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Dan Barracuda

Collaboration Contest Results - April 2018

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Here is our contest entry!

 

Team: Cluda

Musician: Dan Barracuda

Lyricist: Mike Clements (Clemo)

 

https://danbarrenechea.bandcamp.com/track/walking-shoes

 

Walking Shoes

 

Here we go we've seen it all before 
Usual you, walking out the door 
Bad mood - bad feelings - bad news 
You're wearing those bad old walking shoes 

When we love, our life becomes a dream 
When we fight, we're back to being mean 
Mad mood: mad feelings: mad news 
You're wearing those mad old walking shoes 

(Chorus) 
Walking shoes, those walking shoes 
Walk right out my life 
Walking shoes, those sad old walking shoes 

If you stayed away it'd pain my heart 
Can't live without you, never part 
Sad mood: sad feelings: sad news. 
You're wearing those sad old walking shoes 

We both need to give and take 
Forgive each one's bad mistake 
We can change it, rearrange it, compromise a bit 
We both deserve the very best, that our love can give 

 

(Chorus)

Walk, walk, walk, walk walk walk walk 
Now run, back to me

 

 

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Song Title: Shoes

Team: Kuster (Kuya & Murphster)

 

 

 

How long must a man walk
Before he can see
That land he dreams of
Where people are free
If you were that man now what would you do
Could you take a walk in his shoes

 

How long must a woman hide
Until she is sure
And step from shadows
No fear anymore
If you were that woman what would you do
Could you take a walk in her shoes

 

Does it all come down, to the place of our birth, to determine our worth
This world spins around, for have and have nots, gotta settle for their lot
‘Cos someone with nothing, has nothing to lose
Can you try to imagine, a man without shoes

 

How long must a child live
With out any hope
Drowning in poverty
Just throw him a rope
If you were that child now what would you do
Could you take a walk in his shoes
 
 

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Song Title: Footprints in the Snow

Team: TriffidWolfe (Triffid & SongWolfe)

 

 

 

footprints in the snow     
tracks that soon will vanish
no one will know
that i was here
that you were here  
or that i felt your breath
as i pulled you near
 

spiderwebs that glow
perfect threads that glisten
no one will know
that we were here
blue sky so clear
or that you said you loved me
as i pulled you near
 

now memories they fade
and snow begins to melt
dripping on my pillow 
as the stars are fading out
i trace those steps
mine large, your's small
and the years roll back
i can see it all             
not a dream, not a fantasy
nor a trick of my mind
a moment captured
a frozen snapshot

a perfect moment in time

 

footprints in the snow

that slowly will vanish

only we will know

that i was there

that you were there
that we kissed beneath the larch

beyond the bigots unfair

and that you said you loved me

as i pulled you near

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An old monochrome tube TV enshrined in dark, polished wood is wheeled in front of you. On the screen is a live audience show... 

 

 

Crocodilly Lilly

By team Mobody (Tracy somebody & Moso)

 

v1 

She baked like Martha Stewart

Had a figure like Tina Louise

Change a tyre? Sure, she'd do it

With an eagerness to please

 

v2 

Her smile, a bright morning

Honey, silken, divine

Always knew right when to call me

And when to hang up the line

 

v3 

Her contacts could move mountains

Amongst the wealthiest in the world

And her father really connected

So much to love in this girl

 

pre-c

It could have been a fairytale ending

A love with nothing to lose

She was the woman of my dreams

But I really didn't like her shoes

 

c

Crocodilly

Really, really, Lilly, Lilly

Crocodilly

Really didn't like her shoes

 

v4 

We took roads trips together

Never argued, never cursed

She was a touch of a revver

And man, could she reverse

 

v5 

She played golf every Sunday

Just before the poker game

She had a brilliant memory

Knowing everyone's name

 

v6

She was kind to all the animals

And they were kind to her

She could easily afford the best

But no, she never believed in fur

 

pre-c 

 

c

 

br

We holidayed in San Jose

And lunched in gay Paris

Sharing a bottle of French rosé 

She got down on her knees 

And said, would you marry me?

 

 

outtro

It could have been

High heel, low heel, slides into 

No heel, platform, wing tip, 

Snow boot, barefoot, blue suede, 

Derby, boat -- did you have to wear those 

Shhh~~~

 

 

 

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In My Shoes

1 4 Rock

 

 

You question my discomfort 

As if you don’t know why

I do the best with what is left 

It’s been a painful ride

 Not something I would choose  

 You have not been

 You’ve never been in my shoes 

 

I don’t smile for the picture 

The way most people can

I struggle to convey the things 

You should understand  

 Don’t think you’ve paid the dues

 You have not been  

 You’ve never been in my shoes 

 

I’ve really tried to put the ugly behind 

But can see I’m not meeting your timeline 

Time doesn’t seem it doesn’t seem to care

And you, you’ve never been there 

 

I can’t erase the evening 

I relive everyday 

It’s tearing down a part of me

That I can’t reclaim  

 Can’t see your point of view  

 You have not been, been in my shoes  

 Not something I would choose  

 You have not been  

You’ve never been in my shoes 

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Song Title:  Indecision

Team:  Peek (Peko and Oswlek)

 

 

I’m cursed to be a waffle from my head to my toes 
Filled with little pockets of what ifs and who-knows 
It’s a latticework condition
I can’t make a decision


The way I handle problems is a problem itself 
Weighin’ all my options isn’t good for my health 
When I try to make choices, it’s just
Contradicting voices


Indecision... you make my life a mess
Indecision... you pile on the stress
What’s the answer? Is it yes or is it no?
What’s the answer? Eeny, meeny, miny mo
Indecision…


I’d trade my battered body for a column of stone 
Churning out decisions in a no-waffle zone
My torso retrofitted 
And me fully committed


Indecision... you make my life a mess
Indecision... you pile on the stress
What’s the answer? Is it yes or is it no?
What’s the answer? Eeny, meeny, miny mo...


I know I’d be better if I'd only waffle less
There might be a cure, but I don’t have it yet


Indecision... you make my life a mess
Indecision... you pile on the stress
What’s the answer? Can I opt out instead?
What’s the answer? You’re messin’ with my head
Indecision...
Quit messin’ with my head…

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Song title: I Ain’t Looking Back

Team Barron: Barneyboy & Neuroron

 

I Ain’t Looking Back

Words & Music: ©2018, ASCAP by Ron Tintner & Bob Tanabe

I’ve been lost in a storm
Doin’ all I can
Runnin’ out of time
Tryin’ to make land
But that’s all behind me now and I ain’t looking back

I've taken some falls
Walked down wrong roads
(I've) made and lost friends
(By) steppin’ on toes
But that’s all behind me now and I ain’t looking back 

There’s mountains ahead, I’m gonna climb
I’ll hike to the peak at the top of the sky
Uncharted oceans, new ports-of-call
Adventures I’m longing to try

So I'll strap on my boots
Uncork the champagne
Beyond the horizon
That’s where I’ll aim
Wonders are waiting ahead – I ain’t looking back 

INSTRUMENTAL BREAK

There’s mountains ahead, I’m gonna climb
I’ll hike to the peak at the top of the sky
Uncharted oceans, new ports-of-call
Adventures I’m longing to try

So I'll strap on my boots
Uncork the champagne
Beyond the horizon
That’s where I’ll aim
Wonders are waiting ahead – I ain’t looking back 

I know wonders are waiting ahead – I ain’t looking back

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Title: Lucky Man

Team: Jotto (Jonie and Scotto)

 

 

The woman likes to tell you
What to wear and when to eat
She’ll tell you how to walk the line
 And where to stick your feet
She’ll tell you that she’s always right
She never gets that wrong
‘n if you’re a lucky man
She’ll tell you all night long

She’ll tell you when she’s mad if
You neglect to see the signs
And if you don’t apologize
She’ll make you do hard time
She’ll tell when she’s ready to
She’s told you that before
‘n if you’re a lucky man
She’ll tell you that some more

Ooh la la la
That woman never gives her mouth a rest
Ooh la la la
A lucky man like you deserves the best
Ooh la la la

She’ll tell you when she’s happy
When she’s horny, when she’s sad
She’ll tell you how she likes it when
Your naughty girl’s been bad
She’ll tell you she’s the only one
She’ll never let you down
‘n if you’re a lucky man
She’ll let you stick around

Ooh la la la
A lucky man like you has got it made
Ooh la la la
Better never let that woman get away
Ooh la la la

Bridge

Ooh la la la
That woman never gives her mouth a rest
Ooh la la la

 A lucky man like you deserves the best
Ooh la la la


 

 

 

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Title: Coyote

Team: Duck DonnaMarilyn/PaulCanuck

 

https://soundcloud.com/paulcanuck/coyote-collab-with-donna

 

Coyote
Lyrics: Donna Devine
Music: Paul Canuck

 

They call him Coyote
He steals through the night
His eyes glowing amber
Like prisms of light

 

His fingers are narrow
His shoulders are strong
He looks to be human
Yet doesn’t belong

 

Where Coyote goes
Nobody knows
Nobody knows
Where Coyote goes

 

He’ll tell you the secrets
Of life and of death
Can augur the future
From a baby’s first breath

 

Yet no one is certain
How Coyote came
He’ll give you his wisdom
But never his name

 

Where Coyote goes
Nobody knows
Nobody knows
Where Coyote goes

 

Women have met with his dangerous charm
Fallen like angels into his arms
But later the pillow has nothing to show
It’s said he can burn your soul with his touch
It's fire, not blood that runs wild through his veins
He’ll fathom your heart but his mystery remains

 

Where Coyote goes
Nobody knows
Nobody knows
Where Coyote goes

 

Nobody knows
…Where Coyote goes

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Title: You Better Believe

Team: QUART   Quintin Penola/ ART1108

 

 

 

 

I’ve got the music in my soul
You give it to me the stars are shining too 
We were meant to be
 
You turn the darkest skies to blue
When you,re next to me, I love all of you
You better believe
 
You can make me laugh and smile

You can give me this dance

If you lend me your hand

I feel I can fly

Dancing in the sky

You and I

in our Starlit Shoes Tonight

 
You’re the sunshine when there's rain
When you’re with me, You take away my pain
We were meant to be
 
You,re my bright light when it is dark
I can see that you,re so perfect for me
you better believe
 
You can make me laugh and smile

You can give me this dance

If you lend me your hand

I feel I can fly

Dancing in the sky 

You and I

And you can be the best of Meeeee

The best of meeeeeee

The best of  meeeeee

you better believeeeee 

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Song Title: “Lost In A Thought

Team ‘IronAndy’ – Tom Tognaci & Andy LeFevre

 

Final song structure:  V1 V2 Br1 V3(instrumental) Br2 V4 Tag

 

Lost In A Thought

© 2018 Tom Tognaci & Andy LeFevre

 

Running thru a field of grass

Hoping this dream will last and last

Your perfume fills the air….

...The sun overhead halos your hair

 

We’re looking up to the sky

Watching the clouds drift by and by

Laughing at the funny shapes….

...Stratus ships set sails for great escapes

 

Let’s stow away together,

On the clouds we’ll rendezvous  

Just swept away,

Lost in a thought  with you

 

Let’s sail those ships together

Cast-aways, across the blue 

Just swept away…………...

