Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by aubreyz » Tue Jan 09, 2007 8:07 pm

Quote:Love the direction you're taking this one. I can't WAIT to hear finished vocals! How long is this song btw?I've been pretty absent from the board lately -- swamped with studio business right now. In my meager spare time, I'm going through the process of fleshing out the songs that will be on an album to be released hopefully by summer. It looks like I may have the band members on board, with gigs starting by spring. This song has been on the shelf for a while. I took a break last night and recut the vocals. Still needs live instruments and some arrangement tweaks, but this song is on the keeper list. For any that might be interested, here's the latest version-- a few months later: Speak to MeGenre target is alternative rock.

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by arkjack » Thu Jan 11, 2007 11:59 am

AubSorry I wasn't around the first round when this posted.... Track on broadjam is still 5:21... I get the message summary of the song as " its lonely at the top, its lonely at the bottom.... existence..." I don't know how specific or anonymous the characters are supposed to be... both from what you intended, and what the genre accepts.... I pick up the homeless guy as a vwvet.... the second character.... little less defined... flashy exec with a beemer.... the one element that strikes me... and I'm more of a guy who follows nashville rules... the structure of vvv c vvvv c ib vv c feels like its breaking rules.... I also notice the lack of contrast between chorus and verse.... suggestion.... if you rewrite.... change the rhythm of the verses to notes twice as fast ie double the meter.... maybe trim non-essential lines.... leave the chorus as is ... the minor chords hopefully still hold the somber mood in the verse, but the double time of sylabization would perhaps contribute to the scene of busy city streets... slowing down in the chorus to catch the lonliness.... Disclaimer: In accordance with paragraph 6 section b 3 of the critiquers code, the ideas expressed herein may actually be coming from a guy who has no f***ing idea what he's talking about....ArkJack

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by aubreyz » Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:16 pm

Quote:AubSorry I wasn't around the first round when this posted.... Track on broadjam is still 5:21... I get the message summary of the song as " its lonely at the top, its lonely at the bottom.... existence..." I don't know how specific or anonymous the characters are supposed to be... both from what you intended, and what the genre accepts.... I pick up the homeless guy as a vwvet.... the second character.... little less defined... flashy exec with a beemer.... the one element that strikes me... and I'm more of a guy who follows nashville rules... the structure of vvv c vvvv c ib vv c feels like its breaking rules.... I also notice the lack of contrast between chorus and verse.... suggestion.... if you rewrite.... change the rhythm of the verses to notes twice as fast ie double the meter.... maybe trim non-essential lines.... leave the chorus as is ... the minor chords hopefully still hold the somber mood in the verse, but the double time of sylabization would perhaps contribute to the scene of busy city streets... slowing down in the chorus to catch the lonliness.... Disclaimer: In accordance with paragraph 6 section b 3 of the critiquers code, the ideas expressed herein may actually be coming from a guy who has no f***ing idea what he's talking about....ArkJackhmmm... interesting thoughts. I may have a simple solution to help fix the length. The 2nd sections of each verse simply enhance the characterization, but looking at it just now -- I think the storyline still works without them. For example:Vs1Solitary confinementOn a crowded city streetThe high cost of freedomCould not afford him a place to sleepHe wanted to come home a heroBut there was no paradeHe spends his day trying to figure outWhat mistake he madeChorusAnd he says speak to meIf there’s anybody out thereReach for meDoes anybody really careI’m tired of talking to myselfI want to hear somebody elseSpeak to meIs there anybody out thereVs 2Across the street in a high-riseA silk suit, dressed to killHe climbed the corporate ladderNow there’s nobody’s shoes to fillThere’s that bum in the alleyRummaging again todayMaybe they’re not so differentSearching in a different way..... Thoughts?I edited the track to reflect the change:Speak to MeI'll have to toy with the idea of changing the verse cadence. Worth considering.Aub

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by thesucker » Fri Jan 12, 2007 4:32 am

There's some cool stuff happening in this song. I've read/scanned the previous posts, but sorry if any of this is still redundant. And by the way, while it's been fun seeing the process, put the latest mix at the top!! 1. Nice work on the eq. The whold track has way more bite, and everything is sitting really well in the mix. Nice!2. The arrangement is rad. Super rad. I love it when that compressed snare comes in. 3. The vox are getting there. Have you thought about almost speak-singing the first part? I love the epic, powerful, emotional delivery in the second half, but for me (and me only of course), the falsetto/vibrato attack in the beginning doesn't work. It sounds like a mime in a park or something. Please don't take that wrong, you can obviously sing! And wait 'til I start posting mixes; I'll dream of that mime reference!4. Overall, market, etc.: Interesting, the comparisons. I think the Radiohead thing is close early on...definitely hear some Thom Yorke going on in the vocals, but in the second half it's getting all all Trent Reznor (cool!), which the arrangement, sounds, music might even resemble more to me. That sort of moody, creeping, cool, juxtaposed rhythm thing has got a little NIN going on. In a great way. Good stuff, man...this one is close?Nicekb

