Harmony Central Forums
No announcement yet.

A long song (story) / opinions please


  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • A long song (story) / opinions please

    Hello all
    My friend John, who wrote the lyrics, calls this a "black widow" : the human female black widow marries a rich man, takes out a large life insurance premium on his life, then knocks the old man off (usually with Arsenic, as it's deadly results mimic a heart attack), and she collects the insurance money.

    In this fiction it is told by a survivor who came close to being a victim.

    Lyrics /
    Under your thumb look what I have become
    Just learned of your game. Finding you

  • #2
    A lot of admirable ambition on display here. I love the fact that you're really trying to do something kind of big, here.

    But like any big, even sprawling, project, individual elements arise where more attention or a different approach might help the larger endeavor. Here are a few of my concerns on that front:

    The opening guitar lick is very Pink Floyd. The rhyme scheme feels awfully tight early on but it might pay off when the lyrics diverge from the tightly predictable rhyme; still the first time some of those rhymes come through they feel somewhat forced. (That first thumb/become, game/insane section is pretty tough to take.) Some of those adjectives stop the lyrics dead in their tracks: abhorrent, heinously...

    There are a lot of well-worn phrases here that get us from point a to point b -- but it gets a bit purple because of overloaded and/or overly familiar phrases: dark secrets, spinning of webs, dark-eyed raven, murder in one's heart, darkest of souls, fleeting time, caring soul, selfish gain, poison that takes its toll... It's not that one or two of these bits would necessarily be a deal-breaker -- but when they start stacking up, it starts feeling a bit purple and, well, a little over-puffed.

    Disguising a ballad/narrative within the framework of a song of direct address (a song to the other if you will) can be hard for anyone... and by setting out to give an outline of the whole story within the context of a sort of love song, this song really has its work cut out for it. The danger, of course, is that the story telling weighs down the poetic essence of the song. It's clear you're aware of the issue and work hard to keep things on course.

    You guys do an admirable job approaching your ambitions and it sounds like you've put a lot of good work in so far.

    music and social links | recent listening


    • #3
      I second a lot of what blue said: clearly you guys have talent and ability, but the ambition behind the song seems to outstrip the execution. The open-air bits are stronger, and sound heartfelt--adding the beat suddenly makes the phrasing and metre seem exposed, awkward.

      The use of language, too, is a bit clunky. Starting out with such a good sound, mood, and melody, it's jarring to be hear 'you're so insane'. Boom, you've declared the subject crazy and there's nothing for the listener to learn, really, except the specifics of 'her scheme.'

      Stripping down the verbiage might really help add an air of mystery to this one.
      "It's the har-moan-ee in my heh-eh-eh-ed."...The Buzzcocks
      GW, folkrocky blues ordinaire: singer/songwriter/guitar/bass/drums & earl grey tea


      • #4

        I love this. Pink Floyd was mentioned, but I was hit with waves of Alan Parsons Project. That recurring acoustic guitar theme is very "Turn of a Friendly Card" sounding (which is cool). I'd love to hear more orchestration during the fast passages. Big strings would really lift it and make it more powerful and dynamic. Go listen to 'Turn of a Friendly Card' and 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination' by Alan Parsons Project.

        The lyrics and rhymes could be a little more interesting. But just have Colin Blundstone sing it and you'll be okay.

        Don't forget to add a nice Mellotron choir somewhere for maximum creepiness.

        Most people here who love brevity will say it's too long. I, however, wouldn't mind hearing another section inserted somewhere in the middle with a good jam. Maybe and odd-meter section of some kind (in 7/8?) which might musically depict her scheming, poisoning, and him escaping. Then bringing it back to the theme. Give us a rest from the heavy lyrics for a couple minutes and throw in a C section for variety and a good testosterone release. If you're gonna be ambitious, go all the way!

        Truly cool song. If I were younger, more ambitious, and had a collaborator, I'd love to do something like this. These kind of songs are a lot of work. More work than I can commit these days. But I admire those with the vision to take one of these on. Awesome.
        Alesis QS8, Ensoniq Fizmo, Oberheim OB-12, E-MU Vintage Keys Plus, Rhodes 73 Stage, Wurlitzer 145, Wurlitzer 146B, Wurlitzer 206A, Yamaha CP-70B, Yamaha CP-30, Kawai EP-608, Hohner D6 Clavinet, Mellotron M400, Hammond M-3, Vox Jaguar, Baldwin Fun Machine, Wurlitzer MLM, SCI Pro-One, Moog Rogue, Arp Explorer I, Moog Opus 3, Arp Omni 2, Multivox MX-202, Crumar Orchestrator, Crumar Performer, Akai AX80, Akai AX60 w/S612 sampler, Korg Poly 800, Ensoniq Mirage, Roland CR-78.


        • #5
          Go listen to 'Turn of a Friendly Card' and 'Tales of Mystery and Imagination' by Alan Parsons Project.

          I bought those two CDs a long time ago!!!
          I'm very flattered!!

          WrdsNmuzik : I see what you mean and I'll e-mail my friend John to talk about this point with him.

          Thanks a lot for listening and for your kind comments.


          • #6
            Overall, I like this. I don't listen to a lot of music, so it is hard for me to offer anything like most. There seems to me to be quite a disconnect between the 1st & second sections musically. I know that's nothing new, but, I don't know..just seems like 2 entirely different pieces.

            Is she really "waiting to pay?" Wouldn't "going to pay" be more apt?

            Very ambitious effort. Kudos for that...


            • #7
              Good job Wnm
              Hamilton Steele CD's / Hamilton Steele MP3 Downloads / Hamilton Steele iTunes