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Helium (w/domdino)

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Our pal, Dom, has recently moved from the U.K to Los Angeles to get serious about a career with this music stuff we all love so much. He's putting together a demo and I signed on back in December to sing a few songs for him. Of course, I immediately came down with virus after virus, so the start of the project was delayed until last month. He is a very patient fellow.

I think Dom is an extremely talented musician and really has a shot at working as a composer songwriter. He's also hustling his rear off down in L.A.

This is a demo version of this track and we're looking for people to take the gloves off and really tell us what needs to be changed and/or give ideas for what could make the track better. If your honest reaction is "Wow, I love it," that's perfectly okay, but if not, please don't pull punches.

We're both very grateful for the listens and help.

I want to really thank my Orbiting bandmate, illuminati, who did the vocal production and is generally very encouraging and helpful to me, as well as being extremely tall.

Dom's back catalog is a goldmine for singers and he's a lovely person, too. I feel lucky to have worked with him.
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I pour some wine and drop a sigh.
Is it time to love or time to cry?
The wind stirs the leaves outside.
The sky and the earth collide.

Love's not supposed to hold you down.
It should help you fly
all around the world.
In a joy-filled helium balloon,
for two, for two.

I dance here wildly on the bar.
Finally stopped following
a burned-out star,
the night I turned toward the sky
and found I'd forgotten how to fly.

Love's not supposed to (tie you tight)
hold you down (inside a wedding gown).
You're always free to take the door.
To fly away from what doesn't make you happy anymore.
Song Stats
Hits: 6279
Comments: 87
Fans: 34
Plays: 596
Downloads: 227
Votes: 23
Uploaded: Apr 18, 2007 - 03:02:49 PM
Last Updated: Apr 18, 2007 - 03:02:49 PM Last Played: Apr 17, 2019 - 10:39:02 PM
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perceptualvortex said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
You look good dancing on the bar
Awesome. Your singing is always a winner, Lisa. And of course, you're relly good at lyrics. I love the production on the vocals. I was trying to think of production critiques, but really this sounds good.

Ok, little bit o' crit: The compression on the drums (I think that's what it is) is doing something that I try to avoid, as it always sounds unnatural to me; it's supressing the initial attack of each hit, but then (in a few milliseconds) brings the volume back up. It gives it a bit of an undewater sound, to my ears.

One other thing; there are moments here and there where I wish I could hear a given instrument a little better. Like, the lead guitar in the beginning; I woud crank that up to the level of the vocals that follow it (and then bring it down again during the singing). And when the piano comes in during the first verse, and the lead guitar in the final verse.

That's my pickiness; in truth, I love the way this sounds. Excellent work, Lisa and Dom!
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Thanks, David
Those suggestions are really specific and very helpful!
said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Love the song, but the drums need remixed. They sound flat and underwater.
I want to hear them in stereo.
Otherwise, excellent job all around!

ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
I'm loving this underwater similie. I think it could be an effect that could come in handy in another song. You and David are the beatmasters, so I believe you that it should be looked at here.
MasonAtom said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
my honest assessment
Nice arrangement, lyrics, and vocal performance

1) Lead guitar in the intro is too "fizzy". IMO it doesn't fit well. I'd like to hear it smoothed out a bit, which means it would probably need to be re-recorded and the gain structure changed.

2) The drums - I gotta agree with Dave... there is something not quite right about the sound. The initial attack sounds a bit deadened, then it starts to fill the sound space, but then falls off again. I'm not a compression whizz, but I think this is the culprit. Some fiddling with the attack and release time should liven up the drums quite a lot.

3) Why are the backing whispered parts panned hard right in most of the sections. Listening in headphones it is a little distracting. I liked how they were panned later in the song, but in the first half it seems kinda gimmicky.

4) The vocals sit well in the mix. Not overly processed, but still polished. Nice.

5) To use an athletics/scouting term, I think this song has a lot of "upside". Better production would tighten it up a lot.

Keep in mind that many of my comments are centered on my personal tastes. Also, just because I identify something as problematic to my ears doesn't mean that I'd know how to fix it myself. The overall production is still better than anything I could come up with.

Check out my latest song called Amp Demo: UberSEL/KT77/Gothik PSU
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Thanks, Mason
Yay! Another great critique. I can hear what you're saying about the vocals being a bit heavy in the right ear, too. It's something that got fixed in a middle version, but slipped through in this draft, so thanks for bringing it up.

Thank you for taking the time to write so much.
MasonAtom said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
no problem
I love this stuff. To me, the greatest thing about this site is how people can work together. Collaborations are one way, but another way to is to provide opinions and spread knowledge where possible. I've learned so much here in the last year just by reading comments and the forum. Hope I could be of help.


"The pump don't work cuz the Vandals took the handle"
Check out my latest song called Amp Demo: UberSEL/KT77/Gothik PSU
ledebutant said 4562 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
I Agree, Mason!
I love this stuff, too!

I'm so grateful for everyone's generosity, both in writing lengthy critiques as well as going past the established comfort zone here and getting very specific about what's not working. I'm grateful for the nice things people are saying, too.

said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
I will say wow! I think everything flows realy well the leading is great and the way the lyrics change with the chords is very impressive. I think that were you say and found and found and found could have been doubled up then trippled up as each found is sung well just an Idea. Its hard to find something to fix on something so perfect. Great song I think he will make something of his music. Keep on going!!!!!
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Great suggestions on the "and found" portion of the song, EB. That's a part of my vocal that I had a hard time making the way I would have liked it to sound and I'll definitely try out your suggestion, because I think it's really too static as it is.

Thanks for saying you liked it, too.
elektronix said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
...remembers me in some far far away matter at ELO...

