This is an NGADM Round 2 Review.
Oh yes. This is my second favourite submission from the whole round of the contest, and in my opinion it's well-deserving of that rank. I believe that you did an absolutely splendid job with this, and your insanely careful attention to detail simply solidifies that belief. You have a decidedly diverse and distinguished amount of details scattered throughout the track, backed up by the skillful execution I've come to expect from you. Details like the miscellaneous subway ambient noise that plays at the start/end, the brief visits from that silky synth at 0:42, or the subdued reintroduction of the guitar at 3:29 are subtle yet very welcomed gifts to the ears. However, it's when I heard the subtle sonic variations on every iteration of the snare hits that first come in around a minute and a half in did I realise that this is no ordinary attention to detail, but an undisputed "Skye" attention to detail.
There are so many things I love about this track, but I'll mention just some of the more notable ones over here. Your intro is simply glorious. The plucked synth you introduce eight seconds in sounds great and, just like your snare, has a subtle variation on its sound each time it's played, probably done with a flanger or phaser of sorts. The best thing about it would be how it throws you off rhythm until your (absolutely awesome and clean-sounding) bass pattern and four-on-the-floor kick beat are introduced. Progression from then on was very enjoyable (and flowed well thanks to your almost always faultless transitions), and you have some fantastic compositional ideas that really bring the track forward.
One of the main issues I have with this track is the clutter during the climax. The lead synth is very upfront and heard clearly, but everything that's supporting it (save for maybe the plucked synth sound) is just buried and hard to follow, creating a lot of clutter and muddiness. After hearing such clean and airy sections with just the bass, drums, plucked synth, guitar and effects, taking such a messy route in terms of mix was a bit of a disappointment. I also kind of think your ending is a little lame. I like your idea of ending it in an understated manner, but the reverse effect personally throws me off, since the song keeps on going for a fraction of a second after the reverse effect is played. I thought that was an odd choice, and it made the ending sound a bit unsatisfying. Mostly a stylistic and opinionated issue, of course.
Overall, unlike your Round 1 submission, this is full of great compositional ideas, yet just like your Round 1 submission it has super enjoyable sound design and a unique sound palette. I genuinely can't wait for what you guys cook up next.