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Jenn

"Appropriate" Demo (Updated 6/14)

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Jenn    171

I've carried this song around me for a year and a half now... I've always had the first verse, chorus, and chords in my head. I finally decided to make a little backing track last night and a second verse for it today. The vocals were recorded right as I woke up and in about 20 minutes.. So they could be better, but it gives a pretty good idea about the feel of the song.. I like the length, it kind of gives insight into my drunken state of regret..

I'm trying to put together a short EP by the end of the year; just kind of giving myself a goal to work towards. So critique that I'm looking for would be any that would make my makeshift EP sound okay!

 

Verse 

I went to that party nearly drank myself to death

I can't remember all the words that I said

 

Chorus

I'm not sure, am I appropriate

Or are you just sugarcoating it?

And I left my manners at the door

 

Verse

I thought I had friends

Where did they go?

I thought I had friends

Where did they go?

I don't know

I'm falling down again

 

Chorus

I'm not sure, am I appropriate? 

Or are you just sugarcoating it?

And I left my manners at the door

 

I'm not sure, am I appropriate? 

Or are you just sugarcoating it?

So can you pour me some more?

Pour me some more

 

Edit: I redid the vocals with Hobo's suggestions :). I panned the piano one both the left and right sides and centered the claps. I added some backing vocals. I'm overall happy with it, besides the last chorus where I couldn't get the voice I wanted to....

I tried belting it but it was a little too harsh for my mic/the mix. I was going for a mix voice, but it is a little more falsetto than I would like

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/appropriate

 

 

Edited by Jenn
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HoboSage    1,907

I have issues with the chorus lyric.

 

First of all, when you wonder "if I'm inappropriate,"  you're wondering if "I am" - right now, being inappropriate.  It seems to me that the first chorus should be you wondering if you were inappropriate previously at the party.   If you're not sure if you were inappropriate, then you're not sure if you were appropriate either. "Appropriate" is one less syllable than "inappropriate."  I think for the first chorus, the first line should be: "I'm not sure, was I appropriate?"  It will make sense, and, in my opinion, it will sing with better prosody.

 

The second verse has you wondering where all your friends are.  So, if all your friends are gone, then who are you asking in the second and final choruses if they're just sugarcoating it, and if they'll pour you some more?  It doesn't make sense to me.

 

Just my opinions.

 

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Jenn    171
3 minutes ago, HoboSage said:

I have issues with the chorus lyric.

 

First of all, when you wonder "if I'm inappropriate,"  you're wondering if "I am" - right now, being inappropriate.  It seems to me that the first chorus should be you wondering if you were inappropriate previously at the party.   If you're not sure if you were inappropriate, then you're not sure if you were appropriate either. "Appropriate" is one less syllable than "inappropriate."  I think for the first chorus, the first line should be: "I'm not sure, was I appropriate?"  It will make sense, and, in my opinion, it will sing with better prosody.

 

The second verse has you wondering where all your friends are.  So, if all your friends are gone, then who are you asking in the second and final choruses if they're just sugarcoating it, and if they'll pour you some more?  It doesn't make sense to me.

 

Just my opinions.

 

Ahhhh I hear what you're saying. I do like "I'm not sure, was I appropriate?" and then I could continue to say "Or were you just sugarcoating it?" 

I've always struggled with the tenses in this one.. but I think I'll use your suggestion, just don't know when I'll get to record so fully again

 

And the second verse I wanted to act more like a bridge.. kind of like a being pulled out from my drunken state for just a second and then being pulled back into it when I'm falling down, quite literally, and falling emotionally because all my friends have left me. I kind of improved this bit this morning.. I haven't let it sit fully with me. But I'll keep your opinions with me.

 

Thanks so much Hobo .. always appreciate your comments! 

 

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ImKeN    253

Really cool song idea, Jenn. I think the lyric is an "attention-grabber." It's gonna be a killer song at the end of the rewriting process! 

 

Very promising work. All the best with it!

 

Ken

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Jenn    171
5 hours ago, ImKeN said:

Really cool song idea, Jenn. I think the lyric is an "attention-grabber." It's gonna be a killer song at the end of the rewriting process! 

 

Very promising work. All the best with it!

 

Ken

Thanks so much Ken :) you're making me feel like I have a fan on here with all your compliments!

I'm not sure I'm going to change much besides the lyric suggestion from Hobo, and redo the vocal take ...

I also got come advice to put a piano track on both sides of the panning and put the claps in the middle. I think it sounds better/fuller like this, so that's the only other change I've made so far

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Jenn    171

Updated link in the original post .. Thank you [smiley=heartpump.gif]

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JH Michaels    70

Hi Jenn,

You've made some vast improvements from your earlier work and I like the melody as well as the basic chord progression...well done!  Your vocals don't seem to lend themselves well to a more reserved approach....they started to shine at around 59 seconds in..where you started belting it out imho....I think that is where your strength lies.    Your second verse seems to me, would function more as a bridge than a verse.  I would like to hear what happened?  what did you do?  is this something that happens often?  do your friends come back to you?  is there an underlying drinking problem?  This is a great subject and it creates a lot of room to tell a story....I'm really looking forward to see how it develops.

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Ray888    159

Hi Jenn, I think that your lyric is getting there although I can't help feeling that your opening line could be stronger.

 

I think that it's the "I wen't" that lets the opening line down.

 

Here's a few examples to get you thinking. Dropped into a party, Found a crazy party. Loved that crazy party, Fell into a party, F*** that crazy party, etc.

