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Fingerprints 3-way Collab--all thoughts appreciated!

#1 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:38 AM

The history:

Dottie approached me with lyrics only. I really loved the hook and put music to it as well as a lyrical melody. We gave it to Sarah and she embellished and did her magic as always. Dotti, Sarah, and I went back and forth with lyrical changes, with Sarah taking the lead eventually as it was her singing it and it had to make sense. Overall it wasn't too far from Dottie's original lyric but the Fingerprints hook always remained.

Looking for:

Production, as that's all me...trying to hone those skills further.
Lyrics--for Dottie & Sarah's piece of mind.
Overall feel of the song, as that was pretty much my vision.

We won't be redoing anything but any comments are welcome as it will help with future projects. Thanks!

ZEEK

Music/Production/Mix: Zeek
Drum programs: Ricky Layne
Vocals: Sarah Kingswell
Lyrics: Dottie Corley, Sarah Kingswell, & Zeek (lesser extent)



Fingerprints

http://soundclick.co...cfm?id=11588060

Verse 1
Her smile is all you want to see
As I wonder each time that you leave
Tonight are you gonna make
Those same excuses you're working late

Rise
You think that I don't know that

Chorus
She has your fingerprints, your fingerprints
It's me who's the fool believing you
I know she kisses you deep in the night
Taking the last part of you that was mine
She has you fingerprints

Verse 2
Her touch is all you want to feel
You can't hide--those feelings are real
She won't love you like I did but
Leave you nothing--it's a fact you'll admit

Rise
I should let the whole world know

Chorus
She has your fingerprints, your fingerprints
It's me who's the fool believing you
I know she kisses you deep in the night
Taking the last part of you that was mine
She has you fingerprints

Bridge
Like a dandelion blowing around in the wind
I'll never hold you again

Solo

Chorus
I know she kisses you deep in the night
Taking the last part of you that was mine
She has you fingerprints

#2 User is offline   AndyLeF Icon

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:14 PM

Lovely song Zeek and Wendy!

Verse melody and vocal delivery especially caught my ear - very appropriate to the mood of the lyrics.

On the production side:
- vocals could have maybe been a little louder in the mix
- for development; maybe take that guitar up an octave later in the song which would uplift the song and prevent the normal slow song 'draggging' syndrome towards the end.

Nothing much to hit on really,

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"I who am dead a thousand years, and wrote this sweet archaic song,
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#3 User is offline   Wolf Kier Icon

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:59 PM

Hi Zeek and all,

This is the first of your songs I've heard and I enjoyed it very much. Great Story, tasteful arrangement/production, and beautifully sung. Triple threat!

My only input would be that the super commercial "hook" in this track is the "she-ee-ee" motif and I'd put that (instrumentally) in the very beginning of the song. Personally, I love it, and I'm sure it'll be stuck in my head for a while. If I heard it on the radio I'd say, there's THAT song!

On an even more commercial note, this is the kind of pop ballad track that's easily integrated into (appropriated by) the current "pop/country" fad in the US and so a few twangy guitars might add the sizzle to sell this very juicy steak!

Really, a sterling effort, all 3 of you should be proud.

Hope this helps some.

wolf.

#4 User is online   RickDieffenbach Icon

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:18 PM

Mr Zeek, Dottie and Sara

Zeek, you give everyone else so much of your time, I wanted to give this extra time. So I listened a number of times.

Agree with Ande on the vocals. Just a touch too low. I can clearly understand them, but I sense I have to listen a bit more carefully (e.g, do work) to follow them. Just a touch. Chorus especially can benefit.


"Fingerprints, your fingerprints" enunciated slightly differently. Most might not hear.

Guitar in "Solo" area, something about it, ever so slightly distracting. Competing with the vocals for attention I think. Like it wants to be the center of attention. I would simplify or back off on the volume just a little. Fine in rest of song.

