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#777688 - 12/10/09 11:48 AM It matters to me  
Joined: Dec 2009
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JamesDF5 Offline
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JamesDF5  Offline
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London UK
Hi guys,

I'm new here from London UK,

I have a song here that needs a lyrical rewrite but wanted to get a vibe from you guys as to the song feel as a whole.
Please be as honest as you wish.
Oh and it was meant for a female vocal if that helps.

http://www.myspace.com/jamesdfitzgerald



It matters to me

Verse
This just doesn't feel right
This doesn't feel good at all
I don't really know why
But I know that it's you

I find it hard to think straight
Cos you've got such a hold on me.
Please don't let me go
Don't let me go

Chorus
Cos its you & I, I still believe
We made it this far cant you see
That everything that we've been through
It matters to me
But in my heart & in my dreams
The're memories that make me bleed
& i want you to see yeah

Verse
It really kinda matters
That you still feel the things i do
We haven't been the same lately
like i'm used to

Even though it seems good
Is there something on your mind
Please don't let this go
Don't let this go

Chorus
Cos its you & I, I still believe
We made it this far cant you see
That everything that we've been through
It matters to me
But in my heart & in my dreams
The're memories that make me bleed
& i want you to see yeah

Middle 8
I think i kinda figured it out
That maybe it's not all about you
This is only happening
Cos i don't know in my mind

I never thought i'd doubt you
But now i'm doubting myself
Just doubting myself

Chorus
Cos its you & I, I still believe
We made it this far cant you see
That everything that we've been through
It matters to me
But in my heart & in my dreams
The're memories that make me bleed
& i want you to see yeah

Oh yeah,
But in my heart & in my dreams
The're memories that make me bleed
& i want you to see yeah, Oh yeah


My Band Northfield
Our Videos
#777800 - 12/10/09 06:15 PM Re: It matters to me [Re: JamesDF5]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Hi James! Welcome!

I would like to respectfully suggest the lyrics to paint pictures with specific places and things that this couple has shared. Would have the singer, (female or male) give examples of "why" this relationship matters. Memories! it says, "Everything we've been though".....What are they though? Giving images in lyrics is a great way to say a thousand words very quickly!

With it all being concepts and sort of saying something that may take time to ponder, it soon looses interest, I feel.

The music and melody are basic, yet has a strong feel,,,Good on it's own many times. With picturesque lyrics, I feel the song would stick in people's imagination more, (with a killer title Hook needed in there too at the end of the choruses) HOOKS! Gotta have them,,,,throughout. Think hooks!

Picture pictures too! Be creative in how they will be envisioned by the listener or reader.

Just my opinions,

Good start!

John



Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#777819 - 12/10/09 06:55 PM Re: It matters to me [Re: JamesDF5]  
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DonnaMarilyn Offline
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DonnaMarilyn  Offline
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Good to see you here, James. smile

I'd suggest giving the lyric concrete details to make the characters and the situation tangible, as neither the narrator nor the person sheís talking/singing about emerge as real-life, memorable characters.
In addition, there's not a consistent pattern of strong rhymes, and the metering in the lines differs from verse to verse.

On another forum, someone gave a valuable tip: the first line or two of verse 1 (or perhaps each verse) should match up well with the title/hook in the chorus so that itís clear just from those 2-3 lines exactly what the song is about. In this case, however, thereís no logical follow-through, even if you added the title/hook to the end of the chorus (which Iíd suggest doing in any case, to strengthen it).

The lyric deals vaguely with feeling, thinking, and uncertainty. The concept is fine Ė someone is in love, afraid that he/she is losing the partner, and begs them to her/him to stay. The theme is universal, and most people can relate to it. However, to make an impact, the story needs to be told in a way thatís fresh and original. I like the twist youíve given it, where in the bridge the singer acknowledges that the problem is actually with her, and not with the partner.

Iíd recommend trimming away the many unnecessary words, to make the lyric clearer and more intense. In general, tell us something the person did to cause the singer to be afraid. Or describe some of the things that they did together that contributed to the relationship the singer values so much. Avoid undue repetitions of words and phrases. Avoid cliches (e.g. "But in my heart & in my dreams/They're memories that make me bleed"). Get rid of any wishy-washy phrases (e.g ďIt really kinda matters). Use clear, sharp imagery. Give the singer a backbone. wink

I hope this helps. wink

Donna

PS: I really like the vocals and the melody. Nice musical change-up as well from the verse to the chorus. And - as I mentioned in the other thread - I think the reviewer did a good job with his suggestions about the lyrics.


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend




#777832 - 12/10/09 07:53 PM Re: It matters to me [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
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Kevin Emmrich Offline
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Crozet, VA
Welcome to the JPF! I enjoyed listening to the song and the critique. I thought the critique was pretty well done and made the important points concerning the lyrics. I posted a message over in your "critique" thread. Lots of opinions over there and a lot of them are wrong (LOL!).

Again, welcome to the forum,

Kevin


"Good science comes in peer reviewed journals. Conspiracy theories come in YouTube videos. "
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @50/90 2019)
#777853 - 12/10/09 08:59 PM Re: It matters to me [Re: Kevin Emmrich]  
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BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
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Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Hi James I will first of all state that IMO your song is pretty good but not nearly good enough to pitch. There are a number of areas that IMO need attention. When writing in this genre which is already full to brimming you need your song to leap out from the rest both lyrically and musically. Your song just sits in the middle.
I will be pretty blunt and over critical and will critique this as if I was writing a reply to this song being pitched to a top record label to be placed with an internationally famous star. It is worth noting that the stock thanks but no thanks letter will probably be less truthfully frank and in depth than mine....This is in no way meant as a negative pu down but as a learning tool to help you improve and identify area of weakness.

Dear James
Thank you for submitting your song ďIt MattersĒ I am afraid that on this occasion we cannot place your submission with any of our artists.
Overall there does not seem to be any great originality in this song and It lacks a really good hook. The lyrics are pretty one dimensional. The rhymes and phrasing work well but nothing special or unique jumps out to grab the listener. Because of that we do not feel much empathy for the singer or the song. You stated that this should be sung by a female singer with attitude. I note that your submission features a male singer. This did you no favours. I would have liked to have heard this sung by a female and maybe her performance would have helped show the songís potential. The style and subject matter of your song is very popular and this genre is a hard market to penetrate. Many songs have been written about a relationship break up. Many use your chord structures and have a similar melody I felt that this song needed extra to separate it fro the rest. Sadly your production does nothing to make it stand out from the rest. The lyrics do not really tell a story or contain any real hooks or paint mental pictures that capture the imagination. It is not written in the street speak language that young folk use and the subject matter and substance is too simple and unimaginative for mature adults. Your songwriting skills show potential and I would be interested to hear others. You show good meter and rhyme but lack originality. Perhaps a slightly different chord structure and melody with something a bit quirky or unusual to make it unique would be a direction I would recommend.
Re the quality of the arrangement and production I would suggest the following needs attention. I felt the whole piece sounded tame and contrived. It lacked full production to sound like studio quality yet did not quite show off potential if it was to be produced as a live recording.
The drums were obviously sequenced and lacked consistency drive and timbre especially the kick which sounded really dull. The guitars were too clean for this style and perhaps a dirtier more overdriven sound would be more suitable. Your technical musical skills seem pretty good but your inexperience as a songwriter shows.

Please feel free to submit other songs but I repeat that sadly on this occasion we cannot accept ďIt mattersĒ Yours sincerely Mr A R Sole





#777899 - 12/10/09 11:41 PM Re: It matters to me [Re: JamesDF5]  
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KimberlyinNC Offline
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KimberlyinNC  Offline
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Posts: 5,210
North Carolina
Hi and welcome to the site. I personally like your vocals alot and the melody. The lyrics may need a bit more umph to them, but my son, 22 and his gf listened too and liked it. Of course, we are not experts as some critiquers you have spoken with, as I read your post on the other forum , but the music itself and vocals have alot of promise in my mind, so keep working on it, and writing, posting..:)

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
#777917 - 12/11/09 12:36 AM Re: It matters to me [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
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Ricki E. Bellos Offline
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Ricki E. Bellos  Offline
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Posts: 6,894
Wisconsin
Hi James,

This is a nice sounding song, like something I might have heard on the radio. I think it's mostly because of your music and singing. I like them both. But as a writer, I'm all about the lyrics and while I think it's a common theme you're writing about, something many can relate to, this needs to dig deeper into the soul of this person and make me care about the memories that make him/her bleed.

You use up valuable real estate with phrases like, well like all of V1.
"This just doesn't feel right
This doesn't feel good at all
I don't really know why
But I know that it's you"
The first 2 lines are saying the same thing, line 3 is like a place holder, not moving the story forward and line 4, as it turns out, isn't really true. The first verse is what a listener uses to decide whether or not to listen any more and it just isn't that interesting. V2 is better but you're still repeating yourself in line 3 & 4.

