Bob Bentley – Love Is In The Things I Do, Review By Roy Elkins
Here is my follow up to Acceptance, which is now renamed Love Is In The Things I Do. I think it was a good idea to change the name of the song. It is now searchable and memorable. Thanks for the opportunity to hear your music. Roy Elkins
Bob Bentley – Love Is In The Things I Do
The song continues to get better with each version and this singer knocks it out of the park on this one. Near the end it even sounds a little “broadway” like to me, which I love. It opens up the possibilities for this song. She has a big voice and I love to hear more of her stuff.
One other note that I’m not sure I picked up on the first time through. Although I like the feel, it is a little “Halloween” like in the intro. Part of me says this really works, the other part has to think about it. Maybe that’s the magic of it. With that said, I wouldn’t change it unless it continues to hit walls.
Technical: There are clear points that the vocal is too hot and this needs to be addressed as it will prevent this version from making it to any broadcast format. This sounds to me as if the effect was to loud in the mix as the distortion kicks in slightly after the singer hits the note. I am not sure this is the case throughout, but if it is, this can be easily fixed in the mix. Some examples of this are at 1:22, 1:31-1:34, 2:20, 3:00 and many other more subtle places as well.
This is an incredible voice that is buried in reverb. The singer does a great job at pulling off the mic between 2:40 – 2:45, so it sounds like the effect was added after it was sent to you. If this is the case, then I would pull the verb back a lot or put a compressor in the vocal chain before the the signal hits to the verb. This won’t eliminate the amount of verb, but it will eliminate the distortion. If the track was sent with this verb, then it needs to be re-cut or re-sent without the effect.
Lastly, I still think the lyric is a little confused as I mentioned in the first review. If this was going on a record, there would be a re-write with the producer and/or artist…..or they would ask for a re-write from you….but you may not get that opportunity, so I would try and get it tweaked as soon as you can.
Summary: Metadata has not been added and needs to be. Vocal mix/verb needs tweaking. Lyrics need a re-write…..Feel is excellent and singer is great.
Hope this helps,
Bob, Here are my thoughts on “Acceptance.”
I love the feeling of this song. This is clearly one of those songs that was written from a tough experience the writer faced. The feeling is well conveyed in the melody and the chord progression of the song. The singer has remarkable tone and with the right producer could really knock songs out of the park. If I was him, I would explore working with other producers as he sounds a little tentative at times, but has amazing tone.
In some songs the writer is creating from their heart and may never want to change it. As I have mentioned in previous reviews, I have several songs that I won’t change as they have profound meaning to me. But I also understand they are not very marketable in the current form. I can’t speak for the writer, but that may be the case here. He/she may be just getting something off his/her chest and this song could be doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Only one person knows if it is.
A couple of technical issues that should be easy to address. Make sure all metadata (specific information such as subject matter, lyrics, mood, etc.) is filled out. This is critical on our site and all the others as well. If someone was searching for a “Lost love” ballad, it wouldn’t be found and it deserves to be.
Also, the title of the song is “Acceptance” and I am not sure the title and the hook are one in the same. Obviously, there have been numerous songs without synchronized titles and hooks. But we are in a new day of search and discover. If someone heard this song and wanted to look it up, they would never type the word Acceptance into the search engine. A better title might be, “Love Is In The Things I Do.”
No lyrics were listed either. This is also very important.
It sounds as if the lyrics just emotionally flowed out of the writer and there wasn’t much tweaking done after the first pass. This is not a bad thing, just my thought as I write this review. Here are some specifics: The first line sets up “her” and much of the song is about “I.” “You will never change, but I tried to be the best that I can be.” Maybe could be “I was hoping I could change, but I tried to be the best that I can be.” The first line is really a contradiction to the rest of the first verse. Why won’t she change? “Sad affairs” were slightly mentioned later in the song, but the first line has almost no literal meaning to the rest of the song, but I am sure it has heartfelt meaning to the writer. “You brushed aside the love we used to share. It’s not that I don’t care.” She was the one who brushed it aside. A more effectively lyric might be, “You brushed aside the love we used to share. It seems that you don’t care.” If the guilt is put on her, the listener will be much more empathetic to the singer. The song is much more effective if it is about “her” or “I”…..or skillfully goes back and forth between the two, which is very difficult. Try re-writing this lyric both ways with no music playing. Every line is about “her” or every line is about “I.” I think this will help evolve the lyric and you could draw from each to give the back and forth that could make this song extremely effective. With that said, the heartfelt message is conveyed through the emotion of the arrangement, just not as literally and efficiently as it could be.
At 2:55, the instrumental bridge arrives and the music sounds as if there is going to be a positive resolution, but there isn’t. Although I love the music and synth-string arrangement in the bridge, I don’t think it works in this song. Also, the strings cut out pretty abruptly at 3:24.
Overall, the song is good and has strong potential. If you can swing it, find a local producer who has worked on hundreds of songs and make a deal. Putting another set of ears on this will really help. I didn’t address the production, but it isn’t broadcast ready in the current form. A producer would also help on the mix and eq’ing of the instruments and getting it to a broadcast ready product.
If this was my song, this is what I would do: I wouldn’t change the music or feeling at all. It nails the message of the song. I would re-write this lyric over and over and over until perfect and married to the music. I would lose or change the bridge as I’m not sure it adds much. Also, it would shorten the song as well. It is too long for any airplay. I would input the metadata.
Hope this helps,
Founder, Broadjam, Great People Along The Way, Thoughts On The Music Industry
Additional links & good organizations
Madison Area Music Association, Willywash, Dallas Songwriters Association – one of the best in the business, Merlin Mentors – Great org that helps young entrepreneurs, Les Paul Foundation, Wisconsin Foundation for School Music
Press & educational links
Hangout June 6, 2014, “Blanket” Music Licensing, Industry Projections, Celebrating Sonic Foundry, A Music Platform, Project Famous – Great Photographer, Models of Opportunity: How Entrepreneurs Design Firms
I’m very grateful for the feedback on Love Is In The Things I Do. I was blown away when Emma Jane agreed to do the vocal and I’m very pleased you enjoyed her performance. (Her website is http://www.emmajaneofficial.com/)
Thank you for your technical feedback in particular. The recording was an online collaboration and Emma Jane emailed a clean vocal track which I edited and mixed with the instrumental tracks. As you worked out – I am the one guilty of overcooking the vocal! She has a powerful voice and it took a lot of trial and error to get it in the right place in the mix. Somehow, neither of us picked up on the errors. That’s a real demonstration as to why it’s invaluable to get this expert guidance. I will start working on it very soon as a stop gap version.
I’ve wanted to do a rewrite since your original comments but EJ agreed to do the vocals right after I received them and I didn’t want to risk losing her enthusiasm by delaying the project. I now know how easy the process can be, and that she loves the song, so I will call on her generosity to do another vocal when I’ve sorted the words out.
I’m not quite sure what happened to the metadata as it is on the track but didn’t display on the song page. I am uploading the song again and hope that will sort it out.
I have had a great reaction to this song in competitions, from artists and from fans and I am determined to get it right. I’m so grateful to you for this assistance to help it along.
Many thanks again,
Bob, You are welcome. Keep at it, you have a good one in the works. Roy