Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

SpinTunes #2 Round 4 Review

There is a NEW SpinTunes champion! The judges may have reviewed this round, but it's the previously eliminated competitors who voted for the new champion. Since once again everyone met the challenge, this is mostly just, "What would Travis want to listen to more in the future." You can also read reviews from the 5 other judges (and a special guest judge) over on the SpinTunes page of the blog.

Going into this challenge I thought the game people used to take their character from would play a major role in deciding victory. You can write a good song about any game probably, but picking a game your audience was unfamiliar with wouldn't bring up all the nostalgic feelings that could help win votes. For instance picking Pac-Man is a pretty safe bet because everyone knows Pac-Man. If you decide to write about a character from Dues Ex...well it's a great game with a lot of story possibilities...but a lot of your audience will not have any experience with it. I expected most people to play it safe by picking characters like Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Mega Man, etc... There were a couple people who dared to be a little different, and I wonder if that hurt them at all.

Mitchell Adam Johnson - (In Another Castle) - I expected lots of Mario this round, but I guess everyone figured it was too obvious...everyone but Mitchell at least. Obvious or not, I really enjoyed the direction this took. Everyone knows how useless the Princess seems to be in the regular Mario series, and it's a bit of a joke how often she gets captured, so why not explain WHY this keeps happening? It's cute, funny, and light; but it's what is SHOULD be. Great work with the game sound effects.

Chris Cogott (In Bright Falls) - During the LP I mentioned that this reminded me of The Munsters. That's not a bad thing, I love that theme song. This is another game I had never played though, and after looking it up on good old Wikipedia it seems like a very dark game. The music behind this song while very cool & fun...don't seem to fit the mood of the story being told. I could be wrong...again I'm just going by what Wikipedia told me. Everything else about it is great, and I have no other complaints.

Zarni De Wet (The Bleeding Effect) - Beautiful song that has the best line of the entire round in it.

"If I gotta shed some blood to save some
Then I'll save some"
How can that line not stand out? I had a little trouble with this song, mostly because I hadn't played the game before. (not Zarni's fault) I had heard of it...watched a trailer at one point, and I read the long summary that Zarni included on BandCamp. However that's just not a replacement for actually playing the game, and really learning about the character. This makes it really hard to judge compared to a game you may have experience with. I can't really complain about the song itself at all...it's beautiful, and if I had the money I'd buy the game. So well done.

PS: It kinda sucks having the more than 60 seconds of dead air at the end of the song. But I know you sent in the wrong file, and the deadline past before you could send the correct one. I'll upload the updated file sometime tonight. I don't hold it against the song...one of my favorite Song Fu songs did the same thing. *looks at Denise*

Rebecca Brickley (Where I Am) - Interesting character choice. I know of the game & what it's about, even if I haven't played it. I think I've seen a few episodes of the cartoon as well, but I think you're the first person I know who liked the game. The song just seemed...rough to me. Sometimes the lyrics don't seem to flow, and a word was dropped that shouldn't have been. (fun) Maybe you meant to leave that off, but it bugged me. It's not a bad song, and
"So let’s play hard to get
Follow my silhouette
And catch me if you can"
was honestly VERY catchy. Just felt like it needed a bit more work.


Charlie McCarron (The Pac-Man Duet) - Short & sweet. Fails to meet the time requirement, but as I've said in the past, I don't care when it comes to shadows. The last line Charlie & Nicole seem to be out of sync, but the ending was pretty much perfect.

Mark Humble (I'm Q*Bert, Babe) - It's a shame you didn't sign up for SpinTunes from the start, because this is great. Very relating song, and the sound effects from the game were used extremely well. I played Q*Bert a little as a kid, but I didn't get the 'Shoe*bert' reference? Just wondering what that is?

Brian Gray (Hard To Get) - You made me look up Greek mythology...and a couple other references, but I forgive you. :p This is probably my favorite song of the round. The lyrics were clever, the song fun & bouncy, and I can't help but smile while listening. Definitely a new take on the DK & Mario relationship. Loved it.