How about something like this for a first verse, for example:

Something doesn't feel right
you've got such a hold on me
It's hard to think straight
But please just don't leave

Maybe not exactly this, and it's no substitute for imagery that you still need to tell a more compelling story, but I'm try to show you how much you can leave out and still say the same thing.

I think you need to decide what your point is, can this relationship be saved, or whatever it may be, and make each verse/chorus ask that question, answer that question, prove it, refute it and paint it in a fresh way that a listener will care about. Simple, right? That's why we love writing, and sharing our stories with the world. Keeping working on it.

Ricki

#777942 - 12/11/09 02:07 AM Re: It matters to me [Re: Ricki E. Bellos]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 691
Terry Moore Offline
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Terry Moore  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 691
United Kingdom
Hi James,welcome to JPF.i read your other post regarding "paid critiques"..well in my opinion it is a very grey area, simply because their is cash involved..the writer who submits whatever song is gonna get exactly what this reviewer gave you..yoda talk...its all down the middle type speech...not good but not bad either...simply because they have one eye on the next submission,better coming here i'd say(lol)..as far as the song itself,well it is not bad at all..what i would say first off on reading the lyric,the "flow" is a wee bit jumpy,if you get my drift,certain lines in certain verses should correspond "meter" wise,the lyric doesn't sit comfortable to the eye,and that is without hearing the song...listening to the song,i really liked the vocal,but my suspicions about the lyric fell into place...music wise and lyric wise it was a wee bit of a hotchpotch,and i have to agree with the comments about the drums..they get a tad annoying after a while...no variation,and no dynamics...but of course i guess it is a rough "demo"...so that can be excused..but at the end of the day,tho' the genre,and theme has been bludgeoned to death several times over..this wasn't bad at all..in fact i would be pretty confident that it is only a matter of time before you "nail" one,as i personally think your writing does show distinct promise...Good Luck...Terry.

#778004 - 12/11/09 10:13 AM Re: It matters to me [Re: Terry Moore]  
Joined: Dec 2009
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JamesDF5 Offline
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JamesDF5  Offline
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London UK
Thank you for the great advice. Some very good tips about lyric writing & the concepts behind the story. I think this will be the next learning curve for my Co writer Tim & I to grasp & develop.

John: Interesting point about hooks. I think i've misunderstood hooks to be the melody but I get the point now that you and others have made. It's more like a repetitive catchy phrase that is said at the start of the chorus and clearly should be at the end too. Cheers.

Donna: Some great thought about the lyrics. I agree with your suggestions and your analysis of what needs improving. Also thank you for pointing out the bits you liked. Thank you

Kevin: Hehe yeah that turned into a big debate ha! Thanks

Big Jim (Aka Mr A R sole) ha: Although it was a rough demo I appreciate the musical advice. Again further support re lyrical needs & overall feel of the song. We do hope to acquire the assistance of a female vocal in the near future. This will hopefully aid further recordings. Thanks

Kimberly: Thanks. That is nice to know.

Ricki: I agree the point of the song is not clear & does need to be visible to listener. I'm pleased that you broke the V1 down & I understand what you are suggesting. That will be helpful to us when re-writing.

Terry: Interesting that you analysed the lyric prior to listening to the song. That is something we should probably start doing. I take your thoughts on board. I've not heard the term 'meter' before but after googling it I think I need some further understanding of the term before knowing exactly what you mean.

Thank you to everyone so far for such in depth reviews. I appreciate your time immensely. I shall return the favour.

Tim & I have a lot of songs so hopefully you wont mind us putting one up here every week or so for your input.

We will work on this song soon & submit a rewrite for you to have a gander at.

Cheers all

Jim


My Band Northfield
Our Videos
#778133 - 12/11/09 10:43 PM Re: It matters to me [Re: JamesDF5]  
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Joice Marie Offline
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Joice Marie  Offline
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Cornish Flat, NH, USA
Hi James

Well I don't think that I have anything to add but I wanted to welcome you to jpf....
and thank you for sharing the links with song and critique. I felt it was genuine. The song will come across better with a female vocalist and the prosody of a singer - being- that character, I think.

best wishes. jm


perfection is unattainable, excellence is totally within reach

http://www.youtube.com/joicemarie
http://www.myspace.com/lemonmcfartney
#778169 - 12/12/09 01:34 AM Re: It matters to me [Re: Joice Marie]  
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Gary E. Andrews Offline
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The first criticism I had was in the enunciation of the lyric. I got some whole lines, and missed some whole lines. I got some words in some lines and didn't get some, which crippled the whole line, and, to paraphrase, for want of a word a line was lost; for want of a line a verse or chorus was lost, for want of a verse a song was lost, etc.