Lost in a thought - with you

 

Deep within your eyes

Higher than high on a chorus of sighs

Floating who knows where

I’ll live the dream with you on our way there

 

Lost in a thought  with you

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Team Tymed (TyCobb and syl_a_med)

Walk a Mile

 

Verse 1:

I think I know you
Thru and thru
Never worked for nothing
Never paid your dues
I think I know you
The tricks that you use
You can’t learn a thing
Walking in your daddy’s shoes

Verse 2:

You think you know me?
You ain’t got a clue
Don’t know what made me 
Don’t know what I been through

You think you know me?
Well brother I got some news
You won’t know a thing
Til you walk a mile in my shoes

Chorus:

My shoes
My shoes
Ooo

Verse 3:

So you don’t know me
And I don’t know you
With some time
We can find out what is true
Yeah you don’t know me
But I know what to do
We won’t know a thing til we
Walk a mile in them shoes

Bridge:

Now I’m walking on the ground
Thinking of the path to choose
My enemy becomes my friend
When he walks a mile in my shoes

[Chorus]

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Dancing shoes

Team Lyres

 

Music: The S

Lyrics: Lyrical

 

Dancing shoes

 

Well I never had much
Always was poor
But saved a few dimes
For the dancing floor
I’d swing the girls round
’Cause they’d never refuse
Till I wore through the soles
Of my dancing shoes

 

There was one girl I met 
So light on her feet
Her long hair would swirl
As we twirled to the beat
She put on some weight
Then she gave me the news
And I thought I’d float out
Of my dancing shoes
 
Found a small place, made it our home
Then the cruel bank... called back the loan
Oh she took our girl moved away
I long for them everyday
I’m like a sun with fading rays
 
When the radio plays 
A song from those times
I’ll comb through my coins 
For a handful of dimes
But I can’t go back
It would give me the blues
’Cause I just don’t feel right
In my dancing shoes
 

 

 

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Team Spider:

Song: Sole Mates

Lyric: Carl B

Music: DinoRider

 

 

 

 

 

Sole Mates

 

We are sole mates  
Who belong together   
In rain, snow or shine   
Walking through any weather  oh, oh, oh, oh

 

We are sole mates
Who will take things in stride   
A pair of a kind
Made for the left and right side  oh, oh, oh, oh

 

An assortment of colors
Twins for the feet
Leaving home without one
Would be incomplete

 

We are sole mates
Who can comfort a heel
Just adding support
For a well cushioned feel  oh, oh, oh, oh 

 

An assortment of colors
Twins for the feet
Leaving home without one
Would be incomplete

 

We are sole mates  
Who belong together   
In rain, snow or shine   
Walking through any weather  oh, oh, oh, oh   

 

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Fantastic! Well done everyone!

 

We have 14 entries (one team couldn't complete in time, which is unfortunate but does happen in these contests). 

 

Walking Shoes -Team: Cluda  (Dan Barracuda & Mike Clements)
Shoes - Team: Kuster (Kuya and Murphster)
Footprints in the Snow -Team: TriffidWolfe (Triffid & SongWolfe)
Crocodilly Lilly - Team: Mobody (Tracy somebody & Moso)
In My Shoes - Team: 1 4 Rock (14Music & Onewholovesrock)
Indecision - Team:  Peek (Peko and Oswlek)
I Ain’t Looking Back - Team Barron (Barneyboy & Neuroron)
Lucky Man - Team: Jotto (Jonie and Scotto)
Coyote - Team: Duck (DonnaMarilyn & PaulCanuck_
You Better Believe - Team: QUART (Quintin Penola & ART1108)
Lost In A Thought - Team: IronAndy (Tom Tognaci & Andy LeFevre)
Walk a Mile - Team Tymed (TyCobb & syl_a_med)
Dancing shoes - Team: Lyres (The S & Lyrical)
Sole Mates - Team: Spider (Carl B & DinoRide)

 

Let's start the scoring!

 

Instructions

 

1. Listen to all 14 songs.

 

2. Choose the top half (i.e. the seven best songs)

 

3. From these 7, choose an overall winner.

 

4. Split the remaining 6 into two groups - the three that would compete for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place (in any order) and the three looking at 5th, 6th and 7th (in any order) - in your opinion. 

 

5. Send me a private message in the following format to tell me your choices:

 

Quote

 

Winner (this team will get 4 points):

 

Next best 3 (in any order - all will get 3 points)

 

 

 

Next 3 (in any order - all will get 2 points)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every other team will get 1 point. 

 

You MUST score. Anyone who fails to send me their scores will cause their team to lose 3 points. And no - you cannot vote for your own song :)

 

Scores must be with me by end Saturday 28th April. I will announce the results on Sunday 29th.

 

As you are scoring, you may want to make a note about each song - some brief feedback. I'm sure it would be appreciated if you do! Please keep these and post them up once scoring is over and I reopen this thread.

 

The discussion thread is open if anyone wants to discuss their experience or has any questions.

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Wow. What a ride! All votes are in (and have now been reworked following a false start!!!), including 5 non-contestant voters - Moptop, Scenesfromplacio, Short Order Kook, Iggy and a Musical Key. 

 

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a clear and well-deserved winner! In a VERY strong field, two-thirds of you had this song in your top 4. Over 80% of you had it in the top half. Well ahead on points ...

 

The winner of the April 2018 Muse Songwriters Collaboration Contest is the quite stunning .....

 

Footprints in the Snow

by Triffid and Songwolfe

             (Let's have another listen!)

 

 

So, who came second? Well, things get very tight once we get past the winner. However, after a while, this song took the second spot and held it consistently, creating some clear water between themselves and the next group (the next 6 songs changed position with every vote that came in).

 

Second spot goes to a beautiful song - possibly a winner in any other contest.

 

Second place in the April 2018 Muse Songwriters Collaboration Contest is the gorgeous .....

 

Indecision

   by Peko and Oswlek

 

Right - umm - now it all gets a bit more fuzzy. The next 6 songs went head to head right through the contest, switching positions with each new voter. Only two votes separated them. Walking Shoes had the most "wins". Dancing Shoes, Coyote and Crocodilly Lily all had the most top 4 votes. I Ain't Looking Back had the most "top half" votes (in fact, as many as "Indecision") but Lucky Man had more top 4 votes than I Ain't Looking Back and more wins than Coyote or Team Barron - SO, in my view, it's all too close to call!

 

Bronze medals go to...

 

Walking Shoes (Clemo and Dan Barracuda)

Dancing Shoes (Lyrical and the S)

I Ain't Looking Back (Barneyboy and Neuroron)

Coyote (DonnaMarilyn and Paul Canuck)

Crocodilly Lilly (Moso and Tracy Somebody)
Lucky Man (Scotto and Jonie)

 

And it doesn't stop there. For example, around a third of you had Kuster's "Shoes" in your top 4 (and Sole Mates had as many "wins" as Indecision!). Surely, in any normal contest, that's a place on the pedestal!

 

I'll tell you what, I'll just give you the scores and you can sort it out!

 

I would like to congratulate everybody involved, then we can get on to the real business of sharing our opinions and congratulations! I'm also looking forward to hearing how your collaborations went!

 

The columns to the left of the total show the number of votes you received in each category. "Total" shows the number of points those votes earned. To the right are some stats that may be helpful ("No of votes in top 4", for example, shows the number of people who voted your song as either the winner or in the top 3).

 

5ae586ef682ab_FinalCollabResults.thumb.png.6ad3498d8e2d1aaf1e4f9c4125af4462.png

 

Well done, everyone and a big thank you to our non-contestant voters,  Moptop, Scenesfromplacio, Short Order Kook, Iggy and a Musical Key!

 

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I hope you don't mind but I made some notes as I listened to everyone's entries and thought I would share them:

 

Walking Shoes -Team: Cluda  (Dan Barracuda & Mike Clements)

Great opening! Almost Beatles-ish. Very inventive with the melody and it works very well. I like the simple treatment with tasteful embellishments that add up to an impression of a much more complex whole. That opening sticks with me – in a good way. Lyrically, I liked the first verse but barely noticed it after that – which is all good (it means it worked!)

 

Shoes - Team: Kuster (Kuya & Murphster)

Another very good melody. Murphster is so good at that and it stuck in my head like an ear-worm. I wasn’t sure about the phrasing choice of stressing ”were” in “If you were that man”, etc. and there were a couple of places that didn’t flow quite right to my ears (e.g. the “poverty” line). Maybe a little preachy but I enjoyed it a lot.

 

Footprints in the Snow -Team: TriffidWolfe (Triffid & SongWolfe)

Just great! That’s how to do an AABA! That bridge is a killer and the build at the end of it is inspired, topping the (already good) build in the verses. My only comment other than that is that I didn’t think it needed “bigots unfair” (unnatural phrasing and introduced too late to be useful). All in all – a stunning song!

 

Crocodilly Lilly - Team: Mobody (Tracy somebody & Moso)

Inspired lunacy! This was such fun! I can hear the fun you guys must have had making it, too! Builds nicely to a chorus section that – well, it’s jarring but it works so well! Lots of clever arrangement work in there too, cleverly done to support, but not overwhelm, the delivery. Brilliant madness!

 

In My Shoes - Team: 1 4 Rock (14Music & Onewholovesrock)

Stripped down, painful honesty and always great to see someone perform in one take! Not sure about the Am change, but that’s a taste thing. In a stripped-down song like this, the lyric becomes more important and I’m afraid I found it a bit whiny. Good, but not my favourite.

 

Indecision - Team:  Peek (Peko & Oswlek)

Just lovely. Is that Patty I can hear in there? If so, your voices go together well! This just – works. Very polished and simply very good! Love the bass. Love pretty much everything about it.

 

I Ain’t Looking Back - Team Barron (Barneyboy & Neuroron)

Another good one! Nice lyric (a couple of odd spots – not sure I uncork champagne when I just put my boots on and I’m not clear on how to make friends by stepping on toes, but that wasn’t really an issue). Highly competent, very good song. Is there a ping-pong delay in there somewhere? It’s slightly distracting on headphones! No real crits.

 

Lucky Man - Team: Jotto (Jonie & Scotto)

Love the bass line. Great vocal and a lot of fun! The musical bridge goes on a bit too long for me. I find it hard to judge because I heard this in various stages of development as Jonie listened for adjustments.

 

Coyote - Team: Duck (DonnaMarilyn & PaulCanuck)

This could be a Roy Orbison track – and I love Roy Orbison! Great vocals all round. Nice treatment too. Jeez, so many good songs! A couple of crowded lines (e.g. the “baby’s first breath” line) but otherwise a great fit.

 

You Better Believe - Team: QUART (Quintin Penola & ART1108)

Nice little pop ballad (complete with a little autotune in one place?). I think the vocal could have come forward a bit and it was maybe a little pitchy in places - but I got the idea. The lyric doesn’t really fire me up much, I’m afraid. It was fine but fear it won’t do well against so many strong songs.

 

Lost In A Thought - Team: IronAndy (Tom Tognaci & Andy LeFevre)

Listening this knowing that Andy was laid low for a lot of the contest time with back pain and had to rush it. Unfortunately, I think it shows. I think the song is strong and quite lovely (as I would expect from you two) but I’m not sure your voices work together all that well and it could use some work (and maybe use the unison/harmony more judiciously?)

 

Walk a Mile - Team Tymed (TyCobb & syl_a_med)

Nice voice. It all works but is maybe a bit one-paced. I could use more of a leap into a chorus or a bridge to give me a hook. What’s there is nice but I’m missing something to hang it off.

 

Dancing shoes - Team: Lyres (The S & Lyrical)

God, I love The S! Also, for me, possibly the best lyric in the contest. A lovely AABA. This is how to do stripped down. I thought you guys killed it. But there is very strong competition. We will see.

 

Sole Mates - Team: Spider (Carl B & DinoRider)

I’m assuming this is constructed using tools like Chordpulse for the backing and Amber G for vocals. Interesting experiment and undoubtedly catchy, but not to my taste (though very different from everything else in the contest and does stand out).

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Wow, what a showing! Triffid and Songwolfe - big congratulations on a stunningly beautiful song that made the task of moving my heart into my throat look so easy.  Indecision - such a great song, Oswlek and Patty - Glad to hear I wasn't the only one who considered it a stand out. And to all of us bronze gods and goddesses, I think we can be pleased that our songs were enjoyed enough by voters to place in some of the top spots. 

