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Sunday, October 31, 2010

SpinTunes #2 Round 2 Review

Ok...this was actually a tougher round to review than the first round. At first you would think..."8 less songs entered means less work." That was not the case. This round involved writing a sequel, which means to properly judge the song you need to have heard the original. In most cases, I was not all that familiar with the original song...so I had to go back & look up the songs & lyrics. So 21 songs turned into 42...

I judged this round much like I do every round (see round 1 review for details), but I also had to take into consideration how much your song 'felt' like a sequel. Did the story pick up where the other left off? Musically were there similarities, without being a compete rip off or parody? The styles didn't really need to be similar in this challenge, but if I had 2 songs that I felt were pretty darn equal...something like that could have given you the edge to move up 1 spot in my rankings.

After you're done here, you should check out the reviews from the real judges. There was even a special guest judge this round, and you can find all those by clicking --> HERE.

Charlie McCarron (Over The Bridge)
Sequel Of: "Under The Bridge" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers
At first listen I knew this was going high up on my list. But honestly I'm not all that familiar with The Red Hot Chili Peppers. I didn't know the song just from reading the title, and when I went back & listened to the original I knew this was probably getting my top spot. It just felt like something they would have written, and I enjoyed all of it. Vocally it's my favorite song from Charlie, but he still sounds like he's holding back a little.
Challenge: Met

Ross Durand (Folsom Breakout Blues)
Sequel Of: "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash
I think Johnny Cash would like this...that's about the best thing I could say about it I guess. I think you did a good job (like GD) in picking a song that was PERFECT for YOU to sequel. I think there were a few people who could have done better by picking a song in their wheelhouse.
Challenge: Met

Gweebol (Thank You Mr. Postman)
Sequel Of: "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes
This is another one of my all time favorite songs...er the sequel is I mean. That can be good or bad for you...definitely more for you to live up to in MY eyes at least. Fortunately I thought it sounded great. Took me back in time to a period I never really got to experience, but fantasize about. The new twist of to the song is not only lucky for the postman, but for everyone who hits the play button. Well done.
Challenge: Met

Chris Cogott (Roadward Bound)
Sequel Of: "Homeward Bound" by Simon & Garfunkel
Not the type of song I expected Chris to sequel, but dang if he didn't nail it. This is one of those songs that jumped up a lot after I went back to listen to the original.
Challenge: Met

Ryan Ruff Smith (Baby, We're Through)
Sequel Of: "Baby, It's You" by The Shirelles
Definitely sounds like the original, and works as a great sequel. You go from the blind puppy love in the original to the rude awakening of reality in your sequel. Something most people have been through, and unlike irl it was a pleasant experience.
Challenge: Met

Rebecca Brickley (Elderly Dream)
Sequel Of: "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry
I'm not a Katy Perry fan...but I'm just thankful this wasn't a Lady Gaga sequel. I was happy most people picked some older tunes, but honestly I thought you nailed this lyrically. There were a few places your vocals seemed to get too soft, and a little lost in the music. If we have to write a prequel in a future round, you need to write 'Middle-Aged Dream' to complete the trilogy.
Challenge: Met

Mitchell Adam Johnson (When Donna Came Back)
Sequel Of: "Donna" by Ritchie Valens
I loved every second of this. You capture the sound & feel of the original while extending the story wonderfully. I love the fact that multiple people picked songs from the 50's & 60's.
Challenge: Met

Edric Haleen (O! Say Can You See?)
Sequel Of: "The Star Spangled Banner"
Edric is a math teacher, so I guess it's forgivable that he thinks Broadway is our nation's capital. I think he wrote a good sequel, but it's really hard to rank. I mean who listens to "The Star Spangled Banner" on their MP3 player on a regular basis? I have that same problem with this song. It's purdy, singable, and there's nothing really bad about it. But other than the 4th of July, or some other patriotic holiday I don't listen to stuff like this. I'm lucky my rankings don't account for anything this round because I could really stick this ANYWHERE on my list & make some sort of justification for it.

Oh, and I'm curious...did someone tell Edric that SpinTunes will give bonus points to whoever holds the longest note?
Challenge: Met

Inverse T. Clown (Hey, Jessie)
Sequel Of: "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield
I thought this was really funny, and not a bad sequel. Musically it didn't remind me of the original, but lyrically it passed the test. In the song "Rick/Inverse" has been jailed...for probably stalking Jessie's girl. Over time he has gone more & more insane & can hardly wait to take the girl by force when he's let out. The original didn't really make me feel like the guy was going crazy (at least no more so than a bad crush makes you crazy), but the music video maybe hints at it a bit more. Anyways, I'm willing to believe it's a possible outcome.
Challenge: Met

Governing Dynamics (Melt In The Sun 'So Many Pretty Ways')
Sequel Of: "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead
This was difficult for me to review. Travis knows I like clear stories that don't require much interpretation by the listener, but this is not one of those songs. I am very much up front about how dense I am when it comes to picking up on peoples meanings in songs like this. So from the get go, I'm thinking this is going to hurt it's final rankings. But then I listened to the original...and was equally confused by it. I could see some similarities between the songs so that left me with the question, "Should I knock it if it's a good sequel to a song with a style I'm not fond of?" In the end I decided not to knock it lyrically, and judge it mostly by the music & performance. Thankfully for Travis I really enjoyed jamming to the music. Travis had Joe "Covenant" Lamb lend a hand on the vocals, and both of them performed well.