Words are of great importance. More people can relate to the storyline than the rest of the music. Most of them have no idea of the technical aspects behind the recording and production of it, no appreciation of the technical skills demanded in the execution of guitar work or percussion, and none of how all of the instruments AND the vocals must be made to work together. They just know whether they #1) 'get it,' the story that is, and #2) whether they like it. If they do, get it AND like it, they may reach in their pocket and express that 'liking' in the coin of the realm.

Good on short intro, 16 seconds. The 'rule' is: Don't bore us; get to the chorus. An introduction has to be pretty special to merit going much longer. And you DO get to the chorus in 43 seconds. Splendid! That timing is strong on hook-factor, catching my interest and not delaying the payoff.

Here's what I was able to capture of the words, listening about six times.

Intro 16 sec.

This just doesnít feel right
This just doesnít feel good at all
I donít even know why
But I know that itís you

? finally got the thing straight
But youíve got such a hold on me.
Please donít let me go
Donít let me go

43 sec in youíre kicking it up emotionally
Cause if You and I ( still believe ?)
Weíve made it this far
Canít you see
? Everything that we can do without ut
It really doesnít matter
In my heart and in my dreams
? never ? without make believe ?
That I
Want you
To see.


It really doesnít matter
We havenít been the same lately
Like Iím used to?
Even though it seems good

Is there something on your mind?
Please donít let this go
Donít let this go (lift toward chorus)

(Repeat Chorus)

Believe my heart and in my dreams

Make believe
That I
Want you
To see

(Brdge?)
Think Iíve kind of figured it out
Baby, itís not all about you
This is only happening
ĎCause I donít own my mind
Never thought Iíd doubt you
Now Iím doubting myself
Just doubting myself.

ĎCause itís you

Canít you see

We can Do without ut ?

And I
Want you
To see, yeah!
Oh yeah!

Believe my heart Ďn in my dreams

Never

And I want you to see

Oh yeah!

End 3:53

I was close, but it took about six listens, and I was losing interest, having to work too hard to 'get' it. You don't get six listens in the real world. You have to communicate, that is, 'send' your communication, and the listener has to 'receive' it, the first time. I enjoyed it the first time because of all the things that as Chillicothe or whatever his name was, said you do right. The song has 'hook factor,' catching my interest. But I wasn't truly hooked in a way that I was singing along by the end, because I was missing too many words and lines. You were sending, but I wasn't receiving. And the hook, that is THE hook, the title you chose, which I didn't really hear, buried in the chorus, didn't perform its function of hooking me.

'Hook factor' should commence with the first sounds, and be increased by line one of the lyric, and the vocalist's execution of it. THE hook should be repeated a minimum of three times, in a song where, as the Moondreams critiquer said, where the storyline in the verses is so clear that the title/hook sums it up so well the listener 'gets' it immediately. If you can hit that title/hook more than three times, even better, especially if it isn't that strong as a summing up, a delivery of the punch line of the story.

Position of THE hook is strategic. If it's line one of the chorus, that's a strong position. If it's line 4 of an 8-line chorus, it may come across as just another line, of no strategic importance in the story. The last line of the chorus is the most strategic spot, the one left ringing in their ears as the instrumental break turns the song to do the next verse. That position is most likely to be perceived as the summing up of what the verse or verses and chorus have been leading to.

I would have thought the title was "That I, Want You, To See." That's the strategic position, presented in three dramatic 2-note phrases, ending the chorus. You could say, "That It, Mat-ters, To Me" in that spot, making that THE hook/title.

Someone mentioned cutting unnecessary words. I'm cutting a lot of the 'And's, 'but's, and 'cause's as unnecessary in my opinion. They tend to slur into the next word and make it lose its communicative effectiveness. Writers employ those words while writing to tie ideas together clearly. But you can often (not always) eliminate them in the final draft without the song losing anything, and perhaps gaining clarity in the communication, and certainly easing up on the singer who has to fit them into the prosody if you keep them in there.