This is one of a kind and it is marvellous. I would prefer to pull this song more in "art rock" mood. There is a plenty of space in the vocals and the sting/organ/synth, but the drums and the guitar are sometimes playing in a different, much smaller room. But that's my personal taste, and I am not so experienced in mixing. I agree with PV's (David's) hint for the attack of the drums, but I can't decide whether this is a compression issue or not.

Anyway it is pleasure to hear your voice and it is a real good song and I wish would be able to create something comparable. It is nearly impossible for me to criticize something in this work but it is even harder to make it better for myself...

Thanks for sharing!

Downloaded and fav.


Check out my latest song called Night Theme
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
That's a fascinating comparison, Bernd. I'm going to have to change my hair and get really big aviator sunglasses, I think. :-)

I'm glad you enjoyed the song and thanks for adding your feelings about the use of space
ktb said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
blown away
Fabulous vocals. I think you could sing about crack babies killing baby seals and I would still tap my foot, bob my head and generally have that happy glazed over look on my face ;-) I'm not qualified to give you tech stuff advice, more of a gut reaction. I like it! Its full of personality, has a unique edge to it. Shows strength and focus in the writing.

The song really seems to come into its own after the intro. As solid as the music bed is, its weakest link is the intro. I guess there's more of a demo feel there. After you start singing the whole arrangement seems to flesh out, The strings, progression, lyrically driven, it all makes for such a compelling performance.

Check out my latest song called Blackwater (by Tokai)
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Crack Seals
I'm very upset that someone in my house has OBVIOUSLY leaked my next song, which is about crack seals killing babies. I think it was my dog, Poppy. TALK KTB! Who was it? :-)

I'm glad that you enjoyed the singing and writing and that there was glazing going on around your face.
Hectorious said 4558 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Dito that with KTB Comment
Now that was funny:0}
Great Job Lisa!!!!

Given Some Groovy Bass Love to the World ;-}

Check out my latest song called Late Night Bus Ride (Sample)
thoddi said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
it's good
That's the first thought, and the overall feeling after listening through it. I enjoyed your singing much Lisa.

I have a few ideas that to my taste could make a more confident expression.

1) The drums
I see they have been commented by others, but will suggest replacing them with a more pro sounding loop. The programmed midi ones used here sounds a bit thin and is a bit "interesting" programmed/performed.

2) The rhythm guitar
The strumming of the chords that starts the song is to my taste a bit too much and unnecessary. I don't feel it supports the melody. Maybe if you used an acoustic guitar and put it lower in the mix to serve as a part of the rhythm together with the drums. As it is know, I think it dominates too much.
It's played as if it was performed alone with the vocals. And the drums and guitar doesn't really "listen" to each other...

The groove with drums, bass and rhythm guitar should in other words be tighter to deliver a more solid base for the solo, piano and vocals.

3) The piano
I like the piano:) Put it higher in the mix. It could more or less replace the rhythm guitar.

4) The bass
Listening with headphones I can't really identify a clear bass. I think there is one, but to my taste, it needs to get more clarity in the sound. If it where played more confident and up front, it could be a cool instrument to start the song with... maybe consider getting someone (hectorious) to have a go at it;)

This review may sound negative and like I'm looking to tear what you've done apart. But I really think it is a good song that has potential to come out very good. I wouldn't usually analyze a song into detail like this, but since you say you want input and are going for a serious career in the business I felt I should come forward with my thoughts.

Remember.. music is art. And should not be so much about technique. So my suggestions is maybe too subjective and observed from my place and preferences.

Trust your feelings about what is good:)

I wish you all the luck in the world with your musical career Domdino.

Check out my latest song called How can I make it up to you
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Excellent and very useful critique, Thor. Thank you so much for taking so much time to write it. You are one guy who knows how to make a song really groove. I agree with you about the piano and feel it is one of Dom's special talents.

I think I remember from Dom's original posting of the song, which was called Midnight at the time, that the song doesn't have a bass, so you're right that you're not really hearing it. :-)
Cydniko said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
He slowly pulls his gloves off, while twitching uncontrollably...
A very cool song, indeed. I love your vocals, Lisa, but I'm really dign' the high degree of silkiness on this. I should note that at times, it sounded a bit nasally, like you had a cold or something. Not the full richness that I'm used to from you. Maybe it's an effect, or something. But the vocals do sound more silky smooth, and I like that.

I thought that this could have used more of an intro. The drums didn't quite do it, and at some point, I was wondering why the crash was there. (can't believe what I'm about to say) The drums were too obviously, a loop. But if it's gonna be there, it either needs to be more effected or not at all, while doing whatever to make it sound more natural. Follow PV, on this. Also, I think that there needs to be more or different variations of the drum parts to interplay better w/ what's going on.

I DO like the words to this piece! I thought that the first few lines felt like they were sung over a bed of music, and not sung during a live session, but maybe that's something to do w/ the fact the drums sounded unnatural.

I liked the guitar, (the first guitar) but it needs to vary more, but maybe just in dynamics w/ how soft or hard and when the strings are being struck. more towards softer.

The second guitar, that solo sounded like it was telling me something that had already happened, but I didn't know what it was... And it kept doing that.

I really liked the bridge, and the more pronounced accompaniment of the piano, (especially at the end) but in general, the piano sounded like it was just kinda hanging out and playing along, but w/ no real offerings for direction or places to be, or for me to be about it.

I feel like maybe I'm being too harsh, but I do want you to know that I really do like this piece, guys. I'm musically illiterate, so I don't quite know how to say what I'm trying to say.

When you sang, 'and found, I had forgotten how to fly', that was beautiful. You're doing some impressive sustained notes on this piece, Lisa.

Something about the phrase "it should help you fly around the world' bothered me. Maybe a little too literal, I donno.

