Derrick Lee

Derrick Lee

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Derrick Lee

Music Attorney • Music Blogger • Concert Photographer • A Good Dude
music industry, music licensing, music marketing, music management, music business, music blogging, music reviews
Los Angeles, CA

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gloriano taccon submitted media.

Hero's Departure by Giulio Taccon

Derrick Lee

Short but catchy little ditty. Its themes seem like a good fit for television/theatrical synchronization but you'll obviously need to fill it out with an orchestral arrangement. It may have some pop-potential, but without a melody line over it, it's hard to tell. The more I think about it, it really sounds like a good fit for placement in a video game insofar as the themes seems loop worthy.

Martin Tillman submitted media.

Zero Gravity by Martin Tillman

Derrick Lee

Hello Martin:

This is a lovely instrumental track. I think is flows quite nicely and crescendos at the right moments, giving the piece life, animating it with palpable "breaths".  You are absolutely correct about the the mood that the string section add to the piece. Having listened to several of your other recordings (and looking you up on the internet), my assumption that you were already an accomplished composer/musician was confirmed.

My only musical suggestion (and take it with a grain of salt insofar as I am neither a producer nor professional musician) is that I think that the melodic top-line, which you play throughout using a synth, could be played with a different instrument to give the work greater depth. I've read that you are an accomplished cellist. I wondered why you opted not to record that part of the score with your cello. I think the rich, live, tonal qualities of the cello could greatly add to the emotional content of your recording. The synth sound-patch used, while ethereal, is a little to "spacey" for me, and I think your cello playing could make the recording more "earthy". 

Great work, and keep it up!

Derrick K. Lee

Patricia Crowell submitted media.

To Tennessee by Working Class Hussys

Derrick Lee

Generally, I think it's a solid recording, but I'm not sure whether it can "travel" well (meaning, its popularity may be limited regionally). 

I like the song structure. The verses, hooks and bridges all tie the song together well. 

I personally think that the vocal mix of the background singers could be tighter. For such an anthemic message, I would have liked to hear darker vowels. In other words, perhaps not as bright and brassy. I also think their introductory lines before the "hey" were unnecessary and muddled (I still can't tell what they are singing).

The main line vocal track I think could also do with a little less vibrato (i.e. the elongated notes of "diesel fuel", "booze", "through" in the verses).

Solid track through. I think the true measure of it's potential would be in live performances. Seems like it would be a solid set closer.

Good luck, and let me know your thoughts!

David Bell Jr. submitted media.

Time Machine (Prod. By NOBULL) by Block Scholars

Derrick Lee

In my experience,  "old" music (music that has been out for a while) is hard to push in a current market without significant help (i.e. motion picture or television placements, commercial placement, or as a cover by another popular artist). For example, two motion pictures soundtracks that heavily feature covers and are doing decently on iTunes (the Soundtracks to "50 Shades of Gray" and "Pitch Perfect 2") no doubt boosted sales of the original recordings that are covered on those albums.

This song, while very relevant in today's social turmoil, came out four years ago, and may have missed it's window to promote. You can try reaching out to those companies that work to promote music through social media awareness, but whether investing money in that way is practical for your purposes is another matter all together.

That being said, you can always try to push the song through a second round through your own social media platforms. I went online to check out (look for)  your various social media accounts and I was a little confused as to why your account names seem to vary across platforms. Your soundcloud seems to be named Block Scholars, your twitter is named Block Scholars but uses @Slimdog as the handle, on Facebook there is no Block Scholars and only a Slimdog account, and on Instagram there's a @BlockScholars account. I'm not sure whether it would help, but I think that consolidating social media accounts with the same name, especially for lesser known acts, would help.

I also checked Youtube for videos by Block Scholars, and I noticed that there doesn't seem to be an "official" music video for the track. Given the nature of the song, the lyrical imagery and subject matter, a well-made, socially conscious "official" video, with solid modern imagery reflective of the lyrics, could possibly help spread more awareness of the music.

Hope the tips help.

Derrick Dickey submitted media.

Another Late Night (sneak preview) by Digital Slumber Party

Derrick Lee

Hi Chris: I like the vibe your going for, though I think for EDM purposes (and take my opinion with a grain of salt as EDM is not my forte) it's a bit downtempo and lacks "hard" hits that I'm accustomed to in rave or EDM tents at festivals (for example, I think the level of the "scratches" at 3:05 (and other spots) could be leveled up. Also, as and aside and along the same lines, in "The Gentle Collapse" demo, I really think that level on the kick drums to could boosted a bit as well. Maybe its because I'm listening to the track with great speakers (listening through my computer without headphones).

