Song review chain


#1

This is one of my favorite music forum games. The objective is to discover new music and to practice the critical approach to it.

Rules:

  • You must review the song recommended by the previous post, with at least 50 words and no real limit.
  • It is encouraged to approach songs you don’t know, but don’t restrain yourself if you feel you still have got something to say. Also, be brave and try musical genres you’re not comfortable with. Do not be dismissive of a genre as a whole.
  • Try to be a bit critical, not only descriptive. If you lack musical knowledge, it’s ok! Just explain why you like it or why you don’t.
  • After the review, add the next recommendation. Adding also a link to the song is encouraged.
  • No genre restriction, from Hip-hop to Classical including Metal and Electronic music.

And for a start I’ll begin, why not, with a review of Miss You by Bo En from the EP Pale Machine.

Miss You is a sort of an electronic pop song in a major key with a melancholic tone that’s seconded both by a playful Japanese child with his father and the chiptune melodic parts. It’s has two build-ups and releases, the first one consists of drum samples and a lyric chorus, the second is basically the line “I love you and I don’t have anything to say” in a robotic voice over and over, with a marching band drum setting the pace and the same chipping bird that joined the kid at the start. The second release is more intense, shutting down all melody and using samples, leaving you with the same voices you heard at the beginning of the song afterwards, as if the singer was remembering times past.
It’s strange for me to listen to this song outside the context of the podcast. It’s fun but it seems to have a sad undertone, both by the lyrics and the sounds it uses. It’s catchy, yet it does not repeat a chorus. It sure made me listen to the whole EP.

Next song, Emma Ruth Rundle - Shadows of My Name.


#2

Ooh, this seems like fun.

Stylistically, Shadows of My Name seems to sit somewhere between the new-ish-kind-of style of folk-y singer/songwriters and the darker tonal and atmospheric qualities of something like Darkwave or Sadcore. (note: genre names are ridiculous.) I only mention these points because Rundle differs between these two pillars in ways that challenge at least MY preconceptions. For one, she doesn’t really chew her words like some do in these styles, making her voice and lyrics clear and front-facing. I mean, as clear as any vocal going for this kind of style can be, I suppose, but I digress. She has a unique voice for this style – it’s not the gauzy highs of Ethereal Wave’s most standard bands but more direct than, say, labelmate Chelsea Wolfe, who I think has the critical market on this style right now.

Personally, I was a bit cool on the song itself, but really enjoyed other tracks on the album? I imagine this is the kind of song that might just be better live, if that makes sense. The sound on the album version is quite full with synth pads and reverb-drenched guitars, but the song itself could lend better to a more skeletal production or stripped-back version (especially considering that her vocals are the most interesting part). I’m trying not to go too deep into “make the song I want to hear” territory, but I might have to go to youtube and look into this hunch with some live footage.

As for my song choice, UHHHH

Gastr Del Sol - The Season Reverse

Curious to hear what someone has to say about this.


#3

This is a cool idea. I’ll preface my review by saying that I’m not too “musically literate” and lack the proper vocabulary to properly analyze this, but here goes!

Uhhhh this song was interesting…a lot going on. I dig the first couple minutes of the song the most, especially the constant fast tempo snare in the background. I wasn’t expecting the sudden trumpet and steel drum(?) addition, but I did appreciate the nice Caribbean/Latin direction it took.

As the song progressed, I got the feeling more and more that this might have been a live performance, with what sounds like improvised solos. And then 4:55 happens. It suddenly turns into a conversation between the singer and a person shooting off fireworks?? My guess is there’s probably some more context around this somewhere in the album, but listening to this song with no context, it totally felt out of place for me.

As for my song pick, to give props to the OP and their Queens of the Stone Age avatar (a band I came suuuper late to the party to), I’ll pick…


#4

Fun thread!

Also, weird first two picks as I’m about to see Emma Ruth Rundle live next week and I just got around to checking out Gastr del Sol the other day for the first time.

Anywho, benji solid as heck of a pick. I also came late to Queens and this album is really what got me into them. And this song caps the album of in a seriously satisfying way (ofc it is not the last song but the grandest on the album imo). The heavy plodding pace and how it expertly shifts in the quiet to loud dynamic throughout and the tinge more serious tone in Homme’s delivery work so well. Love the work up to the pause half way through and how the song then later shifts into the soaring guitar solo at the end and how Homme’s vocals go into a higher registry to match really makes the ending.

Ahh to pick one. Ugh. Hard! But here a song from this year which probably contains one of my favorit moments in music this year (not to put expectation on the next reviewer to agree with me here) but the transition this song takes at around the 2:55 mark I adore (just got chills listening to it now lol). Also some great lyrics throughout! Anyway sorry for rambling about my own pick, which is Not Able by Hop Along:


#5

Oh man, Hop Along is my shiiiiiiit. I’ve been in love with Francis’ voice since I first heard it on “Bruno is Orange” back in High School. She’s definitely refined it and has learned how manipulate it in ways that just invoke whatever emotion she’s going for. The instruments building up and following Francis’ lead when to let loose makes me just so happy. The lyrics are absolutely amazing, which is not surprising – I don’t think I’ve heard a bad line out of them yet.

Great pick!

As for me, I’m going to keep it with female-fronted bands.

Urge to Purge by Charly Bliss: