Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Monday, August 23, 2010

SpinTunes #1 Round 3 Review

Here's my last unposted review from SpinTunes. You can listen to all the songs over on Bandcamp, and you can also download them all for FREE! To find out more about this competition, visit "SpinTunes". There's a permanent link right up above.

I was going to post these reviews as the competition was going on, but as some of you know, there's a good reason why I stopped after round 1. Since this competition is based on 4 challenges, my rankings will strongly reflect how well you met the challenge, and not just on how much I liked your song. These are ordered from favorite to least favorite, with reviews of the shadow songs at the very bottom.

Kevin Savino-Riker (My Daughter) - Loved the lyrics, but I really think you should have saved the line, "Could you trade one life for another?" until after the doctor gives the father the decision to make. It would have really hit the audience right in the gut if you would have held that back awhile. Also...end the darn song already. This could have been a 6 minute song instead of an almost 7 minute song. 6 is long enough. (TWSS) Very well done...you're right up there with Caleb in terms of getting an emotional response.
Challenge: Met

Caleb Hines (Will You Miss Me) - Man Caleb...you went for it. This is depressing as hell. I don't get all emotional over music aside from maybe using it to get the adrenaline going before a game. This was one of the closest to getting tears from me. Your voice worked well for this approach as well. Definately getting a vote.
Challenge: Met
<a href="http://spintown.bandcamp.com/track/will-you-miss-me">Will You Miss Me by Spintown Tunes</a>

The Offhand Band (Will It) - Interesting approach to the challenge. I just don't know if the story pulls hard enough on the average persons heart strings. I know it does for me...at least up through the second chorus, but then ending just doesn't feel dramatic enough. I'm let down at the end just a bit. The music was slick as hell, and this is one of my favorite songs of the round.
Challenge: Met...but ending felt weak.
<a href="http://spintown.bandcamp.com/track/will-it">Will It by Spintown Tunes</a>

Ross Durand (You'll Be Gone) - Another person I expected to produce something good...and he did. The emotion in your voice sells this. Much like Edric...you sing well from the female perspective. :p
Challenge: Met

Steve Durand (Her Mother's Eyes) - Most of the music felt way to happy. The 3 lines just before the horn instrumental was the best part of the song, and the only part that seemed really sad. It's a pretty song, and I enjoyed the music...but the music didn't really help the lyrics get the emotion across.
Challenge: Met

Charlie McCarron (A Song For Sam Bell) - The only person with the guts to stray from the obvious this round. (shadows not included *looks at Brian*) The problem with straying from the obvious is risking having judges maybe think you didn't meet the challenge. I went to Wikipedia for answers, but it would be helpful in the future to give notes. You don't have to, but when you write about something most people won't 'get'...it's a good idea. The song made no since the first time I listened, but like I said Wikipedia helped me out. I enjoyed it, but without actually seeing the movie I didn't get that emotional pull. Between the song & the wiki entry I would like to see the movie in the future.
Challenge: Met

Governing Dynamics (Revolving Door) - I expected good things from Travis this round, and I don't think he disappointed. It's not my favorite song of the round, and it might not even get a vote, but it's a 6 minute song that didn't feel like 6 minutes....so it must have been good right? I can't say it was the most moving of the bunch, but unlike many of the songs this round the music actually set the mood from the start.
Challenge: Met

Sara Parsons (Had To Be You) - This just didn't seem sad to me. The topic isn't exactly cheerful or the lyrics...but the music & at time the vocals didn't seems sad. The most moving part of the song was the verse you went accapella. The music wasn't bad, it was actually very pretty, but it didn't seem sad.
Challenge: Met

Edric Haleen (The Star) - Edric told me this probably wouldn't get votes...well I see why now. Not that it's bad, but honestly if I need translations & a lot of back story to 'get' a song....I'll probably stop listening rather than do the work to understand it. Great performance...but it didn't move me. (and it's no fun to sing)
Challenge: Met


Brian Gray (Not Even Close) - Brian...no way this is getting tears from people, but I don't care. Shadows should be allowed to bend the rules a little more if they want. If you were in the competition this would have ranked at the bottom...simple because it's a funny song about a sad topic...not a sad tear jerking song. But since you're NOT in the competition this is actually my favorite song of the round. I think people needed a good laugh after all the sadness, so thanks for contributing to the round.
Challenge: Funny Fail
<a href="http://spintown.bandcamp.com/track/not-even-close-shadow">Not Even Close (Shadow) by Spintown Tunes</a>

Dr. Lindyke (A Special Day) - Of the shadows, this one definately did the best job setting a mood, and pilling onions. Dr. Lindyke should have officially entered this contest...they would have made a good run at winning.

Emperor Gum (1983) - You've done a great job at improving your production value musically. I really enjoyed the music up until the line, "Will I see a blue sky again?" I don't know what comes in there, but make that noise stop. You're music has improved so much, that I'd like to hear you work on your vocals next. If you can improve on those like you have with your music...people will have to look out for Graham Porter in these contests. I also really enjoyed your creativity on meeting this challenge. It's a very narrow challenge, so great job on thinking outside the box...while staying inside the challenge.
Challenge: Met

JoAnn Abbott (Lullabye) - I hope you get all kinds of recording equipment for Christmas. The recorder may evoke some strong memories from people as a kid, but it doesn't really scream sadness in this tune.
Challenge: Met

Heather Miller (Promise To My Son) - In the 2nd round I know you struggled with transitions. I think you have the same problem here...although better. This is another good example of thinking outside the box a bit. It's a story about a mother giving up her child, but with a period twist.
Challenge: Met

These reviews were written long ago. After having listened to the songs more, and having time to reflect, the order may be a little different today. But honestly not much would have changed, and I don't feel like redoing my reviews or rankings since the contest is now over. Some new shadow songs were also submitted after the deadline, and after these reviews were done. So if you wrote a song, but weren't mentioned...that's probably why.


  1. Thanks for posting your Round 2 & 3 reviews. Each time someone has taken the time to review all of a round's songs, whether an official judge or otherwise, I've found it really interesting to see how someone feels about each song, entries and shadows alike.

    On that note, it seems like the Round 4 shadows were shafted so far by everyone except Joe! Bummer :)

    Mark a.k.a. OHB

  2. For round 1-3 I did the reviews in advance just in case I would be needed as an alternate. With the last round I didn't, and when it looked like Niveous wasn't going to finish in time I just threw together a quick review of the 2 main songs. I might go back & review the shadows that were entered late in R1-R3...if I do that I'll include all the R4 songs.

    We'll see.

  3. It's no sweat, and I certainly wasn't singling you out :)

    For what it's worth, though, as I sat there after the Round 3 results were posted, thinking to myself, should I do a shadow or shouldn't I, weighing my schedule and the four days I was going to be away smack dab in the middle of the writing period, one of the things that made me go for it was the thought, "Well, even if both finalists come through and I don't go to the finals, at least I'll get some constructive feedback through all the reviews." But alas, for the most part, foiled!


  4. Well my reviews aren't that helpful since I no little to nothing about music, but I'll get on that this week probably.