Charlie Recksieck – Gotta Tell Ya

Charlie RecksieckGotta Tell YouCharlie Recksieck begins with nice simple guitar work that engages the listener immediately. The instrumental tracks reminded of a folk pop rock U2. Two voices, male and female, enter at 16 seconds, are unique and could easily stand alone in this song. Although they could stand by themselves, I wouldn’t change a thing as I think the phrasing and relationship between the two carry the tune. Another thing I noticed was the tasteful chords that were playing behind the guitar and voices. It sounds like an EP, but I wasn’t quite sure as it was so tastefully mixed.

The rhythm and phrasing of the vocal is excellent as it sounds percussive at times. The singers are clearly connecting with the guitar and delivering a great groove. Hats off to the guitar player as well as he/she nailed it. I love the bass harmony below the lead as this is an extremely nice juxtaposition of voices. At 1:52, the lower voice supports the lead with “na na na na”. At first, I didn’t like it, but the more I listened, the more it drew me in as the rhythm was right on.

My guess is Gotta Tell You was written to a brief and not necessarily to become a pop or folk song. The melody is subtle and wouldn’t get in the way of a scene, so it feels like it could be used in a drama very easily. I would be curious to know the genesis of it.

Also, when the voices are singing together on the same lyric, my preference is to hear them hitting the front and the back end of the word together. It sounds as if there were two very talented singers who didn’t get an opportunity to rehearse a lot. That’s a couple of the reasons that I think this might have been written for a specific purpose and it really wasn’t necessary to spend a lot of time perfecting or syncing. The overall production is so excellent, it just feels like the art of the song was on a time frame.

Charlie RecksieckMy constructive feedback with Gotta Tell You is that I feel myself listening to the two voices and not necessarily the lyrics that they are singing. I don’t walk away from the song singing a hook or remembering the melodic structure. Generally, with this kind of quality, the song is a little more developed, that’s another reason I think it might have been done quickly. It is strong in the current form and I think with a more memorable hook, it could be a very strong folk pop piece. It is short enough (2:30) where a more developed chorus could be added easily.

While I have spent most of my thoughts on the composition, I have to say that the production and mix was stellar. Not only was it an excellent mix for my taste, but the recording of the individual performances are as good as it gets. I know Charlie Recksieck’s work and everything he does is written, performed, recorded and mixed at a very high level. I have deep respect for his skills.

I would sign Gotta Tell You in a second to pitch to film, tv or even advertisers in the current form. If I was going to put it on a record, I would re-work it and add a stronger melodic hook.

Charlie RecksieckGotta Tell YouCharlie Recksieck

Hope this helps,

Roy

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Diana Rasmussen – Raindrops Are Tears

Diana Rasmussen Raindrops Are Tears

Diana Rasmussen - Roy ElkinsThis is an interesting, and in some ways, mesmerizing & hypnotic song.  Clearly the song is written to God with the concept is that God is crying raindrops.Because there is no specificity from the writer as to why God is crying, we all could come up with our own reasons and create our own meaning to it. So one could interpret the thought provoking hook into their own belief system…..that’s what songwriting is all about…..reaching the heart and mind of the listener. Simp

The marriage of the lyric, melody and phrasing of the vocal is very good. All three support each other and feel as if they were all written at the same moment in time without much editing after the fact. It seems to flow directly from the heart of the writer.

Diana Rasmussen 2The progression and production reminds me a little of Coldplay’s “Clocks.” The background music is very well done and creates a mood from the first note. The strings are rich and the tonal frequencies of them complement the piano brilliantly.  Although I am biased, I love thick and rich sounds and the writer and/or producer of this has nailed it for my tastes. This is an example of great sound selection and it would have been easy to keep adding more and more instruments, but kudos to the producer for knowing when to quit.

The vocal is a near whisper vocal with lots of reverb that gives the production a late 60s, early 70s feel to it. Many times this is done because of the producer hears it this way or the original vocal needs a lift. But because of this, it’s hard to tell if the vocal does actually need correcting or is the verb selection out of tune with the vocal itself. To me, it sounds like there might be slight pitch issues on the original track. I would like to hear this without the effect even if the vocal is not quite on the pitch, as the sincerity of it might carry the production like a Neil Young or Joan Baez performance.

Diana Rasmussen 3One other note. The style of the singer sounds like she is a little more comfortable with an instrument in her hands and that this vocal may have done without an instrument. It may be easier for her to play and sing it, muting the instrument while doing so. With that said, I do like the delivery and believe that it wouldn’t take much to tweak the original track.

If Raindrops Are Tears was my song, I would re-visit and put out two different versions. One with the current singer with a lot less verb on the vocal, tweak the pitch and try to keep the dated vibe to it. I believe this will really work. The other with a big voice, similar to a Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, etc. The only problem with this is that the “big voice” may not be able to deliver the sincerity that this song needs and the original singer does that so well.

Also, I listened several times and kept thinking, John Legend. It seems like this could be a song that he would do well. There are many current artists who could sing this.

Diana Rasmussen Raindrops Are Tears

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