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Songwriting competition winner goes platinum Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 12th March 2014
  #31
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I'm a Believer and Best Day of My Life are just Okay to me. As far as the winner of a songwriting competition, was this a Guitar Center Competition? Other than that, it does absolutely nothing for me.
Old 12th March 2014
  #32
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To me the commercials help put it in context. Like I said the song is straight cheeseballs to my taste, but its also clearly something that will sell and be successful on first listen, which is what industry folks are looking for.

When a happy, simple idea is executed properly, it does well in the world, time after time after time, as happiness is by far the most sought after human emotion. Most people LIKE super happy.

I think there's value in knowing and understanding WHY a song like this does well as a songwriter, instead of just writing it off as worthless. It fits perfectly in the context of happy smiling families, parents and kids having fun together, which is something nearly everyone wants. Therefore, it sells to parents, and goes to the top of the Adult charts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGz9I9K2SM0
Old 12th March 2014
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
To me the commercials help put it in context. Like I said the song is straight cheeseballs to my taste, but its also clearly something that will sell and be successful on first listen, which is what industry folks are looking for.

When a happy, simple idea is executed properly, it does well in the world, time after time after time, as happiness is by far the most sought after human emotion. Most people LIKE super happy.

I think there's value in knowing and understanding WHY a song like this does well as a songwriter, instead of just writing it off as worthless. It fits perfectly in the context of happy smiling families, parents and kids having fun together, which is something nearly everyone wants. Therefore, it sells to parents, and goes to the top of the Adult charts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aGz9I9K2SM0
It's lyrical cheese..so if that is what happy people want, then that's sad.
Old 12th March 2014
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaketanner View Post
It's lyrical cheese..so if that is what happy people want, then that's sad.
One could judgmentally say a lot of core human behaviors and desires are "sad".

I personally am not into judging others, but rather analyzing and understanding the world as it currently is, and using that knowledge to my benefit.
Old 12th March 2014
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaketanner View Post
It's lyrical cheese..so if that is what happy people want, then that's sad.
I'm fine with it lyrically . . . but I'm fine with anything lyrically. There aren't any lyrics I'd say are bad.

I only heard the two tunes mentioned in this thread, and I only heard them because they were mentioned in this thread. I liked them okay. I liked "Believer" more. But I didn't like either enough to run and download them or anything.
Old 12th March 2014
  #36
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not a judgment really, just an observation as to the direction that today's music and lyrics are heading just so people can feel good. Happy music doesn't need to be fluff either.
Old 12th March 2014
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaxman12 View Post
I'm a Believer and Best Day of My Life are just Okay to me.
In the realm of artistic interpretation and subsequent personalized response, there's nothing better among a swarm of polarized opinions than a very moderate one avoiding those frenzied extremes.
Old 12th March 2014
  #38
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stclair's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post


If you need me I'll be in my fire re-tardant bunker! :D

Quote:
why do we as songwriters have to dumb things down just so that the general public can identify with it? I mean, did anyone ask Aretha or Sinatra or any of the greats to sing dumb-ass lyrics? All we are saying is that the music buying population of today can't possibly understand or identify with meaningful, smart, lyrics that tell a good solid story. They can still be very catchy, but just not so childish...

I see this trend only in the US however, not so much overseas…
I think the Beatles would like a word with you....

"love love me do, you know I love you, I'll always be true, so please love me do"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaketanner View Post
not a judgment really, just an observation as to the direction that today's music and lyrics are heading just so people can feel good. Happy music doesn't need to be fluff either.
Pop song writing isn't that easy, which is writing songs that have mass appeal. Anyone can write songs to satisfy their own artistic needs. But you cannot dictate to your audience what you think they should like.

They like with their heart. This is not a battle for the brain.

You can't debate them with music theory or negotiate with haiku. They don't think "hmmm that is a chord progression I have never heard before, fascinating" and do the Vulcan finger sign

Even grand master Paul McCartney who has every resource in the world record did not fair very well (relatively speaking) in his last conscious attempt at a pop record. And he enlisted Paul Epworth (Adele) and Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse). His 2nd single Queenie eye, was like throwing an egg at a Teflon pan.
It's complicated....are you attuned to the zeitgeist? Boredom, fashion and maybe even economics might influence the type of songs that people might favor at anytime of day, year or decade. Depression, revolution, hedonism etc

And to your other points not all pop songs are lacking in story.

