Man, full disclosure, this track is so catchy that it's earwormed itself straight into my heart. It pops up in my head on a daily basis, which prompts me to find my way back to the track here, and now I'm giving it yet another listen as I write up your requested review. It simply does not get old, and is of such obvious professional quality that I am proud to offer you the courtesy of feedback.
Every time I listen to that intro, I feel as though I'm about to listen to the newest Coldplay hit! Hopefully you view that as a good thing, and I personally enjoy their music quite a bit despite all the crap that folks tend to give the group. But for the most part, that's where any similarities to preexisting tracks end.
All those live instruments sound so good, and you manage to combine each one together so that it has its own presence within the overall mix. That selfsame mix is quite clear, and your particularly well-sung vocals, which are also very well written, are loud enough to be understood even without the addition of lyrics. However, as I find to be the case quite often when such elements are mixed together, the music is a little on the loud side, while the vocals themselves could use just a little bit more volume to really give them all the presence they deserve.
You harmonize beautifully with yourself, Finn! And I know how very hard that can be to do. Your drumming is excellent, and I love that sparseness at 1:42 that leads up to the "...but it still hurts" where you drop everything, even the piano before coming in again with a full clash of instrumental brilliance at 2:07. Good heavens, what a hook! And then there's this section of marching snares that creates a wholly different kind of vibe that really gives me the feeling of walking with real purpose down that very road of which you speak.
What more can I even say? I'm already gushing way too much. Your bass playing should also be noted, not only because it's so good and probably one of the more overlooked facets of the music, but also because there's so much personality to it as you work the strings, especially with all those low fret sounds.
There are in fact a couple more elements that just don't quite come together for me, so I might as well get those out of the way. As I listen with headphones, there's a bit of sound left at the tail end that not only doesn't fade completely, it actually gets louder. Interestingly enough, while it feels a bit odd to me as it is, if it were still louder I feel that it would be a really interesting way to loop back to the beginning, should the listener desire. I've already mentioned the levels between the vocals and instrumentation, but since that's such a common occurrence, I would be remiss if I failed to mention that it's a much more subtle issue here than in most vocal tracks. I also feel like the level of reverb on the vocals could be turned down just a touch more to help compensate. And every once in a while I hear a vocal echo that feels like it lingers too far beyond the melody note being sung.
Finally, while sharing the lyrics with your listeners is never a prerequisite, you offer those up so that we can all follow - or heck, even sing - along! And while that doesn't actually add or subtract from your overall score, it is always thoroughly appreciated.
Suffice to say, I am really looking forward to hearing what you come up with next in the Round of 32! I hope you don't mind reading this daunting wall of text too much, but one thing is for certain: you earned your score with blood, sweet, tears, and sour milk. Rock on.
9.14 out of 10