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Thread: No Love - alternative pop

  1. #21
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    Great Track! we like it a lot! great lyrics!.


    only a few minor things that stood out to us. we think that the drums could use a little more crispiness (hats are fine though). try use parallel comp on that snare. think it would benefit from it.

    vocals are really cool. i think it would do well if you could double them.
    2:05 sounds weird to us. maybe melodyne would clear that up.

    well done all in all
    best regards- un

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  3. #22
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    First off, I'm really sorry for your loss. That's terrible.

    This is another great track. Again, the vocals are just beautifully done -- awesome tone, feel, and energy throughout. I'm very envious of your vocal talents.

    As for the mix, I don't really have any nits. To my ears, your stuff is always pretty much there in terms of quality, and anything I would mention would merely be an opinion. And if you ask 10 different people about the mix of a Rolling Stones song or Tom Petty song, they'd probably all have 10 different things to say on how it could be "better."

    But, to be honest, I rarely even do have any mix critiques on your stuff, because it's always more than good enough to let me focus on the song and the performances, which are always stellar. I know that's not really helpful when you're asking for specifics about guitar tone, etc. Like I said, though, to me, your stuff never has any distracting mix issues to me. It always sounds good enough for radio play to me.

    Having said all that, if I can offer any critique at all, it would be on your songwriting. It's not a quality issue at all. This song, like just about all of yours I've heard, is well written with great lyrics, melody, etc. My only critique is that your writing feels a little one-dimensional. I've listened to many of your songs over the past few years here, and the vocabulary --- primarily the harmonic vocabulary --- is usually pretty similar. It's a lot of I, vi, IV, and V chords. It tends to make many of your songs sound the same a bit. It's not as formulaic as Nickelback or anything, but, IMHO, you've definitely mined that territory for a good while.

    I hesitate to even bring this up, because your stuff is so good, and it's kind of a fine line between "having a sound" and repeating yourself. But (again, IMHO), you're veering close to that line a bit.

    And this is not to say that I don't enjoy listening to one of your songs every time I see one, because I do. But it's just something to maybe think about a bit. You may want to try branching out a little bit --- wandering out of your comfort zone --- to keep things interesting.

    This is only one person's opinion, so take it for what it's worth. I certainly haven't heard every one of your songs, and it may just be a coincidence that the ones I have heard have a similar sound. And/or maybe you don't care either way! But, I respect your talent enough to think that you would appreciate hearing sincere feedback on all aspects of your art.
    famous beagle

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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
    primarily the harmonic vocabulary --- is usually pretty similar. It's a lot of I, vi, IV, and V chords. It tends to make many of your songs sound the same a bit. It's not as formulaic as Nickelback or anything, but, IMHO, you've definitely mined that territory for a good while.

    I hesitate to even bring this up, because your stuff is so good, and it's kind of a fine line between "having a sound" and repeating yourself. But (again, IMHO), you're veering close to that line a bit.

    And this is not to say that I don't enjoy listening to one of your songs every time I see one, because I do. But it's just something to maybe think about a bit. You may want to try branching out a little bit --- wandering out of your comfort zone --- to keep things interesting.

    This is only one person's opinion, so take it for what it's worth. I certainly haven't heard every one of your songs, and it may just be a coincidence that the ones I have heard have a similar sound. And/or maybe you don't care either way! But, I respect your talent enough to think that you would appreciate hearing sincere feedback on all aspects of your art.
    The fact that you've paid enough attention to even notice that means a lot to me, thanks so much. And you're right. I don't know what it is, but I'm always drawn to those changes, probably because I can think of a million different melodies to sing over them. What, to me, is so incredible about Nirvana, for example, is how Kurt would write melodies over absolutely odd, weird chord progressions...like In Bloom. And not only write them, but have them be insanely catchy and melodic. I've never been comfortable enough to branch out of that zone, and the older I get, the less exploratory my few minutes here and there to write songs get.

    Thank you, this entire comment means a lot to me.

  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    The fact that you've paid enough attention to even notice that means a lot to me, thanks so much. And you're right. I don't know what it is, but I'm always drawn to those changes, probably because I can think of a million different melodies to sing over them. What, to me, is so incredible about Nirvana, for example, is how Kurt would write melodies over absolutely odd, weird chord progressions...like In Bloom. And not only write them, but have them be insanely catchy and melodic. I've never been comfortable enough to branch out of that zone, and the older I get, the less exploratory my few minutes here and there to write songs get.

