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RobertK

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About RobertK

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  1. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Well, whatever the owners of the forum wish to do, that's what will happen. But don't try to justify to me the idea that it's okay or "just part of the deal" to judge something like Medusa a "poor" lyric, or Catch Me On The Rebound "below average". There are only two explanations for that sort of travesty, and I've outlined them already, so that will be my last word on the issue.
  2. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Yeah, if anyone gigged the song because they were offended by the mention of PMS, they certainly misjudged something, because she was using it in the sense that men aggravate women even more when they slough off their rightful annoyance or anger as due to PMS... heck, the writer was very explicit about that, and used it for the play on words of ZMS. If anything, that was one of the songs more clever twists, not something to be offended at or to tank the song, contest-wise.
  3. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Most kind. If you're curious about how Rebound sounds to music, I posted it over in the song critique subforum. See if it fits the sounds you were hearing, and thanks again for your kind words.
  4. RobertK

    Empty Words

    If you already have music for this, then maybe my sense of meter is immaterial, but I'll make a suggestion anyway. The word "human" seems too clinical here, or perhaps obvious, since we're talking about people, and maybe you could make it stronger with adjectives, and work in inner rhyme or near rhyme, e.g. What happened to a happy ending, / or "What became of a" or "Whatever happened to a" - not sure what music you have in mind Or at least a mending of Certain hearts, Hurtin' hearts? It's all beyond my understanding, Were all those promises just Hollow words, Shallow words? Note the above is merely given as an example; as mentioned, if you already have music in mind, the stresses and meter may still need work. We're bordering on "different, not necessarily better" here, but I thought maybe I'd give you an idea about what I mean in variations and words that might be more attuned to the heartache and frustration you're attempting to convey, and in a manner maybe easier to sing and a little more conversational. exasperating and conversations can be a mouthful, and in my ear, detract from the concept of romance and feelings, whereas 'understanding" and "promises" are closer to the mark.
  5. RobertK

    Happy Birthday Me - UPDATED

    I think the music demo you posted is worth putting more effort into getting a complete song out of, whether it be a variation of this lyric or something new. Music seems to be more of a commodity than words, the latter always come easier, so when you do have a composition cooking, it's a shame to put it on the back burner. Good luck my friend.
  6. RobertK

    Happy Birthday Me - UPDATED

    This one's a tough nut to crack, because the metaphor of a vessel at sea isn't quite supported convincingly throughout all the verses, and the "surprise" ending in the 4th verse (surprise in that this song turns out a Christian song about being saved?) was maybe too vast a scope. It helps to have music to guide one along and see where the meter fits. And don't worry about demo singing, many songwriters do not have vocal chops (think Bacharach, for one). Impressions right off the bat, the singer's persona in the first verse is tough to swallow because a newborn infant doesn't display that sort of cognizance. TODAY I LAUNCHED INTO THIS WORLD SEATTLE MORNING. MONTH OF JUNE THE DOCTOR'S SMACK WILL NOT DETER MY MAIDEN VOYAGE INTO THE BLUE EVERY DAY A NEW DISCOVERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY ME In short, I'm not sure this works in the first person. On a smaller note, "launched" although I understand you're trying to set up the vessel metaphor, is an immediate "huh" in the listeners mind, unless it turned out you were talking about an actual vessel (which of course you're not), and note that "launched" and "into the blue" give the impression of aircraft, rather than (as we learn later) sea-going vessels. And when a doctor smacks an infant, the purpose is to get the life started and lungs breathing, so "deter" not being the intent, I don't think that's the right word. I'm going to harp on "furniture" here again, the adding of details in the attempt to add interest to a song. Most writers do it, but the rub is it has to add something to either the listenability/musicality or have some deeper meaning that will be made clear later. (As Twain used to say, the difference between lightning and a lightning bug). In this case, Seattle and June seem to have little bearing on anything beyond being mentioned (and perhaps a near rhyme on June/Blue, but I think you can do better), and don't pass muster as necessary or useful furniture. I'm wondering aloud here if the song could be made more cohesive and interesting if you made the first three verses appear to be about an actual vessel, and speak of it in the third person... and then in the fourth verse spring the surprise that the singer was speaking of himself all along as said vessel, coming to a point in it's life where it either will become scuttled or a vessel (note the double-meaning of the word in re humans) that can be refilled (that is, renewed as it were) and set sail anew with a more noble mission rather than the aimless drifting of yesteryear. Of course, one problem with that is that ships are usually referred to in the feminine, so that would be another hurdle to somehow work around I don't want to rewrite your song for you, so I won't give any more specific suggestions, merely throwing out a new perspective that I think would make the song work in a big way, if your intention was to spring the Christian angle into the mix at the end.
  7. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Well,I appreciate the kind words. But looking over March and April, a mere two points separates the awards from the also-rans, and the difference between gold and silver is one point in April and half a point in March. So if just one person gives a poor or below average rating on a lyric that can inarguably be more fairly judged above average or good, that determines the outcome. But of course if it all comes back to "it's just an opinion", then it's tough to maintain a serious workshop environment. That's why I recommended a simpler scoring system, so more eyes and ears would take the time to render an opinion. True, sometimes that makes things even more of an amateur hour, but more often it shows a better consensus of judging quality from both a peer artist standpoint as well as a "listening audience" perspective... the latter being, after all, what we're all striving for if this songwriting stuff is to be more than an amusing hobby.
  8. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    I guess not... maybe I'm too pedantic and take this critiquing business too seriously to have any fun. Now that I've made myself a few friends around here, I'd best relegate myself to just scoring any future contests.
  9. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Well, again, no personal affront to you in particular was meant as far as the skewing of scores go. I should have been more granular myself in making the delineation between low-balling in an attempt to hinder one or two of the particular competition versus having an opinion that is less an objective discernment of songwriting craft and more "I think" or "I feel". Everyone knows their own heart and motivations, so if one's conscience is clear, then let that suffice.
  10. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Agreed, both the high-balls and the low-balls only raise suspicions, nothing that will stand up in court... much like we see in the Olympics, which is probably why they tried to make their systems fairer by tossing one each of the highest and lowest and/or averaging out the totals.
  11. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    No question that subsequent readings of just about anything will help us to catch things we missed earlier. But going from a "meh" to a "wow" is asking a bit much of any a-ha moment.
  12. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Okay, my bad... but you DID mention "disqualification", so the assumption wasn't untoward. My point remains that the only people who scored were other writers, and it's a tedious process which most nonparticpants don't seem to want to go through... I only looked over April and March, and I believe I only saw two additional raters on top of the participants. I think there should be more "listener" input, as it were, and the way to accomplish that is not to force everyone to go through and rate every lyric, especially with such granularity.
  13. RobertK

    APRIL LYRIC CONTEST

    Perhaps I misused the word "much", and didn't mean to imply many people... I mean in the examples where the range of ratings had one or two that were obviously low-balls... for any who took my statement to mean that it was done by many people, for that I apologize on the misunderstanding. Rather I was observing that on many of the lyrics the ranges on were wide enough on several instances to be far beyond any "just an opinion" that could be justifiable, and one of the examples I used was the Medusa lyric. If you think a rating of 4.5 on that lyric is somehow justifiable, then we'll just have to agree to disagree, but I think it's quite obvious that there is some purposeful attempts to throw a monkey wrench into the works on several of the lyrics. Likewise, among a few others I could mention, my own included, and if someone wants to justify having given Catch Me On The Rebound a below average rating, I'm all ears. (edit: my previous inclusion of an MVP instance was never verified, so I won't repeat it as fact) In short, it's an all-too-human phenomenon, and it does occur, as you yourself admitted, so let's just leave it at that.
  14. RobertK

    No Present Like the Time

    Just to be clear, I don't necessarily mean perfect rhyme, although often that would qualify... I mean more the type of rhyme that, when heard, makes the listener perk up in interest for it's originality or wit... Johnny Mercer used to be able to do it as if born to it (check out some of the lyrics to Li'l Abner, for example), or just about any successful Broadway show as a gauge of "stellar". Some might say guys like Dylan hit the mark or even some modern rap, but often that's merely throwing sounds together that happen to rhyme, and aren't truly within the context of the songs that are actual stories at the personal level.
  15. RobertK

    No Present Like the Time

    Maybe I didn't make myself clear enough on this "detail" issue... I didn't mean it's necessary for the listener to know where these places are, the question is, do they truly add to the song and the listener's experience. Merely naming a place where someone was born does not, in and of itself, add "authenticity"... at times it can serve more as a distraction... a pause that makes the listener say "Huh? Okay, whatever..." or perhaps think that some sort of import is going to occur that explains why the given specific detail was mentioned. The usual reason for throwing in that sort of detail is to fill a line's given rhyme... "location" songs are rife with that (Route 66 comes immediately to mind... you do it yourself with clams and Santiam), but in this song, the fact that the father lives in Depoe Bay draws attention to itself for no apparent reason... if you were going for an inner rhyme with the next line's say, that would make sense, but you don't follow any inner rhymes in the other verses, so from a structure standpoint I don't think that's what you were trying, or if it were, you should try to keep that consistent throughout the other verses because the overall feel of the song would benefit by said consistency. The same may be said for mentioning cutthroat and Garibaldi (although again, a case could be made for an inner rhyme attempt with 'me' in the next line). In short, the authenticity of any work comes from the emotion(s) expressed and the 'naturalness' in how they're expressed in the given context of the song and singer, not from merely adding details that the listener may or may not identify with or recognize for their significance. There are a few good songwriting books and articles that speak of "furniture", if memory serves from when books were more read than the internet, so any of the "classic texts" that songwriters seem to agree upon would explain it all much better than I in these few sentences.
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