Boffo Yux Dudes (Floating Away) - You did a nice job of putting the listener into that ship. The background vocals made me feel like I was floating out in the middle of nowhere, and I felt sort of helpless at times. This would have been hard for me to judge in competition because I think you did achieve what you wanted, but in the end it's not the type of song I typically listen to. Well done in terms of stuffing my fat ass into that tiny ship though.

JoAnn Abbott (Go For The Eyes) - This is another tough one for me to judge/review. I think it's the best vocal recording I've heard from JoAnn, and Caleb did a fine job helping out with the music. It's a really nice tune, but it's just words to me. I've never played the game, and after reading a quick wiki article about the game I'm still in the dark about MOST of this. So unless I go buy the game & sit & play it, it's not going to make much sense to me. That isn't going to happen, so this probably won't get played by me much in the future...as I said...it's just gibberish put to a pretty tune. I'm sure fans of the game will like it though.

Boffo Yux Dudes (One Level Down) - Like your previous shadow the music in this one does a great job of putting the listener in the game. The way the music continues to speed up throughout the song really makes me a bit frantic...much like how the game can. The music also gets louder as the song goes along, and that works to a degree. I think it's a great idea, but you start off so low that I can't pick up the first 2 lines. Bump it up a little to start, and it's fine though. It's another time requirement fail, but who cares.

David Ritter (Pitfall!) - This is a really pretty & sleepy tune. Strikes me a bit odd for a game about "Pitfall!". You describe a lot of exciting things, but the music isn't trying to get me excited. So like I said, the overall picture you give me is a bit odd.

Boffo Yux Dudes (Elf Shot The Food) - This is one of the games I always wanted to own, but never have. I rented the hell out of it though. At first listen during the LP, I didn't care for this song...but of course I don't really pay a lot of attention to the music at the LP. (one bad thing about running the LP) But when I could actually give it my full attention I laughed a lot. The characters talking in the background, the in game voice, and everything together just works. Like I know Chris Cogott has been doing...I find myself saying, "The Elf Shot The Food" a lot lately.

Caleb Hines (The Writing On The Wall) - Like JoAnn's shadow it's another game I've not played & I don't really 'get' it. (I've been hearing cake jokes forever & I still don't know why. :p ) That's just the problem with picking a more current game. They take longer to play, and less people will be able to be in on the story. Writing about a 25 cent game is the safe route, but it doesn't mean this is bad. Just means I can't understand it without a lot of research or buying the game. (Less helpful or informative review EVAR!)

Governing Dynamics (One Four One 'Roach') - This will give the previous review a run for the title... Yeah, it's another game I don't have experience with. The chorus wasn't all that catchy to me, but I liked the delivery of the curse word. :p (Don't know why I even bother reviewing some of these...sorry these reviews suck.)

Inverse T. Clown (I'm Tops) - I didn’t care for the vocal performance at all, but I know you recorded this without working headphones...so you get a pass. I loved the story, and the fact you went with a lesser known character from a game. The music is something I could see being on a classic game. There's some classic themes from the 8-16 bit era that I can listen to all day. This could slide right into that category had it been on a game. Very well done.


  1. Thanks for the review!! Oddly enough, odd (the good odd, not the bad odd) was what I was going for. I was thinking like the Black & White cookie - two different things coming together for good.

    I was thinking "Let's see what happens when we combine an action game with .... you guessed it - a ballad." Freako De Gallo? Perhaps.

    Still.... it was sure fun writing something crazy like that - even at the expense of having some people wonder what in the hell I am doing and thinking :-)

  2. As an observation Spin, Portal is only two or three hours long and is considered by many one of the best games ever made. You should try it!

    Another great review for an even better SpinTunes than the first. Its a pity life reared its ugly head and I couldn't do any shadows. Thank you, and I'll be back for number 3!

  3. I was kinda wondering what happened to you, I hope everything is alright. I do look forward to seeing you in #3.

    I'd like to play Portal, but I can't afford a new game.