It Matters To Me

Verse 1
This just doesn't feel right
This doesn't feel good at all
I don't really know why
But I know that it's you

(Pre-chorus 'lift')
I find it hard to think straight
You've got such a hold on me.
Please don't let me go
Don't let me go

Chorus
It's you and I, I still believe
We made it this far. Can't you see
That everything that we've been through
It Matters To Me
In my heart and in my dreams
There are memories that make me bleed
That it
Mat-ters
To Me-----

Verse 2
It really kinda matters
That you still feel the things I do
We haven't been the same lately
like I'm used to

Even though it seems good
Is there something on your mind
Please don't let this go
Don't let this go

Repeat Chorus

Middle 8 (Bridge?)
I think I kinda figured it out
That maybe it's not all about you
This is only happening
Cos I don't know in my mind (This line seems weak, not explaining much)

I never thought I'd doubt you
But now I'm doubting myself
Just doubting myself

(Repeat Chorus)

(Coda)
Oh yeah,
But in my heart & in my dreams
The're memories that make me bleed
& i want you to see yeah, Oh yeah

Your rhyme-scheme sets a pattern, as does your structure. Verse one has an odd scheme, 'right, all, why, you,' which is ABAC. That pattern would be expected to repeat in following verses.

Then you go structurally to the pre-chorus musical movement which lifts in pitch and emotional intensity toward the chorus. You repeat that pre-chorus after Verse 2, again leading to the chorus. But Verse 2 has an ABCB rhyme-scheme, 'matters, do, lately, to.' It seems to work, despite not being true to the pattern set in V1. I think the structure is so strong this oddity doesn't detract from it. In some songs it would.

I think if you can examine enunciation to be sure listeners 'get it' the first time through, and if you put THE hook in the right places, it can be a stronger song, maybe strong enough to get the nod from whoever you're pitching to, a publisher, an artist, or the general public with that coin-of-the-realm thing.

Last edited by Gary E. Andrews; 12/12/09 01:42 AM.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#778902 - 12/15/09 01:45 AM Re: It matters to me [Re: JamesDF5]  
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Johnny Daubert Offline
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Johnny Daubert  Offline
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Originally Posted by JamesDF5

John: Interesting point about hooks. I think i've misunderstood hooks to be the melody but I get the point now that you and others have made. It's more like a repetitive catchy phrase that is said at the start of the chorus and clearly should be at the end too. Cheers.


MUCH MORE places and ways to have hooks than just what you explained.

Think musically: An intro riff hook, a transition hook, hooks in between lines, etc.

Think vocally: Intro vocal hooks, transition hooks, (sounding, not just for chorus lyrics).

Think accent hooks: *part of musically) Whether horns, strings, guitars, drums, whatever!

HOOKS are made not just for choruses. A song can be hook after hook, in either or any of the instruments, vocals, and lyrics.

Sub's songs, for the most part, for great examples, demonstrate hooks in various forms. The more hooks,,,even a drum sound and certain beat for a certain spot, can have the song so memorable, it isn't funny! One or more of the hooks will stay with the listener. Usually, when placed creatively, a complete song can be memorable, lyrically and musically, right from the start, from many hooks being used, instead of just meandering along with usual playing, singing, or lyric writing.

The main lyrical hook of the song will "usually" be the title. But there can be supporting hooks in the lyrics.

For a simple, yet effective old song to give a perfect example of this is "She Loves You", (main hook), immediately followed by the supporting vocal hook of "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah". No real lyrics there in that second hook,,,,so the vocal "sounds" become the hook as if a riff from a guitar or horn! Clever as anything. Yet so basic. Basic works great for the memory of people.

Work with a body of hooks in a song! Not just one. Have em coming from all directions, and watch people remember your songs.

John


Actually a Member Since 1996 or 97 (Number One Hundred Something).
https://www.soundclick.com/bands3/default.cfm?bandID=1409522





#778923 - 12/15/09 02:51 AM Re: It matters to me [Re: Johnny Daubert]  
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Michele Howlett Offline
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Michele Howlett  Offline
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Posts: 3,541
Hunter Valley NSW Australia
Hi James

I got two songs criticed, with the same guy, smile one of the critics I agreed with, the other one, I didn't agree with, but that's okay hey.

Anyway love your song, whistle keep working it, and you've got lots of feedback happening here, fantastic, keep us posted on any changes you make, love to listen again. smile


Hugs Michele

Last edited by Michele Bolton; 12/15/09 02:53 AM.
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