My remaining comment is even more subjective than those above. And it's probably my limited ears and judgement at work. After all I am writing songs at Kindergarten level compared to this one.

Having listened to the song a number of times, there is much to like about it. Really, it's very well done in just about every area. I would expect nothing less from the mega tri-talent that put it together.

The song starts off in the first verse quietly, as it should. Then, it quickly moves into a strong ballard rythem that stays for the rest of the song. The "intensity" of the song starts gently and then moves quickly to what I might describe as a plateau. Which leads to the main problem I see with the song...

There's such a gentle swaying rhythem to the song, that when combined with the "plateau" on the "intensity" department, the song begins to drag after a time. Like I want it to do something a little different about 2/3rds of the way in.

I think that something different could be accomplished in the DAW, the trick being to grow the "build" a little bit longer rather than reaching the plateau so quickly. Or, maybe surprise the listener part way through with a hard right turn in the mix, back to a single voice for a few lines and less music, then turn it up again. Just a few thoughts.

I also would have liked to have heard the final chorus be the strongest of all. It seemed to pull back a little on the intensity throttle.

Feel free to totally ignore my probably out of line comments, don't even need to address them.

I DO like the song, but I think it needs just a little more work to change it from a shiny apple into an absolutely sparkling one.

Rick

#5 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:58 AM

View PostRickDieffenbach, on 21 April 2012 - 03:18 PM, said:

Mr Zeek, Dottie and Sara

Zeek, you give everyone else so much of your time, I wanted to give this extra time. So I listened a number of times.

Agree with Ande on the vocals. Just a touch too low. I can clearly understand them, but I sense I have to listen a bit more carefully (e.g, do work) to follow them. Just a touch. Chorus especially can benefit.

I did remix because I felt the same way but my Boss recorder operates on manual sliders so each mix is slightly different. Sarah thought (and I) that the 1st mix, this one, captured the song best, even thought the vocal was a tad low.


"Fingerprints, your fingerprints" enunciated slightly differently. Most might not hear.

Guitar in "Solo" area, something about it, ever so slightly distracting. Competing with the vocals for attention I think. Like it wants to be the center of attention. I would simplify or back off on the volume just a little. Fine in rest of song.

Again...tough to mix perfect. I did so many solos, from super clean to real dirty but this one stuck. I should have widened it more but the vocal during the solo was meant to be background to the solo and not compete.


The song starts off in the first verse quietly, as it should. Then, it quickly moves into a strong ballard rythem that stays for the rest of the song. The "intensity" of the song starts gently and then moves quickly to what I might describe as a plateau. Which leads to the main problem I see with the song...

There's such a gentle swaying rhythem to the song, that when combined with the "plateau" on the "intensity" department, the song begins to drag after a time. Like I want it to do something a little different about 2/3rds of the way in.

I think that something different could be accomplished in the DAW, the trick being to grow the "build" a little bit longer rather than reaching the plateau so quickly. Or, maybe surprise the listener part way through with a hard right turn in the mix, back to a single voice for a few lines and less music, then turn it up again. Just a few thoughts.

I also would have liked to have heard the final chorus be the strongest of all. It seemed to pull back a little on the intensity throttle.

Feel free to totally ignore my probably out of line comments, don't even need to address them.

Your ear is a good as anyone's here and I don't disagree at all. Just thinking on it last night. I was thinking that after the solo...just vocal/acoustic on sheeee...then a drum build/fill big power chord back into it...maybe even soloing at the end to build further.

I DO like the song, but I think it needs just a little more work to change it from a shiny apple into an absolutely sparkling one.

Thanks man....noted for future collabs!

Rick


#6 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:00 AM

View PostAndyLeF, on 21 April 2012 - 01:14 PM, said:

Lovely song Zeek and Wendy!

Verse melody and vocal delivery especially caught my ear - very appropriate to the mood of the lyrics.