 

I went to that party

nearly drank myself to death

I can't remember

all the words that I said

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MonoStone    824

Hey Jenn,

 

I'm sure I've heard a previous version of this where the 'appropriate' section (and maybe the whole song) was sung with more energy. Maybe my memory is telling me lies but if I'm right, please can you post that earlier version too? This version really plods, the previous one in my memory was catchy and energetic.So again, if I'm right and you still have it...let's hear and compare?

 

Dek

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MonoStone    824

Ah I found it 

 

https://soundcloud.com/jennifer8169456/inappropriate-1

 

That old version isn't so good a recording as the new one (although some of the 'lo fi' sound suits the song...it needs enhancing)...and the verse melody in the old version tends to wander and seem unsure, but the way you sing the chorus is much more catchy... it has a good rhythm.

 

My opinion... Revert to the way you did this older version in terms of tempo and rhythm and chorus melody and just work on doing it as a better recording...and also then develop the verse melody. 

 

The new version feels dull and lifeless in comparison. I think you went in the wrong direction when you developed the song from the original idea....although it did need developing.

 

Hope that helps. I think if you develop this the right way it could be a really catchy and cool pop song. Keep a few rough edges too like a gritty guitar sound. And I think it would suit a minimal arrangement ... not much more than you have in the old demo...guitar, thudding bass drum, claps. And then also throw in some interesting bits n bobs of sounds that punctuate the rhythm rather than padding it out.

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I agree with @MonoStone.

 

The original version captures the essence of what you're trying to convey better, in my opinion. Your most recent version has a party pop vibe to it; but the song isn't about the party, really. It's about the morning after, feeling rough, and filled with regret about your alcohol-fuelled antics. I can feel that in the original more than in the current version. Production-wise: rough guitars, heavy, grungy vocals. It should be sung loud and unabashed and with a sense of 'I don't really give a f**k what I did last night. That's your problem'. There should be some sarcasm in it; the singer asks if she was inappropriate, but it's rhetorical, she don't give a sh**t :). Kind of like a Hole song, with a Courtney vibe. Just my 2 cents of course. 

Edited by Will Sketches
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ImKeN    253
23 hours ago, Jenn said:

Thanks so much Ken :) you're making me feel like I have a fan on here with all your compliments!

 

I'm usually inspired by your work so I guess I am, kind of, like a fan. :hippy:

 

BTW, I like the updated version, as well. If something like this was playing in the background of scene from a comedy TV show, with a woman getting drunk and doing crazy things, that would be crazy fun to watch(lol)! Maybe you should look into production music? 

 

Nice work,

 

Ken

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Jenn    171
18 hours ago, JH Michaels said:

Hi Jenn,

You've made some vast improvements from your earlier work and I like the melody as well as the basic chord progression...well done!  Your vocals don't seem to lend themselves well to a more reserved approach....they started to shine at around 59 seconds in..where you started belting it out imho....I think that is where your strength lies.    Your second verse seems to me, would function more as a bridge than a verse.  I would like to hear what happened?  what did you do?  is this something that happens often?  do your friends come back to you?  is there an underlying drinking problem?  This is a great subject and it creates a lot of room to tell a story....I'm really looking forward to see how it develops.

i don't think i know the answer to 90% of these questions... but maybe I have to write a second verse now that you've got me thinking....

 

@MonoStone Holy!!!!! I forgot that recording even existed! And it's pretty good in retrospect(if I may say so myself.... I was just starting!) And I agree with you and @Will Sketches... The two versions have completely different feeling from each other. I hadn't even realized I changed some of the phrasing in the chorus. The older version does capture the immediate morning after a night out.. but the newer version feels like I captured the last 2 years of maybe too many nights out. The newer version also actually just poured out from me, and felt like it was right in every way.. but I still feel like both need to be worked out. So I may continue to write another verse, and rerecord both... if it's possible. Do you guys think I should use an actual guitar again? Or use the crappy one in garageband? The newer version is all garageband.. Thanks so much both of you [smiley=heartpump.gif]

 

19 minutes ago, ImKeN said:

 

I'm usually inspired by your work so I guess I am, kind of, like a fan. :hippy:

 

BTW, I like the updated version, as well. If something like this was playing in the background of scene from a comedy TV show, with a woman getting drunk and doing crazy things, that would be crazy fun to watch(lol)! Maybe you should look into production music? 

 

Nice work,

 

Ken

Ahhhh!!! Free tickets to my first show if that ever happens haha!

You prefer the updated version, as well? So you don't prefer one over the other?? I'm just trying to figure out which one I like more myself!

And to see the scene you described, just come see me on a Friday night :walkman:

I would love to make music for music honestly, but I still don't know if I could handle having to change the shape of my music so much, if that makes sense.. I don't know. Last year of college next year, and then I get to figure that stuff out.

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Jenn    171

Also, I just tried speeding up the updated version from 130 bpm to 140 bpm and I think it made a difference. It kind of made it more chaotic and seemed to resemble the original a little more for me.

I went into the old version too on garageband. I had used a "bright voice" filter. I think that may have added to the sprite of it.. But for the updated one I used a "natural voice". Personally, the bright voice altered my voice too much for my liking, even though it sounds a lot better..

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ImKeN    253
38 minutes ago, Jenn said:

And to see the scene you described, just come see me on a Friday night :walkman:

LOL😂 

 

37 minutes ago, Jenn said:

You prefer the updated version, as well? So you don't prefer one over the other?? I'm just trying to figure out which one I like more myself!

Sorry, I wasn't referring to the original(old) version, at all. I was only talking about the current, updated, version:

 

23 hours ago, Jenn said:

Updated link in the original post .. Thank you [smiley=heartpump.gif]

 

In my opinion, the current version sounds better than the old one. In terms of vocal melody and arrangement/production, what you have going on now sounds much more well rounded as a song.

 

Just go with your gut ✌️

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