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Monday, June 27, 2011

SpinTunes #3 Round 1 Review (Shadows)

For those of you who don't know what a "Shadow Song" is, it's basically when someone turns in a song to SpinTunes...who isn't currently in the competition. Even though their song can't win, the song still gets put on the new album & played at the listening party.

For this first round we only had 2 people shadow intentionally...the others got eliminated by the round 1 deadline, and they turned their songs in late as shadow songs. I'm always happy to get shadows turned in, but I will start with the 2 people who planned to shadow.

Now to play Mr. Knowitall, when I've never even written a song for myself.

Mick Bordet - The Highland Coo Song
Starts off kinda sensual, and it's more than a little creepy. A song about a man pining to slaughter a cow & reap the rewards is more than a little funny. I didn't really care for the flute, I'd rather have gotten another verse there. The ending Moooooooo was funny.

Noah McLaughlin - Thank You, Joss Whedon
Like the song about a book I reviewed yesterday, this is a song that I'm just not going to get. I couldn't pick Joss Whedon out of a line-up, and I had to Wiki him to find out what he's done. I've never watched Buffy, Angel, or Dollhouse. I've only seen bits of Firefly, but I do own Dr. Horrible. Overall...if there's references to his work...I'm not going to get them. I did like the music, it was interesting & upbeat. Lyrically I know he died, came back, and you killed him again, but I can't say how well written it is since I'm ignorant of the topic. Toward the middle of the song it dragged a bit when you repeated "you came back" for awhile. Good shadow from what I can tell, it's a shame you didn't sign-up for the contest on time.

David Ritter - Requiem For Bob
Writing a sad song about a guy losing his wife, being afraid to die himself, then meeting death...is not happy. BUT, the idea of reminding the listener it's supposed to be happy cause of the banjo in the song...IS funny...and kinda meets the challenge. I liked this, but think it needs a lot more work lyrically. For example:

"In the night I went to her grave
I decided to be brave
I headed to the grave
The moon was shining bright

To visit my old lady
in the night"
Some of that needs cut down. The last 2 lines tell you the same thing the first 2 did, and at this point I was hand gesturing to my computer as to tell it to move along already. There were also a few Yoda moments. "footsteps I could hear" It always takes me out of a song when that happens cause nobody talks that way. Overall the music was fine, the concept was GREAT, but the lyrics still need hammered out.

Heather Miller - Throw My Anchor Down
2nd song in a row that I just consider not finished. I really think you found your vocal range with this song. I think the style suits you. BUT, going accapella just made this drag & repeating the chorus to start & finish the song didn't help. Take this and add more too it, cause even though it didn't seem happy, it seemed like it's a good start to a song.

Anna P - Jesus's Best Friend
I felt for the people who missed the deadline, but especially Anna. She was freaking out, and trying her best to beat that mean old deadline back a little, but just came up short. Even Song Fu & SpinTunes vets miss a deadline once in awhile, so I'm glad you entered this as a shadow to get your feet wet. The first verse made me smile, cause a lot of people have that moment of, "Will I make it to heaven?" Your delivery of that was well done. I didn't like the Disney line. If it's in reference to the anti-semitism stuff, why wouldn't you hate being accused of that? If it was entered on time, it would have been DQed because it's 10 seconds short, but it's a solid tune. Well done.

Donutworthy - Signal
One Joe is good enough, get rid of the clone. I think putting Joe & Grahams vocals together was a mistake as well. I like the take on the challenge, and the story is easy enough to follow aside from 1 thing (What signal?). The music was pretty cool, maybe the best of the shadows. In relation to the challenge it felt more hopeful or encouraging than happy. Good song, too bad it missed the deadline by 1 MINUTE!

Green Mama Bathsalts - See You In Hell
Overall, this was my favorite shadow of the round. It's a song about two buddies about to be executed for murder. Their friendship is so strong that a trip to hell isn't all that bad cause they'll still have each other. I can't really fault anything with this. It's only got a simple guitar & vocals, but it works. Might even make it better not having bells & whistles. Real shame this didn't make the deadline, cause I think it would have made it to round 2 easily.

The Vespus - Old Red
I had trouble getting into the story & following along, but everything else was enjoyable. Another entry with only guitar & vocals, but it's light & fun tune that might not have the same appeal with much more. The performance was really good, and the hook was memorable. It's a shame Erik requested this be taken off the album. Not only cause it's a good shadow, but it tells me he might have missed the point of SpinTunes.

Common Lisp - Today Is Not That Day
How is a death march happy? You're telling me death is ok...but I'm not believing it for 1 second. Lyrically it's not really a 'story' song, and that's usually what I like. The biggest issue though is the music & pace. It's not bad, but it in no way makes me feel happy.

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