On the production side:
- vocals could have maybe been a little louder in the mix
- for development; maybe take that guitar up an octave later in the song which would uplift the song and prevent the normal slow song 'draggging' syndrome towards the end.

Nothing much to hit on really,

Andy


Thanks Andy...see my response to Rick...I covered what you accurately mentioned. Great minds think alike!

Zeek


#7 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 09:01 AM

View PostWolf Kier, on 21 April 2012 - 01:59 PM, said:

Hi Zeek and all,

This is the first of your songs I've heard and I enjoyed it very much. Great Story, tasteful arrangement/production, and beautifully sung. Triple threat!

My only input would be that the super commercial "hook" in this track is the "she-ee-ee" motif and I'd put that (instrumentally) in the very beginning of the song. Personally, I love it, and I'm sure it'll be stuck in my head for a while. If I heard it on the radio I'd say, there's THAT song!

On an even more commercial note, this is the kind of pop ballad track that's easily integrated into (appropriated by) the current "pop/country" fad in the US and so a few twangy guitars might add the sizzle to sell this very juicy steak!

Really, a sterling effort, all 3 of you should be proud.

Hope this helps some.

wolf.


Thanks for the kind words...never thought of the sheees in the beginning...good call.

Zeek


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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:08 PM

As requested, I'm going to focus first and foremost on the production...

The first thing that stuck out to me is the vocals. They're well sung but sit a little flat in the mix (feeling, not pitch-wise...can't think of a better word, maybe lifeless but that would be a disservice to the lovely sung performance) I'd cut a tiny bit out of the middle, so they gel with the guitars a bit more, and boost the highs, get more sparkle in there. Then maybe some reverb or a short delay...they need a bit more bounce. I think the background vocals actually sit better in the mix than the lead. Overall the vocals feel very "on top" of the music, as opposed to "in" the music. If anything volume-wise with the lead vocals, I'd lower them and carve out a better space for them with EQ.

Drums sit nice in the mix, maybe with a bit more hi-hat and ride for my personal taste, but not enough of a nit to warrant a remix if it's a mixed down drum clip from somebody else.

I'd drop the vocals completely during the guitar solo and let that guitar sing for a little bit, it barely makes a peep and you're more than a capable lead player. Forget about adjusting the volume between the two and bring the fader on that lead guitfiddle right on up :) It would give the outro vocals a lot more impact.

I also wanted to hear more of that slide lick played in the intro. I'd bookend the song with that.

Nice work everyone :)
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#9 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:10 PM

View PostFunkDaddy, on 22 April 2012 - 05:08 PM, said:

As requested, I'm going to focus first and foremost on the production...

The first thing that stuck out to me is the vocals. They're well sung but sit a little flat in the mix (feeling, not pitch-wise...can't think of a better word, maybe lifeless but that would be a disservice to the lovely sung performance) I'd cut a tiny bit out of the middle, so they gel with the guitars a bit more, and boost the highs, get more sparkle in there. Then maybe some reverb or a short delay...they need a bit more bounce. I think the background vocals actually sit better in the mix than the lead. Overall the vocals feel very "on top" of the music, as opposed to "in" the music. If anything volume-wise with the lead vocals, I'd lower them and carve out a better space for them with EQ.

Drums sit nice in the mix, maybe with a bit more hi-hat and ride for my personal taste, but not enough of a nit to warrant a remix if it's a mixed down drum clip from somebody else.

I'd drop the vocals completely during the guitar solo and let that guitar sing for a little bit, it barely makes a peep and you're more than a capable lead player. Forget about adjusting the volume between the two and bring the fader on that lead guitfiddle right on up :) It would give the outro vocals a lot more impact.

I also wanted to hear more of that slide lick played in the intro. I'd bookend the song with that.

Nice work everyone :)


Just what I wanted...thanks Mark.

