Modern Day Hero

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My entry for the final round of the NGAUC, lyrics below.

Holding out for something better, but you will never know
Follow guidelines to the letter, the payments come in slow
Sitting anxious for the call now, waiting up on me
Slowly going insane darling but you'll never be free

Fading out into the distance - disappearing from my view
Only proving that my hope was misplaced put in you
Try to hold on as hard as you can 'cause you can't come running to them
They'll chew you up and spit you out and I won't see that happen again

When it takes too long to arrive
And you're holding on to survive
When your hero's running late
I guess 'til then we sit and wait

Sat in darkness far from anyone who tried to say
Block out your friends 'cause you know better, you're going your way
Better stop before it's too late, don't let the hate show,
You're too far gone for an intervention, the feelings sit and grow

When it takes too long to arrive
And you're holding on to survive
When your hero's running late
I guess 'til then we sit and wait

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NGAUC Review
First off, my apologies for the extremely late review -- but, better late than never!

What worked well:
- Great vocals!
- Use of 80's-style rock works remarkably with your voice.
- Catchy bassline and nice guitar work.
- Cool lyrics!

What to consider for next time:
- The effects that you used, mainly reverb, really washed the song out. As a result, your mix could use quite a bit of work. Things sound muddled throughout, but not to the point where the sound is overbearing in any way. I think that by removing the reverb (like Skye mentioned -- 50%) on the vocals and instruments would really help! That being said, the heavy reverb gives this track its sound.
- The drums are hidden behind the other instruments in the track, you could try bringing them out a little by equalizing and increasing the right frequencies (experiment with both the high and low-end).

This is a super catchy track Zac, keep at it!

Score: 9/10

So, you've made it to the final round. You've clearly proven yourself. Time to judge by NGADM standards - scoring will be harsher as a result. In any case, here are some pointers for improvement.

The Good:
-Okay, I don't know what I was expecting, but this wasn't it. This has such an awesome groove right at the start.
-Very laid-back and neat. The bass has some pretty sweet grooves too. Everything in this sounds pretty 80s, if I say so myself. Ironic that this is called "modern-day hero" when it sounds like something from 30-40 years ago. Not that that's bad.

The Not-so-good:
-Yeah, that reverb on the vocals kinda hurts. This could use some heavier de-essing and less reverb/delay on the high end. It really distracts from the vocals.
-Mixing starting around 1:40 suffers pretty badly from the massive amount of reverb. The piano and the background vocals are very much buried by it. I kinda get what you're going for here, but I think this would be very much helped out by lightening up on the reverb - even by about 50%. Cut out half the reverb in the mix or decrease the release time. Either one should probably work.
-This very much needed a change in mood somewhere here. If it had that, it would be far better overall. Basically, the best bands tend to have a shift in the mood of their piece around the middle - generally a calm section in the middle of amped up ones called a "breakdown" (though it could be the opposite). It could also be a shift from an upbeat mood to a more somber mood. That kind of thing would benefit your music the most here.

Final score: 8.7/10. I like it, but that reverb absolutely mauled the mixing here. Were that not there, it would be much better. Also the mood shift thing. That would push this up to be a top-tier piece. Excellent work, though. I can hear it in the singing and everything here!

I like the funky, bassy vibe at the beginning. The instruments mesh together really well here. I love the vocals (as well as the lyrics themselves). Your style (as well as your voice) reminds me of the Beatles, which can only be a good thing. I think you could've increased the intensity during the chorus a lot by holding out the notes on "arrive" and "survive" for longer. In turn, I think that you needed to create a little more contrast between the chorus and verses because you don't switch up the instrumentals in this piece very often at all, with the exception of the (rather cool) solo at 1:42 (which, in turn, follows a rather cool pad thing at 1:40). I do think you did a pretty good job of offering contrast by varying the intensity of your vocals throughout the verses, thereby creating more of a direction for the piece. I suppose I also should mention that the mixing also might need some work. The bass is a little too loud, and the kick is a bit weak and, at some points, simply hard to hear. I think you need to do more equalizing and sidechaining to ensure that the kick and bass don't interfere with each other so much. The ending was also a little underwhelming IMO. That said, I love the mood you have going on here, and your voice is very soulful and generally pleasant to listen to. Overall, nice work! I look forward to hearing some of your future projects beyond the competition and how you continue to grow. :)


Credits & Info


4.55 / 5.00

Aug 14, 2015
12:28 PM EDT
File Info
7.5 MB
3 min 17 sec

Licensing Terms

Please contact me if you would like to use this in a project. We can discuss the details.