3 more on the return pile, would like a second opi

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3 more on the return pile, would like a second opi

Post by geo » Thu Oct 18, 2007 11:57 pm

Hey guys just got a critique and didn't agree with some of the screeners comments, I'll post the info and then gather comments, and then post critique. Just want to see how far I'm off base here (thought I was getting better ).CCM POP/ROCK SONGS that are hip & edgy in the vein of Bleach, Stacie Orrico, Jars Of Clay, Slick Shoes, Jaci Velasquez, Rebecca St. James, Sixpence None The Richer, Reliant K, etc. are sought by the President of the Publishing arm of a Major Christian Ent. Group. Lyrics can be consistent with Christian values, but they shouldn't be overtly Christian - they want crossover hit songs. Great hooks, melodies, lyrics and choruses are all essential. Please submit two to three songs online or per CD/cassette, include lyrics/photo/bio. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than Sept. 25, 2007. TAXI # S070925CCIf Any Dayhttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=61407&stream=trueNo Changehttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=5812 ... =trueFaith in Mehttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=5812 ... trueThanks for your help and time.... Geo

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by Casey H » Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:22 am

Quote:Hey guys just got a critique and didn't agree with some of the screeners comments, I'll post the info and then gather comments, and then post critique. Just want to see how far I'm off base here (thought I was getting better ).CCM POP/ROCK SONGS that are hip & edgy in the vein of Bleach, Stacie Orrico, Jars Of Clay, Slick Shoes, Jaci Velasquez, Rebecca St. James, Sixpence None The Richer, Reliant K, etc. are sought by the President of the Publishing arm of a Major Christian Ent. Group. Lyrics can be consistent with Christian values, but they shouldn't be overtly Christian - they want crossover hit songs. Great hooks, melodies, lyrics and choruses are all essential. Please submit two to three songs online or per CD/cassette, include lyrics/photo/bio. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than Sept. 25, 2007. TAXI # S070925CCIf Any Dayhttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=61407&stream=trueNo Changehttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=5812 ... =trueFaith in Mehttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=5812 ... trueThanks for your help and time.... GeoHi Geo When you get a chance, please post the lyrics and at least one entire critique that you don't agree with. I briefly sampled these songs and could quickly tell the would not get forwarded for this listing. This is a "high bar" listing ("Great hooks, melodies, lyrics and choruses are all essential") asking for "hip/edgy" songs in the vein of the artists mentioned. Essentially that means not only does your song have to be great but the production has to be very clean and at least show that hip/edgy feeling in the style of those artists. As I think you know, all you have to do is go to a site like amazon.com, search for the artists by name, and you will be able to listen to many sample clips. You need to be honest with yourself as to whether your song sounds at all like these artists.Before we even get to production and style you need the SONG. Take "Faith In Me" as an example. I listened a few times and never found the real chorus (I actually had to go back and see if I missed the chorus). If someone can't hear undeniably what your chorus is (usually within the first minute, max) and see it as an outstanding hook, the song just isn't there. The verses start off really good (musically) but the song doesn't take off. If you kept the verses and wrote a new chorus, the song has potential to work. I'm not analyzing lyrics right now.I hear that at the Road Rally, sometimes they have these panels whereby people pass their CD's up to an A&R person who will listen to the first 30 seconds or so and tell them whether they would even listen to the rest. It may be a touch cruel but it's cruel to be kind. That is how most listening is done. Hook them very quickly or "click".The vocals and production do not sell your songs at all. Your vocals are off key and the production isn't polished to where it needs to be to present a song. This would also prevent you from surviving the first 30 seconds of an A&R listen. I know this isn't easy and I wish there was a world where people ignored some or all of that, but that world is long gone. Outside demo services are expensive, but for some of us (including me), essential.I made every possible mistake early on (and still make a lot of them, trust me). This post is to share with you what I learned, often the hard way, over the past 7-8 years. That is not to say I am, in any way, very successful as far as placements (or money LOL), but I consider myself very successful at educating myself. Geo, you have songwriting talent. As I mentioned once before, don't be discouraged and give up! My suggestions: Pick one of your songs that has the most potential, especially as far as the structure and chorus are concerned. Get feedback from peers, professional critiques, custom critiques, and whip the song itself into shape. Then through collaboration and/or a professional demo service, have a demo made. You really shouldn't pitch high bar listings unless you really have something all-around high-bar that sounds like the "a la" artists mentioned. You can if you want to use that to get feedback, but you will find it frustrating and disappointing. And every $5 you save could go into a piggy bank to save up for a professional demo.Also, there are many good books out there on songwriting that give all sorts of tips and tricks on melody, structure, differentiating your verses and choruses, etc. One well know book is, "The Craft And Business Of Songwriting" by John Braheny. Many others have been mentioned on these boards. I believe some of the other authors are Jason Blume and Jai Josefs... And BTW, these folks who write books on songwriting also often work as TAXI screeners, so getting into the way they think is a good idea.Keep at it. Do not give up... Casey