 

I really, really enjoyed this collab contest, more than any other I've been involved in. I am so grateful to Scotto for all of his hard work putting it all together and letting me join in on the chorus (a first)

 

I will be back later tomorrow with my thoughts when voting (which I stupidly wrote in a work notebook that is now back at work) and other general stuff about my experience working with Scotto.  I just couldn't wait to congratulate the winners. 

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Well done, Triffid and SongWolfe. Really fine work. :)

 

I’m delighted to see the Duck team placed among the Bronzers. ;)

 

And a huge round of applause for everyone who took part.

What a great – and brave – undertaking. :)

 

My notes below are based on an objective assessment of certain aspects of the song, and on my personal taste. Also, as a non-instrument-playing lyricist, I can’t go into technical detail about the music or instrumentation. I only indicate where a particular song worked for me (and where not).

I listened to each song at least three times.

WWFM = What Worked For Me

PO = Personal observation

 

Sole Mates

WWFM: Bouncy, bright music; nice change-ups into the chorus and the bridge; fun lyric, compact, good rhyming; vocals clear.

PO: I’m not a fan of vocaloids (if that's what it is) or of this type of dance music, though it’s a good dance tune. The lyric – though well written and in keeping with the theme suggestion – is a little gimmicky for my taste. Nevertheless, a bright, cheerful, catchy tune.  

 

Dancing Shoes

WWFM: Strong, poignant lyric/storytelling/enjoyed the AABA format; lovely intensity in the vocal performance; beautiful guitar; great change-up into the bridge. *Top 7.

PO: The tempo felt overly slow throughout. I understand it being so in the bridge and the last verse, but perhaps could be altered a little in the first two verses where the mood is more upbeat? 

 

Walk A Mile

WWFM: Good lyric; nice musical intro/good melody; good vocals; music is lovely, and kind of haunting in places, which I liked very much.

PO: Felt overly long at 04:06, and became a little monotonous, as there was not a lot of variation in the melody throughout. For instance, I’d like to have heard a more dramatic change-up into the bridge. Also, those pleasing vocals would benefit by being a little higher in the mix.

 

Lost in A Thought

WWFM: Good lyric, with pleasing details and ambience; pretty melody; lovely solo; pleasing vocals.

PO: The piece to me felt overly instrumentalised, especially within so short a song. The busyness seemed at odds with the dreaminess and tone of the lyric itself. I’d love to hear a pared-down version.

 

You Better Believe

WWFM: Unusual imagery in the lyric/I especially like ‘star-lit shoes’; pretty melody; nice guitar playing; relaxing mellow mood is maintained throughout. Good potential for further development.

PO: The intro is pretty, though a little long and repetitive; the vocals seem to be good, but are very low in the mix. The result is that many words are unclear and become lost in the music. Lyric could be tweaked to have more development and distinction in the sections. At 02:29, the song is relatively short, so – if you decide to re-do the piece you could allow more space between sections, and create dynamic change-ups going into the choruses and the bridge to make them more distinctive. Definitely worth fine-tuning this whimsical love song. 

 

Lucky Man

WWFM: Tight, clever, amusing lyric; wonderful vocals & music; great production! *Top 7. (Winner pick)

 

I Ain’t Lookin’ Back

WWFM: The blues treatment of what is – to me – a country-type theme/lyric. Lyric nicely done too. Simple imagery (though the boots/champagne connection seems unlikely), everything relatable. Lovely blues groove, catchy melody, nice change-up into the chorus; lovely solo, and pleasing vocals. A ‘positive outlook’ song, easy on the mind and on the ears. *Top 7.

 

Indecision

WWFM: Fun intro; music bright and catchy; lovely melody & harmonies, lots of variation; nice change-up into the bridge; lovely solo, and great musical outro; tight lyric, bright & witty, with fun imagery. *Top 7.

 

In My Shoes

WWFM: Good lyric; strong vocals & performance; nice guitar playing, and a decent melody.

PO:At 04:17, the song felt very long, especially as the tempo was quite slow. I think a quicker tempo would brighten up the song and make it catchier, while still keeping the thoughtful/reflective quality of the lyrics.

 

Footprints in the Snow

WWFM: Good lyric/story, and choice of AABA format; appealing vocals; good melody & lovely build-up and intensity in the bridge; gorgeous solo; pretty outro. *Top 7.

 

Crocodile Lily

WWFM: Novel in every respect; bright, quirky lyric, with fun & interesting details; great performance & production; sounded like you two had waytoo much fun! 

PO: It feels more like a novelty song, and isn’t the kind I’d normally listen to. ;) But that’s a matter of personal taste not a reflection on the skill & energy that went into creating the song. 

 

Shoes

WWFM: Good lyric/thoughtful/topical; pleasing vocals; pretty melody, good tempo; overall, a solid take on the theme suggestion. *Top 7.

 

Walking Shoes

WWFM: Great catchy melody; nice phrasing; good vocals; tight lyric; very nice solo. *Top 7.

 

NOTE: I hope you lyricists who took part will share your thoughts on the 'Writing Lyrics: Formula or Freefall' blog. :)

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Am I slightly disappointed? Of course, I am proud of what we did and was hoping for a better result, obviously. But it is amazing how many songs got so many different votes, and how close the scores have ended up being. Kuya and I are only 6 points off 3nd place, which is a bit crazy really. I am not surprised that the voting was so close in the end, as I said earlier, I think everyone brought their A game to this competition. Reilly exceptional songs. Well done all.

 

Especially well done to Triffidwolf, who were the exception to the close scoring, let's be honest, they killed it!! Well done guys, well deserved.

 

I promised before that I would start posting comments for every song in a contest, and I think this is the better way. Scores are cool, but listening to feedback is what makes these contests special. 

 

But there is a lot of songs, and this might make for a long post. And rather stupidly I used a real notebook to write my notes. So I am literally having to copy my notes, using my phone, so while I may add some comment, others I am just dumping my thoughts as I listened to each. What will probably happen is I will add further comment as the conversation progresses this week.

 

But for now these are the words that these songs put into my head during my final listening session of each, with pen in hand...

 

Walking Shoes

 

Lovely guitar, nice sound. Love the doubled vocals. Entrancing. Very 60's. Footsteps.

Electric guitar sounds great.

 

I liked this a lot, very catchy, lyrics worked well and it stayed on topic. Nice listen.

 

Top 7 pick

 

 

Footprints In The Snow

 

Absolutely terrible

that this song was so short, I would have enjoyed another minute.

 

Brilliant song.

Triffid trademark thing of a few quick chord changes at end of verse.

Just love the footsteps sound.

Bridge is perfect.

Lumineers.

Fantastic instrumental section.

Love the "Hey" it could have so easily have sounded stupid, but here it really worked.

 

I listened to this a lot over the last few weeks. I even started humming it in the car. It is a wonderful song.

 

What I found interesting is that I am not a lyrics person really. I don't usually hear the lyrics to a song until that song is firmly implanted into my mind. So while yes of course, my favourite artists and bands I know their lyrics and have understood them over time, with music that I haven't listened to a lot I never really hear the lyrics, just the melody and feeling.

 

So it was a while until I really got the lyrics here, but when I did it was like BOOM!. I love the imagery it gave me, footprints in the snow the only thing left, and soon they will be gone. Absolutely gorgeous.

 

I said in the discussion thread that I had heard the best song I have ever heard on these forums. This was it. A truly brilliant song. You should both be very proud of this.

 

Top 7 pick. Obvs.

 

Crocadilly Lily

 

I do love this song. A lot. 

 

That is all my notes said. Lol. I think it is just far too straying over the line to novelty song to get my top pick. And while that might be unfair, to be honest Triffidwolf already bagged that prize anyway.

 

But it did end up my second choice song, because I loved it, and because it made me smile, and because it was produced so excellently.

 

Actually, there was one more word that I scribbled down in my notepad... 

 

Genius.

 

Top 7 Pick. Again, we were on a roll.

 

 

In My Shoes

 

Great song, performance was great, as always. So nice to see a performance as a change from just listening and your voice really works so well for your style of music, it really does make your songs stand out.

 

As a song it didn't really grab me like some others and this really comes down to personal taste in music style really. As much as I try not to let that get in the way it so often becomes my method of shortlisting. 

 

 

Indecision

 

Funny. lovely lyrics.Wonderful sound.

Fantastic voice.Beautiful.

NO SHOES!

I really love this sound. Very professional recording.

Drums are spot on. Love the bass guitar.

 

This is an awesome track and your voice is excellent. A really polished and fun song. It could have easily have been my top pick for a lot of reasons, but other songs hit me in the heart more and I think that as good as this song is it didn't quite do that.

 

Plus, it didn't really try to meet the criteria.

 

Top 7 pick, regardless.

 

 

I ain't looking back.

 

Nice song.

Very atmospheric.

Lovely choice of instruments.

Lyrics fit perfectly.

Voice is really good.

 

Not really my style to be honest, and with only seven spots to give votes for this just missed out.

 

 

Lucky Man

 

Very nice. Accomplished.

Great throwback kind of sound.

Sounds awesome.

Lyrics are great, good images.

Good humour.

Love the La la Las.

Clever song.

 

My only problem here really is the length. It really was too long for my liking, the instrumental went on a little more than it needed and helped make this song just a bit too long for comfort.

 

It is a really great track, and a clear example great lyrics coming together with a wonderful production and yet it didn't make my cut and that is probably down to a mix of not really my ideal taste in music, and the length.

 

 

Coyote

 

Lovely.

Piano sounds awesome.

Vocals. Harmonies are excellent.

Just a brilliant tale.

Oooh's are cool.

Electric guitar!

Chorus sounds so classic (or classy, can't read my writing. Maybe both).

I can easily hear this played in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

 

Top 7 pick.

 

 

You better believe

 

Vocals too quiet.

Good voice, let me hear it.

Nicely recorded though.

Guitar is really nice.

Lyrics tell a nice story, well. 

It actually is a really nice song.

 

 

Lost on a thought

 

Nicely recorded.

Piano sounds excellent, perfect.

Very original.

Made me tap my feet.

Bass guitar is an awesome job.

 

Didn't make the cut, but was close.

 

 

Walk a Mile

 

Interesting.

I like the feel.

Hypnotic.

Reminds me of music I used to listen to in the 90's.

Voice definitely has the Thom Yorke's (that is a good thing btw).

Lyrics work well and flow nicely.

Shoes!

Great Middle 8. Solid.

 

Top 7 pick. 

 

 

Dancing Shoes.

 

Such wonderful singing

Really beautiful lyrics.

Excellent idea!

Love the refrain, simple but so classy idea.

Sparse. Sounds great.

A really great song.

 

Top 7 pick.

 

 

Sole Mates.

 

Coldplay.

Fun, interesting, a nice change from most of these songs, dancy, toe-tapping..

Vocals maybe a little OTT.

 

A fun song, and as much as I love hearing something different, it didn't make the cut for me.

 

Nice work though.

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Congratulations to Triffid and SongWolfe on a tremendous and unequivocal victory! And to Justin and Patty for second place.

 

There was so much variety among the entries that it really made it a hard call when the time came to vote.

 

A huge thank you to Alistair for organizing this. I’ve been on this site since August 2014 and this is the coolest contest I’ve seen by far. So often it seems like the lyrics-only folks at the Muse have to go elsewhere to collaborate and it’s great to see it happening here in a way that really required true collaborating with a musician. And thanks, too, Alistair, for your kind words about Dancing Shoes.

 

For sure, this was the most collaborating I’ve ever done on a song – Peter (The S) did most of the heavy lifting but really kept me involved and I appreciate that so much and am super happy with the result. It was a privilege to work with you, Peter!

