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I decided to do something special for my last round of NGADM, so I wrote a full song with singing and everything! This is the first time I've ever actually sang something that I wrote, so it was definitely an adventure in both learning how to approach each section musically and also how to mix lead vocals. Because of this, I think they turned out pretty raw, but not too bad.

I wrote the lyrics with a couple different possible interpretations. Without giving away what I was thinking, I'd like to see what different people think. :)

LYRICS

When I first escape
And come out of the dark
Will you be there for me?
I'll just run away
And look out towards the sun
Won't you be there for me?

Now I feel the fire above me
All the heat is coming down
You can't wait too long
Tearing through the endless darkness
Just so I can see your face
Please just be here now

CHORUS
I see your light up in the sky
It glows so bright and lays me bare
The twilight breaks, the half moon sighs
They pull me through the midnight air
Go in-to the night and be my last light

Now it looks so dim
The bleak and fallen figures
Ebbing into nothing
Rushing endlessly
Fighting through the shadows
Can you even save me?

Every time I look for hope
It disappears and escapes from me
Tell me you're not an illusion
Even when I've broken free
Is there hope for taking me
Out of this despair

CHORUS
I see your light up in the sky
It glows so bright and lays me bare
The daylight breaks, the full moon sighs
They pull me through the midnight air
Go in-to the night and be my last light

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I like the dreamy atmosphere at the beginning and the sense of build into :15. The vocals are nice, albeit a bit over-processed in my opinion. I applaud you for taking a risk like that, but I also think some of the technical details could be developed a bit more carefully. At the beginning of many of the vocal phrases, you have a throaty “scoop” up to the note that sounds a bit exaggerated and cliche. I also think the content of the lyrics is a bit generic at times. That said, I will commend you for a rather pleasing balance between the vocals and instrumental tracks; that’s hard to get right if you’re not accustomed to working with vocals. There is an excess of reverb in the texture at times, especially in the lead-up to the climax at 1:22. Otherwise, the mix is clean and loud, though. I also think you did a good job with the structuring in this piece. You channel the energy really well here, and I especially enjoy the crisp percussion, which keeps a sense of forward momentum in an otherwise pretty drawn-out piece. I really liked the transition at 4:15. The harder-hitting elements of the texture at 4:12 foreshadowed it well, and then there was a nice juxtaposition with the light piano chords in the outro. Overall, well done yet again, CloakedSoup! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed listening to and reviewing your work throughout the competition, and I look forward to hearing more of it soon. Congratulations on your efforts, my friend! ^_^

Mixing, mastering, and balance
1.75/2
Structure, transitions, phrasing, and variety
1.5/1.5
Melody, tonality, harmony, and texture
1.75/2
Instrumentation and sound design
1/1
Emotion, atmosphere, and catchiness
1.5/1.5
Originality and uniqueness
.75/1
Overall (how do the elements above interact?)
.75/1
Composite score
9/10

This is an official Judge Review for the Final Round of the NGADM.

This is a really nice piece. Even though it's your first time approaching lead vocals, you did a really nice job! The only thing I would watch for there is just to make sure you're not overdoing the delay - probably up until the end of the first chorus, if not before then, would have been a good point to turn it off.
In terms of the other musical aspects, this is mixed really well. I just feel like it could divert away from the more modern formula of Hollywood trailer music a bit - it sounds like something out of Godzilla: King of the Monsters, which is similar to what is being used in many Hollywood trailers.
There's only one thing otherwise that I have for a critique: don't be afraid! During the beginning you sounded so afraid while singing, but then got into it as the song went onwards. Try not to let that fear take hold of you; after all, I thought it was really good when you weren't nervous!
Overall, a really nice song that I feel had a few nitpicks, but still something I'll be potentially coming back to again. Good luck in this final round, and thank you for coming out to NGADM 2019!

This is an official NGADM '19 Review

Composition:
I've really enjoyed every work you've made this contest, and this one is no exception. One thing I love about this contest is when people take risks like singing for the first time. You did a great with the lyrics. In terms of composition, the only thing I don't really like about the voice is that a lot of phrases you fall at the end of them instead of ending the notes. Otherwise this song felt very powerful. You created a large space that felt very inspiring and it actually supported your voice pretty well.

Production and Sound Design:
The drums were great. Especially right at 3:00. The strings maybe felt like they were a little too far in the background, but the vocal was very nice and centered where it needed to be. As for the vocals, your voice works great. Good singing voice and I think it paid off well. However, for this style you need to open up the palate to make it sound like more of an open and supported voice for this. Otherwise you could hold a tune pretty well and don't really need vibrato to avoid it sounding like it's strained. I'm not sure if I like the delay that was on it, but it felt pretty decently processed. However, past this point I think it would be best to get feedback from Jacob. He's a lot more knowledgeable about vocals than I am. Aside from that, for the most part it sounds like a finished product. Maybe a little tweaking to make it sound fantastic, but even at this point nothing stops me from enjoying this a lot.

Structure:
Yeah! I really like how it progressed. Great use of energy dynamics. 2:07 is a really great moment, and the way it drops to build back up again is a really good transition. Man was I jamming out with you at 3:16. Really cool moments. It maybe felt like it was a little repetitive near the end, but it's only maybe ever so slightly; even to the point that I think it might be based on taste.

Emotion / Conclusion:
Really cool work. Like I've said I've really enjoyed each one you've made, and the risk you took in this one I think will really pay off.

Composition: 9

Production: 8

Sound Design: 9

Structure: 9

Emotion: 9.5

CloakedSoup responds:

Thank you! The vocals definitely could have used more work; I'm used to singing with a classical kind of sound, and I've never done any kind of 'popular' singing before, so this was definitely an experiment for me. Maybe a different approach would be useful if I have more time to try out different kinds of sound for each section, but for now, it is what it is. I've been thinking of writing something that was more suited to the 'classical' kind of style of singing to show what I'm used to actually doing too.

I really like the strings arrangement, the powerful percussion, and the post-chorus chord progression change. You successfully avoided making the song sound cheesy, which isn’t easy with this style; I think if you had access to an orchestra and vocalist, the song’s emotional appeal would be significantly higher. This is my favorite song of yours :D

CloakedSoup responds:

Thanks! While I wouldn't say I'm the worst vocalist, I'm not exactly a professional. I literally finished writing some of the lyrics before recording them like 5 hours ago too. ;D

Credits & Info

CloakedSoup
Author

Listens
591
Faves:
6
Votes
10
Score
4.34 / 5.00

Uploaded
Dec 2, 2019
12:57 AM EST
Genre
Cinematic
File Info
Song
11.2 MB
4 min 54 sec

Licensing Terms

You may not use this work for any purposes.