Gotye - Something that I used to know

or Happy

A Great Big World - "Say Something" (which is on the far end of melancholy)

And check it out::

Australia
2× Platinum
140,000^

Canada 4× Platinum
320,000^

New Zealand Platinum
15,000*

Sweden Gold
20,000x

United States 3× Platinum
3,000,000

Lyrics are not about been complicated or simple, it's about communication.

In a context.

It can be simple and crap or complicated and crap. Because it didn't serve the purpose. There was no prosody within the elements in the song. And with less prosody come less believability and you cannot feel what you don't believe.


To me if you are chasing pop success then you have to start moving away from writing for other musicians or as a cathartic masturbation exercise and start considering your audience. Start looking at the end not the means. Production, chords, word and notes are all good, but what is the REAL purpose, what are we trying to achieve? What is music about? Feelings? Whose?


And if you find yourself burdened with too many artistic compromises because your tastes or style aren't crossing over well then... I dunno just be content with your current level of success, or wait until the mainstream catches up with you, no idea to be honest???

Old 12th March 2014
  #39
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Sha-Zam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stclair View Post

or wait until the mainstream catches up with you,
...and chews you up and spits you out.
There are a lot of disillusioned one-hit wonder types out there.
American Authors are blowing up right now, but will anyone remember their name next year? Or will the mainstream be enamoured with the next super-saccharine band-of-the-moment?

Seems to me that "music" with the most mass appeal is what caters to the least-common denominator. It's like candy; euphoric at the moment with no nutritional value whatsoever, if you consume too much you get sick to your stomach... yet somehow its still wildly popular.

I guess what Im saying is there is no point in being jealous; if you want to make "candy" music go for it! If you want to make creative and substantial music, go for it! I wish you the best which ever way you go. Try to find the good in whatever situation you are in, whether you are famous or not. If you are constantly jealous of others when you're not famous, do you think fame will change that?

I find the song to be lacking and utterly forgettable, but I still wish the best of luck to the band and that they find happiness in the midst.
Old 13th March 2014
  #40
"Best Day" is SO squashed and weirdly processed it really, really, REALLY hurts my ears. I have to turn it WAY down low -- I mean I have to have it much, much lower in actual in-room apparent volume because the weird processing messes with my inner ears so much (I guess)... it feels like my head is gonna implode. Phase stuff?

Anyhow, that aside -- which is ridiculous because it is only by force of will I can listen all the way through -- I don't find anything all that provocative here. The production trick IS the hook, as much as I can figure. Sound aside, I could have liked the spare intro.

The kitchen-sink+banjo gobig we certainly could predict was coming and I was only surprised by how muddy and indistinct it was. I could have liked a similar singer singing the same thing.

I didn't really listen to the words because the sound was making me crazy. But I'm assuming they were negligible. I'll go find out -- back in a sec [...] Ah... not nearly as embarrassing as so many top-o-pops lyrics I've looked at since I started hanging out here.

Actually, I mean, while it's a one note samba, lyrically, I thought it filled it out well enough... I liked the 'dancing with monsters'... a little flicker of imagery and allusion... downright literary for stuff these days. [EDIT: Unless, of course, it was a line someone else has used somewhere notable recently and I'm just out of touch, which, of course, I am. Intentionally.]

I have to say, on balance, I don't at all hate this song -- I just hate -- I mean really hate because it really hurts -- the way it's produced and the horrible way it sounds. As it is, it sounds like that commercial Americana pop fed through Skrillex's compressor settings.

I could easily see taking the same song and singer and even basic instrumental arrangement and doing it better, with a less heavy handed studio approach.


EDIT/ps... I just figured out what the overall sound makes me think of... You know when you're in a crowded urban park on a sunny day and the guy at the next picnic table has this big, cheap leftover boombox and he turns up about 20% louder than it goes?
Old 13th March 2014
  #41
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Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Their sound is so relevant right now, and "Best Day Of My Life" such an earworm hook, I'm confident had they skipped the songwriting contest they would have been noticed through other channels.
Step away from the crack pipe.
Old 13th March 2014
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
As it is, it sounds like that commercial Americana pop fed through Skrillex's compressor settings.
Yes, or as I like to say, "a rice paper composition bloated on production steroids".
Old 13th March 2014
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldon2975 View Post
Yes, or as I like to say, "a rice paper composition bloated on production steroids".
I have to agree the song doesn't do much for me. I'm not really hearing the earworm hook some people have mentioned. Sounds like wannabe Americana-pop (like theblue1 said), with a bit of Fun. ripoff in there. They'll have their 15 minutes.
Old 13th March 2014
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinrob View Post
Step away from the crack pipe.
Sorry man but this song is inherently licensing gold. As shown by all the licenses.

