Muse's Muse Songwriting Message Board: Surface Of The Moon - Muse's Muse Songwriting Message Board

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Surface Of The Moon Collab contest-Lyrics by Jonie

#1 User is offline   ScenesFromPalacio Icon

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:24 AM

Any feedback on Surface Of The Moon from the recent collab contest with lyrics written by Jonie appreciated


Our ship is coming in again
This time we're going to make the dream come true
Sail around the cosmic bend
Leave behind the surface of the moon


Always talk of leaving here
Cold and empty atmosphere
Heartless as an August afternoon
Flowers that will never grow
People raging down below
Dying on the surface of the moon

Look the future in the eye
Justify it passing by
Time is always coming 'round too soon
Shiny orb of green and blue
Dream until the bills are due
Here upon the surface of the moon

Our ship is coming in again
This time we're going to make the dream come true
Sail around the cosmic bend
Leave behind the surface of the moon

What will our excuses be
Watching as our neighbors leave
Rising up like carnival balloons
Will we smile and toe the line
Lie and say the weather's fine
Frozen on the surface of the moon

Our ship is coming in again
This time we're going to make the dream come true
Sail around the cosmic bend
Leave behind the surface of the moon


#2 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

Loved this. Very catchy. Very memorable. It was my winner in the contest.

If I have any crit at all, it is probably that I found the bass a little busy. I suspect that, if you soloed the bass and the vocal together, a simpler version would sound better. Maybe it's just a taste thing.

That said, really nice job! You have a knack for finding fresh melodies and your voice sounds great on this.

Lyrically, this is fresh and interesting too, and suits your style. I love the "carnival balloons" line in particular - very visual!
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Posted 31 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

Very solid effort as usual! This one was very different and it did take me a couple listens for my ear to accept everything that is going on. Its like a crazy out there beatlesish kind of thing but that is just the closest thing I can come to describing it. I really liked it. Very quirky and was in my top 3 that I wrestled with. I think if it was more of a first listen song I wouldn't have hesitated on it as much if that makes sense.

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 04:47 PM

Steve/jonie,

Good stuff. Steve,aAfter hearing quite a few songs of yours, I get where you come from. This song matches perfectly with lyric and music, which is ultimately the hardest thing to do when you colab. The bowie/reed thing is in the mix, but theres so many different things in there, its not just that.

The things I like the most. Interesting melody. The choice of chord at 2:13 is perfect. oddly there seems be a lazy surf vibe in there too, like ventures. So many creative little nuggets at every listen. Great Guitar sounds.

Things I would consider. Sometimes, alot of things going on can clutter the song. You ride the fence really well. In this song, for me, the bass crosses that line. Performance is a little free, but that lends to the vibe very well, so it doesnt bother me as much

All in all an amazing song for a colab. Great work!
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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:36 PM

Wow, that was so 60's - really enjoyed it! Good tune with catchy refrain & excellent production - & very very poppy! :)

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:40 AM

I like this song so much! :P

Jonie, of all of your great lyrics I've heard and/or read, this is my favorite. Can't quite tell you why, and that in itself may be the explanation: I tend to live in my head, and this lyric pulls me out and puts me in touch with that part of myself that is beyond rational thought.

Steve, the music has such a great feel - I can't keep from bobbing my head and tapping my foot whenever I listen. The harmonies are a particularly nice touch. :) My only suggestion would be to dial back the bass in the verses - maybe by using a simplified, fewer-notes version of what you're doing in the chorus, so that it still all ties together.

Great job, guys - congratulations on your win! :)

Regards,

Sharon
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#7 User is offline   90percentisallyouget Icon

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

Very pretty song, Steve. Thought the bass did not have to come in till about 28 sec. It seemed to throw things off for me in the very beginning of the song, but blended in fine after the 28 sec. mark. I thought the tempo could be slower. The juxtaposition between the chorus and verse was weaker than I thought you would usually make it. I thought the verse vox could be a little more laid back, casual sounding; then make the chorus more resolute and intense lyrically by doing a second vocal track repeating the last few words in each line of the chorus. e.g. in again.....dream come true.....cosmic bend....surface of the moon. Either with the same tone or better yet with a harmonizing one. Maybe this would help set the chorus apart more from the already busy verse. Your background vocals sound FANTASTIC. The song as a whole has a good vibe and I like your style so my ears really begged for you to stretch this out a little more, add a break, or solo, etc. Just my thoughts. Still enjoyed the heck out of it!

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:56 AM

Nice feel good kinda song Steve and Jonie. Great harmonies! I enjoyed the listen. :)
Sorry to be another one to pick on the bass but for me it was the actual tone of the bass that I found distracting. Kind of thin and buzzy sounding? Maybe this is a mix thing? My preference would be to hear something right at the bottom - definitely "being" the bottom, of the song pulling it all together.

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 06:12 AM

Your music is always so distinctive. And I notice you are always adding in music bits that are new. I can hear several in this one.

This is the kind of song where one just hums along - we may not understand what the lyrics all mean, but the tune and the chorus is very memorable and fun. It's the same quality that Jimmy Buffet has in many of his songs.

One line that gave me pause was:

"Heartless as an August afternoon"

... when I heard this I thought "how is an august afternoon heartless?"

