Something About You

Overall Impression: 
Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions have pulled from a variety of tried and true musical inspirations to produce their uniquely uplifting sound.  Something About You seems to straddle the divides between the various sub-genres of Pop and Rock, spanning back decades to capture the optimism of New Wave and the passion of Punk with all of the style and grace of pure rock & roll. 

Strongest Point(s): 
The players in Something About You are obviously skilled - every part feels intentional and supportive of the overall sound.  The guitar work is great, and the rhythm section is completely locked-in.  The mix is vibrant and fully complementary - and the vocals are superb.  Seriously, there's something about the vocals on this track that are so warm and comfortable - I'd gladly listen to a whole album of Gary's vocals. 

Area(s) of Improvement: 
There seems to be some strange fidelity issues with the recording you've submitted.  Little crackles and pops - nothing major but still breaks the immersion. I looked at your Spotify profile and found the same - some of these audio quality issues (or the strange false start at the very beginning of the track) are enough to deter more critical listeners, so eliminating those hiccups might go a long way in exposure. Everything else is awesome! 

Target Audience Appeal: 
Fans of the rock that emerged in the late 90's/early 2000's will love this sound.  Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions convey a strong musicality and a lively spirit that's sure to connect with open-minded listeners of all ages.  Something About You captures a joyful spirit and some serious musicianship from the band, and the impression it leaves behind will last a lifetime.  - Jon W. 

Artist target suggestions: 
The Icicle Works, Pixies, The Clash, The Cure, Joy Division, Joe Walsh, Faces, Boston, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty 

About the Reviewer: 

Jon Wright is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and music educator with nearly twenty years of experience in the field. Working with musicians and their individual sounds is his passion and profession, and he strives to interact with and understand every aspect of the production process - from theory and songwriting to recording and mastering. He continues to teach students of all ages and is currently collaborating with artists in a wide variety of genres. 

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Neutral

Source: Radio AirPlay

(MADE IT) Another Day

Overall Impression: 
(Made It) Another Day is a rarity - a song that carries the strong influences of blues instrumentation and cadence while still bearing a fully unique identity.  Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions capture the ambivalent dissatisfaction that accompanies day-to-day survival with skill and wit - blending a relaxed vocal approach with rich slide melodies and a classic guitar tone to produce a sound that's in a realm of its own. 

Strongest Point(s): 
The drifting verse progression - back and forth between just two chords - is a strong musical expression of the monotony conveyed by the lyrics.  The blues break choruses and haunting slide work really bring out the more mellow vocal tones to create a truly unique sound - and it's fantastic!  It sounds like Gary and the gang had really been playing together a lot when this was recorded - very cohesive sound.  Really nice. 

Area(s) of Improvement: 
The mix is a little lopsided in this track, with the lows and mids dominating the sound.  That and the hiss and pop in the first few moments are the only things I'd try to change.  Great work! 

Target Audience Appeal: 
The innovation of this sound promises to hook unsuspecting music enthusiasts - listeners looking for something skilled, original, and unusually satisfying need look no further.  Carrying elements of blues, rock, and new wave, Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions deliver a delightfully unique take on the troubles of making it Another Day. 

Artist target suggestions: 
The Icicle Works, Pixies, The Clash, The Cure, Joy Division, Joe Walsh, Faces, Boston, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty 

About the Reviewer: 

Jon Wright is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and music educator with nearly twenty years of experience in the field. Working with musicians and their individual sounds is his passion and profession, and he strives to interact with and understand every aspect of the production process - from theory and songwriting to recording and mastering. He continues to teach students of all ages and is currently collaborating with artists in a wide variety of genres. 

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Neutral

 

source: Radio AirPlay

DESTINY ROAD/DAY I WAS BORN

Overall Impression: 
Destiny Road/Day I Was Born carries a dramatic tone.  The guitar work is skillful and smooth while the added strings fill out the sound to elicit a sense of fate and fortune that resonates deeply.  Mounting to intense climax and settling into an eerie flute-driven come down, the first portion of the track boasts a lively depth of sound that comes to a full halt before launching into the second half - all style and all blues.  The combined flavors of rock result in a uniquely diverse track - and a seriously uncanny musical journey. 

Strongest Point(s): 
The guitar tones in both halves are amazing - full of life and really well executed.  The blend of acoustic and electric work in Destiny Road creates a really immersive soundscape, and the strings and flute tones really support the lyrical delivery.  Day I Was Born is non-stop blues in aces.  Nothing stands out here as specifically off or on - it's just the blues in the best way.  Again - really tight band dynamic and seriously great soloing! 