Most anyone with their finger on the pulse of what advertisers are looking for (IE everyone in the music industry) would have spotted this track. It's licensing success was inevitable, thus the songs success was inevitable due to the licensing exposure, not dependent on a songwriting contest.

It's cheeseballs, but entirely in the pocket.
Old 13th March 2014
  #45
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Boy oh boy, cheeseballs and crack pipes..... quite the thread.
Old 13th March 2014
  #46
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stclair's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sha-Zam View Post
...and chews you up and spits you out.
There are a lot of disillusioned one-hit wonder types out there.
American Authors are blowing up right now, but will anyone remember their name next year? Or will the mainstream be enamoured with the next super-saccharine band-of-the-moment?

Seems to me that "music" with the most mass appeal is what caters to the least-common denominator. It's like candy; euphoric at the moment with no nutritional value whatsoever, if you consume too much you get sick to your stomach... yet somehow its still wildly popular.

I guess what Im saying is there is no point in being jealous; if you want to make "candy" music go for it! If you want to make creative and substantial music, go for it! I wish you the best which ever way you go. Try to find the good in whatever situation you are in, whether you are famous or not. If you are constantly jealous of others when you're not famous, do you think fame will change that?

I find the song to be lacking and utterly forgettable, but I still wish the best of luck to the band and that they find happiness in the midst.
I think that's something to worry about once you get there to be honest. First world problems.

A lot of people grumble at their own lack of pop success yet at the same time criticise other people's successes and lamenting how simple and dumb it is and that their musical genius is not been recognised. I say if you think it's that dumb and easy, go ahead and make your one hit and you can retire in financial freedom making art.

Pop is very wide umbrella, personally I think bands like The Script, Imagine Dragons and One Republic write great meaningful pop songs, not all are hit singles. One or two really poppy songs can put you on the map and net you a following and you can still save your edgier songs on your album. There is a career for you down that path too.

Anyway I think this thread has been derailed again hahaha!
Old 13th March 2014
  #47
Gear Addict
Stclair...I am not against making a buck, or taking advantage of the current trend in the market. I am simply pointing out that I personally, along with many others here, think that song lyrics are getting really bad.

As for the beatles, yes, they had corny lyrics too, and McCartney's feeble attempt at pop was just atrocious. Having said that, they also pioneered most of today's pop, so at the time, there wasn't much else to judge them against. It's not like there is one or two artist today with poor cheese lyrics, it's a LOT.

As long as people realize that these songs are not meant to last more than 6-12 months, it's all good. But when kids are going around thinking that these artists are the greatest thing, and the songs are meaningful, represents a decline in our music industry...and having said that...the Beatles are still played today, 50 some odd years later...not really sure that ANY song today, let alone "Best Day of My Life", will be played in 10 yrs from now.

Years ago, songs had lasting power...today it's a rush to get a song out before the "trend" fizzles. I mean, even Madonna is still on rotation on some stations...even though most of the songs were lacking.

Last edited by jaketanner; 13th March 2014 at 04:41 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 13th March 2014
  #48
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Herr Weiss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaketanner View Post
Stclair...I am not against making a buck, or taking advantage of the current trend in the market. I am simply pointing out that I personally, along with many others here, think that song lyrics are getting really bad.

As for the beatles, yes, they had corny lyrics too, and McCarthy's feeble attempt at pop was just atrocious. Having said that, they also pioneered most of today's pop, so at the time, there wasn't much else to judge them against. It's not like there is one or two artist today with poor cheese lyrics, it's a LOT.

As long as people realize that these songs are not meant to last more than 6-12 months, it's all good. But when kids are going around thinking that these artists are the greatest thing, and the songs are meaningful, represents a decline in our music industry...and having said that...the Beatles are still played today, 50 some odd years later...not really sure that ANY song today, let alone "Best Day of My Life", will be played in 10 yrs from now.