Cool tune as always,

Rick

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Posted 02 April 2012 - 11:31 AM

I too was thinking Beatles, very whimsical and dreamlike, acid like. I really liked the harmonies, especially as the song started with the guitar riff. The bass was a problem as already mentioned. My only other thought was, why did you start with the chorus - it could work with the 2 verses leading to that payoff in the chorus, and especially as you mention it in the last line of verse 2. Of course it all works as it is, I thought you gave it away too early! AdamAsh
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Posted 02 April 2012 - 01:54 PM

Your layering is second to none on this site (or any other I've been on). And NO ONE uses a tambourine more efficiantly than you!

Really really solid and pop and playful and well thought out Steve. The yeahs were fantastic but my fav was the 12 string? or electric guitar coming in with the perfect amount of reverb. Honestly you use the perfect amount of everything in your songs and no offense to anyone here, but you stand alone in your songwriting and vocals and production.

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#12 User is offline   ScenesFromPalacio Icon

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 02:56 PM

Alistair..Thanx for the kind words -much appreciated..I agree the bass is prob too busy.I should've spent longer on the track,but had left it really late and only had an afternoon to do everything in..

Scotto..I'm very flattered you think it sounds really 'out there' Beatleish..It sounds very conventional to me in terms of structure n vibe-but i def prefer 'out there' to conventional if i can lol

Porcupine...Cheers-much appreciated..I always want to add lots n lots of things to songs 'cos i never think they sound interesting enough with less -but you're right-its a very fine line..

Ric..Thanx for stopping by.Glad you enjoyed it..

Scubed...Cheers Sharon.Its actually an electric you're hearing in the verses doing those riffs -not a bass.i couldn't find a bass line that worked there..

90percent..I can really hear the harmonies on those lines you suggested.
If i'd had the chorus first,i probably would've made the verses contrast more musically -but was writing to Jonies lyrics (which were the same template as 'Jolene')
There's alot of words there -and the only way to make the verses not drag is to sing them fast (like Dolly Parton does ).My main concern was making them sound natural..

Desertrose..Thanx Tracy.The bass sounds so buzzy 'cos its an electric guitar ! lol
But you're right.
Glad you enjoyed it

Rick..Distinctive is a great compliment..Thanx for that..Jimmy Buffet i've never heard or heard of i'm afraid -but will give him a listen.
I thought the same as you when i first saw the 'August' line -but actually really like it because it sticks out in a good way and has a real quirky quality..

Adam..Glad you enjoyed it..I started with the chorus -because 'Jolene' the template for this song from the recent contest here this was in starts with the chorus -and Jonie (lyric writer on this song ) started with the chorus..


Zeek..Many thanx again man..I'm very flattered... There was no 12 string but 2 6 strings hard panned in each speaker..Tambourine n chicken shaker are (like harmonies i think too ) very undervalued commodities in music today -but not by me !

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 03:19 PM

As far as words and music go, I'd say you nailed this one! I browsed quickly through the replies and saw one person mentioned the bass. I had a problem with the bass, too. I think early in the song there might have been a timing issue with the bass (or something, but it sounded like bass to me). I understand what you're trying to do with the tone in the bass, but there is a problem with the tone. You might try eqing for a little more bass. Where you're using the bass quite a bit as a lead instrument, you might consider another much more subtle bass line where you really get some bass in the song, and then you can keep your more trebley bass line (maybe even remove bass/add treble to make it clear it's more of a lead instrument).

Great song, overall though! I think someone else made the comment that it sounded like The Beatles. I'd totally believe this is a secret Beatles song I've never heard, and I mean that as a compliment!

Gregg

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:40 PM

This definitely passed the Old Grey Whistle Test as far as I'm concerned! Loved the melody...and the base line was one of my favorite parts, if I'm honest.

I thought that the music gelled beautifully and seamlessly with the lyrics, which fired up my imagination big-time. I did wonder about the 'Heartless as an August afternoon' line too, but it in no way took away from my enjoyment of the song. I am most impressed with your collaborative efforts. :)

#15 User is offline   jonie Icon

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:35 PM

I feel that the line deserves explanation, as so many have questioned it. Most of you who have seem to be those who reside in climates where August is a most delightful month.

Here in the US, especially in the South, August is day after day of relentless heat, stifling humidity and a bleached white sky - like being on the surface of the moon. A truly heartless month

Don't even get me started on the bugs.
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#16 User is offline   DeeDee Icon

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 05:05 PM

View Postjonie, on 10 April 2012 - 04:35 PM, said:

I feel that the line deserves explanation, as so many have questioned it. Most of you who have seem to be those who reside in climates where August is a most delightful month.

Here in the US, especially in the South, August is day after day of relentless heat, stifling humidity and a bleached white sky - like being on the surface of the moon. A truly heartless month

Don't even get me started on the bugs.


Ahhh....I see now. Thank you for clearing that up. :) A bit of relentless heat here in Northern Ireland wouldn't go amiss every now & then. (I'd settle for seeing the sun two days in a row :lol: )

#17 User is offline   ScenesFromPalacio Icon

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 06:48 AM

DeeDee..Many thanx..I loved Jonies lyrics for this too ('specially the 'heartless as an august afternoon' line-even tho i didn't know what it meant before either-i just liked the poetic strangeness of it )

Gregg..A secret Beatles song is a fantastic compliment ! I think the bass tone you mean is actually an electric guitar in the verses (tho i do have difficulty getting a good bass tone generally too )

Jim...Woh thats very cool of you man..I looked at the stats on soundclick and its certainly got alot of hits from that !
Much appreciated :)

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:07 AM

Wonderful tune guys. Love it. No nits. Great hooks and a super cool sound. What more can you ask for?

Peace,

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