Target Audience Appeal: 
A dual track that spans genres, Destiny Road/Day I Was Born offers listeners a diverse and spectacularly structured sample of Gary Dranow's dramatic range and musicality.  Bringing an atmospherically dense and somewhat progressive sound with Destiny Road and chasing it with a cold glass of raw blues energy in Day I Was Born, Gary and the gang present a wide variety of sounds and skills to hook listeners with - and there's something here for everyone. - Jon W. 

Artist target suggestions: 
The Icicle Works, Pixies, The Clash, The Cure, Howlin' Wolf, Joe Walsh, Faces, Boston, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, Muddy Waters, B.B. King 

About the Reviewer: 

Jon Wright is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and music educator with nearly twenty years of experience in the field. Working with musicians and their individual sounds is his passion and profession, and he strives to interact with and understand every aspect of the production process - from theory and songwriting to recording and mastering. He continues to teach students of all ages and is currently collaborating with artists in a wide variety of genres. 

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Neutral

Source: Radio AirPlay

KISSES

Overall Impression: 
Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions capture a delightfully retro sound with their bright and energetic song Kisses.  Blending the driving guitar and bass work of the eighties with a strong sense of pop lyric and melody, Kisses is catchy and full of motion.  The darker tones of the verses give way to a classically catchy chorus - fully embracing the smooth vocal tones and excellent musicianship of Gary and the gang. 

Strongest Point(s): 
That bass line is awesome - props to the player. The vocal and guitar tones are immaculate, and the way everything comes together in the chorus is incredible.  I love the moving line that the guitar and bass play together in the verses, and the way a slight mutation of it hangs around the chorus is evidence of some very thoughtful songwriting.  Great solo work, and fully impressive lyrics. This one's gold in my book! 

Target Audience Appeal: 
Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions deliver a dose of pop sugar with just a hint of 80's rock, and they do it with style!  Kisses is a blast from start to finish - sure to catch the ear of anyone who believes themselves a fan of the classics, but with a wealth of musical skill and strength to keep anyones attention! - Jon W. 

Artist target suggestions: 
The Darkness, Pixies, The Clash, The Cure, The Outfield, Joe Walsh, Faces, Boston, Cheap Trick, Talking Heads, The Police 

About the Reviewer: 

Jon Wright is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and music educator with nearly twenty years of experience in the field. Working with musicians and their individual sounds is his passion and profession, and he strives to interact with and understand every aspect of the production process - from theory and songwriting to recording and mastering. He continues to teach students of all ages and is currently collaborating with artists in a wide variety of genres. 

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Neutral

Source: Radio AirPlay

MELLOW DRAMA

Overall Impression: 
Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions' song Mellow Drama perfectly captures the sensation of loving someone who doesn't love themselves. With insightful lyrics and a bright and bouncy feel, Mellow Drama draws the line between commiseration and self-sacrifice - and expertly expresses the frustrations that come with being the perpetual shoulder to cry on. 

Strongest Point(s): 
Killer lyrics!  Also, for not being mastered, this track has a great sound!  The instrumentals are solid and have a really fun feel - and the vocals are captured well.  A little mastering would be nice, but isn't necessary to receive the intended effect here.  The bouncy, almost ska-styled flow of the song is really engaging and definitely balances the critical tone of lyrics well! 

Target Audience Appeal: 
Gary Dranow's sound is classic in the best way, and Mellow Drama is a perfect representation of this.  Though fostered and developed in a previous decade, Mellow Drama's sentiment and energy are timeless - anyone with similar life experience or a penchant for seriously fun Rock & Roll will love this tune! - Jon W. 

Artist target suggestions: 
The Icicle Works, Pixies, The Clash, The Cure, Joy Division, Joe Walsh, Faces, Boston, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, The Killers, Weezer 

About the Reviewer: 

Jon Wright is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and music educator with nearly twenty years of experience in the field. Working with musicians and their individual sounds is his passion and profession, and he strives to interact with and understand every aspect of the production process - from theory and songwriting to recording and mastering. He continues to teach students of all ages and is currently collaborating with artists in a wide variety of genres. 

