Piano Pop Ballad Return

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Shalee
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Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by Shalee » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:51 am

Hi guys.
I was expecting a potential return on this one, because my mixer guy had a lost computer and so I had to do the mix/master myself and it's not my strong point, so I thought it may not be demo quality and that could be why it would get returned. Alas, it was returned for a completely different reason. Here's the listing:

Y190404CA
A STRIPPED-DOWN PIANO-Based POP BALLAD with Female Vocals is needed by the Head of A&R at a Major Publishing Company for a Major Label Artist that’s working on a new album.

Please submit Down-to-Mid-Tempo Songs that are in the general stylistic ballpark of the following reference we got from them:

“Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera

Please submit intimate Pop Ballads with great lyrics, emotionally moving melodies, and a big, infectious chorus. Please make sure your vocal performance is strong, heartfelt, honest, and believable.

Your production and recording quality needs to be clean, clear, well balanced, and good enough to represent your song well. Please submit as many Songs as you’d like, online or per CD, and include lyrics. All submissions will be reviewed by a TAXI Screener that was handpicked by the Music Publisher. All submissions must be received no later than 11:59PM (PDT) on Thursday, April 4th, 2019. TAXI #Y190404CA

I submitted my song Powerful, which can be found at https://www.taxi.com/shalee
this was my return feedback from my best friend screener 309:

"Lyrically and melodically the direction and style of your song are a little too dated for me to forward. Your song structure and arrangements are solid but they need to be top 40 competitive in order for me to forward."

What's baffling me about this, is the comment of it being too dated, when the reference song is over 17 years old. So if I'm drawing reference from someone, especially someone like Christina, there are certain melodies and vibes that are going to be present to fit into her stylistic ballpark. And it was the only reference to give stylistic ideas, and those stylistic ideas are 17 years old. If that song is the only reference the a and r person has given, then wouldn't they want songs that capture the essence, even if what makes that song great are not exactly what is current in a trap pop oriented industry (which is what we have right now)?

I wouldn't even bat an eyelid at a critique like this if the reference was like some of the others ATM (for example, 7 rings by Ariana, you better see me in a crown by Billie Eilish, etc etc.) that is actually modern. It's not exactly a horrible critique, I'm just a bit confused.

The only thing I can think of is that maybe because I use the concept of a phoenix rising that could have fizzed it because phoenix metaphors may not be cool enough for 2019.

So, I'd like to know, if you were in my shoes and had to rewrite this track to be current (if you agree with the screener) what would you change? What would you write about instead of the concept of strength in vulnerability is no longer relevant? Or do you disagree with the screener and think it hit the brief?

I doubt many people will reply to this but if you do, thanks in advance. I really like this track, so if there's a chance to get it to a competitive level I want to get it there.

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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by Kolstad » Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:16 am

I can understand why you tried this for this listing, as it could be in the ballpark. These things are subjective, and not knowing the artist makes it hard, because a new song has to fit into the artists existing catalog, and/or they may be looking for something not easy to describe for this specific artist.

To my ears this can be a hard sell to an artist because of the lyrics "they say Im vulnerable" ect, and "Im powerful". In the eyes of an audience, an artist IS what she/he sings, and both the identity emblems and the selfproclaiming strength could easily rub off the wrong way, imo.

What you could try is to change the pow in the lyric to 3'rd person, and perform it yourself as a song for tv/film. It would take some of the impact away, but also make it useful for the right scene/ listing.

Anyway, just my ears here. Others may differ. Good luck with it. Its a very nice write, and you sound really good on the demo.

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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by ttully » Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:45 pm

Hey Shalee,

The piano melody is quite dated sounding..... I was at first reminded of 'All by Myself' by Eric Carmen or 'My Way' by Frank Sinatra or maybe even 'Home Sweet Home' by Motley Crue ...all great songs... but
I've heard that melody a bunch before.....


If it's any consolation.
These are among the toughest of all to get a placement from...
You are going up against the best songwriters in the industry for these.

Keep writing,
Tim

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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by rockinrob » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:35 pm

I love your track. If you ever want to explore co-writing let me know. outside the great feedback response i love your voice.

