Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Share your music, collaborate, and partake in monthly music contests.
User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
18491 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:32 pm

thejonsolo wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:39 pm
Ok. Fine. Track 9. This track is a strong revisit to an unfinished track. I have wanted to do this for sometime but had to pull an arrangement and vocal parts together.

With this piece I officially hit past the 35 minute requirement for the RPM Challenge. However, my goal is to finish an album. I will get the 10th track in, but I have two additional tracks I want to include in my album. So 12 songs in all.

Here is Fall to Pieces.

https://soundcloud.com/jonsolo/fall-to-pieces

Fall to Pieces

I’ve been waiting for you so long
Something so good so right so strong

We both knew before we met
Lots of mistakes Lots of regret
It can’t be that way again
If we are to make it

Now here we stand your hand in my hand
How did you ever find me
Whenever you’re here it becomes clear
You are the strength that binds me

But when you’re gone
And I’m alone
I fall
I fall
I fall to pieces

So much water under the bridge
Many damaged relationships

We never knew what we could have
We only knew what made us bad
It can’t be that way again
If we are to make it

Now here we stand your hand in my hand
How did you ever find me
Whenever you’re here it becomes clear
You are the strength that binds me

But when you’re gone
And I’m alone
I fall
I fall
I fall to pieces
I fall
I fall
I fall to pieces
A duet and another winner. Keep the singer. She's really good.

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (9 tracks done 02/26)

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 1:35 pm

My wife thanks you.

User avatar
digitalboytn
KVRAF
1714 posts since 8 Dec, 2008 from Global Cowboy

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (9 tracks done 02/26)

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 2:58 pm

I love the dirty guitars in "Fall to Pieces" and "By Morning"...

Nice and wide and they hold the mix well inside them...

Are they "real" guitars or the keyboard variety ?

Either way,they sounded great ! :tu: :clap:
Sorry - I don't use auto-tune....

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (9 tracks done 02/26)

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:11 pm

Orangetree Guitars (Kontakt). Greg makes some great products. One of the things I have learned to do is step away from over producing some of these great presets. Guys spend hundreds of hours creating them tweaking till they sound just right. I find that they work perfectly when I do little additional tweaking.

But I also approach playing them as if I were playing a real guitar (which I CAN play...just not as well as keyboards, ha).

User avatar
digitalboytn
KVRAF
1714 posts since 8 Dec, 2008 from Global Cowboy

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (9 tracks done 02/26)

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:29 pm

thejonsolo wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:11 pm

But I also approach playing them as if I were playing a real guitar...
OK....

Those guitar parts sounded great....

It's always a good idea to put yourself into the position of the player you are trying to emulate...

Strapping on those keyboards and playing them like a guitar is OK if it's a lightweight 61 key controller,but it gets a little tricky when it's 88 weighted keys :wink:

I still sing the hook from "Ugly Girl" from time to time...

It's catchy :tu:
Last edited by digitalboytn on Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sorry - I don't use auto-tune....

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (9 tracks done 02/26)

Post Wed Feb 26, 2020 3:30 pm

Thanks for the listens! Lots to tweak when this is done, but it has been a fun process!

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:15 pm

The final track is a revisit to a song I wrote awhile back but never finished anything with.

I enjoyed doing this, and am in the the tweaking process, including some redropped vocals, eq-ing, and other issues my ear hears.

Here is Drift Away:

https://soundcloud.com/jonsolo/drift-away

Drift Away

Once upon a time you loved me
Twice you tried to take it from me
Is the third time really a charm oh no
No one said love lasts forever
Go on then, we’re both off better
Now’s the time there’s no foul no harm, go on

If you’re feeling angry or sad
Things are really not all that bad

When life seems to go wrong
Don’t you worry it will be ok
Life will keep moving on
If you close your eyes and drift away

There’s no need to keep on calling
After all you’re only stalling
Is it really worth all that pain, no way
Masterminds can understand it
Even fools can comprehend it
So why won’t this connect in your brain

Why do you keep dishing out more?
Are you trying to even the score?

