Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Songwriting Cycle 2

This is a project started by Edric Haleen. Basically everyone involved gets to create a songwriting challenge for someone else, while taking on a challenge from someone else as well. I don't think I reviewed every song in the first edition, but I did this time. You can click the picture below to see the entire album on BandCamp.

Inner Thoughts by Edric Haleen
The Challenge: Write a song about any internal organ below the neck except the heart! The organ must be the main focus and topic of the song.
My Thoughts: At first I thought it was just going to be a fun drinking song. But then he starts singing from the POV of the liver. The performance is hilarious, and it's well polished (it really does sound like he's in a bar). I thought it was a perfect style for Edric to take on, not just because of the piano, but because he has to drink a lot to cope with living in Michigan.

Little Bird by Ross Durand
The Challenge: Write a song that retells a fairy tale. Well-known or obscure? Doesn’t matter! Think ‘Into The Woods’ (Stephen Sondheim) or ‘Li’l Red Riding Hood’ (Sam the Sham).
My Thoughts: Ross based his song on "The Happy Prince" by Oscar Wilde...not something I'm familiar with. Since this isn't a contest, and I'm not a judge, I don't feel the need to seek out this story & compare it to the song. I'll just say it's a moving song, and Ross gives a touching performance. I may not look up the story, but the song is a keeper.

Upside Down by The Boffo Yux Dudes
Challenge: Upside-down...this was left vague so that they could interpret the challenge in their own way.
My Thoughts: I thought the lyrics were really smart, and afterwards I couldn't believe it was a 5 minute song. The music was slow & relaxing, but it only felt like a 3-4 minute song. I had mixed feelings about the spoken bridge. It added to the feeling of disorientation, but I could have done without it. This had the best line of all the songs: "Toenail doorknob semen who’s a pretty bird?". I think I'd have like it better delivered straight, and not so corny, but it was still a great line.

The Ballad Of John And Jesus by Charlie McCarron
Challenge: Write an entirely new song that mashes up the titles of two other well-known songs! (For example: “Strawberry Fields Forever And Ever, Amen,” “Detroit Rock City Of Angels,” or “Pride [In The Name Of Love The One You’re With].”)
My Thoughts: I enjoyed the story, it was fun to sing, and was probably my favorite song of the contest. Performance...music...lyrics...I have nothing bad to say about this.

Ascend (Pan's Labyrinth) by Graham Porter
Challenge: Write a new song for the credits of one of your favorite movies.
My Thoughts: I haven't seen the film, so I can really say how well it would fit as the closing song during the credits. As for what I thought of the song just as a song...I thought it was alright. Graham has come a long way with his production. Everything sounds cleaner than I'm used to from him. I thought his vocals were as good as I've heard from him as well. The type of song is not really up my alley. It's just too slow for me, and it's long as well. Of course it might be perfect for the closing song of the film...I just can't say.

Blood Moon by Dr. Lindyke
Challenge: Write a song about something or someone being haunted.
My Thoughts: I thought the music & performance were great. Put me in a spooky place, even if the lyrics didn't do it for me the first go around. Each time I've listened, they've grown on me a little more. So this review gets even better with time...in theory.

The Life For Me by Caleb Hines
Challenge: Write a song (in the first-person) about an imagined adventure in a place you long to visit.
My Thoughts: From the start I thought of "Gilligan's Island". The song doesn't sound like it, but just the setting, and then the "tropical luxury" line put me in that place. It didn't last long, but it did take me there for a moment. The music set the appropriate setting, but I just couldn't get into the story. Felt like asking "Are we there yet?" a number of times as I listened.

Letter Of Fire (Frying Pan) by Duality
Challenge: Write a song that is, in fact, a letter from the future.
My Thoughts: I know there were technical problems for Duality this go around that didn't really allow Joe to provide vocals. (hope I'm right about this) I found the music itself interesting, and honestly would have liked it better if there were no vocals...at all. Both Denise & Joe have pipes, but this song just didn't work for me. Take out the vocals & it might have. That's right...I'm saying I would have liked an instrumental. Hey, it's not SpinTunes, I'm allowed to say that. Of course they wouldn't have met the challenge if they had done it my way...so I guess it's good they did...I guess.

Come Have A Sip Of My Wine by JoAnn Abbott
Challenge: Write a song in the tradition of a drinking song.
My Thoughts: Edric totally pwned you. This lacks the polish & performance of Edric's...and I know it's not a contest, but when you have 2 songs of the same type it's hard not to compare them. 4:36 is a long time to listen to just a recorder & vocals.

Dave Gorbe & Bryce Jensen: Life happens, and there are more important things than songwriting challenges. I understand if things get in the way of deadlines. I hope all is well with the both of you, and I don't think Edric would mind you finishing your songs late... I certainly don't have an issue with uploading them whenever you can get them in. I know you can make 2 people very happy who didn't get their challenges met. So when it's possible...do it.


  1. Thanks for the reviews, Spin! It is long, I did indulge the instrumentals. Speed comment was interesting, I physically couldn't play the bass guitar part any faster anywho. I'm glad you think I'm improving, though!

  2. WOW! I just saw this and... well.. wow... wow.
    Just for info's sake, it would have also been a Duality tune if I'd omitted vocals as well, because there was a bit of guitar track in 2-3 places mixed in verytightly that Joe provided; as well as 2 pieces of the core of the electronic part which the whole tune was based on. So I was able to incorporate him. I guess it's good we have bits and pieces of Joe-Den files lying around in case of Robotic-failure. He probably would have grabbed one of my pianobits he's got if it had been me :)