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by gitarrero » Fri Jan 12, 2007 7:41 am

Hey aub,I'll write something to point 2 (vocals):in my ears the line sounds weak on some parts - I'm not shure if it's just wrong intonation or if the notes aren't the right ones. I have to say that I come more from the mainstream-section when it comes to song(writing), I personally like songs with rememberable, great hooks.the current song sounds more like a collage to me, it floats around - maybe something for artists in the range where radiohead is.Hope that helps!cheers,Martin
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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by horacejesse » Fri Jan 12, 2007 3:51 pm

I like this one, Aub. The chord changes seem a little Chicagoesque, which is not a bad thing. Off the top of my head I would say it does not have hit potential but plenty of other potential. For one thing there are no obvious vocal or instrumental hooks. A belief is lodged in my head that if one can only create an instrumental hook that will not let go of listeners, the path to success is considerably shortened. Remember that Tom Cruise movie about flying jets? The lead song on the music track had a hook on the lower strings of the guitar. That is about all it had, but neverthe less it was extremely catchy.My advice would be to see if you can come up with an instrumental hook that will take the presentation to a new level.Love your production skills, man. I wish we lived close enough that I could take engineering lessons from you.

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by Casey H » Sat Jan 13, 2007 5:25 am

Quote:Perhaps I am going about this the wrong way as my last post has yet to get a response, and I would really appreciate some feedback. I posted a few reviews as well, and will be happy to offer some more opinions, but didn’t want to flood the board. I plan to join Taxi soon, but not until the project is nearer completion.Here’s the scoop. I’ve been a recording engineer for longer than I would like to admit. I currently manage a studio that is part of an ad agency/production facility that services mainly local and international clients. I am fortunate to be able to work with some of the best equipment available, as well as have the privilege of making a living by composing and producing original music and jingles. For a number of years, I have tabled any personal artistic endeavors. That has now changed, and I am working toward an album with every available spare moment. The songs are written, and then some (I have way too many tunes). So I am spitting out rough demos to see which ones work, need work, or need to go away. There are no live session players yet, and the vocals are just scratch, but should at least give an idea of where the tunes are headed. As far as production quality goes, I have to produce broadcast masters all the time, so I know that game. The final mixes will be up to industry standards (or at least as good as I can mix/master). I’ve discovered that I’m not the best judge of my own material. It’s hard to be objective about something that means so much. I’m seeking input in the following areas:1. Songwriting and Arrangement2. Vocal artist potential3. Genre and market opinions4. Commercial viabilityBe brutal. I can take it. What I lack in talent I make up for in ego Here’s the latest rough mix. Speak to MeFor convenience I’ve posted the lyrics below. Thanks in advance for your time.AubreySpeak to MeVs1 Solitary confinement On a crowded city street The high cost of freedom Could not afford him a place to sleep He wakes up every morning Under the cover of the daily news He doesn’t owe the piper But he can’t seem to pay his dues He wanted to come home a hero But there was no parade He spends his day trying to figure out What mistake he madeChorus And he says speak to meIf there’s anybody out thereReach for meDoes anybody really careI’m tired of talking to myselfI want to hear somebody elseSpeak to meIs there anybody out thereVs 2 Across the street in a high-rise A silk suit, dressed to kill He climbed the corporate ladder Now there’s nobody’s shoes to fill He’s got all he ever wanted Satisfaction should be guaranteed He wonders what could be missing As he stares down at the street There’s that bum in the alley Rummaging again today Maybe they’re not so different Searching in a different wayRepeat ChorusBridge Could it be we’re all the same Known by a different name Could it be there’s only one Cogito ergo sum I think therefore I am Or am I because I think I am Could I be as lonely as I feel Or is loneliness the only thing that’s realChorus Speak to meIf there’s anybody out thereReach for meDoes anybody really careI’m tired of talking to myselfI want to hear somebody elseSpeak to meIs there anybody out thereCopyright 2006 by Aubrey ZAll Rights ReservedHi AubNice to see you again... Didn't read any posts other than your initial one, so I could have an unbiased head... I think there are a lot of good elements here but it's not nearly ready. First, it's way too long. Often, less is more and that can especially be so for lyrics where I think the best artists say the most with the fewest words. One suggestion to shorten it would be to scrap your bridge, shorten the chorus to it's first 4 lines, and take the last 4 lines of your chorus and make THAT your bridge. That solves a few problems including the fact that your chorus is too long. For the most part, you want a few strong hook lines and then get out.In general, you won't find songs that are "protest" or serious commentaries on life as marketable today. However, if your goal is to make this a track on your own CD, that's not relevant. I do, occasionally, get requests for songs with these types of subjects for film/TV- generally indie films or non-profit freebees. IF the song had a very strong 60's sound-like flavor, then it would have potential as a replacement track.I know you are aware of what is needed to make it a quality audio production. Your vocals need work- I think you know that so I am hopefully not offending you. I'm confused about your goal. I thought you were saying you are making your own CD as an artist. But then you asked for feedback on #2 above. Are you interested in pitching this to artists? That would be tough in this genre and subject matter.Warm regards,Casey