I could have purchased this piece, and gone the rest of my life while not having a critical thought or statement about it. I could have enjoyed it the way it is, and the ONLY reason that I ever would critique anything, is because I felt like someone directly asked me to do so. I hope that I was at least, a little helpful.

Thanks guys, for putting this one out there. Nice job. Macca
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Firstly, step back from the ledge, Babycakes. No one is going to come after you with a Nerf hacksaw...at least not me or Dom. I can't speak for any of your real world neighbors, though.

I really appreciate how detailed your critique is and I like it that you dug into the vocals a bit, too. This is a very, very difficult key for me because it leads to me dipping more into my low-lower register, which I'm not particularly fond of, tone-wise. I know what you mean about the nasally thing. I think part of it might be f/x, but I do know that some of it is definitely the original vocal track. I did another session where I think the tone was better and I do plan to re-sing this, once we're doing the final version. It's good to hear that I'm not the only one who hears the nasally thing. I appreciate you saying it.

I have the same feeling about the opening lines. I don't know if it's a reverb thing or the way I'm singing it. I don't think it's the bed.

Thanks for saying you liked the "and found I'd forgotten how to fly," portion of the vocal. You I.D.ed the only part of the vocal that I actually feel comfortable with. As far as the long notes go, my daughter has been watching a lot of American Idol and roping me into it, too, so I think it has rubbed off in some way, that need to bust out the big notes.

Thank you so much for thinking it through so much and sharing what you thought.
Macaudion said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
who said that...
Check out my latest song called Picture country living
jiguma said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)

Check out my latest song called Le Chemin De La Vie
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
I blame the crazy moon and the guy with branches sticking out of his head.
SmokeyVW said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
very nice
a very heartfelt tune. i like like this very much!!!!

a few comments:

i found the guitar around 1:58 - 2:10 just a little too dissonant for the mood of the song. less pentatonic, more melodic if that makes an sense...

'wildly' could be 'idly'

that songpic is nice - reminds me of klimt somehow
Check out my latest song called Farther
ledebutant said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Thanks, Bill. The art is by my favorite artist, Marc Chagall who often painted flying lovers, especially flying over his hometown of Vitebsk. I've always loved how dreamy, sweet and romantically whimsical a lot of his paintings are and I love the idea of love allowing you to escape the bounds of the earth and fly around blissfully. Of course, sometimes it doesn't work out that way, but I think people would generally be happier if they remembered that love is supposed to make you joy-filled rather than sad and hurt.
dajama said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
In my humble opinion...
...this is a very good song. I like the lyrics, and the vocal performance is outstanding. Having said that, there are a few points that are worth mentioning (and let me here reiterate the humbleness of my opinion!) and almost all of them have already been mentioned:

I think the strumming at the beginning doesn't work. I'm with thoddi on the idea of using an acoustic, and I agree with his point about the rhythm of the guitar not quite being in sync ( a point I'm particularly sensitive to because I have to work hard to get that right).

I agree with numerous posters on the drums. They sounded thin to me. Again, I wish I could give you a more technical, specific pointer, but all I really have to offer is my ears!

I think the lead guitar work is excellent all the way through, but it is too buried at times. If it's worth saying, it's worth saying out loud (as my mom always says)

I also think the song could do with a change of color here and there - perhaps some different effects on the guitar? Just a vague suggestion.

Having said all that, I think it's a great song, and once you have that, everything else is just fiddling around.

Nice work, both of you.


Check out my latest song called Across the Wire (MJRF)
ledebutant said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Ears RULE!
Thanks so much for the help, dajama, and I've always thought that ears are probably the best way to assess any of this stuff. I once had a friend with severe hearing loss in one of his ears and he was great at listening to a mix and hearing if one element was too prominent.

Thanks for taking the time to write so much and I think what you've said is extremely helpful.
jiguma said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
Love the song and ......
....... love the vocals Lisa!

But you were after crits weren't you? I've read the other comments first (probably not a great idea) but I'll try to come from an objective place:

The drums - to me it's not just a matter of compression, but also content. I'd really recommend ditching the drums altogether and getting a live drummer (kevmikwa is brilliant, and this would really suit his style).

Rhythm guitar - would benefit from starting out as an acoustic, becoming more electric as the song builds.

Piano - what Dion said.

Lead guitar - I like it, but it needs to be louder almost everywhere it appears.

On my 'phones, the bass is almost inaudibe. Thor's suggestion of Hector on bass sounds good - maybe fretless (I'm going through an "I love fretless bass" week!) - there's real potential for the bass to be a highlight rather than just being lost in the mix.

Like everyone else who's commented so far, my comments are in response to your request for critical comment - although I did find it kind of therapeutic to let go ;). Like Dion said, if you hadn't asked, I probably wouldn't have been at all critical, and just enjoyed it. But if Dom is looking to use this as a demo, he really needs to show his music at it's best.

The song has potential commercially, it's just a matter of getting the right person to listen.

Check out my latest song called Le Chemin De La Vie
ledebutant said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Thanks so much for such a well-thought out comment, Neil. I think it would be great if Kev did the drums and I hope Dom considers it.

I really appreciate you, as I've said to a few other people, stepping over the velvet rope and getting a little grittier with your critique than is the norm. It's funny, from the length of the critiques here, it seems that people have really been dying to offer more in-depth criticism that's not just about the positives in the song and I think I'm always going to ask for the gloves to be off in the future. I've learned a lot this time around and it's just wonderful.

Thanks, friend. I always appreciate your time.
kevmikwa said 4558 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Too kind, Neil
As usual - way too kind, Neil, most humble thanks for the praise. But I do dig the song greatly and think I can help a little in the content department, so a little birdie (disguised as the fiery little Note dude) has been sent Dom's way to test the waters ...

ledebutant said 4558 days ago (April 24th, 2007)

Dom's traveling for the next couple of weeks, so if he doesn't get back to you before then, Kev, that's why.

