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#813062 - 04/25/10 11:01 AM 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback  
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 424
Steve Cooke Offline
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Steve Cooke  Offline
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Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Here's a song that I'm currently re-working.

I wrote this piece in 1999 and recorded a rough demo at the time, but I have been trying to re-arrange it recently with a view to recording it properly in the near future.

I would therefore be very grateful for any feedback, suggestions, advice, tips, etc, that fellow JPF forum members can offer.

The sketch recording here, made in 1999, was originally intended simply to demonstrate the song to members of the band that I was playing in at the time. I did the vocals and played all of the instruments.

I am aware, by the way, of the mispronunciation of the term 'feng shui' in this recording and, since it was made, the last line of the third verse has been amended to ensure a closer, albeit not exact, rhyme with the correct pronunciation.

She Believes

She believes in astral projection
Wears a lucky charm for protection
She's convinced the government's talking to aliens
Who abducted her sister for strange experiments


Chorus:
She believes ... but this time it's true
She believes ... but this time it's true
She believes ... but this time it's true
She believes ... she believes in you

Always checks the horoscopes to follow the stars
Plans her whole life around Jupiter and Mars
She's sure that crystals have the power to heal
Yeah, she's got lots of crazy ideas, but this one's for real


Repeat chorus

She knows there's evidence for reincarnation
And can recommend a herbal cure for any situation
Her furniture's arranged to conform with feng shui
She's got tarot cards and ouija boards, thinks she can foresee and ...


Repeat chorus

She believes in you
This time it's true
She believes in you
This time it's true
She believes in you


http://soundcloud.com/stevecooke/she-believes


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#813086 - 04/25/10 01:02 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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Dan O'Connell Offline
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Steve,
I love your work, this is soooo good. My gosh the background vocals so compliment your fine voice ... AWESOME JOB

no nits from me ... push this one for sure ... should be on the radio

Got that R+B sound that I love


http://www.soundclick.com/danoconnell
A Purveyor of Folk Music
#813142 - 04/25/10 05:01 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Dan O'Connell]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Thanks Dan. I did the backing vox myself. I'm not absolutely confident that I could reach those high notes again now, a decade later. Still, there are probably a few studio tricks I could use now to emulate female voices that I didn't have available to me when I made this recording.

The new arrangement I'm working on is, hopefully, a bit funkier and will do more to build the song as it progresses.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#813145 - 04/25/10 05:21 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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Ricki E. Bellos Offline
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Hi Steve,

Very cool vibe from this. I don't know what your plans are for a "funkier" version but this one is awesome. The only thing I wondered about was if you gave any thought to making it more personal by saying something like this,

"She believes ... but this time it's real
She believes ... she believes in me"

Just a thought. Very cool music as well.

Ricki

#813147 - 04/25/10 05:28 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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Little_stevie_b Offline
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Hey Steve. Great work. No nits from me. The backing vox worked out really well.

Steve B.

#813161 - 04/25/10 06:24 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Steve Cooke  Offline
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Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Originally Posted by Ricki E. Bellos
Very cool vibe from this. I don't know what your plans are for a "funkier" version but this one is awesome. The only thing I wondered about was if you gave any thought to making it more personal by saying something like this,

"She believes ... but this time it's real
She believes ... she believes in me"



Thanks Ricki. The new arrangement is trying to make the Rhodes piano playing a bit spikier rather than the lazy feel of the original demo version. I'm going to give the bass line more variety of rhymic timing, hopefully without losing the groove. I'm also looking to see what can be done make the middle-eight more interesting. At the moment, the song uses the same three-chord sequence throughout - verse, chorus, mid8, outro - but I've found that a bit of playing around with those chords could make the middle section less 'samey'. A bit of funky, albiet gentle, rhythm guitar is being added too. The Rhodes/voice-only first verse feels too sparse at the moment, so I will try to introduce some other element by the third line. There's a new drum loop that I'm experimenting with too.

I also have the opportunity to use some more contemporary sounds on the gear I have now.

About making it more personal in the way you mention, I think it's an interesting idea but I feel that I prefer this one to be slightly more distant than that, more observational But I may experiment with your suggestion to see how it works out.

Last edited by Steve Cooke; 04/25/10 06:27 PM.

Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#813162 - 04/25/10 06:27 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Little_stevie_b]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Steve Cooke  Offline
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Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Originally Posted by Little_stevie_b
Hey Steve. Great work. No nits from me. The backing vox worked out really well.


Thanks for listening, Stevie.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#813218 - 04/25/10 10:47 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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Rick Norton Offline
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St. Augustine, FL
Great sounding song Steve. Love the chorus and outro. The only thing that caught my ears was some phrasing in the first two verses. I'm sure it will all be worked out on the new version.

Loved it.

Rick

#813224 - 04/25/10 11:18 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Rick Norton]  
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Shirley E Matthews Offline
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Georgia /native


Hell;o.. Steve:..


