Mitch Goldfarb

Mitch Goldfarb

Title: Producer
Genres: Rock, Pop, Hip-Hop
Status: Taking submissions
Song limit per member: Unlimited
Bio: As a writer/producer Mitch is a two time Grammy Nominee. His credits include Teddy Pendergrass (Grammy Nomination; Gold; Top… read more

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song: Old Shoebox
artist: Maxim Senin

genre: Folk - General
stats: playlists: 0 | song plays: 149
General Overview
What Genre is most appropriate for this song?

What is an appropriate title for this song?
The Only One

What artist does this song most remind you of?
Mark Knopfler

What best describes the subject matter of this song?
Feelings - General

What era does this song fall under?
2000 and later

What best describes the mood of this song?
Friendly - Pleasant

Song Analysis
Quality of Lyrics

Quality of the Hook

Quality of the Verses

Quality of the Chorus

Quality of the Breaks

Quality of Instrumentation

Quality of Arrangement

Quality of the Melody

Quality of the Chord Progression

Quality of the Instrumental Hooks

Marriage Between Chorus and Verse

Marriage Between Music and Lyrics

Quality of the Instrument/Sound Selection

Quality of the Lead Performances

Quality of the Meter

Quality of Guitar

Quality of Bass

Quality of Percussion

Quality of Woodwinds

Quality of Other Instruments

Quality of Intro/Opening Line

Quality of the Vocal Pitch

Quality of Vocal Phrasing and Performance

Quality of the Backup Vocals

Quality of Vocal

Quality of Recording (Techniques)

Quality of Mix

Originality of Song

Overall Rating

Quality of the Title

General Comments

Great Intro. I love the musical line. It has an appealing euro-ethnic quality. Tempo is perfect. You captured a great toe-tapping groove.
The sonics & recording are really good. There's a balance of highs & lows. The instruments are crystal clear. The sound of the acoustic guitars, the percussion, the band, and the lead instruments fit like a glove, focusing the listener on the vocals. You've captured the Knopfler quality--just right for storytelling. Your vocals make the track!
The first verse pulls the listener in with its stripped down intimate feel. Try holding off on the fills and have the violin's entrance around the turn (My heart sank to the stomach). Let the track build slower. Don't be in a rush to give away all your fun musical flavors right away.
The band entrance is in the correct place to build the excitement. Again, try holding off on all the fills. Let the listener enjoy the band establishing itself. Great use of the snare drum to amp up the beat. It adds real character to the track.
In general, the fills (the violin, the flute, and the guitar licks) need to be mixed in a way that directs the listener. Instead of going gangbusters, I suggest picking one element at a time and allow that instrument to speak and establish itself in the holes around the vocal statements. Then switch to another instrument and do the same. At times, there is too much to focus on. All the instruments seem to be vying for the same space. Most people can process up to three ideas, but give them a forth and it all goes out the window. Plus, be careful not to let the fills obfuscate your hook line, which is great. This is a good example of where "less is more." By the way, I love your choices of the fill instruments. The colors are perfect for this song.
The melody in your Pre-Chorus is a wonderful lift. The Chorus is very good too. The lyrics are just right. The vocal double gives the hook character without going overboard. I love the beat change in the Chorus. It makes it stand out as special. Nice job!
The Breakdown Verse after the Solo is perfect. This creates the rollercoaster of ups and downs for the listener, and gives you an opportunity to build the track again. Well done!
All the performances are very good. The track keeps chugging right along.
The song feels too long. You have two Solos and a one-minute tag. By time we are at the Tag, the listener has heard everything. More licks do not make it better. If the listener isn't sold on the track by the Tag, something is wrong, which is not the case here. I suggest that you focus your creativity on leaving the listener "wanting to hear more" and not satiating them. This way they will play the song again, and again, and hopefully again. Consider dropping one of the Solos, or at least cutting them in half. Fade out much earlier. Play with getting the track down to 3:30 or even just over 3 minutes. You can always save an extended version to use elsewhere. I often create several versions of a key track to give the record company options for marketing.
In addition, the Solos and the Tag needs to be focused in the mix. Direct the listener. Actively choose which instrument and which statement you want the listener to hear. Use the best licks and forget the rest. You can even create a call and response theme with trading licks back and forth, giving one part to the violin, then the next to the guitar or flute. Be careful not to have all the lead instruments speak at the same time. If you are going to cut the Solos in half, I suggest using only one instrument to make the statements in that section.
One last note, consider changing the title to something more poetic, like The Only One. Even "Shoebox" would be easier for the listener to remember. The lyrics "Old Shoebox" are not in the song, only Shoebox.
I've very impressed with your growth as an artist. You are bringing a maturity to your expression.
Congrats on your son--a wonderful life changing experience!

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Artist's Submitted Question:

Getting back into songwriting after my son was born a year ago. A more acoustic arrangement than my usual ones, and going back to the roots. A joke-story-song that you might expect to hear from a no-name pub band. The composite character, but the way he handles the situation is all me: turning it into a lighthearted joke and "no big deal". Life is long; getting older, so can afford to speak reflectively about past relationships.

Need analysis of and advice on lyrics, mix, vocals and potential.

Pro's Answer/Comments:

Your vocals are perfect. They are really enjoyable, friendly, and accessible. The vocal sound is just right for you and this track. But most important, you own the track vocally. Good job! I loved the playful accent on the "This is Rosa from Hermosa" lyric. And the vocal double in the Bridge is a nice touch and good color change.

I have one suggestion for adding some vocals. You hinted at singing "Na Na" at the beginning of the Tag. I really like this. Most good songwriting has a part that everyone can sing along with. Think of driving in your car, and the "Na Na" section comes on. You just want to crank up the music and sing along. Why not make that part of the Fade? Add more "Na Na" vocals and keep them going until you fade out the track.

The mix was covered in the "General Comments" section.

Some of your lyrics are very good, especially the Chorus. These lyrics are general enough to allow the listener to apply them in their own lives and journey. The main thing is that these lyrics are simple and larger than your story, which is very specific. Keep up the good work.
Parts of the song's story, mostly in the Verses, the lyrics are more "telling" rather than "showing." I suggest that you try "showing" your story and not "telling" it. Paint pictures. This is a cardinal rule in most types of writing. The result is it will make the listener an active participant in the movie that plays in their heads when hearing the tune. The listener will have to use their imagination to fill in the blanks and paint their own picture. You actually start to do this with the line: "Through treacherous waters I'll keep my ship afloat." The listener now has to define the "treacherous waters" and what that means. Now the listener is actively engaged in your song.

The lyric "Smelly cheese" rubs me. This is a great opportunity to "Show" and not "Tell." Try talking about the aroma without using the word "smelly." There are a million ways to engage your listener and invite their minds to conjure up a smell of their own. At the very least you can use the word "fragrant," but I'd trying pushing the envelope a little further.

Quote From Pro:

"Old Shoebox" is a winner. This upbeat track focuses playfully on the age-old story of "what do you tell the new live-in girlfriend about the ex-girlfriend." If that's not enough, Maxim Senin takes the back peddling for an explanation to an art form when what tipped off the new lover is a box of old photographs, only the photos are from years of ex-girlfriends. Just try getting out of that jam with a smile and a song.