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by hummingbird » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:21 am

Quote:Hey guys just got a critique and didn't agree with some of the screeners comments, I'll post the info and then gather comments, and then post critique. Just want to see how far I'm off base here (thought I was getting better ).CCM POP/ROCK SONGS that are hip & edgy in the vein of Bleach, Stacie Orrico, Jars Of Clay, Slick Shoes, Jaci Velasquez, Rebecca St. James, Sixpence None The Richer, Reliant K, etc. are sought by the President of the Publishing arm of a Major Christian Ent. Group. Lyrics can be consistent with Christian values, but they shouldn't be overtly Christian - they want crossover hit songs. Great hooks, melodies, lyrics and choruses are all essential. Please submit two to three songs online or per CD/cassette, include lyrics/photo/bio. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than Sept. 25, 2007. TAXI # S070925CCIf Any Dayhttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=61407&stream=trueNo Changehttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=5812 ... =trueFaith in Mehttp://www.taximusic.com/song.php?song_id=5812 ... trueThanks for your help and time.... GeoCan you post the lyrics? I can't comment on style, but I do feel that there are production issues with the vocals, that would preclude these being forwardable, even for a song pitch.
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by clonsberry » Fri Oct 19, 2007 4:56 am

Quote:Also, there are many good books out there on songwriting that give all sorts of tips and tricks on melody, structure, differentiating your verses and choruses, etc. One well know book is, "The Craft And Business Of Songwriting" by John Braheny.I got two rejections for this too. One didn't really surprise me. The other one did a little. But, while a little disappointed, I can't disagree with either rejection. Personally, I have a hard time being non-overt when writing Christian music. At some point, it's not Christian music any more. So, while this was a very attractive listing, it's a hard listing for me to reconcile. (no fault of anyone's... just sayin')I'm in the middle of Braheny's book and I can't say enough good about it. I've kind of been waiting for someone to mention it so I can rave about it. I think the first 2 or 3 chapters answered almost all of this posts I made with questions when I came on the board. I've had plenty of well meaning people tell me I'm a good songwriter but I didn't know anything (and still don't know how much I don't know). Of course, I still can't make it past the screeners.. but I'm assuming that's in the second half of the book. Quote:Keep at it. Do not give up... That is the bottom line! Hang tough.

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by matto » Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:32 am

Geo,a couple of thoughts:1- It says "Lyrics can be consistent with Christian values, but they shouldn't be overtly Christian", yet the lyric of your first song is overtly Christian, so right off the bat you are off target there.2- They want "hip and edgy"..."crossover hit songs". Even though posting your lyrics would be necessary to make any specific comments, I can tell right away that they lack the kind of tone that would qualify them as hip and edgy. Similarly, your melodies don't have a modern hip feel to them and are overall not very catchy...they lack the "great hooks" the listing is looking for...3- For a high bar listing like this one, you'll need better vocals that are more in tune and that also have that "hip and edgy" sound to them, and if you're gonna try to go for a full band type production, it's gonna have to be a lot more polished as well.However, first the songs themselves have to be better quality and a closer match for what the listings is asking for. Without that no amount of production is gonna lead to a forward.I think your stragtegy of holding back the critiques you received and first asking for some feedback from us, to see if we agree/disagree with the screener, is futile in this particular case since the songs are so far off (target and bar wise) that a screener could mention any number of things why they couldn't be forwarded to this highbar listings.So if you were hoping for "gotcha moments", I don't think there are gonna be any...Somebody else posted this somewhere else..."look at every rejection not as a rejection but as an opportunity to improve you songs and writing in general". I know that's a LOT easier said than done...but this type of attitude will keep you moving forward on the road towards successHTH,matto

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by geo » Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:51 am

