About the review

Title: Empty Pieces
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Artist: yello73
Genre: Electronica: Ambient
Reviewed by: VOiD on December 13, 2008 (All reviews by VOiD)

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1Overall Description
With a moody opening featuring some classic dialogue from the moon landing, this song really kicks into gear at the half minute mark: Drums and bass create a tight groove over some deliciously laid back synth pads, with an electric guitar contributing stabs at key moments. The bass and guitar parts are the obvious highlights of this song. Unfortunately, the composer fails to deliver fully on par with this superb opening, and the song loses some focus during the latter half. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant and engaging listen, and one that manages to cross over between the rock and ambient genres quite nicely.
2Creativity Description
As a bass player myself, it's satisfying to come across someone who manages to play their instrument competently and imaginatively and yet not try to be too flashy. Plenty of good touches on most instruments, although more variation would have been appreciated - especially on the drums. Overall, the composer's creative spirit shines through in this song, although some parts do linger for a bit too long without sufficient variation (especially 1:30-2:30), while other ideas would have to be explored further and better integrated into the song's structure (the coda in particular) in order to warrant top marks in this category.
3Arrangement Description
In my opinion, the first two minutes of this song are consistently interesting, and very well put together. However, one cannot maintain the same groove forever; eventually you have to cut something away, or add something new to the mix. For me, the moment when the acoustic guitar is introduced is the moment when the song starts to lose its momentum. The groove and backdrop and even the chord structure stays exactly the same, and the guitar is simply tacked on top like an afterthought. Having the rhythm section come to a full stop, for instance, and then perhaps launching into a different chord structure for the solo would do wonders. To be fair, a new chord structure IS introduced at 2:40 - but the light, airy major key ending becomes a little too lightweight for a song that opens with something as serious the moon landing. In this reviewer's opinion the ending doesn't really do the piece justice, and it sounds more cohesive and complete if you stop it at the 2:40 mark.
4Sound Quality Description
The drums sound too thin, they could do with either some premastering or aftertouches; maybe both. Adding a tiny amount of crunch or fuzz to them, for instance, would give them a little bit of edge - at the moment they sound a little bit too clean and, well, inhuman. Overall, the song lacks that extra little bit of punch, although most instruments and samples sound very good by themselves.
5Does it work as a piece of music Description
Well yes - it does. Some ideas could have been developed further, and I actually find myself longing for a longer mix - which must mean that the composer must have done something right. :)

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