‘Never See Love’ – review by Tex Owen, Mustang Radio Services
Firstly, this is a track I could easily drive long distance within the car on my own. An album of 10 tracks like this would be great. My mind can wander as I barrel down the bitumen on the long straight roads we often travel to gigs. So overall, I like the track very much…
So, you’ve started with a mini Intro of about 42 sec. Great platform to introduce the foundations; being the chord progression repeated 3 times. Building a little more on the third time is a nice touch. It sounds like it then moves on to the “second half” of the Intro up until the 1:10 mark.
- First Stanza at 1:10 – The addition of the bass piano, with its muddy and guttural tones gives it good contrast to the smooth and airy texture that has been leading up to this point so far. Still a lot of repetition of the foundation chord progression.
- Second Stanza at 2:06 – Whilst keeping every instrument still repeating, now there’s been the introduction of a very simple melodic line. This section of the score becomes the feature in this movement.
- Third Stanza at 2:46 – Interesting change up of texture.
- Fourth Stanza at 4:08 – The introduction of the pan pipes/piccolo (recorder) is a stunning addition to this stanza.
- Fifth Stanza at 5:05 – Adding the synthesizer has increased the depth.
- Sixth Stanza at 5:30 – Great counterpoint presenting the airy vocals and easing them in the piece.
Well Kara, there’s my initial breakdown of your piece “Never See Love.”
The first time I listen to a piece I like to take notes as that’s where “all the surprises” occur. By the 2:30 mark I was wondering where it was heading as I found that to be quite a lengthy amount of time “waiting for something to happen.” With a piece that goes for 8:33, I think you may have “lost” some opportunities to present other ideas. Compare it to an 80 min movie that takes 25 mins before “something happens.” It’s about a third of the overall length of the piece.
And at 2:46 IT HAPPENED! I had a feeling of “Yes, here’s an explosion!” Then the smooth and breezy sound of the windpipes (recorder) come in right on cue. Perfect timing there. The slurring notes definitely added a subtle contrast to the pounding bassy notes that were leading up to this intersection in the music. The contrasting pitches so many octaves apart is quite complimentary to the ear.
The synthesizer sliding in the side door then becoming a short “feature duet” with the vocals is astounding. I wanted to hear more of just those two before they were joined by the rest of the instruments. The two of them combined created just enough contrast to be perfectly complimenting each other. From then on, the rest of the piece finds its own conclusion in a well-timed manner simply easing itself out.
It is my opinion you could have trimmed the “extended intro” down to about 1:10 then introduce the change up that actually came in at 2:46. I did hear a lot of repetition. A lot. Don’t ever be afraid of doing a complete U-turn sometimes and taking the listener’s ear in a completely different direction. The “single note” melody at 2:06 would have sounded lovely just wandering around aimlessly without any repetition whatsoever.
All in all, it’s a composition I could (and have been whilst writing this) listen to on a loop. There’s nothing to really “criticize” per say. Just a few things you may choose to consider in the future. It’s certainly a very relaxing piece to type an email to!
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