I Can't Live This Way

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kenmassey
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I Can't Live This Way

Post by kenmassey » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:09 pm

Hi Folks, I was thinking of submitting this song, I Can't Live This Way, to this listing:

MODERN HOT AC PRODUCER/SONGWRITERS in the range of Christina Aguilera ("Beautiful"), Kelly Clarkson ("Already Gone" "Because of You"), James Blunt ("You're Beautiful") etc., needed by a successful South Korean Music Publisher working with Record Labels in the Asian market...
MALE, FEMALE, OR DUET VOCALS OKAY. Your emotionally revealing, cliché-free lyrics should be supported by edgy, modern-sounding tracks and melodies that pack a punch. They're not looking for the classic AC Ballad style of Celine Dion here! You MUST demonstrate CURRENT, COMPETITIVE arranging, programming, and mixing skills in the Modern Hot AC Ballad style.

So what say you my friends? All brutally honest feedback is requested. Mix, arrangement, etc.

I Can't Live This Way http://www.taxi.com/kenmassey

FYI: My friend Ashley Lang is on Vocals!

I get lonely late at night
You’re on the road You’re out of sight
I’m waiting here all by myself
Wondering if you’re sleeping with somebody else

We’ve been here before and there is no cure
This time I’m sure I can’t take any more

I can’t Live this way
Can’t live here anymore
I’ve got to move on
I’m heading out the door
I can’t live this way
Can’t live here anymore
I’ve got to move on
I can’t live this way

I’m tired of fighting and tired of waiting
For you to change your childish ways
I’m tired of hurting and done with trying
I’ve got to get back on my feet again

How I wish this didn’t have to be If you could only see what I see
I could have been good could have been right now it’s too late I’m leaving tonight

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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by Nick2012 » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:10 pm

I can't stream audio from here, so I can only comment on the lyrics.

The lines, "You’re on the road You’re out of sight" and "Wondering if you’re sleeping with somebody else" just seem a bit "applied stock" to me. I would try to come up with more creative and unique ways to imply the same thoughts. Something I could truly call my own, but not so outside the box that folks can't figure out what's being said.

Also, I can't tell if the song is conversational or if it's someone who's alone and just thinking out loud. Is he currently back and she's telling him this to his face? Or are they on the phone? Or is she writing a "Dear John" letter for him to find when he returns? I totally get what the song is saying, I'm just putting on my "screener" hat. It seems, from what I've read, it's good to clarify how the conversation is taking place. Just some simple line thrown in that conveys, "ear to phone", "pen to paper", "eye to eye", etc., might be something to consider. Perhaps in the bridge. The song "Sylvia's Mother" just came to mind. It has a pre-chorus that goes, "And the operator says 40 cents more for the next 3 minutes". Doesn't look like much on paper, but it's executed very well and is a powerful hook. You know from the start of V1 he's on the phone, but it isn't until the pre-chorus that you realize he's on a payphone. Totally changes the dynamic and the listener can feel the added stress and tension. Obviously that's a very dated line that would not work in a modern song, but I think that's what your lyric could really benefit from; Some kind of powerful line that puts the listener in her shoes in the "here and now" and gives a sense as to why she's at her wits end and saying "Enough!"

Just my somewhat unqualified 2 cents. Maybe when I get a forward I'll call myself qualified : )

I wish I could hear the music. You always get really good feedback for your musicianship and production skills. I'm sure it's great. You are in an outstanding area in terms of a music scene. I managed a band from Va Beach in the late 90's. We started networking with bands from the Annapolis / Baltimore / DC area's and trading gigs. I was totally blown away by the caliber of musicians I was meeting up there. The contrast between those areas and Southeast Virginia was striking. Must be something in the water : )

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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by Len911 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 4:52 am

Ken, I thought the intro seemed too long, and the drums and piano were too loud for the first verse. I can picture a shot with the drums and 1 piano chord allowed to ring out, and then whisper quiet music for the first verse. When the first chorus started I was hooked, everything kept building and the vocals got really warmed up and moving, it was spectacular! Your friend Ashley Lang is a top notch vocalist for sure!
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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by kenmassey » Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:23 am

Nick, Thanks. I totally get where you're coming from about putting the listener in context. Don't know if I'll have time to write it in though!

Len, Thanks to you too, I heard what you were saying about the drums and piano and have posted a remix. Quieting the drums and piano in the intro really helps the build!

Thanks, Ken

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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by Len911 » Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:54 am

Oh yes Ken that is a world of difference, so much better!! Now the intro doesn't seem long at all, and the song has a more natural flow. Love it!
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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by bwd » Mon Jun 13, 2011 12:25 pm

Hi Ken,
Good song - but I think this one one may straying too close to the Celine Dion style. I don't hear "edgy modern sounding" in the arrangement/production. Looks like they're looking for tracks that they can basically put new vocals on.
Cheers,
Doug

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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by kenmassey » Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:11 am

Well my friends, we're coming down the home stretch! Submission deadline is Friday!

I've changed a few lines of lyric to make it a bit clearer that the singer is thinking these thoughts, as opposed to talking to someone, hope the idea is conveyed ok. I've added a harmony vocal on the chorus and an arpegiated synth on the verse in an attempt to make the track a bit more modern/edgy sounding.

What say you?

Thanks so much for all of the feedback, It really has helped! Ken

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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by AlpacaRoom » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:13 am

Ken,

I really dig the harmonies in the choruses, the soaring hook is really exciting. But I'm still waiting for something more when it kicks in after the big tom fill--there's the pad that comes up behind it, but it still seems a little small. Depending on which direction you want to go, a pair of hard-panned heavily-distorted guitars, in the background, played like a pad (ringing power chords) wouldn't be entirely out of place (at least in a Kelly Clarkson-type production) and might kick up the "size" of the choruses.

Plus this gives you an avenue to inject a little more spice in the subsequent verses, maybe with a (sparse) clean guitar arpeggio (I'd also play the string arpeggio during the middle 8 on a guitar, but then again, I'm a rock guy!)

I also want bigger drums in the first verse. You've got the big ballad drums in the second verse, and I get that you're trying to build the song that way, but I think the drums (especially the snare) fall a little flat before the first chorus. If you don't want bigger drums there, maybe a big, reverb-y tambourine hit along with the snares?

Anyway, this is a good track, I like it. I think that it just needs a little more emotional oomph behind it to really make it punch. Good luck with it!


-Nick

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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by slowdance » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:03 pm

Ken,

Nice song......great melody......It's asking for a non classic Celine type of song and to me that's what you have "there asking for edgy and "punch" and I feel the strength of the song is its "Celine" feel...that's how it sings to me........
Regards.
Dick

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Re: I Can't Live This Way

Post by howlindog » Wed Jun 15, 2011 11:13 pm

Ken,

It's a nice tune and the hook stays with you. As far as the listing goes, I don't know. I saw Kelly Clarkson in concert a while back (I believe she warmed up for Bonnie Raitt and that's who I went to see) and her material was almost all hard driving rock and roll. That being said, my personal critieria for whether or not to submit to a listing is - will I be wasting the screener's time by sending this in. I don't think you would be. Yes, it's not edgy and I'm not sure it hits the listing, but it is good. That's my two.

Don

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