This Particular Piece''She Believes 1999..seems to be
more like a ''Smooth Jazz Piece..maybe back in 1999
it could have been maybe a''Pop /R@b..with jazzy
overtones,,,This 1999 version was okay,,it appears to be moving
a lil slow...as far as rhythm..I;m looking forward to hearing
an''up dated version For This Piece..By The Way you have lovely
pipes..so Are you going to sing the funkier version smile



See you in a few;o
nice talking to ya..;o

Shirl;o

#813233 - 04/25/10 11:45 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Rick Norton]  
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Randy P. Gendron Offline
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#813288 - 04/26/10 09:45 AM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Randy P. Gendron]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Steve Cooke  Offline
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Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Originally Posted by Randy P. Gendron
Not sure I'm diggin', or believin', every but in the chorus. Either she believes the verses are true, as well, or she's quite possib'ly schizophrenic. Not a bad thing, but, in this situation (considering her unstable mental condition), the chorus sounds more like a warning than a sentimental observation.

Maybe that's what makes things quirky. In a Sting I'll Be Watching You kind of way?

Other than that - or precisely that - she sounds kinda awesome, Steve, as does your song cool


Thanks Randy.

Interesting comment. I hadn't thought of the character in the song as being mentally unstable before - except perhaps the line about alien abduction, which was probably me pushing the strange beliefs thing a bit too far. Although the meter is awkward at that point in the song, I felt that line gave the lyric something a little different, an unusual element that might make the listener take notice and want to find out what the song was about.

That line aside, the character is just meant to be one of those people who goes in for the whole 'new age' package - healing crystals, joss sticks, pyramid power, astrology, herbal medicine, etc. It isn't based on a specific individual, but more a combination of characters and personal traits I've encountered over the years.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#813294 - 04/26/10 10:17 AM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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Robert Pickens Offline
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Robert Pickens  Offline
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Georgia
Steve....love the music....the singing isn't matchin' up well with the music...I'm not sure why that is bothering me.....maybe there needs to be more attitude by the singer....lack of conviction?....I hear it at the end of the song....but the singer sounds like he's just going through the motions in the beginning....the vocalist can sing....but it needs more feeling...imho....you do good work....Bob

#813349 - 04/26/10 03:43 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Robert Pickens]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Steve Cooke  Offline
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Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Originally Posted by Robert Pickens
Steve....love the music....the singing isn't matchin' up well with the music...I'm not sure why that is bothering me.....maybe there needs to be more attitude by the singer....lack of conviction?....I hear it at the end of the song....but the singer sounds like he's just going through the motions in the beginning....the vocalist can sing....but it needs more feeling...imho....you do good work....Bob


I'm thinking that what I need to do is temporarily shift the busier parts of the arrangement (ala the more strongly driven beat used at the end) to the beginning of the song, which currently only has a Rhodes piano playing on it.

Then I could record myself singing to that more lively accompaniment, which may help me to give the vocal more conviction. A kind of psychological trick on myself, I guess.

After doing that, I'd delete all that stuff from the early section, so that the accompaniment is more gentle there, but hopefully I'll be left with a more convincing vocal performance.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#814058 - 04/29/10 03:51 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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Ellen M Offline
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Saint Augustine, Florida
Hi Steve,

Dude, you got it all covered....the music, the performance, the production...is there anything you don't do?

You got a great groove goin' on this one!

yerz, Ellen

#814700 - 05/01/10 10:00 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Ellen M]  
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Strat1958 Offline
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Wow Steve, I have NO suggestions for improvement - I love it! I couldn't quite put my finger on what it reminded me of - no matter, it's great!

-Mike


Listen to my newest song... "Did Anyone Ever Write A Song For You?" on Soundclick
#815560 - 05/05/10 08:37 AM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Strat1958]  
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Randy P. Gendron Offline
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#815568 - 05/05/10 09:07 AM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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Hi Again, Bro Steve!

"It's a Hit" I said when I heard it a few weeks-back, & I stick to My Opinion as I hear it again this AM.

I'd keep "& all that kind of hooey" after the Feng Shui line...it's a Gem, IMHO.

The Button Ending...nah...I'd like to hear that Soft, Enslaving-Synth-bit (from your Choruses) IN-a-bit then Faded-Out ON the Way Out.

"KUDOS" for a Very Attention-Getting Nice One, Amigo. Good Luck with it!
Best Wishes & a Big Guy-Hug,
Stan

PS: The 2 LadyChums I've pitched it to HAVE listened..think Both wanna Pen Their Own for their Next CDs, alas. ("Their Losses"..again, JMO.) I've a 3rd potential prospect to send it to...stay tuned.

#815660 - 05/05/10 04:34 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: ]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Steve Cooke  Offline
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Well, thanks for reviving the thread.

This recording was only intended to demonstrate the song to members of a band I was in at the time.

I definitely need to get on with recording the new version, which will be funkier and more varied in style and dynamics as the song develops. I'm still getting to grips with the recording gear I've got these days, though. Hopefully, I'll finish it off soon.

Thanks for doing the pitching, Stan. I have a version - much rougher technically than this - of the song being sung by a woman if that helps. Just a live band recording in less than ideal circumstances, but I'd be happy to email it to you off-list.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#815669 - 05/05/10 05:14 PM Re: 'She Believes' - quirky ballad for your feedback [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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KimberlyinNC  Offline
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I remember this song..either I heard it on the muse or just listened on your soundclick area...but this is groovy!

You are a very talented musician and singer

Kimberly


*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
BMI Member All Rights Reserved
http://www.littleikepublishing.com
Email for Song Business Only
littleikeproductions@hotmail.com

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