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by aubreyz » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:03 am

Quote:Hi AubNice to see you again... Didn't read any posts other than your initial one, so I could have an unbiased head... I think there are a lot of good elements here but it's not nearly ready. First, it's way too long. Often, less is more and that can especially be so for lyrics where I think the best artists say the most with the fewest words. One suggestion to shorten it would be to scrap your bridge, shorten the chorus to it's first 4 lines, and take the last 4 lines of your chorus and make THAT your bridge. That solves a few problems including the fact that your chorus is too long. For the most part, you want a few strong hook lines and then get out.In general, you won't find songs that are "protest" or serious commentaries on life as marketable today. However, if your goal is to make this a track on your own CD, that's not relevant. I do, occasionally, get requests for songs with these types of subjects for film/TV- generally indie films or non-profit freebees. IF the song had a very strong 60's sound-like flavor, then it would have potential as a replacement track.I know you are aware of what is needed to make it a quality audio production. Your vocals need work- I think you know that so I am hopefully not offending you. I'm confused about your goal. I thought you were saying you are making your own CD as an artist. But then you asked for feedback on #2 above. Are you interested in pitching this to artists? That would be tough in this genre and subject matter.Warm regards,Casey Casey,I probably should have posted the updates in a new thread, as I am visiting this song some months later than the original post so the version you heard was very rough. The latest is here:Speak to MeI'm taking note of everyone's suggestions, some I agree with, some I don't but ALL are appreciated.As far as the 2nd question in the post you responded to, I don't plan on pitching songs like this to other artists. The question was about my viability as an artist.And yes... I knew the vocals sucked --- the newer version at least is a decent vocal track. I did learn something from this process. Many people can't hear past glitches. If a vocal is a bit out of tune, or if a rhythm is off, or whatever -- I have a small circle of local colleagues that i bounce stuff off of. The majority didn't like "the song" in the early version --- an in tune vocal, a few months later and the feedback is remarkably different. The thing is, I was asking before about "the song" and yet the comments about the song were mostly influenced by the vocal. As a producer, I have to listen past where songs are, to where I know they could be. It's pretty obvious that not everyone can do that.Aub

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by Casey H » Sat Jan 13, 2007 6:32 am

AubI will come back and listen later to the update. I definitely can hear past vocal issues to hear the song itself. Trust me, if you ever heard ME sing, you'd understand!! I only commented on the vocals from the perspective of your goals...Gotta run... visiting Mom in NY... Later, Casey

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Re: Song Updated! | Alternative Rock | Speak to Me

Post by aubreyz » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:21 am

Quote:Vocals and melody are to monotone and monotonous. I also feel the verse chord changes with your melody are awkward. As with most producers, I listened to the first 30-seconds of the song, if it doesn't grab me I go on to the next. Try some vocal/melody variations and you could nail it. BTW, I too, have been guilty of the same thing. This usually happens when the vocalist is not a "singer." An experienced/gifted singer would change it in a minute. Hmmm. Interesting. Though the gifted part is certainly debatable, I've been singing professionally most of my life--(though whether I'm any good at it might be debatable too ). I also know how to write catchy/pop melodies. Writing jingles is part of what I do for a living. I agree that the melody and chord changes are awkward on this one, but that was the point. This song was never intended to be a pop song, but a haunting, eclectic, alternative piece of music. The diversity of opinions has been very interesting. From a younger, alternative audience the feedback is very promising- overwhelmingly positive. From older (even my age) more pop audiences, the comments are more negative - mostly about the melody/chord structure. I'm not surprised by the diversity of opinions, but the extreme love/hate reaction was a bit unexpected.Reactions from outside the Taxi forum have literally been either -- "The melody and chord changes don't work", or "I love the weird chord changes and melody". Very little middle ground.I'm under no illusions that a song like this is going to race up the charts, or even grab the attention of a "producer". However, the kind of music I love and write is often odd, melancholy, dissonant and outside of the norm. I have been working hard at packaging the kind of stuff I write into a more commercial form, but at some point you are who you are and do what you do. Is there a market for it? Time will tell. I wholeheartedly appreciate all the feedback, and probably the negative feedback the most. I'm not easily offended and have no sacred cows when it comes to my writing. Perhaps there is a way to stay true to the essence of what I feel and hear as an artist and appeal to a larger audience. So far, some of my attempts at "normalizing" end up with something that might have broader appeal, but I end up not liking it as much. Believe it or not, Speak to me has already been "normalized" quite a bit from it's original form. Though I don't think it's my strongest work, it is a good example of the farthest "left of center" side of my music that I think I might could get away with -- I have a number of tunes yet to produce that would fall into the same category, so it's kind of a "test case" to see how far left I can lean and still keep balance.Though the jury is still out on Speak to Me, I'm carefully considering both sides of the opinion pool as I test the waters--- there may be some middle ground that will both please me as an artist and provide broader appeal. That's the main reason why I'm here, and why I find Taxi and this Forum so valuable. Thanks for your input.Aub

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