    Thank you, this entire comment means a lot to me.
    Like I said, it's the only constructive criticism I can offer on your tracks because they sound so damned good!

    And you're spot on about Cobain. He was a melodic genius for sure. "In Bloom" is a great example.

    I spent a lot of time analyzing Nirvana's stuff. I learned that he loved mediant relationships --- i.e., moving chords by 3rd intervals. And "In Bloom," is a perfect example of that. In the intro, you have:

    Bb5 - G5 (down a minor 3rd)
    F5 - Ab5 (up a minor 3rd)

    Then in the verse, you have:

    Bb5 down a major 3rd to Gb5 down a minor 3rd to Eb5 down a major 3rd to B5 - A5

    Then in the chorus you have:

    Bb5 to G5 (down a minor 3rd)
    and C to Eb (up a minor 3rd)

    They're just all over that song.

    He was also fond of moving by 3rds in a song's bridge. He does this in "Come As You Are," for example, alternating from Bsus2 to Dsus2 in the bridge ("And I swear that I don't have a gun").

    Another classic down-by-3rds progression is "Heart-Shaped Box" A5 down a major 3rd to F5, down a minor 3rd to D (the same movement as the first part of the verse in "In Bloom").

    Anyway, the more I studied, the more I saw that happening. But, he does a great job of disguising it with different tempos/feels/melodies/etc.
    famous beagle

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  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
    I spent a lot of time analyzing Nirvana's stuff. I learned that he loved mediant relationships
    Definitely.

    But those have a certain mood (e.g. I-iii or I-III is much more somber than a more common progression like I-IV), so I think in a way he was just feeling out mood. Something like "I like this melody, but it's too happy, so let's move the power chord until another note has that melody note", then suddenly he's on a chord that makes no sense to people, theoretically speaking, but it fits the mood he wants. Funny that most of this moves can be explained pretty easily by more advanced theory, like jazz harmony, too.

    That's how I view the thought process when I look at their sheet music.

    Everyone has chords they gravitate toward. I gravitate a ton toward M6 and M7 chords and not so much toward dominants, unless they're secondary dominants. The main reason is the mood. Like maybe I don't want that big resolution of a V7, so put it in 1st inversion to lessen that impact (play E7 root and E7 1st inversion...it's like two different chords and starts to sound more like a G#m chord!) or just use a substitute chord that has the same note. I also prefer sus2 to sus4 because sus4 sounds more happy while sus2 sounds more open to me, and a sus2 when I want the certain root but not the 3rd to give it that huge mood swing of major or minor.

    Writing to mood and really hearing the quality of all the chords and what you can do to change them to a quality you want is pretty advanced stuff, if you try to learn by studying it, or it's a gift if you just have it naturally and hear it. I think Cobain had the latter and was paying attention to internal mood and how the chords fit that.

    Andru, I've noticed the same thing as Beagle, but I wasn't sure if it was rude to note those observations about progressions. In a way it goes beyond "mix clinic" discussion so I always left it out, though I think in private we might have discussed it a bit. Anyway, cool, discussion here. I really enjoyed it.
    Last edited by Nola; 6 Days Ago at 18:50.

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  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    Definitely.

    But those have a certain mood (e.g. I-iii or I-III is much more somber than a more common progression like I-IV), so I think in a way he was just feeling out mood. Something like "I like this melody, but it's too happy, so let's move the power chord until another note has that melody note", then suddenly he's on a chord that makes no sense to people, theoretically speaking, but it fits the mood he wants. Funny that most of this moves can be explained pretty easily by more advanced theory, like jazz harmony, too.

    That's how I view the thought process when I look at their sheet music.

    Everyone has chords they gravitate toward. I gravitate a ton toward M6 and M7 chords and not so much toward dominants, unless they're secondary dominants. The main reason is the mood. Like maybe I don't want that big resolution of a V7, so put it in 1st inversion to lessen that impact (play E7 root and E7 1st inversion...it's like two different chords and starts to sound more like a G#m chord!) or just use a substitute chord that has the same note. I also prefer sus2 to sus4 because sus4 sounds more happy while sus2 sounds more open to me, and a sus2 when I want the certain root but not the 3rd to give it that huge mood swing of major or minor.