 

From the looks of it, many of us really had fun with this contest but I have to single out Moso's and Tracy’s Rocky Horror Picture Show-style number and Jonie's and Scotto’s rocker – both of them made me smile and I enjoyed them a lot. It was clear all four of you had a blast collaborating.

 

I took notes on all of the songs, but I’m only going to comment on some of them. These are, obviously, my own personal feelings.

 

Footprints in the Snow: I admired the poetry of the lyric, disliked “bigots unfair” only because we don’t talk like that but liked the idea that those two words conveyed (I disagree with Alistair that it came too late) – the idea of it took my breath away and says a lot even while remaining ambiguous. It wasn’t my favorite song melodically, though I liked the solo, and the vocal dynamics didn’t work for me personally until the soft final line.

 

Indecision: Clever lyric that I really admire and Justin always does such high quality work but in the end the song lacked an emotional chord for me.

 

Ain’t Looking Back: I gave this my top vote. Ron put together a really classy blues number and I loved the solo, maybe wanted it to rip a bit more but still a great one. The lyric needs some tweaking (the boots and champagne combo, for example), in my opinion, but it’s a strong blues hook and the line about aiming beyond the horizon especially resonates with me.

 

Coyote: Solid and intriguing lyric, very creative music, not totally my style but I thought Paul pulled out all the stops and this was my No. 3 song after Ain’t Looking Back and Lucky Man.

 

Shoes: I felt that Kuya’s lyrics were maybe a little too Dylanesque (a la Blowin’ in the Wind) and a bit too preachy for my taste but I have to give credit to Murphster for a super catchy tune. I didn’t like the repeated sounds in the chorus, otherwise this might have been my No. 3.

 

I’ll leave it at that but I really do think we are all winners because this was such a fantastic experience!

 

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What a successful contest - well done everyone and thanks Alistair for your hard work and encouragement :)

I have to also thank Donna for her great lyric and putting up with my pickiness :)

Congrats to the winners - excellent work guys!

 

Here are my somewhat cryptic notes, some of which I even don't understand at this point. Hope I don't offend anyone!

 

Walking Shoes
Modern sound
great vocals
nice guit playing.
good lift for chorus.
a bit too long
Lyrics R good.

 

Shoes
Title could be more inviting
good vox
Bowie vibe
music a bit too upbeat for lyrics
I don't get the "man without shoes" line

 

Footprints in the Snow
Good song
Simon & Garf. vibe
6/8 swings along nicely
perfect length
good vox
hook is hidden a bit
lovely acoustic sound

 

Crocodilly Lilly
David Bowie vibe
spoken vox interesting approach
50's chord prog.
tempo changes
frenetic

 

In My Shoes
chorus nice lift
verse melody is good
vox out of tune in places
great bridge!
2 long 4 a 1+1

 

Indecision
quality pop song
good vox
lyrics solid
good hook - respected and focused

 

I Ain't Looking Back
blues prog a bit common
elect piano modulates right/left distracts
Good lead vox
melody could be catchier

 

Lucky Man
guitar riff a bit repetitive
lyrics solid
poor hook placement
good bv's
far too long
some timing issues

 

Coyote
Lyrics tell a great story
music is "meh" :)

 

You Better Believe
can't hear the hook
repetitive chord prog.
Best of Me is a better hook.
innocent vibe

 

Lost in a Thought
double track vox hard to understand lyrics
bass a bit is too busy
Nice guitar solo
piano too loud in mix

 

Walk a Mile
good vox
lyrics solid
good lift chorus
muddy prod
like the falsetto
30 secs too long
bridge good change-up

 

Dancing shoes
creative guitar work
good emotive vox
nice melody lines
like the lyrics
depressing ending
my top pick

 

Sole Mates
poppy sound
clear vox
bounce vibe
good hook, nicely placed
good length, arrangement
In my top 4

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Congratulations, Triffid and Songwolfe!  You are clear winners in a crowded field.  Way to go!

 

Here are my comments on the songs.  I haven’t mastered the art of getting over my own personal tastes in lyrics and music when judging songs. My votes were all based on whether I would want to listen to a particular song more than once. These comments are simply my impressions, one person who either connected with the song or didn’t. 

 

Walking Shoes. Liked the intro and V1. Loved the sound effects of the shoes walking. By V3, the bad-mad-sad began to feel tedious. I really liked “walk right out of my life” and the Out.

 

Shoes. This was my favorite entry. Liked the intro music. Murphster’s voice was arresting as usual. Loved the message of the lyric. Didn’t feel it was preachy at all. Didn’t care for the “down-ow-ow-on” treatment in this song, but I remember liking it in a previous song on the forum. Also liked the progression of the verses.

 

Footprints in the Snow. This sounded thin to me, but obviously belonged in the Top Tier. Good strumming. “Dripping on my pillow” didn’t appeal to me. Liked the build-up: “a frozen snapshot, a perfect moment in time. “Bigots unfair” surprised me.

 

Crocodilly Lilly. Loved it!  Could listen again and again. Didn’t need the TV image. Loved all the stuff going on. Great lyric. Great voice.  Loved the PC. Loved the twist at the end.  The whole thing was so joyful, it just delighted me. The ridiculousness of it all charmed me to death.  Plus, I got a sense of how much fun it must have been to put this together. I love that.

 

In My Shoes. The 1+1 sound isn’t my favorite style, so I struggled with this one. I didn’t feel any prosody between the music and the lyric. I liked these lines: “You have not been/You’ve never been in my shoes.”

 

Indecision. This was Justin’s and my song, so the only thing I can say is, Thank you, Justin! Someone mentioned that we didn’t really try to meet the criteria.  Not so.: Alistair said:

I'd like to suggest that there is some link to footwear in the song. Be as imaginative as you want with this. "These boots are made for walking", "Blue suede shoes", Put on your red shoes and dance the blues", "Rocking your 'fuck me' pumps". 

 

It doesn't have to be about shoes. It could reference socks, skis, snow shoes, sneakers, stilletoes, slippers, goloshes or even references to pulling yourself up by your bootlaces or needing a little polish. You can be as tenuous as you like.

 

I believed him, so I was comfortable with a lyric that used the word, “toes.” 

And no, Alistair, that is not my voice you hear in there.  Justin did it all. In fact, while this was a collaboration, I feel like Justin did maybe 80% or 90% of the work, and deserves proportionate credit. It wouldn’t have been the song it is without him.

 

I Ain’t Lookin’ Back. Good groove. Satisfying hook line. Positive, uplifting message. To me, a faster tempo would have made it better.

 

Lucky Man. This one was in my Top 7.  I could tell it was good, but personally, I’m not sure I really got it. I couldn’t tell if the lyrics were sarcastic or serious.  It made me slightly uncomfortable.

 

Coyote. Good match between music & lyrics. Roy Orbison came to mind.  Solid.

 

You Better Believe. It was hard to hear the words.  I didn’t feel a real connection with this one, for some reason.

 

Lost in a Thought. Good voice. Nice instrumentals. Good match between the music and the lyric.

 

Walk a Mile. Loved “Walkin’ in your daddy’s shoes.” That kind of line gets me. Vocals sounded a little tamped down. Hard to hear, which is frustrating.

 

Dancing Shoes. Great lines in this, especially,  “Her long hair would swirl” and “I’ll comb through my coins.”  Kind of a sad song, which is OK, but it left me feeling rather empty.

 

Sole Mates. Great intro. Clever lyrics. Could listen to it again. “Twins for the feet” was amusing. This felt like a great fit for musical theater, which I like.

 

Patty

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Guys, excellent jobs all around. These songs were amazing, and the contest a lot of fun. Special thanks of course to @Alistair S, as all of this came into existence at his prodding. Muchos arigatos! (EDIT: That's a really good chart you made, btw. I also think this voting system you used gave very satisfactory results, as there are so many ways to cross-compare all the data, while we do have a clear winner as you said, at the same time we get to see all the overlaying appreciation from the voters for everything else. I like it much better than the straight-forward, 1st-2nd-3rd add-up-everyone's-numbers approach.) 

 

Everything below are all just my opinions as they came up while I was going over the songs, nothing more. Sorry if I seem preachy or anything; I wrote these notes the same way I write notes to myself on my own songs. 

 

I’ll tell my winner pick, but don’t want to say the other top 6 because it was so dang hard to pick them and I really didn’t like that I had to “kick some out”, you know? So I don’t want to say there, as it may give a wrong impression. There were several I couldn’t include in the top 7 which I wished I could. 

 

 

Walking Shoes — Cluda

 

lyrics

I guess the walking shoes stand (har har) for a state, accompanied by frequent leaving and coming back. Okay, I can dig that. I like how the song progresses from fighting to missing each other and getting back together. After the song is over and the listener leaves, I guess they’ll get in a fight again, cyclic? :P I also like the line “when we love, our life becomes a dream” contrasted with fighting. 

 

music

Nice vox, nice opening on the guitar. Sometimes the bass is great, sometimes I don’t like. Not sure how I feel about the guit solo in the beginning sections, but I love its softer fading in/out lines later. Its rougher, distorted tones also are a good contrast to the other instruments. I like the acoustic harmonics added to the song—good touch. Do you have shoes hitting a surface/walking in there? If that’s what it is that I’m hearing, that’s really cool. That’s the kind of creativity I like. Listening again, the song starts off really sparse in the beginning, which nothing is wrong with that by itself, but with being that it already has a really simple percussive approach to the music, I kinda want to hear more layered in there. Keep the simplicity with how its played, and the contrast in what’s being played. At the very least, we could have more percussion in there. But this is just my opinion, of course. Okay, the acoustic harmonics give the feeling of time passing, like a second hand. The bass gives a kind of loopy/dopey, Shaggy (in Scooby Doo) feel, walking sad. Or just hippy-like high. I like the muted notes later. Good change. A little more walkin’ like. 

 

ensemble

Again, love the vocals. The song opens like an unplugged session, which gives a more intimate, let’s tell a story feeling. Sounds kinda happy, actually, which contributes to friends jamming together type of feeling. I guess the characters made up? Wizened up? Yeah, all in all, this song feels like a jam session in an intimate environment, singing a song about a familiar theme and just kinda having fun with it. I feel that you guys were trying to create “walking” elements in the music here, and it has it sometimes, but… IF that’s what you were trying to do, I think more can be done. You certainly have the elements to create an aural story to accompany the music, I just feel it could become stronger or more cohesive in that direction. If on the other hand, that’s not what you wanted, then the song is pretty cool as it is, in a live jam session sort of way. All in all, I like it, and feel like the lyrics were treated really well. “Bad mood, bad feelings, bad news”…. “walk walk walk walk walk… “ etc. are well done and catchy. 

 

 

Shoes — Kuster

 

lyrics

Dylan hit me immediately, then MLK. I like the themes here. They each say something with real meaning, layered and culminating into an even stronger central theme, and a good challenge to us as human beings. Respect. 

 

music 

lol I like that little glitchy percussion right at the very beginning. Weird little things like that make me smile. :P Good call on doubling the pianos, it softens it up a bit. Not sure if I like the bass sound, but its little descending line is cool. What the heck is that little higher staccato instrument that comes in later? Is that supposed to be strings? It feels like muppets popping their heads up to “talk” or otherwise express themselves quickly before disappearing again. I actually really like it, lol. I like the strings doubling the chorus vox—that was a very good call, excellent. There are some interesting interval combinations happening post-chorus. At first I wasn’t too sure about one note, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it. There is one particular tight oscillation that hangs on the fourth chord that I like. Was that phasing tweak on the drums before the second chorus intentional? Cool, regardless. I really like that one repeating note towards the end with claps. Actually, I might have ended on that, fading out. It takes the listener out of the song itself and to the people making it, intimate in a post-modern sort of way, putting us in their shoes briefly as we come back to reality. But that’s me. 