Zeek

#10 User is offline   Scotto Icon

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:07 PM

I agree the vocal is sung well but doesn't stand out like it should. Maybe a more forceful performance from the vocalist would punch it through. The vocalist sounds a little tentative. Maybe a mix thing too, not sure. I don't mind the vocals over the guitar solo but it might be real cool to let the guitar breath in the middle somewhere as Funk suggested. Vocals still there but break in the middle after the solo has already started where the vocal stops and the guitar carries things on. Definitely more guitar on it I think.

Very good and strong song overall. Nice work as usual.

#11 User is offline   ScenesFromPalacio Icon

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 03:51 PM

Really well crafted adult alt country flavoured song folks with cool n interesting chords/melodic movement n thoughtful creative lyric..Really lovely vocal performance Sarah with alot of feeling -but not overstated n over emotive or 'cod-soulin'..Verse melody was really cool indeed -and i loved the way it slid so easily into the chorus with that 'you think that i don't know' That was great..excellent writing..
Very tasteful playing n production all the way thru too Zeek..Love that harmonised bendy intro 'specially..
Really enjoyable track -Classy..Nice one :)

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:13 AM

Thanks everyone.

I love the way this turned out, I think Zeek and Sarah both did an awesome job and I was humbled to work with both of them! :)

Dottie

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:33 PM

In a word - awesome guys! Or is that two words? Loved it.

The aforementioned vocal issue, I'm not so sure it was a volume issue. It seemed to be the right volume compared to the rest of the track. Maybe it was the annunciation a little bit? She sounded great though.

I agree about the guitar solo. That's why they call it a "solo!" :) I liked how she sang a little bit over the beginning, and that would be fine at the end, but just give the song a little breather with a little longer solo. It sounded pretty cool though.

Lastly, regarding the comment about "lifting" the song, perhaps the chorus could have been "lifted" a tad by changing the drum loop up a bit at that point (it sounded like it stayed pretty much on the same loop). Some cymbal crashed and snare activity would provide an easy lift.

Zeek, Dottie, and Sarah - you should be VERY proud of this one! I sincerely hope you do more together.

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 05:57 AM

Thanks all for your time listening to this track and coming back to us with some suggestions it is much appreciated.

It was a challenging track to work with :) All suggestions for improvement will be considered on the next project. Hopefully there will be more to come :D

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:52 AM

I'm a little late on this one but would like to comment.

It's very polished and a very well crafted song - particularly lyrically. I love the theme of "taking everything" - and then it gets spread to the wind - it's not overstated lyrically or musically which I love.

I wouldn't dream of criticising vocals although I too did think the vocal should be higher in the mix or more prominent. It's a very Lucinda Williams song, which is good in my book, maybe a more Natalie Merchant vocal quality would "cut" through more ?

As regards the music - it is polished which I'm sure enhances the appeal to the majority but I often find that when everything sounds "perfect" the whole thing is diminished in some way. Something in my mind was crying out for a "natural" sound. I suppose that all boils down to whether you prefer the "modern" methods of layering or the "older" methods of live recording. I know which I prefer, even at the expense of less than perfect.

Having said that - I have no wish to detract from this - very nice piece of work - I'm off to listen again.

Robby

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:03 AM

Really cool tune guys. Very polished. Great production. Great vocals.

My only little nit... If I were writing this I'd use the same melodic figure (more or less) on "believing you" as you use on "who's the fool". It'd just make the melody slightly more 'hooky'. The song has a pretty austere sound as it is and this isn't going to hurt the feel IMO.

Basically though I love it.

Peace,

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:33 PM

View PostIan Ferrin, on 25 April 2012 - 04:03 AM, said:

Really cool tune guys. Very polished. Great production. Great vocals.

My only little nit... If I were writing this I'd use the same melodic figure (more or less) on "believing you" as you use on "who's the fool". It'd just make the melody slightly more 'hooky'. The song has a pretty austere sound as it is and this isn't going to hurt the feel IMO.

Basically though I love it.