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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by Shalee » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:29 am

rockinrob wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:35 pm
I love your track. If you ever want to explore co-writing let me know. outside the great feedback response i love your voice.
Sure thing! Always happy to collab with new people :) Shoot me an email at songwritershalee@gmail.com and we can get working :)

And thanks everyone, some interesting points to consider :)

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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by Len911 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:11 am

Shalee, what a wonderful vocal and performance! Lyrically, the transition from vulnerable to powerful, imo is more conceptual than emotional, more analytical than conversational. It's just that singing is a language that uses simple emotional
words that rely on emotion rather than thinking. For the audience to which this style of song is intended, the word vulnerable is probably not a word in their emotional vocabulary, and I doubt powerful as well, and perhaps not really in anyone's emotional vocabulary. That said, your voice and emotion with the lyrics to match, is second to none!
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Shalee
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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by Shalee » Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:27 pm

Len911 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:11 am
Shalee, what a wonderful vocal and performance! Lyrically, the transition from vulnerable to powerful, imo is more conceptual than emotional, more analytical than conversational. It's just that singing is a language that uses simple emotional
words that rely on emotion rather than thinking. For the audience to which this style of song is intended, the word vulnerable is probably not a word in their emotional vocabulary, and I doubt powerful as well, and perhaps not really in anyone's emotional vocabulary. That said, your voice and emotion with the lyrics to match, is second to none!
That's an interesting way of putting it. I've not experienced that as many of people in my circle of family and friends speak candidly about this subject in this kind of vocab. But I do spend a lot of time with older people who are intellectual, so I guess for the young kids these days it may be too complex for them to connect with.

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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by Len911 » Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:12 pm

Shalee wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:27 pm
Len911 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 6:11 am
Shalee, what a wonderful vocal and performance! Lyrically, the transition from vulnerable to powerful, imo is more conceptual than emotional, more analytical than conversational. It's just that singing is a language that uses simple emotional
words that rely on emotion rather than thinking. For the audience to which this style of song is intended, the word vulnerable is probably not a word in their emotional vocabulary, and I doubt powerful as well, and perhaps not really in anyone's emotional vocabulary. That said, your voice and emotion with the lyrics to match, is second to none!
That's an interesting way of putting it. I've not experienced that as many of people in my circle of family and friends speak candidly about this subject in this kind of vocab. But I do spend a lot of time with older people who are intellectual, so I guess for the young kids these days it may be too complex for them to connect with.
I should have edited out the whole sentence starting with "For the audience to which this style of song is intended", because that probably implies younger, and then I came back in mid sentence and attempted to clarify myself, creating confusion.
When I write while thinking, without editing, I end up rambling. I am old, though I could never imagine myself saying "kids these days", lol, but if I did I would have to say that kids these days are probably much more informed and smarter than in my generation.
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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by DannyWeber » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:44 am

Shalee wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:29 am
rockinrob wrote:
Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:35 pm
I love your track. If you ever want to explore co-writing let me know. outside the great feedback response i love your voice.
Sure thing! Always happy to collab with new people :) Shoot me an email at songwritershalee@gmail.com and we can get working :)

And thanks everyone, some interesting points to consider :)
Hi Shalee,

Incredible song and vocal performance! Incredibly good!!

I wish you had posted the lyrics but when you used the word Phoenix.. I got the message you’re trying to convey! Great language to use for this type of song!!! Very unique!!! I would call it a Female Empowerment song and TAXI has listings for this genre from time to time.

Would you be willing to let me re-mix this to your standards? I think you will like what I come up with!

People collaborate all the time on these forums. I would love to help a fellow member, Shalee!!!

Dan Weber

Shalee
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Re: Piano Pop Ballad Return

Post by Shalee » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:03 pm

[/quote]

Hi Shalee,

Incredible song and vocal performance! Incredibly good!!

I wish you had posted the lyrics but when you used the word Phoenix.. I got the message you’re trying to convey! Great language to use for this type of song!!! Very unique!!! I would call it a Female Empowerment song and TAXI has listings for this genre from time to time.

Would you be willing to let me re-mix this to your standards? I think you will like what I come up with!

People collaborate all the time on these forums. I would love to help a fellow member, Shalee!!!

Dan Weber
[/quote]

Absolutely! Shoot me an email and I'll send you the stems and you can go nuts! I'd love to hear it from a new perspective! songwritershalee@gmail.com
Note that im going to change the lyrics in the first verse to depersonify anxiety from "you" to "it" to help the narrative make more sense (thanks to the person above who suggested that!) and another slight lyrical change in the chorus, but I can always send the basics through to get you started!

Shalee

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