 

ensemble

I think Murphster’s voice is quite right for these lyrics. There is a simplicity and sincerity to it that fits very well. The chorus is particularly catchy, and having that change in feel at the beginning to contrast the simpler percussion previously is a perfect approach to make those lines stand out. I don’t think the muppets help the lyrics, but… maybe I’m wrong. The simplicity in the music, with its playfulness, I think more or less successfully works in delivering heavy lyrics in an easier to swallow (and thus think about) form. It puts a little sugar on a tough issue. 

 

 

Footprints in the Snow — TriffidWolfe (winner pick)

 

lyrics

Beautiful lyrics. Soft, touching, real, passionate, and yet also with so many hints of transience, impermanence, of wondrous things born and then slipping away just as quickly into feeling and memory. It simultaneously reminds me of youth, while at the same time seeming real and alive in a timeless manner. This is a favorite, no doubt. 

 

music 

From the get-go, the guitar comes in with an older, fuller EQ style. This immediately tells me I’m going to hear something more intimate and folksy. It sounds like you have literal footprints in the snow recorded and playing back here, and I LOVE it. Again, this is exactly the kind of creativity I like to hear. If I can nitpick, I don’t know if there are too many of those footsteps (of the same type, too), or if it’s just right. Either perfect or too much, too similar. The sparse use of the bass is a good call; it fits well. I love the vocals on this song, as well. The “solo” stays simple, working more with shifting harmonies than single-line style, which is wholly appropriate for this song. 

 

ensemble

This song is gorgeous. I myself feel like I’m falling in love again. Perfect. The music and vocal style work the dynamics of the lyrics fantastically, a great fit. I don’t have too much to say but that I think this is a real winner. I think this is a song that many people would fall in love with, becoming a staple. This is the sort of song that can stand the test of time. imo

 

 

(EDIT:

Crocodilly Lilly — Mobody

 

@Tracy somebody was a great collab partner. She gave me fantastic ideas, and was a constant source of positivity throughout, like a personal cheerleader. She made writing the music easy. And you have to understand, aside from the fact that she had other song lyrics on standby, she gave me a LOT more lyrics for C-Lilly than what you guys heard here. In other words, she gave me plenty of material to work with in my own way/of my own choosing, which it made it so much easier to make the music. On top of all that, she was cordial and kindly personal, so we got to know each other in the process. I couldn’t have asked for a better partner. I really have come to like and respect Tracy. What can I say but thank you. 

 

As far as the music goes, man, I made so many vocal passes… half of the drive space for this song is probably just vox. And most of those takes were trashed. What you hear is stuff that was comped and pitched. Omg, if you heard the original takes… even my wife was laughing at me! Lol! But I was laughing, too. That aside, the mix could have been much better. I was lazy with the mix. And idiot me, I still haven’t been using reference tracks. Also if I had loved the vocals, I would have given them better treatment. When I’ve worked with vocalists, I’ve occasionally really enjoyed doing lots of little detailed work with their vocal tracks. But with my piece, I didn’t like my singing, and really just wanted to get that part out of the way. Oh, I downloaded the free SoundToys trial pack, and tried to use that to make the song sound a touch older. There were preamp-overdriven bits here and there, but I kept them in. Also, the clean guitar on the chorus was looser than I wanted, but I decided to keep that as well because I liked the attitude, and I actually kind of liked its somewhat sloppiness as a contrast to all the tighter bits. Anyway, I could say more, but, uh, won’t. hahaha :P (EDIT: If I have any light regrets in my work with C-Lilly, it's that I was lazy in mixing, and that I wanted to do a little more with horns and backup vox. I kept hearing proper doo-wop backup vocals, and also small horn bits that would begin in unison and fan out. At a certain point, though, I concluded it wouldn't have been realistic to pursue for immediate purposes.) 

 

And thanks all you guys for the votes. I see that half of you didn't choose the song at all, and of the other half, the vast majority put the song in the top 4. Very interesting, very love it or hate it, it seems. That's cool. I'll take it. :)

 

EDIT again: Oh, and hahahaha, AFTER we finished and submitted the song, it suddenly occurred to me that this guy in the song probably had a shoe fetish. lol I'm so dense sometimes.)

 

 

In My Shoes — 1 4 Rock 

 

lyrics

What I like in this lyric is how it is easily attainable by many people, I think. I mean, at a glance it seems a touch cliché, but on closer inspection, not only is it doing a good job outlining the classic misconception from the shoe-person point of view, but also right at the end, the tables are turned yet again. Good call. 

 

music 

I dig the video attention. G to C+9 is a really nice acoustic IV-I. (Gotta love those IV-Is!) The guitar sounds out of tune—might be the D string. Also, if I can nitpick, I don’t think letting the low E ring on those C+9s sounds good. If you want an uglier low end oscillation, I think it works to let it ring, but I don’t think that fits here. I do however like your choice of the open Asus2 chords in the prechorus and bridge. Good call. I also like the direct, unabashed delivery for this song, culminating in that raspy vox finish. Nice. (And suddenly I had a vision of you yelling, “My Left Toe!!”) 

 

ensemble

That Asus2 accentuates a feeling of time, frozen or passing, with a certain stepping out to look at things in a different perspective. That was a good choice for the lyrics, especially the bridge. The percussive strokes in the chorus are also a good way of bringing attention to it to lyrics. I like that. Together, what you guys have me picturing is a talented artist who’s a little upset at something/someone and with some free time one afternoon decided to express it in song. I can dig that. 

 

 

Indecision — Peek

 

lyrics

You know I honestly did not know this meaning of waffle. I thought that was a tasty childhood treat with a pain in the butt to clean special iron, or that thing people eat in Texas with fried chicken and syrup. I have been educated. The lyrics are clever and well written. The topic is relatable on one hand, and make me think this dude needs help with anxiety on the other. :P I think it’s funny that the guy has such anxiety he wants to just opt out of making a decision altogether. Sounds like a story character who probably puts his fingers in his mouth a lot. 

 

music 

When the music kicks in, I feel like I’m listening to top 40 radio, with the whole swell in and light marching snare. Not sure that I like the bass timbre or lines. Yeah, not a fan of that bass. I do like the simple touches with instrumentation—I think that kind of approach is important. Is that the ukulele again? Nice. Even a solo from it, hahaha. Good vocals. Good quick sub chord leaving the chorus, nice choice. Bridge feels a bit like the Beatles, ah but so short. Not a bad thing necessarily, I just wanted to hear a little more of it. All of the instruments are clear, standing out on their own, which is very good for this type of song. The double stops at the end are nice. Very good job, all in all. 

 

ensemble

The first time I heard this song, I wondered if a father was talking to his child. Now I hear a man who hasn’t quite grown up yet, himself, and I think this works with the lyrics. All in all, I get the sense of a character who is gentle, but afraid of life. The swell-in and opening of the music I think is neat and well done, but doesn’t necessarily support the lyrics. Can’t do it all the time, I guess. I like the vocal delivery, it really gives the feeling of a guy scratching his head time to time. I don’t hear anxiety or frustration in the music (except in the very brief bridge, which is gorgeous), but the song does feel like a big sigh with bits of head scratching, which works. (You probably wouldn’t want too much anxiety anyway, haha.) Anyway, I like the song a lot. The lyrics are intelligent, and the music shows good skill. Lots of talent showing from both. 

 

 

I Ain’t Looking Back — Barron

 

lyrics

At first I was a little confused, as I thought the person in question had finally made it in a sense, broke through the hardship, run the gauntlet and won; but then I see that the person has another path ahead, and he’s focused on that now. So, I get it - the previous path was difficult, but he made it, and now he’s forging ahead, happier and more confident for the next bit. The guy has met the rough goal post and is getting prepped for the next journey. Cool. If I can nitpick, “uncork the champagne” keeps throwing me off. I understand he’s happy, but… Ah! He must be doing the Camino de Santiago! So heck yeah, he straps his hiking boots on, pops open a bottle of champagne, and starts walking. :P 

 

That, or he’s just saying that he’s had trouble or caused trouble, but he’s not gonna let it bother him. 

 

music 

I want to hear more of that bass. In this type of blues, I want to feel the heaviness. But that’s me, I guess. The wide-panning Rhodes, I like it partly, and I find it a bit distracting partly. Nice tone on the lead/solo guitar, though I want to hear more sustained notes, more subtle movement. I personally would have done that take again. Interesting attention to the ride; I like it when attention is given to little things. The music ends solidly, I think. Regarding vocals, I think the voice you have suits blues quite well. Nice. 

 

ensemble

We have blues, which is working really well with the opening verses. I kind of hear the celebration and call to adventure in the other parts of the song, but it’s still so blues-heavy (and does a great job with the blues), that if I weren’t listening to the lyrics, I don’t think I’d have any idea that the guy is actually supposed to be happy. On the other hand, I get a bit of a Clapton feel, so there’s that. Besides, it’s not uncommon for blues to sound sad as all get out, but have lyrics that are actually kinda happy, and vice versa. So there’s that, too. :) 

 

 

Lucky Man — Jotto

 

lyrics

Alright, so this dude has a strong woman who, well honestly it sounds like she pushes him around a bit and maybe abuses him a little, but she rocks his world so much, that he’s just star struck, and maybe the other guys are, too. I gotta be honest, the randy appeal to these lyrics are oddly unavoidable. I think it’s all that tension. :P 

 

music

Love the old rock guitar lines. Wow, your strings sound super brand new. :) I like the use of horns, gives it an older feel, like Blues Brothers (esp. with that blues line) or going back to a B&W movie, mixing old and not so old. Holding chords in the verses makes for a good contrast. Nice call. I like the changes of the ooohs before the solo, also love the guitar effects/percussion right at the beginning, before the solo, that was quite nice. The solo itself is alright, but I think has too many static, straightforward notes that seem to be unsure of themselves, if that makes sense. Cool to add a little whammy towards the end. What happened to the horns? They are there in the beginning and end of the song, but seem to be forgotten in much of the middle. Was that intentional? Maybe didn’t want to overdo it. Anyway, cool stuff! 

 

ensemble

Very cool to hear the lyricist put in lines and do backup vox. The choice of music complements the lyrics quite well. That was probably the best choice for these lines. Excellent call. I get the feel of a live show in this one. Playful and poking at being dirty without actually getting there. And as we know, sometimes that’s just the right formula. 

 

 

Coyote — Duck 

 

lyrics 

Sounds like a fun, classic desert folk tale, the kind made up in dusty bars and around campfires. I gotta admit the B/bridge throws me off a bit, both in the switching of rhyme, and in the switch of topic, but all in all, I think this is a very cool story that should somehow be slipped into Western museums around the US. Maybe one can steal it away on a trip to Monument Valley. 

 

music

Hahah love the intro with guitar and piano. The vox is great, a Roy Orbison sunk perfectly in its reverb. Just right. Love the delivery on the chorus, just really well done. I don’t like the way the toms are done, if I can nitpick, and the perc timing seems a little off here and there. The backing oohs and vox all in all are fantastic. The acoustic adds and solo are perfect. That dirty, distorted organ was also a perfect choice. Perfect. Great contrast. The bridge, especially in its open, is just genius. This is great work, Paul. Nitpicks - the cool piano motif is a bit redundant at times, and I want to change the low note used to more match the different underlying chords when it plays. However you may have experimented with something different and chosen to keep the line static. That happens sometimes, I understand. I don’t care for the drums at times, again to nitpick. Actually, I think there are some mistakes in the drums that may have been overlooked. But all in all, good gosh darnit to hecknation job. Seriously, this is great work. 

 

ensemble 

Heck, are you kidding me? Paul and Donna’s talents are working well together here. We have a cool story, and the music is accentuating it perfectly. This is the kind of song that, instead of being new, feels like it’s pulled out of time. After all, the coyote has been and is and will be, man. :P Paul pulled out some top notch creative stops in this. In particular, 1:42 on to around 2:15, I think Paul is showing a bit of creative genius there, which was exactly what these lines needed. Points to Donna as well for writing up a topic that fit Paul’s style. I can’t help but think that she, knowing what Paul tends to write, used her words to harness that style and push him a little. You guys did a fantastic job together. Great team. 

 

 

You Better Believe — QUART

 

lyrics 

I think you can dig a little deeper with the lyrics. The opening lines for example are a tad clunky and cliché. Of course I could be totally wrong, and it’s certainly no more than an opinion. I do like the vibe you have riding with the phrase “starlit shoes tonight”. Overall I feel the emotion, and it’s a great one, but I want you to dig a little deeper into how to express it. However, kudos to you just for writing a lyric. I’m so picky about mine, I practically never finish any of them. 

 

music 

I like the simple sincerity in it. The move from mono to wide stereo on the guitar was a cool touch, but the lead vocal gets kind of buried in the process. Nice when you add those extra verb and choral touches to the vox later. Little things like that are important. Ah, I see, is the extra verb on the backup vox? Oooh, I really, really like the acoustic guitar sunk way in the background when the song is over. It’s like an easter egg. (I love easter eggs and try to include them in my songs.) Nitpick - I hear an autotune-like fall in a section (“all of you”). My rule with vocal tuners is that you always do them manually, by hand. If you don’t, you’ll get weird effects at random places like that. On the other hand, if you want it as an effect, then go auto, turn it up and turn it tight. 

 

ensemble

Honestly, I think the music and the lyrics work together well here. After all my criticisms, I have to say what you guys have written compliment each other pretty dang well. The whole overarching vibe is one of a simple expression of love, and it’s quite nice. Sweet. 

 

 

Lost in a Thought — IronAndy

 

lyrics

Okay, when this opened I was a little disappointed as I thought it was going to be another cliché, BUT you hooked onto your characters’ imaginations in the clouds and developed that. Very cool; I like it. You managed to take a run of the mill idea of “lost in a thought of you” and turn it into something new and creative, “lost in a thought (together) with you”. Sweet! 

 

music

Heh, I like having ambient samples in songs. I rode one myself on one tune, inspired by Keith Kenniff in his… I think it was the Helios project. Anyway, I really like that you included that. Interesting high backup vox. I wasn’t too sure about the opening verse section, but the chorus is better. Your bass is pretty exploratory in parts, and honestly I think that works well. However, I think much of the song is… either too busy, or not quite cohesive, though that might be due to the mix. For example, when the piano and bass are building, I think the other instruments should be supporting them more, the whole song building in those sections. But this is just me. Ah, the final field ambience is great again, but cuts out too soon. Let us hear a little more of that! :) 

 

ensemble

There are some great elements here, and they try to work together, but I don’t think they’re quite there yet. This feels like a draft somewhere in mid-stages maybe. It’s there, the great song, but I think a little more chipping away at the rough and adding a little supporting clay needs to be done to really bring out the potential here. And there is definitely potential. (EDIT: I just read you guys were laid up with some trouble and so didn’t get to put much time in the music. That explains why it feels like a draft; the songwork just needed a little more time. I hope things are well now!) 

 

 

Walk a Mile — Tymed

 

lyrics

I think the bridge is the best part of this one. The two characters have gained some understanding of each other, which has led to a broader perspective on life. Instead of continuing to squabble with each other or stereotyping/writing each other off, they are more awake now to even life, and attention is back on walking the path, making choices with this new perspective. “My enemy becomes my friend” is the cherry on top. 

 

music

The drums are begging for more attitude, imo. Same hits, but harder, and tighter compression. The guitar feels like it’s walking, ambling on, which is cool. The falsetto was not expected and is quite cool. Yeah, the drums are held back way too much. You could have the drums playing the same thing they are, but with much more attitude, much more strongly, while the guitar and vox contrast them with their lightness. Or maybe I’m totally wrong about that. The bridge doesn’t feel like a bridge. I didn’t actually notice it was one at first. Digging your falsetto again. I simply cannot do that. My throat says no sir. That final note choice on the vox is fantastic, except it grates with the second chord it’s against.

 

ensemble

This feels like an early draft. There is a lot of room for development, or for experimenting with different potential directions. I kinda mean that for both the lyrics and the music. That being said, there are some very cool elements operating that lay the seeds for something great. 

 

 

Dancing Shoes — Lyres

 

lyrics

What a depressing song! I come to really like the guy - he’s open and loving life, and when he gets a big ol’ surprise, he swallows it whole, washed down with love. But I guess he couldn’t handle the finances, and so he lost his home, his gal, his baby… yikes! And now his spirit/heart is broken. He’s not the same passionate, fun-loving guy he used to be. Damn. So sad yet so true. 

 

music 

I like the tone on this guitar, and how the fingers show their familiarity with it. And as always, the vocal timbre and delivery are intoxicating. I think your singing hits some kind of nostalgic, when-I-was-a-child-spending-time-with-family bone in me somewhere. Might be why I like it so much. The dynamics you give in this song are quite good, particularly in the intro and out of the B section. Good use of suspension to move back into A. The guitar up front, and a light verb on the vox give a good, intimate feel to this tune. 

 

ensemble

Lyrical’s lyrics driving home to a state of simplicity and poverty (but loving life) and love (but losing it) are perfect for S’s style. I’m a big fan of the S, so a part of me says Lyrical was lucky, BUT Lyrical wrote the right kind of lyrics for the S’s overall style. You guys worked together quite well on this, complimenting each other effectively. Kudos. 

 

 

Sole Mates — DinoRider

 

lyrics

Hahahaha like it already. I feel like I’m reading the seed for a Pixar character. I don’t have much to say about this but that it’s quite clever and hard not to like. Good job! 

 

music 

hahaha I like the super poppy beginning, it’s such a cool contrast to everything else we’ve been listening to in this comp, and that makes it a great finisher. Lol! The crazy pitch clipping on the vox is fantastic, lol, and I love the vocal delivery. This reminds me of the music for the game “Portal”. You’re crazy. I love it. 

 

ensemble

Pixar wit and the AI from Portal. Very clever and freakin’ awesome…. what else can I say…. I don’t know how it happened, but I think a part of my heart went to this song… (EDIT: I had to look up “Amber G”. Did you use an AI vocalist on this? lololol that’s hilarious!!) 

 

 

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Thanks, all, for an excellent event.  I honestly think it brought out the best in all of us :D .  I'm honored to be part of the "winning" song among so many strong entries.  I'm going to have a couple responses (at least), the first being my notes for each song.  But... as for "Footprints in the Snow": suffice it say, for now, that I think the lyrics are incredible and I was instantly inspired by them.

 

I'm not a great song critic... but these were the notes I jotted down:

 

Walkin Shoes

Fun groove, lovely guitar solo.  I would like to hear it changed up a bit more... maybe leave the groove entirely and come back to it here and there?

 

Shoes

Great verse melody!  Lost me a bit on chorus. I wonder what the chorus would sound like with an extended/held delivery on "down" and "around"?  (picked for the 5-7 group)

 

Crocodilly Lilly

Ridiculously creative and a throwback to 70/80's musicals.  I mean, if this was on the Grease or Little Ship of Horrors soundtracks it would be a stand out!  (picked for WINNER)

 

In My Shoes

The "been in my shoes" lines were awesome!  I enjoyed the bridge as well.  Many of the lines seemed long and drawn out though and were a bit rough for me.

 

Indecision

Obviously impressive production and vocals (I wish I could get that clarity).  The lyrics overall were good... I was not a fan of the "eeny meeny miny mo" part though. (picked for the 2-4 group)

 

I Ain't Lookin Back

I not a huge fan of the melody, but it still sounded good.  I would like to hear the vocals come in hard after the solo and really hammer it home on the last chorus. (picked for the 5-7 group)

 

The Lucky Man

Really cool guitar solo and vocals sounded great!  I would like to see it changed up here and there.  It felt a bit too much like cliche blues. 

 

Coyote

Very nice vocal variety and arrangement.  I really felt like it was pulled out of an old spaghetti western... quite awesome!  (picked for the 5-7 group)

 

You Better Believe

Really enjoyed the guitar part here.  But, unfortunately the lyrics and delivery were a little weak for me.  

 

Lost In A Thought

Great grabbing vocal from the get go.  Fantastic melody on the 1st, 2nd and 5th verses.  It lost a bit on the 3rd & 4th... but overall I really enjoyed it!  (picked for the 2-4 group)

 

Walk A Mile

This felt a bit long and slow and didn't really feel like it was taking me anywhere.  Maybe change it up more?  

 

Dancing Shoes

Really cool vocal and melody, as usual.  I feel like The S could sing about grass growing and make it interesting.  I'm not really digging the lyrics though.  I don't think I like the singer :D (picked for the 2-4 group)

 

Sole Mates

Very creative!  But... a little loud and a bit obnoxious for my taste.

 

Again... thanks, all!  Especially to Alistair for hosting!  More to come...

 

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Okay, so last place hurts a bit lol. I’m still very glad that I competed. I thought Quintin Penola did an amazing job on the music. He ran into some trouble when it came to recording his voice. He actually got it fixed after the contest. He has an amazing voice otherwise. You can hear it on his YouTube page with his other songs. I hate to be the one to bring down a talented person like him. However, if I’m fortunate enough to be able to do another collaboration I will definitely take some of the criticism here. I would like to congratulate the winners! You all did a good job! So I’m just going to list my top 7 and why I chose them.

 

Shoes:

Love this song. You guys did great with both the lyrics and the music. This song would definitely go in my playlist. In a weird way it has a Peter, Paul, and Mary feeling to it. You guys made it into my top 4.

 

Crocodilly Lily:

This one had me laughing the whole way through. I am in love with the voice of the singer. Love the style of the music. You guys came in first place in my mind and that’s how I voted. I’m actually shocked you guys didn’t even make top 4. Just crazy in my opinion. Great song!!

 

Indecision:

This song came in at my top 7. Great beat, nice voice, and love the use of words in this song.

 

I Ain’t Looking Back:

You placed pretty good BarneyBoy. Everyone just had to hear your lyrics put to music I guess. This song made my top 7. I love the story it tells and I love the guitar solo. Great job to both of you guys. 

 

Lucky Man:

This song was in my top 7. Great voice, music, and the lyrics were hilarious. Loved it!

 

Walk A Mile:

This song made my top 4. I love the message in this song and the voice is just amazing. Unbelievable pitch!! Great job!

 

SoleMates:

You guys made my top 4. In my mind you guys came in 2nd place. I just love the very weird uniqueness of the voice and words. Love the music, it makes me want to get up and dance. I want to know whose singing. The voice fits the music very well. I actually already had my top 7 written out but your song popped up at the end and knocked someone completely off my list. Amazing job!!

 

It was very very hard to choose. There were so many that were so close. I think everyone came out a winner in the end just for putting yourselves out there. Being vulnerable is hard to do. I can’t wait till the next collaboration to see what everyone comes up with. Oh and thanks to the 3 people that did like our song and voted for us! 3 out of 31 isn’t bad, it just means we have a very selective audience lmao!

 

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Wow, I'm delighted that Footprints in the snow was placed top out of such a great collection of songs.

 

A big thanks to Josh for the awesome work that he did on the song. And to Alistair for hosting the competition with all the legwork that will have entailed!

 

I also need to thank Alistair for making the suggestions of using an AABA format and writing to the foot theme. I'm pretty sure Footprints in the snow is the 1st time I've written an AABA lyric, so must try to use it more from now. :)

 

The actual lyric came together very quickly. It was the 1st out of about 5 lyrics that I wrote with a foot-related theme. And Josh then pulled the song together ridiculously quickly as well. I guess it's a good sign when the words and music both come pretty quickly and naturally. 

