Feedback-The Crowd Review

I recently submitted two songs to Reverb Nation's Crowd Review, You Don't Know My World, a song I wrote and performed and then Taliesen, the song I wrote the lyrics for, performed by Chip Withrow and Kristian Borresen. I did the 50 reviews the first time, read them and then went back for some more punishment with Taliesen, but only asked for 20 reviews. The results are worth sharing and gave me a few things to think about. For the purposes of this blog, I will divide some of the crowd comments for both song into three categories: the good, the bad and the ugly. Anyone else who is on Reverb should try this out, but believe me when I say 20 reviews is plenty.

First for You Don't Know My World:

The Good:

“very relaxing, unique, talented voice. Beautiful melody and guitar, a true tear jerker! would suggest getting a better quality
recording, but there is something about the rawness of the recording that makes it that much better, love this tune, nice

“Wow, the beginning is so calm and mysterious. The singer's voice is kind of shaky but that just adds to the effect. It 's like
he's singing and talking at the same time. The melody is nice but really quiet. Luckily, it gets a bit louder later on. The lyrics
are really easily heard which I appreciate a lot. This makes it easier for interpretation and understanding. In this song, I like
that the singer's voice isn't that strong, because it just makes the vocals that much more emotional."

The Bad:

“Nothing on the song to the 8th second. The vocals sound weird and weak. Barely any instruments in the background. There's
not much happening in the song and the lyrics aren't impressive either. I don't think the song is gonna have a turn. Could
never imagine this being a hit.”

“The song has a very poor introduction. the track is very sad and the singer actually sounds like he is crying while he is singing
the lyrics. the song is not that pleasent to listen to because it is so sad and on top of that the singer does not have much of a
good voice. sorry, but i give this song a thumbs down.”

and The Ugly:

“The voice is awful is this a joke? It sounds like an old old man on their last legs. The lyrics are stupid and boring. The few
feeble notes on the guitare are rubbish, out of tune, and can not be called a backing. It is just random notes in an odd pattern
which do not fit with the melody, if you can call it that”

“What is this? The guys voice is scary. The music is dull. For some reason however some record exec would make this work
like Macy Gray. His voice is so hideous that I can't even focus on the lyrics. This is not radio friendly at all. The music sounds
like it belongs to another song. IT sounds like a song that was made up along the way.”

Ok, it was a rough cut for sure. And my vocals, well, yes, gotta work on that. I was pleased that some of the reviewers picked up on the lyrics and had nice things to say.

And now for Taliesen, which is definitely one of my pride and joy projects. I didn't put Stuart Epps's production up on Reverb Nation for some reason, so this is an earlier version that was produced by Kristian:

The Good:

“I love this one. The voice is beautiful, the piano is gracefull; its almost perfect. I really like the lyrics. They're meaningful. I'd
add a few more instruments like a violin and and acoustic guitar. That 'd make the song perfect. I'd make the melody louder in
this song because pianos are powerful.The rhythm of the song is very strong and compelling. It 's a very good song. I think it
could be a hit. I'd buy it off of itunes any day.”

“The tune was excellently put together with brilliant relaxing instrument playing which complimented the singers vocals. The
singer sang nicely engaging the listener well. The lyrics were thought provoking and meaningful. professionally done piece of

The Bad:

“The piano intro seems to get lost,start off with a slight presence but dips into quite a timid dull feeling.The singers not
strong and provides some very poor expressin that doesn't lift the mood ,or generate anything pleasing enough melodicly to
get the song going.A terrible melancholy feel here ,but its the lack of vocal consistency and ability that lest this song down.
The piano and voice alone isn't enough to keep you entertained as it lacks rhythm and a solid structure.”

“Boring piano. The singer's voice is unique in a way. I can't understand what he's saying very well. The tone of the piano
playing is more religious or churchy than what it sounds like the singer was singing about. I don't like giving bad reviews. If
the piano was more jazzy or had some swing combined with less somber vocals it would be kinda cool possibly.”

and of course, The Ugly:

“This song seems reminiscent of Billy Joel, unfortunately Mr. Joel is not topping the charts nowadays. metaphors in lyrics are
week, story told by lyrics is just not very good. same old depressing family problem song. vocals don't seem to stand out
over the even more bland piano progression, except when the lyrics don't flow with the music, then they stick out
tremendously in the worst way possible. piano by itself in this song is horrible. get some more instruments in there, a bass,
some drums, hell, even a child's toy xylophone or a unique MIDI lead would have upped the quality of this awful listening

“I'd rather wish to not hear this music because I can't review it so 'properly'. Seemed like an artsy-fartsy song which would
get the appraise of someone who enjoys 'tasteful' music. I, on the other hand, didn't enjoy the harmony, vocals, lyrics, or any
of it. Don't take this review whole-heartedly.”

I think a number of comments were unfair to Chip's vocals, which I have always felt were quite moving. Kristian is a gifted pianist so those hacking away at his piano work were pretty out to lunch, or maybe they were on lunch break. I can take some of the comments on the lyrics for what they are worth and of course, I really like the nice comments.

Both songs got a not quite ready for prime time rating, Taliesen a little bit better than You Don't Know My World. I also know I am competing against people who have professional home studios (both here and on Broadjam) so I am not going to do well by comparison (I have trouble getting my Garage Band keyboard sound like it should for songs). Apart from the opportunities for some good self-deprecating humor, it is interesting how listeners hear your songs when they know nothing about you. It's supposed to be very accurate for gauging commercial success. And I would like to find my way to commercial or semi-commercial success at some point.

I share this with you, dear reader, in the interest of overall artistic development. There are so many people out there doing good work that it is really great just to be out here in the mix and pursuing opportunities when they occur, for myself or in collaboration with others.







Dafe Gray
January 03, 2014 @07:33 pm
Hi there, Interesting comments on your music from Reverbnation. Please bear in mind the fact that the reviewers are not necessarily gurus in the art of music appreciation. So far, I am yet to identify any major artist who got his break from scoring highly in their reviews. Just a few opinionated individuals operating under a cloak of anonymity. Just keep making your music as you want it to sound. Cheers!

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