That being said, for this track I really think adding a vocal line with at least a chorus would really enhance the rich music that you already have. I think that notion could apply especially to "Skip The Day" at 1:17 and 2:25 and the outro.

Good start. Keep making the good music.

Derrick Dickey submitted media.

The Gentle Collapse (demo) by Digital Slumber Party

Derrick Lee

Hey Chris: I should have just focused on the last song I reviewed for you cause I actually mentioned this track also in my last session for your track "Another Late Night". lol.

If I had to add more suggestions/notes, I do like the way this tracks crescendos throughout, but I think adding a break-beat at around the 1:43 mark would really pump the track up even more. You could even tease a break beat somewhere in :45 - 1:25.

You note that you want feedback on how to complete tune. I would just tag along with my prior comments form my review of "Another Late Night", since I'm partial to vocals, I think a vocal line in this track would also add to its appeal.

roger kahlon submitted media.

b l a c k / v a l e n t i n e by roger singh kahlon

Derrick Lee

Hi Roger:

Keep in mind that my opinions are just that, opinions.

Took a listen to "black/valentine" and thought it was ok. It's something that I would call a "mood track". When delivering masters to a label, not every master can be a radio friendly single. Those tracks on an album that can be included on the track list, but really don't leave lasting impression, but do create a "vibe", I tend to call a "mood track".

You wrote the lyrics below, separating verses from the chorus, but to be frank, the melody of the verse is almost identical to the chorus, and I can't distinguish the two. Although the instrumental is repetitive throughout the track, the melodies could have been played with better. A better hook in the chorus could have greatly improved the overall effectiveness of the music. I think the lyrics are good. It reads like poetry, but in order for it to really pop you need to frame it in a better, more creative, melody.

It's a good start, and I can feel the Maxwell and Weekend vibes that your trying to put out there, but more work on the melody, in my humble opinion, is needed.

submitted media.

Gonna Make It by Solution Felt Super

Derrick Lee

This track has some potential, although I do have a couple issues with it.

The recording starts with a clean audio take of a tenor vocal, and just as I was getting into the track, heading into the bridge, the second vocalist came in and kinda put a damper on it. The second vocalist has a more guttural, death metal sound ... and in the right context, I could appreciate it, but in contrast to the lead vocalist, and the clean, pop-leaning, instrumentals, it just seems totally out of place. Death Metal vocals on an indie/alt rock track just seems out of place. Just to play devil's advocate, I'm thinking it could be that the instrumental's during the second vocalists' part just isn't hard enough to match the vocals, but if you change the instrumentation/music of that part, it just wouldn't match the rest of the track. 

Not only did it seem like the second vocalist was out of place, but I had an extremely hard time understanding the lyrics he was singing. I'd want to blame the type of mic being used, or the vocal mix, but I can't do that because the lead vocals are extremely clean. 

I'll be frank ... I'm not a big fan of Death Metal. The closest I can get is some Pantera and I'm not saying that Phil Anselmo's vocals are on the top of my list ... but the second vocalist's style, in my humble opinion, just doesn't match with the music going on, and it seems to only take away from the quality of this recording. There's pop potential here (if that's what you're aiming for) but the second vocalist's stylings takes it out of that category.

Take my criticism with a grain of salt. I know you're hoping to use this track to help fund the next track, but I'm not completely sold that this track is all that it could be. To put it bluntly, personally, if I were in the studio, I would have recorded this track with only one (the first) vocalist and omitted the second vocalist entirely.

Liked it. Didn't love it. It could (could have) been better.

David Cox submitted media.

Derrick Lee

Good production and vocal mix. The laid back vocal delivery of the verses fits the mood of the beat, but I think that some of the lyrics take away from the story being told. References to other personalities (whether fictional or not) oversaturate the story of the song with ideas of characters that don't really add much to the weight and true value/meaning of the song. I think there were at least 5 or 6 references to personalities/characters, the lines of which could have been used, at least in my opinion, to tell the listener more of the character directly rather than compare them to others. I went to your Soundcloud page and took a listen to a couple of tracks.  I think your lyrical deliver on "Pretty Girl" is one point to what I'm talking about. In that song, you it's all about the "Pretty Girl". Not one simile or comparison to another personality, and I think it really paints the kind of picture that Chemical Romance was trying to achieve.

Fluence Team submitted media.

For the Creative Community by The Fluence Team

Derrick Lee

Interesting platform. I look forward to using it and seeing how effective it is.