=== This is an NGADM Round 3 Review ===
So, BassFiddleJones and JoshGawaldoMusic turn out a orchestral/rock hybrid track. What's next, PirateCrab making a metal tr... hmm... Alright, so both of you guys pretty much stayed the course this time. That's totally fine! It's the NGADM, after all. But was it successful?
First things first. I have a confession to make. I've always considered that orchestral rock has to be one of the cheesiest genres. Like, it's this marriage of two completely separate genres, which is normally interesting, but it combines them into something that is just super overly bombastic. It's actually quite dangerous because it's very possible to, in the process of being bombastic, forget about what makes music good in the first place.
Your song is not simply bombastic, however. Bombastic is only one of its *many* virtues. In terms of variety, this song is by far the most varied of any track this round - only LSD/dem0 come close (and their song was twice as long - that's like cheating). It's got rock. It's got orchestral transitions. It's got hints of heavy metal. It's got some piano ideas. It's got a FRICKIN FLAMENCO GUITAR SOLO. You'd think from my description that it'd start to sound like a bunch of songs strung together, but you guys miraculously keep the whole thing tied together. Magic.
So let me get right into what makes your song good in the first place. It's 1:26. YES. To me, this is the central idea of the track, the section that elevates it to be excellent rather than good. When I think about this song, I think about this section. Yeah!
The chord progression at this point, while bordering ever so slightly on the realm of cheesy, is sweet. I mean, who doesn't like III? NO ONE, that's who. I also like how you switch it out to be a V on the second iteration of the progression. I often find that too many IIIs can be kind of irritating, but just a few can really improve a track. Honestly, the melody is rather take it or leave it here. It doesn't really add anything - it just sort of outlines the chords. This is actually totally fine, since the chords deserve to be outlined, but I thought you should be aware.
Similar to your last piece, I definitely want to talk a little about the transitions, because I feel like they could be a lot more solid. Like, you guys have so many good ideas, but without proper lead in to your ideas, it's easy to either miss them, or simply not be as impressed by them as they deserve. One example would be :39. You lead into this nice guitar solo with some orchestral stabs, and on paper that sounds fine, but in the song the transition is very jarring and does not highlight the solo at all. This is a shame because the solo here (at least the first couple of seconds of it - it loses its way ever so slightly after that) is really solid, and deserves to be highlighted!
Another missed opportunity is the lead into 1:26, starting around 1:14 with yet another awesome solo. Of the couple of solos I've heard up until this point in the track, I think this one is probably my favorite (though they're all very good). However, again, there is *absolutely no indication* that we're about to drop into the best part of the song. The drums stay completely steady, and the volume on the solo stays the same as well. With a gradual ramp up in intensity from 1:14 to 1:26, the 1:26 section onwards could be even stronger than it already is.
Alright, so I think that pretty much highlights the biggest overarching problem I have with this track. However since this track is so dang varied I want to point out a number of other thoughts I had about it that were not generalizable enough to expand into broad track commentary.
2:15: Excellent use of iv. I take back what I said about III, iv is definitely my favorite chord. I don't like how you resolved it back down to I, though. I think simply holding at iv until the next section hits would have made a stronger transition. The listener can infer the I from the next section.
2:20: I may be the odd one out on this, but I don't think that this flamenco section is really working. It's really hard for me to say why, exactly, other than that I know that I should be saying "WOW THIS IS AWESOME" but what actually ends up happening is that I'm saying "huh, those chord blasts really obscure the flamenco guitar that sounds like it would be awesome if I could hear it better." Plus (and I hate to say stuff like this without being able to justify it), the 2:27 guitar slides come out of nowhere. I think the track would have been more effective if you had stuck just with flamenco and maybe drums for a bit longer before bringing back in the heavy artillery (the electric guitar).
3:08: Hey, it's a call back to the 1:26 section! Really nicely done, in a way that does not sound at all like a carbon copy of the previous section it's referencing. In fact, it's so different I almost didn't realize it was a reference.
3:50: This section is nice, too. Nice melody on the strings. I'm such a sucker for the C -> Em/B -> Am idea (or any transposition thereof), which I think is why I like this section so much.
That solo at the end (e.g. 4:50) just HAS to be a mixing error. Why is it so quiet? I can sort of understand the reasons you might have done this on purpose, but I can't help but think that with the solo louder this section would have been much more effective. It could be such an awesome way to close the song!
All in all, this was an awesome song. Sorry if this review is a bit scattershot, but then again, your song was super varied, so there was a LOT to comment on. :) One of my favorite entries of the round.