Thursday, December 23, 2010

Song of the Day 24: 'Progress' by Outspoken

I'm back again. I really don't have much to say as far as an introduction, so I might as well just get to the actual song. The next one on the list is Progress.

The beginning starts out with some very light percussion, and then a soft synth can be heard at 0:05 to start it out. It pulses twice, and then the percussion kicks in to give me a better idea on speed at 0:10. The synth is a little soft here, can be considered too blended. It seems like there's some sort of melody coming out of it, but honestly I can't really tell. It all seems to be very percussion orientated at the moment. This continues until 0:37, where there's a slight transition into the next section using some light percussion hits. At 0:43 it starts back up again, pretty much repeating the sequence played at 0:10. There are some synths heard here that does add the elements needed to make it different than before though. At 0:54 the percussion drops, leaving some minor synth playing until it starts again at 0:58. The synth still sounded too blended for my liking however. Here at this new sequence I can finally hear a melody from a high synth. I find this melody to be quite catchy. The melody changes at about 1:10, having a much lower synth take control. This whole portion of the song continues until 1:31, where the majority of what was going on cuts off. There's light percussion that comes in occasionally, and more of a melody from the synths comes in at about 1:36. The percussion is still pretty light but it gets better at 1:42, and at a pretty good time also. The melody gets better as well, going back into a high synth. It goes back to low at 1:53, and in my opinion the low synth doesn't really grab my attention. The percussion does help though, so overall it's not that bad. Another synth comes in at 2:03, creating another melody. It's a rather repetitive melody, but it does change pitch at 2:14. At 2:29 the mood changes into something much calmer and much different than what I've heard thus far. Here there's a blend of synths used to create this mood, and I think for once that the blend here is a good thing. At 2:36 it gets even calmer, and at 2:40 there are some light hi-hat hits. It may be percussion, but it somehow maintains that calm mood. At 2:45 the synths get louder, and the percussion starts to become a little more complex. The song goes back into its previous mood at 2:51 with it's percussion and synth for a melody. The percussion unfortunately is getting a little too repetitive also now that I keep hearing the same thing with each section. At least there's some changes with the melody though, but not much of a difference rhythm-wise. The melody, as well as the entire sequence, continues and repeats itself until about 3:23 where the melody has a slight change in pitch and rhythm. At about 3:33 the melody being played drops, leaving no melody, until a new synth takes over the melody at 3:39. Harmonies consisting of more synth are added at 3:45 also. This harmony does drop out at 3:56 though. A different section starts up at 4:00 with a lower-pitched synth as the melody. This new section may have been better with a transition into it, since it automatically went right into this new section. Higher synth will come in a couple seconds later to control the melody. At 4:17 the synth will slow down to playing once every measure. This continues, and at 4:32 most of the percussion seems to exit also. At 4:38 there's one final note from the synth, and then the song will come to a conclusion.

Pros: The section from 2:29 to about 2:51 had to be my favorite part of the song, and during many parts of the song the synth would shift keys and pitches well.

Cons: There was lack of atmosphere and elements once again, unfortunately. Most of the sections were a little too repetitive (including the percussion). Sometimes the synths sounded too blended and messy also.

Overall: There were some parts of the song that were strong, but like the other songs, it still needs work. Atmosphere is a must, and some variety in the song would be helpful also. It's not that bad though, for I still enjoyed listening to it (although having Charlie Brown Christmas being played in my home was sort of a distraction :) ).

Rating: 6.8/10

4 comments:

Met said...

I think you just hate DnB. I'd say this has one of the best production values of the stuff I've put together. The fact that you rate something like Retrospective higher than this is obscene.

It's interesting, reading reviews of my own stuff. I know it needs work, but since I know it so well it's easy to see your orientation to melody in music composition. This is DnB; it's supposed to be heavy on Drum and Bass. So much of my music is more melodic than it should be, yet you seem to try and push me in the opposite direction. Not that I object to your opinion, more that I'm interested it, but I'm rejecting it as the way I want to go in composing music.

Right now my chief concerns in composing are atmosphere, sound design, and modulation effects.

Marim said...

It's not just that though. As you can see I'm not good at reviewing these types of tracks. It makes me think of why I even continue to write them in the first place.

Met said...

Which is to get better at them I hope. It pays to hang around the OCR forums, read djp's writeups, watch zircon's video tutorials, and experiment with actual electronic music. It really just takes dedication, dedication which I lack enough of currently to not own FL Studio and to create actual albums.

Xanthurian said...

Ironically, this is one of my favorite songs of Met's.