Peace,

Ian


Hi Zeek, Dottie, and Sahra.......I really like the tune, and the writing of this......I think that the music is a little "slow"...and needs to be picked up!
Great production, lyrics, and singing...also some pretty nifty guitar work!!
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Posted 26 April 2012 - 03:52 AM

There's a lot to like about this. I really enjoyed the overall vibe of it. Musically it sits really well. Lovely harmonies!
I kept thinking though that the vocal melody overall seemed to hang about the same notes. I really felt that it needed some variation because it seemed a bit repetitive particularly in the verses, and even the chorus.
The "she -ee -ee" is really good but the melody kind of fails to grab my ears after that in the chorus?
The fingerprints aspect of it is a different slant on things. Immediately gives you a visual - almost unpleasant though. Kinda made me feel a bit uncomfortable though I don't know why exactly.

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 08:17 AM

Very pretty song and great lyrics.

I think that there is too much reverb or echo on your vocals and I dont think its needed. You have a very good voice and I think that it doesnt need all that.

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 07:51 PM

Ok Zeek,

This is all IMO, so take it or rake it.
This is mostly coming from a producers side.

Finger prints is a great title. dont know of any song that refers to something like this.

I love the double guitar part intro. I would use it before the second verse (that may take re-arranging. it is a hook though and very strong. and maybe even use it as an outro.

Im not sure if theres an ac guitar in there, but when the vocals are in the verses, maybe hearing an ac in the background would give it more of a singer/songwriter sound.

The channel (lift)...I would have the vox go up the scale and end at a point (high note) where the chorus would take over (this may set the chorus to be sung in a higher range). It will set the chorus apart well

That middle 8...I would have the vocals leave again on a high note into the part where the guitar part start (around 2:30) the vocal note should be up there if we're building energy, IMO

The Vox has great emotion and tone. Id play with that more. Its exciting for me, as a producer, to hear so much good stuff in a song like this, because it make my job really really easy. with a vocalist like this, it would be easy to change some things.

I love the guitar stuff. I love the harmonies

Youre really really close man!
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Posted 28 April 2012 - 05:25 AM

Listened to this on new pair of yamaha headphones, and it sounds so pro.. I can't distinguish it from radio tune quality. The mix is nothing short of terrific. Most of the crits here seem to center around the lead vocals. What a sweet smooth voice Sarah has; because of the songs message, most listeners will be expecting to hear that anger in her voice at some point. The rise sounds too similar to the verse in the way she sings it. If she sings it softer, louder or differently showing more of her deep despair, it could make the rise stand apart and make the transition into the chorus more dramatic. Those rises are like her final most resolved lines," I should let the whole world know" . What can you say, Zeek. You give people an ice cream sundae and they want the cherry on top. This IS special stuff your creating, no smoke here.

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:18 AM

View Postporcupine, on 27 April 2012 - 08:51 PM, said:

Ok Zeek,

This is all IMO, so take it or rake it.
This is mostly coming from a producers side.

Finger prints is a great title. dont know of any song that refers to something like this.

I love the double guitar part intro. I would use it before the second verse (that may take re-arranging. it is a hook though and very strong. and maybe even use it as an outro.

Im not sure if theres an ac guitar in there, but when the vocals are in the verses, maybe hearing an ac in the background would give it more of a singer/songwriter sound.

The channel (lift)...I would have the vox go up the scale and end at a point (high note) where the chorus would take over (this may set the chorus to be sung in a higher range). It will set the chorus apart well

That middle 8...I would have the vocals leave again on a high note into the part where the guitar part start (around 2:30) the vocal note should be up there if we're building energy, IMO

The Vox has great emotion and tone. Id play with that more. Its exciting for me, as a producer, to hear so much good stuff in a song like this, because it make my job really really easy. with a vocalist like this, it would be easy to change some things.

I love the guitar stuff. I love the harmonies

Youre really really close man!
Porcupine


Nice crit man and some solid suggests. I did bury the acoustic too much--too many damn tracks to juggle. Thanks.