 

The idea behind the lyric is linked loosely to a character in a novel that I read years ago. The novel is 'Beloved' by Toni Morrison. In it, there's a slave called Sixo who absconds at night and walks miles to indulge in a romance with his lady. So I came up with the idea that 2 people were sneaking out to be with each other because society disapproved of their relationship. The 'Bigots unfair' line had originally read as 'Beyond prejudice unfair'. We recognised it probably wasn't perfect musically but I wanted something in there that helped with the story context.

 

I'll post some comments in a while for the other songs but will just finish this one by reiterating what others have said - this collab contest was great fun to do, showed how much talent there is on the site, and it would be great if there are further collab opportunities going forward. :)

 

 

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48 minutes ago, SongWolfe said:

... it would be great if there are further collab opportunities going forward. :)

Yes, for sure. We left it too long since the last one. I don't think we can do them too frequently, simply because of the work involved (by the musicians, mostly) but maybe 2 a year as long as there is interest? 

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First off - a big thanks to Alistair - tremendous job doing all the organising, theme setting, rule setting, score accumulating, results printing :):)

Very well done TriffidWolfe and "Footprints in The snow" - outstanding result amongst so many great entries! :):) 

A few terse notes I made - just imho - I enjoyed listening to all the songs:

Walking Shoes – nice sounding guitars. Found the song a little disjointed and the melody seemed a bit underdeveloped to me.

Shoes – good all round performer; nice melody lyrics and vocals

Footprints in the Snow – great lyrics, pleasant vocals. Melody seemed a little lacking development to my ear but a high scoring song all-round.

Crocodilly Lilly – good verse melody, interesting fun lyrics. The jarring chorus was a real turn-off for me though, especially with repeated listens.

In My Shoes – a brave attempt singing/playing it live – kudos!. The whole piece though (lyrics and musical development) felt under-prepared/developed to me though.

Indecision – clever lyrics, nice vocals and melody but left me a bit cold. No adherence I could discern to the contest theme which seemed a shame.

I Ain’t Looking back – fab blues song, music, lyrics and vocals. One of my top picks.

Lucky Man – outstanding vocal expression and a fun song! Great lyrics – got my top pick.

Coyote - Great lyrics, performance and - song! Love the piano trills. Guitar parts (electric) a bit ott for me.

You Better Believe – Vocals too low in the mix. The mix sounded ‘muddy’ – usually an indication of needing some notch filtering around the 150-200Hz freq range. Melody and the lyrics seemed a bit under developed to me.

Lost in a Thought - excellent lyrics from my collab. Tom -  different dreamy and atmospheric!

Walk a Mile – Nice vocals (especially when high). Thought the mix eq could have been improved (sounded ‘muddy’). Rather meandering lyrics for my taste.

Dancing Shoes – very pro assured performance for such a stripped down mix. Great emotion in the vocals. Good lyrics. Didn't do too well for me though with repeated listens.

Sole Mates – Nice beat and melody. Quirky vocals (good!) Upbeat fun song.

Good job by all – really enjoyed listening to all the collabs.

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Congratulations to TriffidWolfe for the avalanche winner Footprints In the Snow, what a fantastic result for you guys!

 

I’m not a musician, but I did take notes on each song as I listened, they went something like this….

 

PLACEHOLDER FOR COMMENTS (sorry, just discovered I left my notes on the bed at home, will have to fill this part in later)

 

Update: SEE MY LATER POST.😊
 

My collaboration experience…...

 

I have raved about Moso already, but bare with me. I think I was able to have so much fun with this song because I felt safe to create with Moso. It also helped that he is immensely talented, patient, funny, kind and generous with his time.

 

He inspired me no end and made me smile and laugh everyday. Moso put some sunshine in my window and allowed me to tap deep into somewhere long forgotten. I have been very grateful for the opportunity to work with him and for our little Lilly song. I would like to think we complemented each other well,

 

I certainly know I’m hooked and would jump at the chance to collaborate with Moso again 💌 👞👟👠👡👢👍

 

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      Congratulations one and all to all of us who participated. And to Triffid and SongWolfe congratulations on winning!   If trophies were given out I'd like to think your trophy would be one of those old bronzed boots.  I was one of those who chose  "Footprints.." for top pick and I'm pleased for you. 

       One of the things I found most interesting and enjoyed the most about this contest was the pairings.  I finally heard a Barney song thanks to Ron and it was pretty damn good! Some of us have never heard our words become lyrics (right Jonie? They can't properly be called lyrics  until someone puts music to them.) until this collab contest and it was quite gratifying for me and I'm sure others to hear our words become song. I am very grateful to Murphster for turning "Shoes" into something were both proud of.  I think you did an excellent job Gary. There's something about the music you wrote that really hit the spot. 

       Based on Alistairs scoring info it's easy to see that every song resonated with someone else even if other songs resonated more. We all connected with somebody.  As such, I don't think there is a last place.  So many people have said that the way they personally sorted or ranked the songs was almost an eeny meeny miney moe situation. If I had voted the day before or the day after one or two of the top four or seven might be different. It was that difficult.  And arbitrary. 

        I didn't burn copies of anyone's songs because I didn't have permission but if this was a compilation disc I'd buy it. Thank you Alistair.  Some absolute gems! 

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I'll post my thoughts in a bit, I'm just curious about one particular comment....

 

2 hours ago, AndyLeF said:

clever lyrics, nice vocals and melody but left me a bit cold. No adherence I could discern to the contest theme which seemed a shame.

Would you mind elaborating, Andy?  Was your coldness due to the song or the lack of an overt "shoe" reference?

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2 hours ago, Tracy somebody said:

funny

And funny! I forgot to mention that Tracy is a lot of fun. That's definitely a place where we connected! :P 

 

----

Hahaha, on a different note, I just saw on SC that @PaulCanuck has "Coyote" down as alt rock. I don't know, that gave me giggles. I guess because the song to me is western, but it's not country enough for Grumpy Bear, so he pegged it as alt rock. :P Of course, we could just reverse that and say that the song isn't rock enough for me so I call it western. 

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59 minutes ago, Moso said:

Hahaha, on a different note, I just saw on SC that @PaulCanuck has "Coyote" down as alt rock. I don't know, that gave me giggles. I guess because the song to me is western, but it's not country enough for Grumpy Bear, so he pegged it as alt rock. :P Of course, we could just reverse that and say that the song isn't rock enough for me so I call it western. 

Haha - I never was good at picking genres - just don't call me "Late for Breakfast" :)

 

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Big Congrats to everyone. This contest brought out the best of the best.  It was tough to pick from so many great songs! Thanks to all the contestants for all their hard work and sharing their talents! 

 

Dominick

 

 

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congrats TriffidWolfe - your song ROCKS! Everyone did an awesome job, I really really enjoyed participating in this contest guys :)

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Congrats to the winner TriffidWolfe  for the win and all the other contestants for the array of cool songs that came out of their collaborations. Like many others I had a tough time with the picks and think all were very well done.

 

Thanks to Al for hosting the comp and to Carl for a fun lyric to work with.

 

I do have some brief notes, but they are buried in the mass of text files on the PC. I'll reserve this space for when they decide to no longer hide.

 

@Moso Not AI per se, but yeah, a vocal sythesis program was used. The voice bank was of "Cyber Diva"

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5 minutes ago, DinoRider said:

Not AI per se, but yeah, a vocal sythesis program was used. The voice bank was of "Cyber Diva"

Although I had heard of that digi Japanese "star" some years back, and had heard of Vocaloids, I had never looked into it and didn't realize these are programmable vocalists. So, at Alistair's mention I had to look it up. I agree it's weird to call them AIs - I think LPX's "AI" drummers are a little weird to call AIs and yet even that fits better than the vocaloids. 

 

Cyber Diva is a recent from the official Vocaloid group, right? Man, that stuff looks expensive. But, I can imagine having a lot of fun with it. 

Out of curiosity, are you a Cubase user? I saw that the Vocaloid software has some functionality only for Cubase. 

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7 minutes ago, Moso said:

Cyber Diva is a recent from the official Vocaloid group, right?

Yeah, and she's about 3 yrs old now.

 

8 minutes ago, Moso said:

Out of curiosity, are you a Cubase user?

No, I use FL Studio ATM.

 

The vocal editor I'm using is Piapro Studio, which comes free with any Crypton voice bank (at least it did at the time I purchased Luka V4 and also came with the DAW Studio One Artist which I have yet to fire up). It has all the functions but 1 or 2 minor features of the Official Vocaloid editor, from what I understand, and works with any DAW (at least that's their claim, I know it works in Reaper also)

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7 hours ago, Alistair S said:

Yes, for sure. We left it too long since the last one. I don't think we can do them too frequently, simply because of the work involved (by the musicians, mostly) but maybe 2 a year as long as there is interest? 

I was gutted to have just missed this one, so sign me up for the next one!

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Alright, I'd like to summon a How on Earth...?, if I may.

 

You guys may know, we have a new group blog that is all about members teaching each other. While there aren't any stringent rules for it, the core operating principle is that this is used when one Muser is really taken by something he/she hears another Muser do, and wants to know wow - how did you do that? Ideally, the questioned Muser makes a blog entry there that becomes a highlight to teach others over time. 

 

So, if I may call to the floor @PaulCanuck, I'd really like to know: 

 

Paul, How on Earth did you do your vocals in your song? I really want to know details, as in how many voices, what if any doubling and how it was handled, what differences in pitch/intervals, EQ focus, and any noteworthy effects or approaches that you took in layering them. And also how did you decide what you were going to do in the process. I know I'm asking a lot, so if you can only give a little, I ask that you please, please tell us about that incredible bridge that you have there. That thing blew me away. So again, while I'd really like to know everything about the vocals for the entire song, if that's too much and we can only learn about a section, please let us know about the bridge vocals at around 1:53 to 2:15 or so. 

I think not only I but many others here would greatly appreciate hearing and learning from you on this. It was really incredible work. 

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Congrats to the winner and to all who participated. I was able to isolate the top 7 fairly quickly. I knew my top 2 songs after listening again to the top 7. I liked the music a little bit more in one but the lyrics really dropped some points in my scoring so that was the determining factor in my placing. I listened to all the songs again and took some notes. 

 

Walking Shoes:  maybe too many v's and went on too long. Lyric did not grab me.

 

Shoes:  Easy listening. The lyric seemed to be telling 3 stories and asking a question after each story. Unique writing but not to my liking. Still the song made it to my first tier. 

 

Footprints in the Snow: Ch may have been too long but it was a nice build up to the last line. Fit the song structure requirement very well but I had a couple issues with the lyric.  It was a very nice listen until I thought I heard "beyond the bigots unfair."  I said what, it was such a simple worded v lyric up till that and that, alone, dropped this into the 2nd tier. It was such a lovely love song up to that point. Why that line was thrown in, and, left in by the musician is beyond my comprehension. 

 

Crocodilly Lily: I didn't care for all those inserts at the beginning - I found them to be a bit annoying. The lyric was way off structure. Didn't get this one.

 

In My Shoes: Went on too slow and too long. Lyric did not do much for me. 

 

Indecision: Lyric was off structure and made no mention of footwear. Musically, a nice change at the ch.  Did not really care for the lyric especially the eeny meenie miny mo line.  Sounded too childish.

 

I Ain't Looking Back: Very nice singable song. Great instrumental at the break. Clever use of bootstrap for footwear and very inspirational lyric. 

 

Lucky Man: Very sassy song that captured my attention. Maybe went a bit long but enjoyed the listen. My top pick.

 

Coyote: Nice piano at the intro. Loved the melody. The lyric went way off script for song structure and made no mention of footwear. Lyric was just not working for me and had to drop this to first tier. 

 

You Better Believe: Video was removed so I can only remember having this in my first tier. 