When life seems to go wrong
Don’t you worry it will be ok
Life will keep moving on
If you close your eyes and drift away

This doesn’t have to be hard
There’s nothing here to mend
Though you’re holding the cards
It’s time to meet the bitter end

When life seems to go wrong
Don’t you worry it will be ok
Life will keep moving on
If you close your eyes and drift away

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
18491 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:55 pm

thejonsolo wrote:
Fri Feb 28, 2020 5:15 pm
The final track is a revisit to a song I wrote awhile back but never finished anything with.

I enjoyed doing this, and am in the the tweaking process, including some redropped vocals, eq-ing, and other issues my ear hears.

Here is Drift Away:

https://soundcloud.com/jonsolo/drift-away

Drift Away

Once upon a time you loved me
Twice you tried to take it from me
Is the third time really a charm oh no
No one said love lasts forever
Go on then, we’re both off better
Now’s the time there’s no foul no harm, go on

If you’re feeling angry or sad
Things are really not all that bad

When life seems to go wrong
Don’t you worry it will be ok
Life will keep moving on
If you close your eyes and drift away

There’s no need to keep on calling
After all you’re only stalling
Is it really worth all that pain, no way
Masterminds can understand it
Even fools can comprehend it
So why won’t this connect in your brain

Why do you keep dishing out more?
Are you trying to even the score?

When life seems to go wrong
Don’t you worry it will be ok
Life will keep moving on
If you close your eyes and drift away

This doesn’t have to be hard
There’s nothing here to mend
Though you’re holding the cards
It’s time to meet the bitter end

When life seems to go wrong
Don’t you worry it will be ok
Life will keep moving on
If you close your eyes and drift away
I finally got it!

You sound like Tom Evans from Badfinger.

You don't have Pete Ham's slick McCartney like vocals or Joey Molland's or Mike Gibbons raspy quality but Tom Evans kind of light vocal, you've pretty much nailed it.

Tommy didn't get to sing much except on album tracks but he had an unmistakable sound.

Paul McCartney did pick Tom Evans over the other 3 to sing lead on "Come And Get It" but that was pretty much the end for Tom Evans as lead singer of Badfinger. The job ultimately went to Pete Ham for all their singles.

Anyway, I was expecting Dobey Gray and got Jon Solo.

I'll take it. Great song. Great album for the challenge. I would definitely buy a CD of it to play in the car.

Congrats on finishing the challenge with a day to spare.

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 6:56 pm

Thanks for that. I never thought about who I sounded like. Of course this is only my second vocal album. I thought I would share some interesting statistics on this project with everyone here:

Total Songs- 10

Running Time- 41:39

Actual days music was written, recorded, or produced- 14

Total hours involved- 68

Total vocal tracks- 126

Total instrument tracks- 83

Total recorded tracks- 209

Hardest song to write/record- Ugly Girl (Getting the vocal and keeping something in my range with my failing voice was just crazy. Adding a brass arrangement mid-stream seemed like a good idea at the time. It ended well, but what a pain!)

Easiest song to write/record- When? Where? (My wife's favorite movie is Moonrise Kingdom. The story is kind of our story...she sat behind me in 7th grade till we graduated and we went our separate ways for years. The lyrics and melody fell into my lap.)

Song that occupied most of my time- Wouldn't You Know (A challenging and very exposed lead vocal for me...I typically produce and DON'T sing. I dropped the lead a number of times. I dunno if I am still happy with it, but it might be all I have for it.)

My wife's voice appears in the duet Fall to Pieces and backing vocals on Drift Away.

Drift Away features the only actual guitar playing...I played my Taylor 812ce acoustic for the strums.

Final song order:
1. Not About You
2. Ordinary Guy
3. By Morning
4. When? Where?
5. Fall to Pieces
6. Wouldn’t You Know
7. House of Cards
8. Ugly Girl
9. Drift Away
10. Walking on the Moon

I am finishing up some edits on some of the songs and will upload freshly to Soundcloud as an album once completed.

User avatar
wagtunes
KVRAF
18491 posts since 8 Oct, 2014

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Fri Feb 28, 2020 7:12 pm

You did a great job. You're a total professional. I have no doubt your business, whatever it is you actually do, is very successful.

I hope this isn't the end of you writing and posting here because I really look forward to hearing your stuff.