Years ago, songs had lasting power...today it's a rush to get a song out before the "trend" fizzles. I mean, even Madonna is still on rotation on some stations...even though most of the songs were lacking.

I really enjoyed your post, that's why I quoted wholly.

Yes, there are some members around here that are always daring people to do it better, it is laughable. God forbid you don't join the fanfare to tell the world the good news, you get ostracized.

Me and my muse just keep on smiling.


HW
Old 13th March 2014
  #49
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Lala Land's Avatar
 

I need to get a 13 year old girl in QC dept of my studio.
Old 13th March 2014
  #50
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[QUOTE=Herr Weiss;9936005]I really enjoyed your post, that's why I quoted wholly.

Old 13th March 2014
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Sorry man but this song is inherently licensing gold. As shown by all the licenses.

Most anyone with their finger on the pulse of what advertisers are looking for (IE everyone in the music industry) would have spotted this track. It's licensing success was inevitable, thus the songs success was inevitable due to the licensing exposure, not dependent on a songwriting contest.

It's cheeseballs, but entirely in the pocket.
Just goes to show you the state of the business. I agree with your assessment of the marketing end of it, but I still think it's as lame as it gets. I also agree that within 2 years you'll be asking who the hell these guys were.
Old 13th March 2014
  #52
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaketanner View Post
. . . song lyrics are getting really bad . . . corny . . . cheese . . .
I'm asking this in an attempt to understand, because I never feel that any lyrics are bad. So a reason that you feel they're bad is because they're corny or cheesy--what characterizes "corny" or "cheesy" in your view, and why are those qualities undesirable in your view?
Old 13th March 2014
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaketanner View Post

As long as people realize that these songs are not meant to last more than 6-12 months, it's all good. But when kids are going around thinking that these artists are the greatest thing, and the songs are meaningful, represents a decline in our music industry...and having said that...the Beatles are still played today, 50 some odd years later...not really sure that ANY song today, let alone "Best Day of My Life", will be played in 10 yrs from now.

.

Yep. This is true of MOST songs. Most songs that charted in the 60s and 70s are now mostly forgotten.

Though I don't think kids are "going around thinking these artists are the greatest thing." This song is on the adult charts, it's family-oriented grownups who are the primary demographic, who no doubt are well aware of the Beatles.
Old 14th March 2014
  #54
Sounds like a marketable song. I can see why it's topping the charts. To me, the commercial potential behind this song makes it more of a hit. It can be used for commercials, movies, soundtracks, ect which to me is a better incentive to the industry.
Old 14th March 2014
  #55
Gear Addict
If it makes all the haters happy...

... it is very possible that, because it was submitted through a songwriting contest, the artists will be seeing very little if any profit from its success.

Otherwise, USE THIS AS MOTIVATION FOR ALL THE AFOREMENTIONED REASONS!
Old 14th March 2014
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReckNC00 View Post
If it makes all the haters happy...

... it is very possible that, because it was submitted through a songwriting contest, the artists will be seeing very little if any profit from its success.

Otherwise, USE THIS AS MOTIVATION FOR ALL THE AFOREMENTIONED REASONS!
While American Idol makes their winners sign a 'golden' record deal which is not in favor of the artists most smaller songwriting contests don't share in a song's profit. Either way the song that won the songwriting contest is not the current hit.
Old 15th March 2014
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
I'm asking this in an attempt to understand, because I never feel that any lyrics are bad. So a reason that you feel they're bad is because they're corny or cheesy--what characterizes "corny" or "cheesy" in your view, and why are those qualities undesirable in your view?
For me personally it sounds like he wrote the lyrics in about 5 minutes. If your aren't sure what corny or cheesy lyric writing is then you must not be very familiar with great lyric writing either. Not trying to put you down at all but being a songwriter myself I enjoy something that provokes an emotion or is thought provoking. If you want to hear some great lyrics you can refer to most of the Beatles work from Rubber Soul onward. I think what I also hate about the song is how instead of throwing maybe another word or so in the chorus, he stays on li i iiiiiife. Which to me just sounds extremely lame and kind of child like. I know I'm going to get dumped all over by others on this particular post but i don't really care. I'm telling you right now, next year at this same time no one is going to even remember these guys. Mark my words, "One Hit Wonder". But I guess that's better than "None Hit Wonder" which is what I currently am.
Old 15th March 2014
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinrob View Post
I know I'm going to get dumped all over by others on this particular post but i don't really care.