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Neutral

Source: Radio AirPlay

A GIRL LIKE YOURS

Overall Impression: 
A Girl Like Yours is a reflectively romantic jam that highlights the value of appreciating what you've got with who you're with, and emphasizes the frustration that comes from observing someone neglect their partner - especially if you're attracted to them.  Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions pour their talents into this thrilling tune, using their expert instrumental skills and penchant for uplifting tone to spell out a cautionary tale - a lot of people would do anything for A Girl Like Yours, so don't take her for granted! 

Strongest Point(s): 
These lyrics are great, very relatable.  The instrumental work in this one is awesome - great classic guitar tones and flawless execution.  Super solid bass tones, and the band sounds as tight in this rough cut as they do in the more polished tracks.  Nice lead vocals, with some interesting rhythms and a pretty memorable chorus.  Love the guitar solo at 2:32 - it fits so well into the bass groove and covers a lot of ground with grace.  Nice work! 

Area(s) of Improvement: 
Small point here, but if ever taking another pass at recording this tune, consider reworking some of the vocal rhythms.  Some of the phrases feel rushed or cramped.  Emphasizing the syllables differently might come across more naturally; easier for fans to follow.  For example, at 0:59, instead of "I'd make sure myyy love-showed," it could be "I'd make sure my-looove showed" and it might feel a little more open.  Just a personal thought, otherwise it's great! 

Target Audience Appeal: 
A Girl Like Yours features lyrics that have the potential to appeal to a great number of folks - the sentiment shared is surprisingly relatable, and as relevant now as it was when the song was first conceived.  Rock solid instrumentals and a catchy voice part make A Girl Like Yours a song worth sharing, and Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions carry a sound that bears repeating.  Thanks for letting me listen in! - Jon W. 

Artist target suggestions: 
he Icicle Works, Pixies, The Clash, The Cure, Joy Division, Joe Walsh, Faces, Boston, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty 

About the Reviewer: 

Jon Wright is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, and music educator with nearly twenty years of experience in the field. Working with musicians and their individual sounds is his passion and profession, and he strives to interact with and understand every aspect of the production process - from theory and songwriting to recording and mastering. He continues to teach students of all ages and is currently collaborating with artists in a wide variety of genres. 

Vocals: Strength 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Neutral 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength

Source: Radio AirPlay

When the world is too Much

Overall Impression: Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions' "When the World is too Much" delivers a message to find solace and consolation in your loved one(s). The nostalgic rock sound keeps you locked into the words..."when I find the world is too much for me Just think of you". This "When the World is Too Much" is so befitting whenever people are not able to see their loved ones physically. Gary Dranow and The Manic Emotions bring sentimental feelings that is relevant today. Reveling in bonds during daunting times gives assurance that "the world is a better place for [us]".  They will connect us with our life's sensations. 

Strongest Point(s): I can hear When the World is Too Much translate to a live acoustic performance so well. The relevance of this song's content may apply to any circumstances where there are people separated. I went immediately to thinking how currently travel is restricted by either suggestion or being mindful of loved ones health. I loved the ending! It sounds like you are having fun but you are also enjoying performing the song. 

The fact that you had this song done a while ago lets you know that this is a timeless song that is so befitting to now more than ever when people are not able to see their loved ones physically. 

Area(s) of Improvement: I only have one observation about the vocal. Make sure you have enough breath support to keep from lowering the pitch (or not drop the head when singing) [0:52, 1:13-15]. So I will put Neutral for this. 

Target Audience Appeal: This song could be used for advertisements for promoting interconnections. For example, you can see people by thinking of that person and finding different ways to contact through Facebook, GoogleDuo, Zoom, Skype---anyway to connect people. "When the World is Too Much" definitely promotes feelings of making interconnections. 

You can also interpret this song another way. It showcases longing---even though you may no longer be with that person any more, thinking of her/him/they puts you "in a better place". 

Artist target suggestions: Chris Isaac, Daughtry, Eric Clapton, Green Day, John Mayer, John Mayer Trio, Kings of Leon, Nickelback, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Jimi Hendrix Experience 

About the Reviewer: Ptotia Furlow, classically trained violinist, is an educator and mentor who shares her knowledge while guiding youth in honing their skills in composition, performance, and other creative skills. 

Vocals: Neutral 
Lyrics: Strength 
Instrumental Performance/Execution: Strength 
Melody/Rhythm: Strength 
Arrangement/Flow: Strength 
Recording Quality/Overall Mix: Strength

Source: Radio AirPlay