Thank you again for all the help you've given me. I can't even begin to express what a difference you've made in my musical life.

User avatar
The Noodlist
KVRAF
2088 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Sat Feb 29, 2020 9:47 am

Gonna bookmarks this thread, a lesson in songwriting and crafting right here.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Tue Mar 03, 2020 8:52 pm

Thanks man! I am finalizing some of the tracks to my liking. Will likely post new versions at SoundCloud once I get them ready to go!

User avatar
el-bo (formerly ebow)
KVRAF
15826 posts since 24 May, 2009 from A galaxy, far far away

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:54 am

Finally got to listen to the whole project, this morning. I did hear the first few as you released them, but then decided to wait till the end.

Congrats for finishing! It's a great feat to finish RPM; even more-so when the album doesn't need a huge disclaimer that "It would've been so much better if I'd had xxx more days/weeks/months". Not that it couldn't benefit from a few nips & tucks etc., to elevate it that bit further (Good that you are keen to do that).

As for the album itself: For me, on my first listen-through, there are quite a few moments of loving-tribute and pastiche. However, it's a testament to your obvious songwriting talent that you manage to catch these moments before they totally outstay their welcome (and when you might be best advised to "lawyer-up!"), and take them off in another direction, that is totally your own. If Neil Innes hadn't already penned the music for 'The Rutles', I'd say you'd definitely (With the help of a comedic lyricist, perhaps) be the man for the job :tu:

Speaking to the songs, in their own right, is not so easy on a first play-through, as my first impressions probably wouldn't do them the justice they likely deserve. There was only one song that I had to keep fighting my urge to skip past, but there were moments in many where I thought things started to feel a little, erm...twee. However, I think this is mostly a personal taste thing (I find much of The Beatles' work to have a similar effect on me). But even in those moments, the songwriting is not at fault.

Conversely, there are moments in each song which 'flip the script' and justify the rest; whether a well-played virtual-guitar solo, or a solid middle-eight. And I can certainly imagine that after a few listens those more twee moments will become the ear-worm, 'sing in the shower' moments, not unlike the cheesiest bits from West-End musicals.

It's all good, really.

The first play just flew by (Another positive). You aimed to deliver pop, and you did just that. I'm sure that any misgivings that anyone has are more likely to be genre-related, and overall I think this will deservedly be well-received. I will give it some time to percolate, but definitely look forward to hear the improved versions.

Stand-out track: Ordinary Guy
Not for me: Ugly Girl

:tu:

Edited my post, as I'm sure the intent behind certain parts of the language used would be misunderstood :tu:

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:04 am

Just as a prologue, no need to edit comments. I love the first view, because it is usually the most truthful and for whatever reason, I work well with those. It is not just about growth. It is about the cake on the face or the dangler out of the nose...I want to know about it!

First I REALLY appreciate you taking time to listen through to the album and offering comments!

Ugly Girl is long in the tooth for sure, and while I love the idea of the quirky song, it "fits" the least. I struggled with that one and two other songs that were completely cut. All were finished productions. This one had the most polish, and I like the lyrics FAR FAR better than the other two. But I also feel like I took no risks. The other songs were boring as well.

Considering the music I have produced since 2008 has been mostly for film or video, electronica, or the random vocalist that I snag for a song, this was a unique project for me. I was not trying for a style for sure. But clearly a style emerged as I finished each song.

While the Beatles have influenced all rock music (and more), I was more influenced by Brian and the Beach Boys. I have a vocal-less outtake of a track I could not figure out what to do with that I will post later today that displays that. However, it felt so "Pet Sounds" that it was more rip-off of the sound than tribute to the great (even though the chord progression is "original").

Again thank you for sharing RPM Challenge with us (I remembered it existed, but, had also completely forgotten about it). Thanks for the listens and feedback. It will go far when I do a "non-RPM" version of the album hopefully by summer. The current version will be tweaked but the other version may feature a few different songs, and more tracks overall.
Last edited by thejonsolo on Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
thejonsolo
KVRAF
2500 posts since 13 Apr, 2008 from Charleston, SC

Re: Jon Solo- 2020 RPM Challenge (Completed)

Post Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:05 am

Double post

Return to “Music Cafe”