Zeek

#23 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:19 AM

What can you say, Zeek. You give people an ice cream sundae and they want the cherry on top. This IS special stuff your creating, no smoke here.
[/quote]

You made my day. Thanks friend.

Zeek

#24 User is offline   daryl1968 Icon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:42 AM

very nice song - intelligent lyrics. It has a modern folk feel to me. I would love to hear some mandolin and maybe a violin in there but very difficult to fault this.

#25 User is offline   porcupine Icon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:53 AM

Zeek,
I think you need to know what happened to me. First off, If you make no changes to this you are well in the range.

Yesterday, I was watching tv and I started humming a tune. It was fingerprints. THAT to me is the true test. I didnt forget it the next day. I had to listen to the song again.

Great Stuff!!
You got a hit man!
Porcupine
#1 song on Onstage.com's Holiday Playlist in Nov 2011 "Could This Be Christmas"
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recorded and produced songs with several grammy winners and nominees
songs writen have been recorded by The Standard, Wooden Nickel, Jody Stapler and Prototype
see more of my music at charlieeschbach.com

#26 User is offline   Zeek Icon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:03 PM

View Postporcupine, on 02 May 2012 - 12:53 PM, said:

Zeek,
I think you need to know what happened to me. First off, If you make no changes to this you are well in the range.

Yesterday, I was watching tv and I started humming a tune. It was fingerprints. THAT to me is the true test. I didnt forget it the next day. I had to listen to the song again.

Great Stuff!!
You got a hit man!
Porcupine



:)

#27 User is offline   RobAsh15 Icon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:19 PM

Well performed. Well produced. A very classy, very adult piece from a strong collaboration. You should all be very proud and pleased.

So much is made of genre and era that I hesitate to mention that this song has a real 80's vibe... but it does.

This reminds me of the way it felt when I first heard The Eagles: The Long Run. The way this is mixed adds to this impression. I don't consider either of these stated opinions as negative. I happen to think this is a really cool, classy tune.

As I said, you should all be very proud.

Rich fare, and a hearty helping thereof. Great work, guys.

#28 User is offline   TamsNumber4 Icon

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 01:47 PM

Well, put a lot of talent in one place and you get a great song.

I only heard a few minor phrasing places, sitting on "her" at the beginning or "won't", but that is just my opinion and as I said, very minor.

overall it sounds wonderful a great listen.

Tammy
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#29 User is offline   vicarn Icon

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Posted 11 June 2012 - 03:21 PM

I agree with scotto about the vocals but the lyrics (Dottie, you are fantastic) and music are a wonderment.
Maybe a little overdone on the drums, or maybe that's just personal taste.
Generally, I love it.
Vic

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 03:08 PM

Zeek! B)

i don't know why this ain't playin' on the radio!

i've heard sooo much worse out there...

Great to see Miss Dottie's lyric all gussied up and out dancin' :D

that Lady oozes country out of ev'ry pore! :P

i'm not sure what others mean by "You're almost there"

Must be talking about a contract, because in my humble opinion...

You're there! :lol:

Great Job ev'ryone, really beautiful work!

Cheers! :)


#31 User is offline   somefellow Icon

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 12:33 PM

I am so sorry I missed this. Three of my favorite people.
You know what, this is really good. Smooth as silk. And I know too well that nothing is smooth as silk without a LOT of work. Well in my opinion it payed off big time.
Nat the music is exceptional. I record music constantly and I have no idea how you can get the sounds you do. I am still trying to make an acoustic guitar sound natural.
Dottie, you have to be very proud of this. What a compelling Lyric. The interesting thing is that I am certain that Sarah and Nat worked with you on the lyrics. They have to to make it fit a melody (no way around it). But to my ear it sounds like a one person song. That again demonstrates high level work.
Hi Sarah you sound dazzling.
Tom

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