Thank you!
kevmikwa said 4558 days ago (April 24th, 2007)
Believe it or not, Dom got back to me already. Even when you're away from home, the pull of MacJams is strong. He said he'll get me a drum-free MP3 when he's had a chance to make some tweaks.

As an almost-thoroughly unrelated PS, check out an interesting little bit of synchronicity that happened just now. Click and look at the Related Product that I just pulled.
kevmikwa said 4557 days ago (April 24th, 2007)
I take that back about "synchronicity". I apparently had forgotten that Google ads are context driven. I should have known that a page with multiple references to "Helium" (including the big momma - title) would draw an ad for the website "www.helium.com".
said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
(To my ears)...

Rhythm guitar is to forward in the mix
String synth seems superfluous and sticks out like a sore thumb
Drums are a bit pedestrian and don't lift the track. They seem to be obviously preset either from a drum machine or a loop library
Vocals sound great, but again sit too far forwards in the mix...in the context of this track, I think a different treatment would make them much better
Bass. Is there any bass on this?
The whole song sounds generally lacklustre and is in need of some dynamic peaks and troughs

I think its a great start...but I would say there is a lot to be done to this to make it shine

ledebutant said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Thank you!
Terrific suggestions all around. I don't know if you'll see this, but do have a specific idea of what you think would be a better avenue to head down for the vocal treatment? I'm always willing to try new things.
said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Hi Lisa
Feel free to contact me and I can go into more detail if you like
WiFiWalrus said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
great stuff
Lisa you have a great voice. I love it.
Check out my latest song called Love Lockdown (Klassik Remix)
ledebutant said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
You're a sweetwalrus.
Ed Hannifin said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
I think this one gets better...
...as it goes along...

First of all, I'm as happy as a kid in a candy store hearing a new ledebutant song, and I love this one. If this was a demo for this song and I was in the market, I'd buy it... It sells the song as a song... And I'd try to get the lead singer to sign for my label...

I really love your singing on this one, Lisa. You still sound like you, and yet you sound more effortlessly and confidently you, so that sounds great to me. Whatever preset you're using on the voice is putting it a bit forward, which is good in the sense that some of your earlier productions didn't give your voice the presence it deserved. I think at certain points this preset may be 'hardening' the sound of the vocal when you're hitting a note hard or starting a line, which may be what Dion's hearing.

I'm in agreement that a nicely recorded acoustic guitar would do better than the electric rhythm, although putting acoustic left and a clean electric right can sound very cool.

I love the lead guitar lines. I think they need to be a bit forward in spots, and that probably means a little more compression on them as well. I like that the tone on the lead guitar isn't quite what I would have expected...I stop a millisecond and go, 'hey do I like this?' and a millisecond later I'm saying, 'yep!'

The 'sound comparison' popping into my head as this song plays again is some of Mazzy Star. Talented somewhat hopeful yet mournful female singer meets talented guitar player. That might be worth a listen in terms of suggesting directions to take the mix.

I would be thinking 'space' in terms of a remix. Let each thing have its own bit of the sonic territory left-to-right and back-to-front, and yet also work to have it sound like all the elements inhabit different parts of the SAME space.

I've got no opinions on the synths and stuff. I do think the drums sound oddly compressed and as if they were stereo but panned left enought that their stereo quality is lost, except when a stray high hat hit pops over into the left channel. And yes, real good bass would help this along. I've been hearing a lot of good MacJams bass lately, so I'm betting a long line of volunteers could queue up behind jiguma and Hectorious...

As with everyone else, I'm diving in with crit because that seems to be what you're asking for, but I'm thrilled to hear this and tomorrow it'll be in my iPod while I'm working around the house....

Check out my latest song called Chime (Alone) (Inspired by Particle Dots)
ledebutant said 4561 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
I hope you enjoyed this today as you did Ed Things (tm) around the house.

It's funny you mention Mazzy Star, because that's what illuminati heard, too and used them as an inspiration for the vocal production. (By the way, you seem to know every band in existence and that's amazing. You're a true music lover.)

Once again, I wish you were in charge of things. Last time I was wishing you were in charge of handing out money for Apple because of my world music loop demo, now I wish you were some kind of Song Buying Guy (with kung-fu grip).

I must be some kind of weirdo because I have no desire to be a professional singer, but I do like writing songs.

I think you're right about the pre-set hardening the sound. I used ChannelStrip before I passed it to Matt and I think I need to tweak that setting. Jim gave me a screenshot of his settings from After All and I need to plug those in, because I really like the tone he got out of the vocal.

I absolutely agree with you about the bass, I think it would make the song sound much fuller. I know that Dom's working on all this like a mad scientist at the moment.

You're the greatest!
antichef said 4563 days ago (April 18th, 2007)
very good song
It's going to be ages, if ever, before I first ask for constructive criticism the way you did - in the mean time, for the record, please make nice everybody :)

But I don't blame you for asking, because you must know this is a great song. It reminds me a little of Travis Pickle - I've always liked them. I join in all the compliments of the earlier posters.

I won't repeat the bit about the drums, except to say that the bass drum pulls the oxygen out of the track briefly when it hits - probably is a compression thing - was it applied just to the drum track, or to the whole song?

And I guess the guitar solos are too pentatonic for me in this context (imagine me saying that :) ) - I like the improvisational aspect, but I would like to hear more F lydian mode stuff. More particularly, that B flat topping the arpeggio lick against the backing C major chord (making a C7) doesn't work for me, even though it's totally in key - I guess I'd rather not hear that dominant chord go to a 7th, except maybe once during the whole song, probably toward the end. I don't think the lead needs to be much louder (a little), but could use less reverb.