If Any DayLyrics and music by: George W. Danielscopyright 2007Verse 1:How long has today been, how long has it been?I remember today in the blinking of an eye,Midnight is two minutes away, That could be the rest of my life.I look back on my life I hear the hammer’s fall,See the pain on your face as you suffered for us all,It’s been two thousand years since that day,When you took to the sky, like a bird you flew away.Chorus:Now if any day, you return, let your light shine like a sun,Throw your arms around me, love me like a child,Even after everything we’ve done.What love, like the morning sun.What love, after all we’ve done. What love, what love.Verse 2:I try to think about something else,But I can’t, tell me why?Hear the thunder’s roar, feel the winds of change blow,See a black crow fly through the sky.It’s man against man, man against his world,When will your trumpet sound and your banners be unfurled?What will your judgement be on this Eden gone astray?Will you roar like a lion, or come like a lamb that day?Chorus:When you return, let your light shine like the sun...etc.Solo / ChorusNo Change (it shall be the same)Verse 1:I watched one man, in the rapture of his dreams,Disconnected from reality he doesn’t know what he believes.Well I’ve seen through his eyes, through the chemical haze,And I’ve felt the pain of longing as I chased that endless wave. Chorus:Cause it shall be the same, different, yet the same.One love can take us through this pain and it shall be the same, No change.Verse 2:I watched one man, in the shambles of his life,Separated from ones he loves he doesn’t care what’s wrong or rightWell I’ve seen through his eyes, felt the rage and the pain,But I only ever raised my hand one time and swore I’ll never do it again.ChorusBreak:No change...I only ever raised my hand one time (x3)And I swore, I’ll never ever do it again.Verse 3:I watched one man, saw him in the corner of my eye,Contorted in his hatred, he hides the child inside.Well I’ve never walked his path and yes sometimes I should be scared,But when you take a long walk with the King at your side, you never ever have a reason to fear.No fear.No, nothing to fear.ChorusFaith in MeVerse 1:How many years since you shunned my love?I failed your little test, what were you thinking of?Didn’t I raise you from the dust?Didn’t I at least earn your trust?But you never stopped to pick up the phone, will you always walk alone?Chorus:I am like a lover you might never know.I am like the fleeting wind, yet I am so.I never promised to feed your greed,Only one money back guarantee, Where the eye must see, faith in me.Where the eye must see, faith in me.Verse 2:I ‘d like to help you, but you have to ask me first.Just say you hunger and I’ll forever quench that thirst.Didn’t I tell you I’d be just?Didn’t I let you have your lust?But you never stopped to pick up the phone, will you always walk alone?Chorus / SoloBreak:Even though you have needs, Prostitute to you greed,A slave to your fantasy,Just take a closer walk with me.Where the eye must see, faith in me (x4)The reason I did it this way was I wanted the opinion of the forum, not the forums opinion of the critique. Not looking for a gotcha, just an opinion so I can get better. If I say the screener said the choruses were weak and everyone chimes in yes the choruses are weak then I'm getting your opinion on the critique, not the song. I was looking for an independant opinion, that's all. One of the songs is an older recording but the two more modern ones were done paying particular attention to the ala's (Bleach, Jars of clay and Reliant K) and I thought genre wise they were on target. I had posted these two songs previous on Peer to Peer in an effort to bring the production in line but unfortunately they fell off the board with no comment so I'm trying to get the help I need to address the problems with the songs as the critique harped on one point. If you don't want to help that's cool but please don't assume what my intentions are.... Geo

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by matto » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:07 am

Quote:If you don't want to help that's cool but please don't assume what my intentions are.... GeoSorry, didn't mean to be presumptive. I did give you at least five good points however, so I think I *am* trying to help...Thanks for posting the lyrics!

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by davewalton » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:40 am

Quote:Sorry, didn't mean to be presumptive. But wasn't he presuming that you were being presumptive? Perhaps I'm being presumptive in presuming that he was presuming that you were being presumptive...

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by Casey H » Fri Oct 19, 2007 10:55 am

Hi Geo I understand that you wanted opinions before posting the critiques... Very understandable. But you started your post expressing that you disagreed with items in the critiques. My suggestion is if you want some opinions not influenced by the screener's feedback, just ask for reviews. Many here will oblige...I did mention that "Faith In Me" did not have a strong chorus without being influenced by anyone.I know you are frustrated... But we really all are lending a helping hand even if it doesn't feel that way... Casey

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Re: 3 more on the return pile, would like a second

Post by geo » Fri Oct 19, 2007 3:27 pm

Sorry Matto, didn't mean to bite , I'm having a bad day in the real world, Casey not directed to you, as always your comments are spot on and appreciated. I actually tried to rework Faith in Me before submission and ended up right where I started after three different versions !! I normally write on acoustic guitar but that song was written around the bass line and the rewrites always felt strange to me. I have to get better at recognising the high bar listing and submit accordingly. The main dissagreement with the screener was on genre, as I read it it says Pop/Rock and the ala's back that up, from Stracy Orrico (light pop) to Reliant K which is Alt/Modern Rock and everything in between , gotta go, boss needs the computer.... Geo

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