    Writing to mood and really hearing the quality of all the chords and what you can do to change them to a quality you want is pretty advanced stuff, if you try to learn by studying it, or it's a gift if you just have it naturally and hear it. I think Cobain had the latter and was paying attention to internal mood and how the chords fit that.

    Andru, I've noticed the same thing as Beagle, but I wasn't sure if it was rude to note those observations about progressions. In a way it goes beyond "mix clinic" discussion so I always left it out, though I think in private we might have discussed it a bit. Anyway, cool, discussion here. I really enjoyed it.
    Yeah I didn't mean to imply that Cobain was doing that (using mediant relationships) intentionally. I definitely think he, as you said, just had a gift and gravitated toward those sounds. Music theory is really only labels anyway. It's just like someone can be a great novelist or writer without knowing how to diagram sentences. They may not know the technical terms for things, but they know the real-world application of things in their own way. So many great music writers, such as Cobain, the Beatles, etc. didn't "know theory," but they were certainly familiar with sounds they liked and knew how to make great use of them in different keys, etc.

    I remember hearing Paul McCartney talk about the first time they discovered a Gm chord in a C major song. I can't remember where he said he learned it/heard it, but they quickly made use of it in the bridge for "From Me to You." At that point, they may not have understand that it was a minor v chord (or that it was a ii chord in a ii-V-I progression in F), but they obviously internalized the sound because they used it again the next year in the bridge to "I Wanna Hold Your Hand," this time as a Dm chord in the key of G.

    Really interesting stuff.
    famous beagle

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  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nola View Post
    Andru, I've noticed the same thing as Beagle, but I wasn't sure if it was rude to note those observations about progressions. In a way it goes beyond "mix clinic" discussion so I always left it out, though I think in private we might have discussed it a bit. Anyway, cool, discussion here. I really enjoyed it.
    Quote Originally Posted by famous beagle View Post
    So many great music writers, such as Cobain, the Beatles, etc. didn't "know theory," but they were certainly familiar with sounds they liked and knew how to make great use of them in different keys

    Nope, all's good. And yeah I think we discussed that at some point in the past. Just to reiterate, I gravitate toward those progressions because the melodies come easy to me. Plus, they are closer, in my mind, to "desperate" and "dramatic"; two qualities I look for nowadays in not only my songwriting, but in radio music. That's one of the reasons I like 30STM, or Anberlin, Green day, etc... And, once in awhile, a metal group will "cross the bridge" into pop and use the same changes...Killswitch Engage, for example. I believe the melodic possibilities with, say, D, Bm, G, F#m, and A, are endless. That same structure can be moved up and down the neck, in consistent changes, and still work, of course. There's so many ways to go with the vocal melody...as opposed to In Bloom. I mean, I have yet to hear any surfaced recordings of earlier versions of that song with different melody. It just can't happen. (i know it can, but you know what i mean). He played with it and hit gold.

    It's not only the verse chord structure and chorus chord structure...it's the combination of both! Think about this...he used every note in between F and B in that song as the root note, if you include the bass line. Every damn one. Bflat, G, F, G#, F#, Eflat, B, A. (Eflat falls out of that, but what I said still applies). I would never believe someone would write a song with F-B being the root and it actually be good. Not only good, but one of the most popular, well-known songs of all time. Just amazing.

    But...with the original structure we were discussing, could he write a vocal melody? Maybe not. So, my thought process has been to stick to what works and what you know, but explore other opportunities when possible. I use my bridges as those possibilities, sometimes.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrushkiwt View Post
    Nope, all's good. And yeah I think we discussed that at some point in the past. Just to reiterate, I gravitate toward those progressions because the melodies come easy to me. Plus, they are closer, in my mind, to "desperate" and "dramatic"; two qualities I look for nowadays in not only my songwriting, but in radio music. That's one of the reasons I like 30STM, or Anberlin, Green day, etc... And, once in awhile, a metal group will "cross the bridge" into pop and use the same changes...Killswitch Engage, for example. I believe the melodic possibilities with, say, D, Bm, G, F#m, and A, are endless. That same structure can be moved up and down the neck, in consistent changes, and still work, of course. There's so many ways to go with the vocal melody.
    Yeah I agree with all of this for sure. Those changes feel very familiar and emotionally powerful. There's good reason that they are used so frequently by so many bands.

    And I do hear you branching out from it occasionally during the bridge. For example, I heard you move to the ii chord (if I remember correctly) during the bridge for "Last One in the Room." So that's cool.
    famous beagle

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