The added criteria for judging songs this round is a bitch.
Challenge: Met

Brian Gray (One More Cloud)
Sequel Of: "3 AM" by Matchbox Twenty
Lyrically 3AM is not the type of song I usually like, but it's still one of my favorite songs...ever. Mostly because I like Rob Thomas & his performance. I enjoyed your sequel, but it just couldn't hold up to the original in terms of performance (imo). Since performance counts in this contest I knocked you a little for it. The visual picture you painted with the song was impressive, so good work overall.
Challenge: Met

Zarni De Wet (Stacy's Dad)
Sequel Of: "Stacy's Mom" by Fountains Of Wayne
There's a full minute of dead air on the end of this...I seem to remember someone else doing this in Song Fu once. *looks at Denise* I thought it was an interesting song to sequel, because I never really thought about what it must feel like to be the dad in that situation. I think you hit it right on the head, or at least that's probably how I'd feel. It was a good entry, the only thing that drops this in my rankings is I felt it lacked energy. In the chorus I thought it needed more 'pick me up' if that makes any since at all? If it doesn't...just ignore my review...I'm only an alternate after all.

(EDIT: It was brought to my attention by 2 individual in ArtiFicition that Stacy's dad walked out in the first song, and could be a problem considering he's with her in the sequel. I personally have no problem assuming he came back into the picture at some point. People get back together all the time, and you pretty much have to make assumptions in filling in the gaps between original & sequel at times. This wasn't too big of a stretch for me, and didn't affect my rankings.)
Challenge: Met

Steve Durand (Miranda)
Sequel Of: "Fernando" by ABBA
Of all the originals I had to listen to...that was my least favorite. I won't hold it against you though. :p Nothing (aside from the horns) stood out for me with this track. As far as being a sequel you did as well as most, but I'm not finding a reason to bump this up really high in what's a very competitive round. I fear you might be eliminated.
Challenge: Met

Duality (Mars Ain't The Kind Of Place)
Sequel Of: "Rocket Man" by Elton John
It's no secret I like to sing these entries...if I can. I can sing this, but it's no FUN to sing. (for me) It feels like a long long time, and the original (being about the same length) didn't feel long. As a sequel I think you did a fine job (doesn't need to be the same style), but just as something I'd like to listen to on my MP3 player...not so much. It's a pretty song, but halfway through it I'm ready for a change.
Challenge: Met

Common Lisp (Science 'In The Service Of Beauty')
Sequel Of: "She Blinded Me With Science" by Thomas Dolby
I definitely hear a lot of references to the original. My only real problem with this song is the spoken word sections. They seem to drag, and leave me just waiting for the singing to start again. (did I just say that about Paul?) Those sections just seem to put everything on hold, and it's an unwelcome interruption when someone is ENJOYING the song. Overall nice work, but I fear for you in what was a tough round.
Challenge: Met

Danny Blackwell (Like A Family)
Sequel Of: "Wannabe" by The Spice Girls
The music isn't even close to the original, but in this case it's probably a good thing. Nothing against the Spice Girls, but this story is about getting away from that Spice Girls lifestyle, so a total change in music makes perfect sense to me. I thought the dark twist at the end was funny, and overall it was a solid entry. The high quality entries this round & your production problems will probably keep it lower in the rankings.
Challenge: Met

Ben Walker (When I'm A Hundred And Two)
Sequel Of: "When I'm Sixty-Four" by The Beatles
Loved it, and I'm not the only one. A number of people where searching various charts for a cover that slipped into the top 20. Unfortunately we didn't find anything, because we didn't want to DQ this. As the requirements have been posted...we can't really do anything but DQ it though. I just wanna thank you for submitting it, and I hope you stick with the contest by posting shadow entries & following along in the future.
Challenge: Not Met


Duality (Today)
Sequel Of: "Yesterday" by The Beatles
Ok, for some reason the vocals aren't together? This distracts me...and annoys me. If there was a way for me to turn off Joe...or Denise...and listen to this with just 1 vocalist...I think I'd like it...A LOT. Nice work with meeting the challenge, and with that one change this could have been way up on my list...you know...if it wasn't a shadow.
Challenge: Met

Danny Blackwell (La Reina)
Sequel Of: "El Rey" by Jose Alfredo Jimenez
I have no idea how to review this since I didn't understand a word of the original. I like your performance, but I have no idea if you met the challenge. Oh, and the end was pretty cool.
Challenge: Met...maybe...maybe not?

David Ritter (Cage Of Love)
Sequel Of: "Every Breath You Take" by The Police
I'm so glad you decided to shadow, because this creepy ass song is my favorite shadow of the contest so far. Music rocked, made me laugh, and it's just fun. You met the challenge well, but with shadows I don't even care as much about that. This is just awesome.
Challenge: Met

JoAnn Abbott (Georgia Morning)
Sequel Of: "The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia" by Vicki Lawrence
Caleb Hines & Graham Porter did a great job of helping you out. I liked your extension of the story, but it's another song that felt long to me (and it wasn't). I'm glad to hear the layered vocals, it's another baby step forward, so nice work. Keep adding to your arsenal, and maybe you won't have to shadow round 2 next time.
Challenge: Met


  1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! (That being said -- the bonus points are real, though, aren't they?)


  2. Well, Edric, you might want to enter a SuperNote. You still have a few hours.


    (for realz)