Over The Effect recently submitted “Reflection” (one of our favorites to play, and we’ve had some good personal feedback to it so far) to soundout.com, an interesting concept where artists and bands can submit a song to get listener feedback. Soundout then compiles all your data into nice analytic charts and includes some of the comments that you received on your song, in their own unedited and unfiltered words. The users have to listen to at least 60 seconds of the song, and they can listen to the rest if they like. They can only listen to a song once, however – which I think is very cool as it only allows for the initial impression of the song. I think that also kinda works against us, we feel like we are the sort of band you have to listen to a few times.
Overall, the song was scored as a 5 – average. It as fairly evenly divided between people that liked it and disliked it, but overall the impression was positive, just not a strong liking. “Although ratings are spread across a wide range, many reviewers agreed on the quality of this track.” The majority of people rated it 5 or higher, as many people rated it 2 as rated it 8. But more people rated it higher than 7 than people that rated it lower than 3. *whew* Women liked the song more than men, and people 35-44 liked it better than people 16-24.
What I was most interested in was the direct user comments. I’m pretty thick skinned and I don’t expect everything we do to be everyone’s thing – we are weird people making music that we like, first and foremost. I also know how harsh comments from anonymous people on the internet can be. Most of the substantiated criticism (I say that as in the user said more than just “I don’t like this” – they actually had a specific criticism) involved the mix, specifically that the vocals were too low to understand clearly. A good number of the people said that they liked it, but couldn’t really hear the vocals too well. Some people said they were confused by the structure of the song. One person said he didn’t like “how it switches from disco-reggae to heavy metal”. One person said that they thought the lyrics were “boring and didn’t make any sense”, but they also said they “couldn’t understand any of the words because of the guitars and drums being too loud”. 2 people specifically suggested re-recording the song entirely. 7 people suggested remixing the song. 2 people said the backing vocals were “terrible”. (Haha – AK) While we won’t be remixing any of these (it’s already out and we’re quite happy with it) Many if not all of these songs will be re-recorded, along with several other new songs for our full length album coming this fall/winter. Some of the criticisms involving the vocals being too low will probably be taken into consideration, but it’s still gonna be us sounding like us, always will be. That’s the main rule in our band.
“I didn’t really care for the opening of this song its hard to really focus on what this song is about I am hearing so much of the cymbols and the guitar and not enough of the singer. It is hard to tell what is being said I think that the mic for the voice should have been turned up a little and the instruments turned down a little. Although I must say the song wasn’t that bad just needs some tweeking.”
“Did not enjoy this at all…The music overpowered the singer..and I did not like the arrangement. I would not buy this..It was confusing and a bit redundit. I am not enjoying this.” (That was the worst comment.)
Here are some of the positive comments we got:
“The begging of the song is sick. I like the instrumentals. The guitar has an old sixties feel to it and I like it. It has that mix of rock punk and funk. I like when musician combines genre of music together. It has some hit potential. His voice is queit but strong at the same time. I like the rollercoster feel of the song. It kin of mellow than the guitar rffs are lound and out of contral. A lot of twist and turns to this song. Its creative. I like it.”
“this song is very nice it has a great beat and great lyrics. its smooth and flows together. this song has awesome transitions it doesnt jump around or change to rapidly. the way the instrument and the lyrics go together give it a great feel.”
“Great sound and beat. the drums are perfect and well insync with the singer. The singer has a catchy and powerful voice. The words are great and would love to hear more from them.I would purchase this song”
“this song has a technical beat to it so it sounds very good.I like the way the beat changes as the song is playing.the lyrics of this song are beautifully sang by the singer.I enjoy the way the song finishes in a kind of sad way.”
“The bells in the intro are a cool twist in the band sound. I like the blend into the rocker tune. Epic changes, they couldn’t sound better. The whole thing has a nice blend to it. I love how you can feel the emotion in your voice. The lyrics are so well sang and very well written. I like how there is a clear chorus and verse separation. The conclusion of the song is done very well. I love the mini solo at the very end.”
“sounded like a love song. sounded good too. i liked the male singers voice. i didn’t even stop at 90 seconds because the song was too too good! I have said this before but this song will be one of the songs people will have on repeat on their iPods. it is a pretty well written song. the lyrics sound well thought out and the beat matches the song perfectly. i could bet you lots that this song will be a big hit. just one thing, the music is a little loud which kind of muffles the singer. other than that, great song!”
“The bells in the beginning gave a nice sense of what was coming. I could also tell it was sort of an RnB song from the whispering at the top. I liked the lyrics and the random guitars where a nice touch. The rhythm made me want to dance. I quite liked this song actually.”
“Very intergalactic alternative sounds. Very bohemion intro. The harder sound that comes in needs to be less sudden. It is to abrupt and makes you jump rather than listen to the music. The guitar and electric bass completely drown out the vocals and other instruments. Kind of hard to put finger on this. Very abrupt sounds go from low to high to fast.”
This wins for most interesting comment:
“A lonely bass and ride cymbal duet with something like a bored version of “Crazy Train” and then a Rotovibe opens the guitar action onto a power pop song – albeit one aerated with lots of atmosphere and framed in jazz chords. If I were assessing this track by its merits as a power pop song, I’d have to label it a mess. It isn’t really clear what the verse is doing, where the bridge starts, and what the chorus is. The vocals are buried in the mix, mumbled, and completely mowed down by unanounced guitar soloing. But if we’re not talking about a traditional power pop song, all of this gets a lot more interesting. It becomes a weird mid-fi seventies freak out, white funk, pop song. If it were the music for a police drama, like a low-rent Bullitt, it could make as insensible a counter-point as those insensible and exploitative movies (and the insensible decade of the 1970s – or 2000s – itself). But this is just an emotion I’ve plucked from the air. There are many possible ones. I sort of wish I could hear the song again to be sure what it is I’m talking about. It went by too fast. Something as weird as this song needs time to mellow and flower. I’d like to hear more – not because I love it, understand… But because it has me intrigued.” (Excellent use of insensible. – AK)
This was interesting. I’ve already submitted another song of ours, as I’m curious to get more raw feedback. Thanks for all the fish!