I don't agree about the rhythm guitar - I like it. I fits well up front with your voice.
Check out my latest song called Negative Attention
MasonAtom said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
good freakin' ear dude... I'd never be able to pick that out without sitting down to figure it out first. good lord I wish I had that ability.

"The pump don't work cuz the Vandals took the handle"
Check out my latest song called Amp Demo: UberSEL/KT77/Gothik PSU
ledebutant said 4561 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
What Mason Said
That was pretty much my reaction, too. A big, "Wow, I wish my brain worked that way." The good news is that Dom's brain does work that way, so what you've said will be very meaningful to him.

Thanks for the great commment!
SmokeyVW said 4561 days ago (April 21st, 2007)
this sounds like my concern about the guitar, but articulated much better.
do you mean around 2 minutes into the song, or during other times as well?
Check out my latest song called Farther
SLICK said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
Ok ill start with the ve
I like the tone of the vocals. You can sing no question and it sounds really nice. quite beautiful in some places.

Unfortunately I really didn't get this track.
To me it sounds like several different song ideas that don't really belong together.
The drums and clean guitar from My Bloody Valentine. The lead guitar from a Prince track and the synth and keys a bit of ambient dance.
Now each element on it's own is pretty cool but they don't go together IMHO.
Also the vocal melody was a little pedestrian and lacked a real memorable hook.

I would lose all the guitars and the drums and start again from there. The only part that I liked was the 'Loves not supposed to hold you down' section that is stripped beck. Even then I found the 'Joy-filled helium Balloon' a little sticky for my taste.
Obviously I am in a very small minority from reading the other comments here but I always find it useful to hear from someone who doesn't like what I am doing even if they are just 1 voice in a hundred.

Check out my latest song called POD Killer
said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
thankyou Lisa ... Ledebutant 8 )
This makes me cry...in my last relationship I thought if it don't work I'm totally gonna devote myself to God...: ) Serving His Lord ... I guess I'm there again...love is so hard..too hard perhaps but I guess it's the last thing wwe Humans wanna give up on! About the song WWWWWOOOOOOOOOWWWWWW....
I JUST LOVE YOUR VOICE & the MUSIC ... & the greatest Lyrics : ) : ) : ) Your voice has such a pure & innocent sound, that's what I loved the first time I heard it some months ago : ) Time Flyes(never know how to spell FLYES::lol)
So Beautiful, In Earphones it's even better THANKS
said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
Lisa & **** DOMDINO *** (?)
Forgot to Thank *** DOMDINO *** : ) : ) : ) THANKYOU !!!

I always thought it said *** DOMINO *** on Your banner ! Lol...I liked that as MJ does have a DOMINO effect if You know the game ?

I just read the description !!! CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*Hustling* isn't in the dictionary & who is ** ORBITING ** ?
Tx again : )
said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
8 ) ( 8 ) ( 8
Hi again, I forgot to say that the volume is VERY low even when I turned it up to the full volume it wasn't loud . Some techniq thing I really hope it can be fixed as we People want to turn up & down volume as we wish : ) Have a Nice Day & Bless You Both
Jim Bouchard said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
You've already got a lot of great comments/suggestions on how to improve this. This reminds me a lot of Dar Williams. It does need a lot of work, mix-wise it's sort of a mess, but I don't need to get too specific by repeating what everyone else has been saying. I have to say that those drums are just weird sounding to me. If it was me, I'd strip it down to basics and start all over. It's got a great, great vocal and from what I can hear the piano sounds really nice (but it's been covered by so many layers that it's pretty well buried) but for a demo of songwriting this version has too much stuff going on, and that doesn't serve the song particularly well.

wow...that sounds harsh! Well, you asked for criticism!
Check out my latest song called Big Yawn (Apogee One mic demo)
said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
what a great spotlight for your vocal - it's mixed so well - you've got some wonderful long tones happening - they sound yummy. lyrics are stellar - i like the images they evoke. the music behind you is Really Big - so full and lush, and your vocal sits beautifully inside it. sweet teamwork! anne
said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
good thing i didn't read what others said first. sometimes i'm soooo glad i'm just your average listener off the street! anne
FEEL said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
Solid song
Lisa, I love any song you sing on so once again... no need to comment on your performance. I'm with MaonAtom, the lead doesn't fit, but hey I do backwards guitar leads and I don't know if they fit either. Other than that really solid tune... thanks for sharing...
Check out my latest song called A Second Life with Scott Carmicheal
Rebsie said 4563 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
Simmering with potential
Well OK the mix is not quite there yet and the drum style is a little distracting, but it is a thoroughly good song with potential to really shine. Your vocal is excellent and aching with emotion. This will be something very special once it's had a bit of a hose-down.

Like the Chagall-based artwork too!
Check out my latest song called Amongst The Colours (w/ Luna Trick)
echoroom said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
here we go ...
Ok - train of thought critique ... the strummed guitar don't sound too great, very flat sounding.
The lead guitar sounds ace.
Some of the keyboards sound a bit reedy.
Structure and changes etc are really good, nice progression, loads of little twists and turns, really keeps the interest.

I don't think you've nailed the vocal on this yet - how should it sound - what emotion should we feel? The 'and found' repeated three times doesn't work for me, but it may be the phrasing. The second 'Loves not supposed to, tie you down' sounds a bit rushed to me.

The vocal lines and melody are good, and I like the helium metaphor.

To me, the way you whisper 'hold you down' at the end is absolutely the right tone for this song - does this make sense?

I'll probably get strung up on this site, but I know you want to nail this, and I don't think it's quite there yet.

hope this helps - or tell me to mind my own goddam business!

