I like the blissful mood at the beginning. The synths are cute, if a little cheesy, and the underlying pulse to the piece really helps drive it forward. At the end of your little 2-bar mini-phrases at the beginning, the piece occasionally descends into atonality, if only for a split second. I also think the melodic content doesn’t feel very dynamic. Rather, you’re repeating 2-bar mini-phrases with slight variations at the end, which makes for a predictable arc to the overarching refrain. That’s a little detail-oriented of me, though. I like the filtering work at :38, and it leads well into another more climactic melodic section around the 1-minute mark. The change of instrumentation at 1:16 was a little sudden, but the tempo changes at 1:29 breathed new life into the piece. The minimal section helped push the reset button on the track a bit, which was refreshing after a rather fast pace of progression for the first couple of minutes. The piece came full-circle by the end, although I think a final climax like that of 1:00 would’ve hit the piece home more. Still, there are some really creative and appealing compositional details of this piece. One gripe I have with the production, however, is that at times the mix feels really thin and dry. I think the drums could’ve used some more reverb/delay effects, and I would suggest some more advanced techniques like stereo widening to get a thicker texture out of your existing instruments. The mix is still loud and generally clear, although I think the clap was fighting to push its way to the front at 1:30 a bit. Overall, solid work with the composition, sound design, and atmosphere. A lot of my complaints are more “missed opportunities” than things that actively bothered me, which is a good sign. Keep it up, BBouthillette!
Mixing, mastering, and balance
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
Instrumentation and sound design
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
Originality and uniqueness
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)