Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Song of the Day 23: 'Striking Chill' by Outspoken

Two weeks ago I was supposed to do Song of the Day, but because of my disappearance from this blog, I had to give up. Now, I'm back and ready to finish what I started. The last Song of the Day was about the track 'Urban Science', and the next track is called 'Striking Chill'. Now, let's get started now, shall we?

Okay, so the beginning starts out very simple, consisting of a very low beat. The beat is a little confusing at first, but it does straighten out though at 0:07. Here is where more of a melody is developed, and the light percussion as well as the beat give an idea of how fast this song is going to be. At 0:13 there's more added as backup for the melody, and at 0:20 I can hear the beat pulse a little more and grow louder. Even more sounds are added at 0:25, which really adds some more effect. At 0:32 the percussion is the main thing that draws my attention. The melody here has also dropped, leaving the added stuff from 0:25 as the main melody (or at least something like a melody). At 0:39 the percussion improves with some rapid hi-hat hits, which actually work quite well with the percussion that first appeared at 0:32. At 0:46 there's yet even more percussion added, making the song so far a very percussion-oriented piece. Unfortunately there really isn't much atmosphere, considering that the synths used are quite simple and I haven't heard any new changes in melody. At 0:58 the melody drops, only leaving that first synth used in the beginning. The percussion comes back at 1:04, but this time it's a little different. The beat at some points end up hitting on a spot that's not even on the beat, but right before it. Met says in his small summary of the song a while back that a lot of people don't like these "funky snare hits". I guess I'm in the minority, because I actually like it. The first spot where I heard it was at about 1:09 by the way. At about 1:10 there's a pretty good sequence from the synth, although simple. However, this sequence does flow, and goes well with the percussion. It gradually grows louder at about 1:18, and stays at the volume being developed until 1:34. Here the percussion drops, leaving just the synth. The synth here sounds a little too blended, and I'm not much of a fan of the way it sounds. The synth does calm down into what it was back at 1:10, with the pulsing beat to come with it. At 1:42, the percussion comes back in strong. This next sequence is pretty decent, as it consists of the percussion (with the cool snare hits), the synth from 1:10, and a new harmony that I first start to hear at around 1:50. At 1:56 there's a very low synth that takes the place of what was going on before (excluding the percussion). The beat simplifies at 2:08 into just some light hits on the hi-hat and the pulsing beat. There's a very small transition into the next section at 2:14, and the song continues. The transition could have been a little bit broader, as it lack certain elements to make it sound great. At this new section the simple synth from 1:10 changes into a much more minor key, with the low synth from 1:56 being added to make a pretty good harmony. This continues until about 2:34 where certain parts of the song (mainly the percussion section). The percussion is gone right now, leaving only the two synths and somewhat of a beat. This section lasts until 2:47. That section lacked some elements and atmosphere, and shouldn't have been so long. The percussion comes back in, although much simpler than before. It does increase in complexity at 2:54 however. More harmony is added at 3:00, but I still don't think that it's enough. At 3:12 the synths go into a new sequence similar to the one at 2:14. I would say that the only difference between the two would be the synth being stronger at this new section. Some synths start to back down at 3:24, leaving mainly the percussion, beat, and the lighter synths that were hardly heard in the song. At 3:39 even more is taken out, having only the synth at the very beginning be played as well as the percussion. At 3:50 the percussion starts to lose its complexity, and at 3:57 it's about as simple as it can get (only small and somewhat slow hi-hat is used). At 4:02, there was a slight pause and then the synth from 1:10 plays by itself to finish the job, and even pulsing a little bit at 4:11. That's the end.

Pros: There was a good amount of pros here. The beat and the speed was overall consistent, and I really like those funky hits on the snare drum. Despite the fact that it was quite simple, it did flow well with everything.

Cons: There was a lack of atmosphere, and a lack of the elements that would make me think "wow" after listening to it. The synths lacked complexity, and the majority of the sections were very repetitive. The small section at 1:34 I didn't really like, mainly because it sounded a little messy.

Overall: It's not bad, but it needs some work. Atmosphere and complexity are a huge factor in making this song better (although the percussion did a good job in terms of that). However, it's a good start (that's my opinion, mainly because I'm not very knowledgeable in composing music).

Rating: 7.2/10


Met said...

The synth sounds messy because I was modulating the filter cutoff. The synth lead was quite dirty originally and I had to scale it back some to get the sound I wanted, but I liked the idea of modulating it toward the more dirty side occasionally.

Met said...

Also, it's quite ironic that the most basic track I wrote (other than Shift, but that's an Interlude and not really a full track) ends up being rated the highest yet by you. It's sort of hard to pin down what's likable about this track when it suffers from a repetitive bassline, only two keys, little variety, and just 3 synths. I guess the strong modulating synth lead and the zircon inspired DnB snare make up for it.