 

Lost in Thought: Lyric and music just didn't seem to be working well. I also didn't get the lyric.

 

Walk a Mile: Enjoyed the change up in voice pitch from v1 to v2. The falsetto at the ch was also nice. Didn't really get the lyric though and the structure went off script. Didn't think the br added anything other than stretching this out too long so this ended up in my second tier. 

 

Dancing Shoes: Sounded too much like the S trademark sound. Was not impressed with the lyric as it made huge leaps from dancing to pregnancy to foreclosure. I felt it was too much and too confusing. 

 

Sole Mates: Very clever word play "Sole Mates." Probably best title in this group of songs. However, I felt the music and the lyric just didn't get along well in this song. It made it into my second tier. 
 

 

 

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9 hours ago, Oswlek said:

I'll post my thoughts in a bit, I'm just curious about one particular comment....

 

Would you mind elaborating, Andy?  Was your coldness due to the song or the lack of an overt "shoe" reference?

Yes, I felt a lack of engagement with the lyric subject matter which was quite clever on an intellectual level but not, for me, on an emotional one - even with your expressive vocals and delicate melody. Obviously not a general view held by others since you scored so well! :)

 

I did feel a bit miffed at the lack of attempt to make some effort to address either the suggested contest theme or song structure (in my opinion, a standard V V Ch V Ch Br Ch form) - an area on the music side, I had put a lot of effort into - with limited success :blink: :P

 

Andy

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18 hours ago, Moso said:

lol I like that little glitchy percussion right at the very beginning. Weird little things like that make me smile. :P Good call on doubling the pianos, it softens it up a bit. Not sure if I like the bass sound, but its little descending line is cool. What the heck is that little higher staccato instrument that comes in later? Is that supposed to be strings? It feels like muppets popping their heads up to “talk” or otherwise express themselves quickly before disappearing again. I actually really like it, lol. I like the strings doubling the chorus vox—that was a very good call, excellent. There are some interesting interval combinations happening post-chorus. At first I wasn’t too sure about one note, but the more I listen to it, the more I like it. There is one particular tight oscillation that hangs on the fourth chord that I like. Was that phasing tweak on the drums before the second chorus intentional? Cool, regardless. I really like that one repeating note towards the end with claps. Actually, I might have ended on that, fading out. It takes the listener out of the song itself and to the people making it, intimate in a post-modern sort of way, putting us in their shoes briefly as we come back to reality. But that’s me. 

Moso, you are a prince among men. Your amazing comments and feedback for all contestants here is truly remarkable. I can learn absolutely heaps just by reading your comments on everyone else's songs. You have a great ear, I am amazed at what you can pick up on how a song was recorded.

 

Thanks for taking the time to give me feedback. I will work out a way to respond to everyone, but saw your questions and thought I could try to answer them.

 

Yes, piano was doubled, and I used the piano roll to lower the velocity rather than just turn down the volume - a trick I picked up here recently and I like how it sounds with piano.

 

The Muppets is actually just a Cello played up in a higher octave that it should be. I just wanted something in there and played in the lower register it didn't sound right to me. It is actually the same cello sound I used to double the vocals with for the chorus, I doubled the cello line panned left and right, but lifted the right one up an octave and I like the sound of them combined.

 

That phasing tweak before the chorus actually happens before both choruses, but more noticeable on the second. It wasn't exactly intentional but is a result of my slightly raising the BPM for the chorus, only by a couple. Instead of just a jump in BPM I did a curve for the bar before, which resulted in that slight disturbance. I didn't bother fixing it, I actually like to think it helps signal the chorus. Good catch though!

 

Post-chorus I really like, I layered a few melodies in there. I did tone it down a bit for the final mix, there was a couple of chords which clashed badly, but somehow sounded awsome to me, probably better without them for this. I play by feel and sound, I don't always know exactly what I am doing, but I enjoyed this section and have taken lots away from it. I actually am toying around with a new song that is based on this section. 

 

For a while the song ended with those claps and beeps. The reprise was a late addition, it just popped into my head that the song needed it and I went with it. I don't know if it makes the song better or not, but like most things I do it was an experiment and the first time I had down a reprise so I left it in. I like it. But I think you are probably right, it doesn't really need it.

 

I really had fun with this song, my favourite recording experience so far. I still have lots to learn but it's good to enjoy it too. ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting that there's been some concern about the lack of adherence to the theme or structure suggested initially. Not surprising, I guess, as there was a little confusion on the matter right at the beginning.

 

@Barneyboy and @AndyLeF, Alistair did state that they were not constraints but only suggestions that might help launch ideas; participants were free to develop a song as they saw fit - on any topic and with any structure. If I remember correctly (I'll need to check the other thread), he also indicated that adherence to the suggested theme/structure should not play a role in the final voting. 

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43 minutes ago, DonnaMarilyn said:

Interesting that there's been some concern about the lack of adherence to the theme or structure suggested initially. Not surprising, I guess, as there was a little confusion on the matter right at the beginning.

 

@Barneyboy and @AndyLeF, Alistair did state that they were not constraints but only suggestions that might help launch ideas; participants were free to develop a song as they saw fit - on any topic and with any structure. If I remember correctly (I'll need to check the other thread), he also indicated that adherence to the suggested theme/structure should not play a role in the final voting. 

Yes, there was some confusion, I guess. To be fair, I tried NOT to make any rules around how people voted (and acknowledged that some might mark down entries if they were keen on having the guidelines followed). Honestly, I think trying to legislate how people judge music is a waste of time and impossible to police. People will vote as they see fit (and whoever is running the contest can't know what process they used). Reading through the notes that have been provided, one thing that strikes me is how we all listen to - and respond to - tracks differently. And every vote is valid.

 

What I wanted to do was provide some level of constraint simply to get the ball rolling. It saves people being stuck looking for ideas if there are fewer to choose from. However, I didn't want the constraint to get in the way of the song - it was just a prompt. Some people were fine with that but I know others wanted clearer "rules". Overall, I think it worked out just fine.

 

For me, almost every song had some kind of foot-ish reference (or toes, or whatever) which was good enough for me - and for those that didn't, I have no idea whether the lyric had one originally but cut it because it didn't fit and the song itself had taken over. Also fine - at least by me.  

 

The AABA thing is tricky. Once you get into extended AABA it can become hard to tell. The bridge can become chorus-like. Take "Every Breath You Take", which is often held up as an extended AABA (with two bridges). The "Oh can't you see" part could be heard as a chorus. The "Since you've gone I been lost without a trace" part could be seen as the bridge. Actually, for much of the song, the structure is very like "Indecision" (VVB1VB2B1 vs VVB1VB1B2). I guess it all depends how you label things and how you think they function. As the song develops, you just feel that a part "belongs" and whether it serves as a chorus or a bridge probably matters less than whether it works. 

 

Some entries are very clear AABAs, some are less clear. I have no clue how they were developed. The thought in suggesting AABA was so that those who don't use the structure much give it a try. It may not be something they feel comfortable with (while others would already be familiar with writing AABAs) but it may be something they want to try again. If not, no great loss.

 

But really, I just wanted to prompt some songs - to give a starting point. Where the songs ended up didn't matter (to me) except that the team should feel good about the song they co-created. I think we got a great set of songs and a bunch of people enjoyed the process. I'll take that :)

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5 hours ago, Barneyboy said:

Footprints in the Snow: Ch may have been too long but it was a nice build up to the last line. Fit the song structure requirement very well but I had a couple issues with the lyric.  It was a very nice listen until I thought I heard "beyond the bigots unfair."  I said what, it was such a simple worded v lyric up till that and that, alone, dropped this into the 2nd tier. It was such a lovely love song up to that point. Why that line was thrown in, and, left in by the musician is beyond my comprehension. 

Maybe I can help you comprehend :D .  Actually... SongWolfe already gave the backstory on that line above as well:

 

Quote

 The idea behind the lyric is linked loosely to a character in a novel that I read years ago.  The novel is 'Beloved' by Toni Morrison. In it, there's a slave called Sixo who absconds at night and walks miles to indulge in a romance with his lady. 

 

I can be blamed for influencing SongWolfe to change the line from "Beyond prejudice unfair" to "Beyond the bigots unfair" because I couldn't find a way to make the original line flow in the rhythm and say the word "prejudice" normally (emphasis on the "pre", not "jud").  Maybe that was a mistake :/ .  SongWolfe gave me the background on the song with the original lyrics so I knew it was important to him to keep a connection to the influencing work.

 

I'm a little interested in how much that line bothers people... but on the other hand... it is what it is at this point.  Also... I kind of like that it throws a bit of a twist in at the end.

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2 hours ago, Murphster said:

Moso, you are a prince among men

I second that. 😆

 

My song comments:

 

Walking shoes

Lyric really suited the music/enjoyed the lively treatment of the lyric. Catchy chorus, really liked the bridge and the twist at the end. I felt the music brought out the very best of the lyric. A great collab.😊

 

Shoes

Catchy from the start. Lyrics fit the music. Clear singing and message. Picked up after verses. Really liked the change and the outro. Everything came together in unity. 

 

Footprints in the snow

Nice, clear recording, good production. Don McLean vibe. Song really picked up for me at 0.56 through 1.50, hey!

Nice song, liked the little musical outro too.

 

Crocodilly Lilly 

Ok lyric got a tremendous boost from this musically masterful, well produced, never fails to get me smiling, fun song.

Would like to see more from these two. :P:wub:

 

In my shoes

Liked the acoustic value and quickly found the rhythm and music really set the tone for the lyric. Liked the lift of the hook and the change between versus. Found myself really getting drawn into the song as it went on. I could see and hear this song banded up at a concert. I enjoyed all the musical nuances and felt the music really adopted the lyric. 

I love to be won over and this song did that. My top pick. 😎

 

Indecision

Fun. Very listenable. Kept interesting all the way through by both the lyric and music. More fun with the second verse, nice change in the chorus. Was reminded of the Beatles during the musical bridge. Gliding. Music made most of the lyric.

 

I Aint looking back

Epic rock groove. Good musical treatment of the lyric. Loved it when you let the music tell the story.  Could feel the waves up and down in the music. Really soulful and hopeful at the end. Well arranged/filled song with a good, quick ending.

 

That's the first seven songs down. I have notes on the other songs that I will post tomorrow. 😄

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks @AndyLeF:)  And thanks for the kind words and favorable scores on "Indecision".  It is much appreciated.

 

Note:  the following was edited for clarity.

 

It seems that the two most common complaints about the song are the missing shoe references and that it wasn't evocative enough.  I take full responsibility for both.  

 

First, Patty's lyric isn't trying to be evocative; it's just a playful lament about not being able to make a decision.  Yes, it's childish and over the top, but that's exactly what I find so funny about it.  I suspect that if I had written an equally comical piece of music, no one would have had much of an issue with it.  But that kind of project just isn't in my repertoire.  For better or for worse, a little angst will always creep in. :) 

 

I like the final result, but it doesn't surprise me that some see a disconnect and/or feel like the song didn't quite make due on its apparent intent.  

 

As for shoes, that too is on me.  Patty sent a couple lyrics over and I selected the one without shoes and then I nixed every attempt to inject shoes into the lyric because it felt contrived.  You can blame me for "eeny meeny miny mo" as well, since I chose that out of several options.  For me, it was a brilliant line that made clear that the song isn't taking itself too seriously, but clearly I didn't find the right balance between my angst and Patty's silliness.  :) 

 

I'm still going to post thoughts on all the songs, I just haven't had time for more than these types of drive-by comments.

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Congratulations to the winners and all participants! Fun contest. Great songs! 

 I believe my top 2 choices were the same as the outcome. But I’ll have to look at my notes. 

 That being said, I’m out of town and my notes are at home. So I’ll be back at a later date with my song comments. 

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