(To listen to the songs mentioned in this review, just click the picture above.)
First round...shit ton of songs. Second round...homework. Third round...easy. At least for the judges in comparison to the first 2 rounds. It's no secret that I've been pushing for this challenge since SpinTunes started. I also knew a lot of people would hate the challenge when they read it...and they did. Technically I thought it was a good challenge, and it put most people out of their comfort zone. Thankfully, a number of the people found that it was a lot more fun than they originally thought.
Oh, and the title of this challenge (Top That) was inspired by the rap scene in the terrible movie "Teen Witch".
Ross Durand - Camp Romance
I really didn't expect Ross to turn in my favorite song of this round, and I certainly didn't expect it to be one of my favorite songs of SpinTunes 3...but he did. Lyrically he's usually one of my favorite story tellers, but the music in this somehow managed to be extremely cool, but fitting for a camp setting??? I really enjoyed the sweet love story being told, and it will fit nicely in a playlist with other similar raps I enjoy like "I'll Go" by Young MC. If this doesn't get Ross to the finals, I would be extremely disappointed.
Jon Eric - The Dance
I expected Jon to enter something solid since he's got the most experience rapping in this group. He stepped up to the plate & demonstrated the best flow from the round. I enjoyed the piano, and having Denise singing the chorus was a good idea. Even though it was a quick pace, the story telling was great. This will live a long life on my i-Pod.
Dr. Lindyke - Politics And Promises
I wish more people would have hit this challenge right in the jaw like you guys did. Who needs funny when you have amazing lyrics like this? (although hearing Dave say "wack" just didn't seem right) Dave's delivery is pretty good, and at times great. For instance the "Did the baptism take or just make you wetter?" line is great, but the attitude in the delivery is great as well. It's a shame there were a lot of production issues, cause I'd like to hear what they had planned. Don't know if Dave & William would be happy about this, but I have a new favorite Dr. Lindyke song.
Pat And Gweebol - TickiTock (Top Tad)
What's with all the penis references in this SpinTunes? Anyways, I thought this flowed better than most entries, and was probably the most catchy entry of the round. Really enjoyed the back & forth between you both, and I'm officially naming Pat And Gweebol the SpinTunes version of Karmin Music.
Matt And Donna - Anatomy Dance
My college anatomy prof would have loved this. Putting this down on paper had to be tough enough, recording it had to be a real pain. The performance seemed a bit lifeless, and I'm pretty sure it's just that Donna is concentrating on saying the words correctly. It's still one of my favorite entries, but the performance did hold it back a little. I'm sure Donna can do it, but 8 days just probably wasn't long enough to write & then get comfortable with it.
Edric Haleen - Sarah
Long sung intro...didn't see that coming. :p The idea of his alter ego coming out through rap was pretty cool. The idea of his confidence growing & his rapping going from bad to good in the process was also interesting. (wrote this before reading bio...oops) I think most things fit together nicely, even the intentionally bad rapping.
I once again screwed up your song at the LP. The last time that happened I just accidentally clicked the wrong button. This time, it was me not paying close attention (multi-tasking...not cause I didn't like what I heard). I just clicked the next song when I thought your song SHOULD have ended. Didn't do it on purpose though. Overall it's a good entry, but it probably doesn't have a ton of replay value for me. Can I sing it? Yes. Is it fun to sing/rap badly...for now I'll say no.
The Offhand Band - Not Cool
Liked the idea you had about playing off your uncoolness. Dang there's a ton of word play & references in this. I didn't get A LOT of the references, which takes away from a lot of the enjoyment & makes it hard to follow. I enjoyed the chorus, but the song needs something to change it up more. Either that, or shorten it a lot, cause it's REALLY long for a rap. I'd drop the 3rd verse & the 4th chorus.
Steve Durand - A Place For Love
You fit in some funny lines, and the story was a lot of fun. At the same time other lines just fell flat with me & I didn't get a perfect rhyme where I might have wanted. Glad to hear you managed to still use the brass, and the chorus stuck with me awhile. Another penis reference?
Jutze - My Friend Kay
I think you dove into the performance more than most people this round. Maybe it's the topic you picked, but I had a hard time getting into the story. What I LOVED was the beat. Bonus points for using banjo. When that came into the song, it went from computer to i-Pod. And even though you really had to stretch to reach the 2 minute mark, I didn't mind cause you stretched with the banjo. Oh, and Chelsea should send you a new clip to use as a "penis" sample.
Wait What - Six Years Seventeen Days
This felt like 2 incomplete stories being forced into 1. You start off rapping from the POV of a whiny schmuck who was dumped. That's fine & all, but you should have got to the extremely creepy stuff in the last verse a lot quicker. When you finally get there, it just sort of ends right when you get to the interesting stuff. Drop the original 2nd verse completely, make the original 3rd verse your new 2nd, and write new 3rd.
Charlie McCarron - Trail In The Snow
I really liked the feel the music created, but I'm not really sure what's going on with the story. I'm fairly dense when it comes to following along at times, so maybe it's just me. I think a little more work on the actual rapping is needed. At times it's hard to pick up what Charlie is saying, and that makes it even harder for me to follow the story. Again though, I really liked the music. The beat, extra vocals, and everything about it fit perfectly. Me not getting the story was the big issue here.
Caleb Hines - Two Musicians
(Will be posted after a judges decision to DQ or not has been made final.)
Ethan Ivey - Entry 3
Wow you recorded that way too loud. The beat is pretty simple & the rap feels too repetitive. I know you mention it's based on a couple YouTube series, but I'm not going to watch a series on YouTube just to get what the song is about. I'm basically just left in the dark here, and that's a shame cause the story seemed pretty interesting.
Menage' a Tune - Roman Road Rap
The 20 second piano bit at the start...cut it. This is a tough one for me cause I don't like most Christian music. I also don't like most children’s music. This feels like a cross between what I'd hear in church & what I would hear on a Christy Lane teaches Hip Hop dance DVD. It might make you fairly cool during vacation Bible school this year, but neither appeals to me.
The Boffo Yux Dudes - It's All About the Benjamins
Funny concept, and the over the top cheese is good. The only thing I didn't care for was the "Rollin with the Benjamins..." hook. The line itself doesn't bother me, it's just kinda annoying sounding so low & slow. Overall this was one of my favorite raps of the round, and one of my favorite shadows of the contest. Great work guys.