Check out my latest song called Light Sleeper
echoroom said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
I'll be shot for this!
Ok - train of thought critique ... the strummed guitar don't sound too great, very flat sounding.
The lead guitar sounds ace.
Some of the keyboards sound a bit reedy.
Structure and changes etc are really good, nice progression, loads of little twists and turns, really keeps the interest.

I don't think you've nailed the vocal on this yet - how should it sound - what emotion should we feel? The 'and found' repeated three times doesn't work for me, but it may be the phrasing. The second 'Loves not supposed to, tie you down' sounds a bit rushed to me.

The vocal lines and melody are good, and I like the helium metaphor.

To me, the way you whisper 'hold you down' at the end is absolutely the right tone for this song - does this make sense?

I'll probably get strung up on this site, but I know you want to nail this, and I don't think it's quite there yet.

hope this helps - or tell me to mind my own goddam business!

Check out my latest song called Light Sleeper
ledebutant said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
Ducking In
I just wanted to duck in to reply to your comment, Steve, in case you were worried about having said it.

As much as I respect and really appreciate the kind words other people have given about the vocal, I do tend to agree with you about my singing on this. I definitely agree with you about the "and found" x3. I get into this pattern that once I've put something in a spot, my brain tends to shut down and then I can't think of anything else to change it to, even if I'm not super fond of the last thing. With some distance from the song, I'm hoping to change that part of the song in the next version.

I also had a ton of trouble with the key, which meant I spent a lot of time thinking, "Note, don't go ugly," rather than what I was trying to convey emotionally. I also tend to have to belt a bit in this key if I have any hope of hitting the pitches, which also makes it hard to have a softer vibe. I do think I got it right in a few spots, but I agree with you that that's an area I could work on.

I admire your singing a LOT, so I appreciate you being brave and coming out and saying that this vocal isn't doing it for you. Thanks!

echoroom said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
Thanks lisa
... maybe I'll get a few bombs for this, but you know what I think of you, right? So i knew you'd take the comments as they're meant. Sometimes it takes a while to get a vocal - you can't just turn it on ... god knows i've messed up enough. Your instinct is right - sometimes it's great, sometimes it not so great - it's just a matter of working on it to get it all great. i always work on a vocal until I can stand to listen to it all back - if it's bearable, I'm happy!



Check out my latest song called Light Sleeper
ledebutant said 4560 days ago (April 21st, 2007)
Sir, you offend my honor...
That's it! Microphones at dawn. Name your second.


stevel said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
great song
I really like this song a lot...I also think this your best vocal performance yet! I do think the lead guitar sound is a bit dirty and muffled...could maybe be a bit purer in tone? All in all though I really like the feel of this...its quite a moving track actually
Well done!
Check out my latest song called Out of Reach
guitapick said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
Last band I played with...
...had a lot of colors to the sound. Unless we had time to set up and get the equipment and (most importantly) balance of the instruments/vocals together; we just didn't sound right. Live performances hinged on that in a big way.

I think that's what's happening here. It's a great tune. The lyrics are really really fine (you write very well), and the instruments/vocals sound great (I love your voice). IMHO; if you can establish the correct balance, then you'll be able to best determine what works and doesn't work in the tune.

As a guitarist, I have to say that I really like this guy's work. My first listen and he can definitely play. So, he should take my comments as just personal taste:

Crank up the leads when there are no vocals. Yeah, of course I'd say that...but they kick #ss and deserve to (need to) be right out front...

I've run into problems (both recording and live) with distortion (vs overdrive) FILLS in tunes that are beyond "basic". A good cure for that (in my experience) has been to focus more on the overdrive and pull back a bit (not too much) on the distortion during the fills. Play with that balance 'till you find the right edge. "Edge" is important with guitar fills...otherwise they can get a bit muddied. You can pull back on the other instruments so that the fills come out in a more pronounced way, if you'd like to try that. Or you can just plain ol' turn it up 'till it's right. But that doesn't always work, because it calls too much attention to the guitar, which isn't what fills are about.

Like I said, though: I think domdino can definitely play. I just think he could be cutting through more. Balance is key in a tune. The more instruments you add, the more attention it requires.

As I said though: it's a really fine tune and just needs some tweaking hear and there. Love the artwork, too.
Check out my latest song called 'Cuz I Can
Vic Holman said 4562 days ago (April 19th, 2007)
since I'm late here....
i guess that means i have to clean up after the party. looks like everyone covered many ideas and nuiances. so i'm left with saying only good stuff. excellent singing and the song itself has hit potential. flows so smoothly it seems to be over in the blink of an eye or twitch of the ear. really enjoyed this! So I better get with the broom and start cleaning up.
Check out my latest song called Life In A Car
ledebutant said 4561 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
Thanks Vic
It's sweet of you to leave a comment when a lot of what you would have said has already been covered. I'm glad you enjoyed it, but don't sweep up, just yet. The guys will just mess it up, again. :-) That perceptualvortex is an ANIMAL.
perceptualvortex said 4561 days ago (April 21st, 2007)
Yeah, yeah, we're all apes here. It's just that my methodology is "here is as good a place as anywhere" (drop) [Insert ensuing mess]. Lisa, where is that "Mr." you owe me? :)

<a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/30232">Nothing Will Die</a>
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
ledebutant said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Sorry! what I meant to say was: "Mr. Perceptualvortex has the manners of an ape with PMS and a bad case of fleas."

I won't forget the niceties next time. ;-)

perceptualvortex said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Yes, that's more like it--and ever so on target with that metaphor. Merci, la debutante!

<a href="http://www.macjams.com/song/30232">Nothing Will Die</a>
Check out my latest song called Mercury (RPM 6)
Leon said 4562 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
Lovely song!
Lisa, I've listened to this song three times, trying to pick apart the fine and not-so-fine elements.