You have said nothing that will concur a stern rebuttal from folks here 'cause you spoke the truth. There is nothing to fear when one is honest.



HW
Old 15th March 2014
  #59
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carnalia Barcus View Post
I'm asking this in an attempt to understand, because I never feel that any lyrics are bad. So a reason that you feel they're bad is because they're corny or cheesy--what characterizes "corny" or "cheesy" in your view, and why are those qualities undesirable in your view?
Corny and cheesy, for me, are typically over used and out played lyrics that mean absolutely nothing substantial. Almost comical...like a schtick. Now there have been some good songs with these qualities, no doubt, but as one poster said, it's good for a commercial. Maybe it's catchy, but in a way that gets annoying really fast the more you hear it.

Why are these qualities bad? They aren't necessarily, but match lyrics that are "corny and cheesy" with more lyrics that mean nothing, such as repeating the same vowel a bunch of times, and for me it becomes bad. Of course, just my opinion, just like every other poster here...we all have opinions...some agree, some don't. In the end, if money is all you are after, then it's all good. But for me, it's here today, and gone in less than a year...I hope.

It just seems that today's pop market has just fallen by the wayside. People are buying what the pop market is pushing; people also bought pet rocks at one point...I wasn't one of them, and I won't be one now.
Old 15th March 2014
  #60
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Carnalia Barcus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinrob View Post
For me personally it sounds like he wrote the lyrics in about 5 minutes. If your aren't sure what corny or cheesy lyric writing is then you must not be very familiar with great lyric writing either. Not trying to put you down at all but being a songwriter myself I enjoy something that provokes an emotion or is thought provoking. If you want to hear some great lyrics you can refer to most of the Beatles work from Rubber Soul onward. I think what I also hate about the song is how instead of throwing maybe another word or so in the chorus, he stays on li i iiiiiife. Which to me just sounds extremely lame and kind of child like. I know I'm going to get dumped all over by others on this particular post but i don't really care. I'm telling you right now, next year at this same time no one is going to even remember these guys. Mark my words, "One Hit Wonder". But I guess that's better than "None Hit Wonder" which is what I currently am.
Oy, here we go again. (See the thread that was an offshoot of this.)

I use the word "cheesy", but I don't think I use it to denote the same sort of thing other folks use it for, because for one, "cheesy" is almost always a positive characteristic in my book.

There are a lot of lyrics I like and love, lyricists who I'm a fan of. Probably the majority of the Beatles' lyrics are in the category of me feeling indifferent towards them, but there are some I like, particularly on the White Album, parts of Abbey Road, Sgt. Pepper, etc. (I do like the Beatles a lot in general, by the way, but that's primarily about their musical achievements.)

I like a lot of lyrics that many folks seem to dislike. For example, Jon Anderson (of Yes fame) is one of my favorite lyricists, as are Frank Zappa, Brian Eno, Laurie Anderson, Neil Peart, Adrian Belew, Todd Rundgren . . . and country is the only genre aside from "comedy" where I tend to like a majority of lyrics. I'm also a big fan of what I call "Googly Moogly" lyrics (after Zappa)--stuff like "Rubber Biscuit", "Da Do Do Do, De Da Da Da", "Radio Ga Ga", etc.

One of the Beatles lyrics I really like, for example, is "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"

"Childlike" is not at all a bad thing to me. Some of my favorite visual artists are Joan Miró, Marc Chagall, Paul Klee, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, and with Picasso, especially his later work, from the later 20s on, say. Usually when people say "childlike" they're not really realizing the nuanced differences between what folks like those above did and what kids actually produce, and they don't really realize the difficultly of producing quality work in that vein.

I do like or love some lyricists it's normal to like or love, too, by the way--Lou Reed and Bob Dylan are a couple other of my favorite lyricsts.

I don't really make judgments about anything in terms of guesstimating the amount of time that something took. The reasons for that are that (i) I don't think that something is better for taking a longer amount of time (or better for taking a shorter amount of time)--for me, quality isn't correlated to how long something took, and (ii) I know for a fact that some things that I would have guesstimated to take a short period of time took their creators a long time and were maybe even agonizing to create and vice versa--some things I would have guessed took a long time to create were done in a couple minutes, or off-the-cuff as fast as their creators could jot it down.
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