. It just doesn't feel right. It totally throws me off--and this is at least the second time I've had a problem with your hook. I don't know if the beat actually changes, or if it's just the way the vocals are working, but I can't manage to keep the beat. Other than that, this might be the first rap song I've heard here that qualifies as "Not Bad".
Another excellent offering. Clearly the absolute best of the bunch, both the music and the story fit the challenge -- and you did it without feeling the need to be depressing or "scary". I really wonder if the contestants here actually listen to each others' songs, because there are some who would really benefit from listening to and trying to emulate Ross Durand.
So, we get sucked thru a wormhole into a universe of angry slam metal. Interesting. Oooh, and a static voice is narrating a morbid tragedy. I'm guessing the message here is "Don't trust anyone because everyone in the world hates you and wants to see you dead". At least that's not tired or cliche, or anything like that. Of course, to be fair, neither is sarcasm. Speaking of fairness, your melody was actually alright and the music, for what it is, is fine. Might consider easing up on the unnecessary static effects on the vocals, though.
Jayne Dreams of Thornfield
Hahahaha. So, I'm sitting here, writing this damn review, and your song has started. And it's fine. And then you started singing. And you sounded like Mumbles from "Dick Tracy" on a Helium binge. Let me stop laughing and start it over.
"I'm thirty apples / moose hot stop man flight"Seriously laughing so hard my stomach hurts. There is no way I'm going to understand this. O.k., I understood about half of your chorus. Then we go back to singing with a mouthful of glue. Good lord, I'm crying. This is too much. My advice: find a vocalist. Because judging by the tone of your music, I shouldn't be laughing like this.
"We hate the ground beavers / Hiss moon being my dolls"
For a moment, I thought maybe my stereo was on drugs. Then I realized it was probably me. But no! I, too, was sober! Which makes me wonder why I'm hearing your song as if it was produced by a pod of humpback whales. Curious, indeed. There might be a niche for this kind of weirdness, but seeing as how I couldn't understand what your little-girl-in-the-television voices were saying, I don't even know if you met the challenge. Just don't go touring in Japan; you may not make it back.
Man...I really hate ending my reviews like this. This is about as bland as bland can be. It's not poorly done, mind you; I'm not saying it's BAD. It's just...really generic. And uninteresting. I guess the best I can say, really, is "This didn't totally suck".
Well, we ended on another anti-climactic kneecapper, but that's generally the expectation. I think, for the most part, the bloodiest things here are my ear drums. And I think I got an ulcer. But, it's finally over. "Good job" to those who did a good job, and to everyone else, please: take considerable heed of the next prompt.