Overall, if I have to judge this song by overall impression, it is an aural delight. Your voice has a straightforward unaffected quality that really speaks from the heart, full of honesty and devoid of artificiality (which a lot of capable singers are guilty of). The same I can say for your other songs, which not surprisingly have been great hits here at macjams.

Having said that, the main faults I find in this song is the background music, which probably just needs a little tweaking in certain parts. Everyone has mentioned the drums. I love Dom's music, and I have actually sung on one of them. The critics have taken notice of the use of weak drums and unnecessary cymbal/crash. Still, his creations are some of the most touching and creative works here at macjams, and I myself am looking to collab with him again in the near future when the time allows.

Lyrics wise, I can say that you have the gift for composition. Overall, your wordings on this song is imaginative and in keeping with the romantic song theme, probably except for the part where you have to repeat the word "found" three times, which just seems a little forced to fit the length of the verse. The ending whisper, languid and longing, was paradoxically a masterful vocal stroke which emotionally accentuated the song.

Your melody is neither over-reaching nor understated. It has the right amount of melodic dips and highs to keep it interesting but appropriately avoiding the high drama of operatic/orchestral voices, which would not have suited the atmosphere that you have effectively created with your Nora Jones-like timbre of a voice.

I'd really like to fav this song, but I'll hold for now as you've spoiled me (and many of your fans) with the expectation that you'll re-release this. I am waiting for your final form for this song, as I imagine you are gathering just enough pointers to remake this song and make it even more pleasurable than it already is!
Check out my latest song called Just Another Day
ledebutant said 4561 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
You just leave the greatest comments. You have no idea how many times I thought, "I wish I were Leon," when I was recording this vocal. I kept thinking how nice it would be to hear your voice on the "and found I'd forgotten how to fly" portion of the song. You're the King of the Big Notes.

I know you know how great Dom's music is to work with and what a sweetheart of a guy he is. You mentioned the emotion in his music and that's definitely something that drew me toward working with him.

I'm glad you listened and enjoyed this overall, thank you for the specific suggestions for improvement. I'm deffo going to look at that "and found" section. Thank you.

Parichayaka said 4562 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
Very moving.
I guess it's the overall energy of the song that inspired me most. Lovely song writing, both lyrics and music. I just stopped myself from writing that your singing is getting better and more confident (well almost) since I'm sure you're simply a good singer and I may feel silly if I listen to your older posts but it's your singing that makes the song special. I agree with was PV says about some instruments not standing out enough, but there is so much going on in this song, and it's just so difficult to get the mixing right, I wouldn't know the first thing about it. Overall it sounds great. Minor detail: I would have liked to hear your voice before the guitar solo and find the drums just a little bit busy (less bass drum maybe) but I really enjoyed this one!
Check out my latest song called solivagant
ledebutant said 4561 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
Not So Simply
It's very kind of you to say that I'm probably simply a good singer, but I've definitely had to grow a lot and I have a lot more growing to do. I can only sing and show it to you guys because I can do more than one take and they let you have reverb around this place. I'm actually pretty shy about my singing, but I can hear that I've improved a bit over time, thankfully. Either that or I'm a better producer than I once was :0)

I hear what you're saying about the vocal before the guitar solo. I think you're onto something. I always did a little vocal improvising when I was working this out in that spot, but dropped it due to dorkiness. ;-)

Thanks for the kind words!

atonalis said 4562 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
is that guitar?
in the background wailing away at points? hey..... nice to hear you again. this has some vintage like feelings..... in the chord changes i mean..... some real nostaligic sensabilities but with a somewhat modern feel....... your voice sounds great....... was it just taste, or were the elec guit leads burried for a reason...... a minor thing........ much enjoyed.
Check out my latest song called lit with a wet match.
ledebutant said 4561 days ago (April 20th, 2007)
Hi Shawn!
Cough up a new Particulate Eden song or I'm coming to Vegas to get it out of you!

I'm not sure if the guitar was an issue of taste, Dom would have to answer that, but I'm glad you stopped by and had a listen, which I always love. I know exactly what you mean by the retro feel; I couldn't actually figure out the era, but there's definitely a new-old-fashioned vibe.
Scott Carmichael said 4561 days ago (April 21st, 2007)
Hey there friend
When I loaded your page it took 2 minutes to load because of all your fans... then I noticed my name wasn't up there.. I fixed that...

since you are asking for critique... I'll put some out there for you... you know when somehthing is absolutley right, I let you know...

The acoustic guitar is close and personal (small room)... and your voice is in a much bigger room... that's a small thing... but the electric is incongruous in my ears... it's almost like another song... I get this picture of a singer on a stage, glaring at the guitar player as he hi-jacks the song... and while the chops are ambisious, the "outside the mode" stuff doesn't really work for this song...

I would leave some of the production on the cutting room floor... parts are stepping on each other...

When i read the lyric and listen to your voice, I'm thinking a more pensive... wistful... atmosphere should be created... I would work towards finding a part that floats above... some hook that represents the aligoric balloon

just an opinion
Check out my latest song called He Has Passed this Way
Alannah said 4561 days ago (April 21st, 2007)
ok ...
... well all the "technical" comments are out there ... (not that I know how to critique mixing) ... I just wanted to say that I stopped by and I "liked it" .... the production stuff will get sorted out ... I always comment on the song as a whole and whether or not it "grabbed my ear so to speak" ... but have a hard time commenting on production and what may or may not have worked well. You have a lovely voice and this is a lovely song. I look forward to the finished product as well.
Check out my latest song called Sleep (w JScott and Alannah)
said 4560 days ago (April 21st, 2007)
longer notes
the fact that you can hold out a note for an extended period of time, on key, no waver, well it's just.. !!

too many others here that are way more expert than me so, no additional good constructive comments from me. I've read through here after my first listen; you know you have great advice in here, I read several points that did make a lot of sense based on what I hear.

It's a cool song and I like it; how's that sound? :)

. - Harold
onesweetworld said 4559 days ago (April 22nd, 2007)
"virus after virus". I know how you feel! It's always the worse when your desire to sing, create, express is hampered because of some stupid cold!!! Your voice sounds great here. Great collab!
Check out my latest song called Such Great Heights (cover)
illuminati said 4559 days ago (April 22nd, 2007)
I love so much about this song
but at the same time, most of the criticisms those before me have explored seem valid. I can't even imagine where it will go when it gets a spiff and polish. I love the vocals, especially all the cool vocal effects! : )

I love that Ed thought of Mazzy Star, that was my very first thought when Ledeb sent over the track for me to work on a bit, and Hope (or Dolores!) Sandoval was my inspiration for the handling of the vocal production.

Some of Ledeb's coolest lyrics yet and Domdino has some chops.
baki said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
of you your voice really got me. what are you doing tonight? :))))))) great tune too. yeah drums could be better, but who cares :))) cheers
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Willywagga said 4559 days ago (April 23rd, 2007)
Like the song.
But there are certain small details that could be improved upon, IMHO. I agree with the comments mostly regarding the drums, being under water etc. Your voice as always sounds beautiful, but I think there is a little harshness in the processing of it, that is an engineering issue. I agree with Steve above with regards the emotion imparted in the intonation of the vocals in some respects. Your voice itself sounds true and you are very capable of putting the song across. Your voice is easily the most powerful aspect of this song of that there is no doubt. If the minor production issues were sorted out this would be amazing. IMHHHO.
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8piscean8 said 4558 days ago (April 24th, 2007)
The end seems a bit unresolved for me (I would rather it end on piano rather than vox). The part where "the sky and earth collide" is sung the synth (might be guitar) part clashes with the vocal and makes me cringe. Also before "Love's not supposed to hold you down" I would like to hear something holding the beat more than just the piano (something faint like a hi-hat maybe). Other than that love the voice and the tune overall. And oh yeah, bring up the lead guitar, sweet!
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Mystified said 4557 days ago (April 24th, 2007)
...got around to listening to this!

I really do like how you're exploring somewhat new vocal territory here--Kudos to you!!

I agree that sometimes I'm hearing that you're not quite comfortable with the voice you're using, but...having read most of the comments here (sheesh...there are a lot!), I think that you've been given some really good suggestions/ideas that will help you hone this sharper. (Bryn has great advice on mixing, too! :) )

I'm commenting mostly on the voice 'cause that's what I know best, but I really like this song and it has a lot of promise.
I look forward to hearing future versions/remixes! :)

Check out my latest song called Elevated--Miss Chaos/Mystified vox
1rwhite1 said 4551 days ago (May 1st, 2007)
Lovers Soaring
Lisa, you've pulled off another great song with that wonderful voice of yours. And I love that you used a Chagall for your song pic; very appropriate for the lyrics. He's one of my favorite painters, as well. I feel like the lead guitar used a little too much distortion, forcing the vocals to compete more than was necessary. But, then again, I'm just an old softy who likes the laid-back clean tone, so it's only one man's opinion. Overall, though, this is great work. Loved it!
Check out my latest song called This Recollection of Your Smile
stooey said 4542 days ago (May 10th, 2007)
Thanks ledeb!
I enjoyed it.
Check out my latest song called Loop It Oldfieldlian
scratch_harris said 4540 days ago (May 11th, 2007)
you can
do better
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Brian Weiland said 4532 days ago (May 20th, 2007)
...got a chance to listen to some songs today. By now everyone else has written all the critiques I thought of, so I'll just say I think the song has commercial potential, and I love your voice!
Check out my latest song called The Gentle Maiden/Planxty Fanny Powers
lavalamp said 4513 days ago (June 8th, 2007)
Not pulling punches
As you know I've been listening to some of your past stuff and you know I'm a great fan of yours and your partners. I hear a "But" coming. But, your vocals were not as good as I heard on other songs. You sound a little unsure, almost as if you're reading the lyrics for the first time. (If you were sick, I understand). I say this because this is a very well-written song and deserves justice. The voice WAS not bad by all means, but I think you could've done better.
How's that for honesty.
Your fan,
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
ledebutant said 4513 days ago (June 8th, 2007)
Thanks LL
I truly do appreciate honesty and really wanted the critique on this one. I actually agree with you that my vocal performance on this could be a lot better. Unfortunately, the uncertainty can't be chalked up to not knowing the words, because I rehearsed this for a week before singing. I'm pretty sure it's two things. The first is that this is not a good key for me at all and I don't usually sound good in this key, so I tend to avoid it, and the second is that, because I knew I didn't sound my best, I was probably letting that impact my confidence.

I've asked Dom to re-record the next one we're adding vocals to in a more comfortable key, so hopefully I'll be back on form.

Thanks again for your honesty. I do like the truth. ;-)
said 4190 days ago (April 26th, 2008)
One of your very bests as I think. Great vocal, great melody but my only critique here is the electric guitar sound... too fuzzy and it seems like as if you are playing it with your keyboard. But fine piece of work... you really have great vocal.

Take Care
- Yeman A. Al-Rawi
EEFliess said 4163 days ago (May 22nd, 2008)
I love your voice!!!
Check out my latest song called Here We Go Again (2016 Extended) (…again)
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Name: Lisa
Location: Under the Airplanes WA
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I've been writing songs since 2005, which I tried initially because GarageBand made it possible for me to play with music for the first time since college, and I found very quickly that I really loved songwriting and in my time here at Macjams, I've ... [see more]

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