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The AfroBlues The AfroBlues

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Well, you asked for it. *Cracks knuckles*

You want reviews, hm? Well, lucky for you, I happen to have heard quite a bit in the Jazz/Blues section, despite my main area being Techno.

Let's pick this apart. First off, I'll say that your instrumentation is very original, but the quality of the noise is a tad low. I'm getting "crackly" noises here and there you can do without.

The guitar - Great tone, this just makes me happy to listen to whenever it kicks in and plays a melody of some sort. Very laid-back, upbeat, and in-general blues like. Good work here.

Bassline - Eh, I'll tell you now that I have heard this bassline so many times, any original feeling of coolness it might of had is long gone. For a first try in the genre, it's somewhat acceptable, but my favorite baselines have always been when the artists brought out something completely new and creative, but keeping the upbeat feel of the classic.

Distorted - Type Guitar Thingy (Or whatever you call it) - Interesting, I have to say, but I got tired of that one chord that every little lick of it ends on preeety dang fast. In addition, it was a very repetitious melody. It is my strict opinion that nothing should repeat more then twice without throwing something new in the mix or changing the notes/rhythm up enough to keep it interesting.

Drums - I barely remember who I wrote the review for now, but I know I went on a 1000+ character rant for someone's song, directed straight at the drums. Even more then many other genres, Jazz/Blues songs have VERY alive drums beats. I did notice you changed it up here and there, but in general here's a word. In Jazz/Blues, the bass is there to keep the rhythm, and the drums are there to fill in the gaps that the other instruments leave. Look for holes in your music, where none of the instruments are really moving, and drop a drum lick in there; trust me, it'll make the song twice as good.

I have to say though, on the matter of drums, you're a lot better then most techno artists. Just a little more action, and it should greatly improve the quality.

Overall, it's good, but not good enough. Keep it up, you'll get better, trust me. (Seriously, take a look at those really good authors out there right now. I used to think In Dream was phenomenal, but they just keep getting more awesome.)

6.7 out of 10. Rounds up to 7. Above middle-quality, below perfection.

Since I'm here, and have 1,700 characters left, I'll throw a few tips at you.

------ A couple weeks after making a song, maybe more, listen to it AT LEAST 50 times. In a row. Trust me, you WILL find the flaws. =D

------ EVERY instrument in a song should be playing an important role, and overall add to the mood of the song. For a good example, look at XsToRmEr1's "Moonlit Night," and note how in my review, I point out that every instrument in there weaves more and more, to create an image of sitting out in the wilderness, relaxing on the grass, and staring up at the night sky.

------ A score is a score, and nothing more. Do not take a number to mean much of anything about a song, ever. It is similar to rating school children with a letter, and believing that it determines all of their intellect and potential. The only people who actually believe this are stuffy white-shirt black-tie people. It's ALL in the review. Note, this goes both ways. 0's are often unjust, and no song is perfect enough to actually get a 10/10.

In other news, my hands are getting tired. Signing off,


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AfroShine responds:

yes! just what I wanted, I actually smiled when I read your review because it was very helpful. Yea I know the baseline melody was overused. Basically reviews like this help me improve, this is exactly what I wanted. thank you.

Operation: Evolution Operation: Evolution

Rated 4.5 / 5 stars


This song is not epic. This song is BEYOND epic. Dimrain, you are like a combination of pure own, pwn, ninja, epic-ness, and all other things good. It's hard to believe how much you've improved, considering how good you were from the start (I still listen to In Dream often), and this. Hell, this is crazy, it's like you took the stereotypical "Chorus-Solo-Chorus-Solo-Chorus" style of Techno, and turned it into "Solo-Solo-Solo-Solo-Solo," and that is just pure win.

Opening (00:00 - 00:27) --- Okay, you start out with something fairly conventional, with swift, moving high notes that just seem to roll right into each other. Nothing much to notice here until 00:15, where that lower synth kicks in, and you've got two other synths as support, playing similar roles as a trombone (dramatic, slow, low notes building up) and trumpet (high, single "hit notes"), and this continues to build up and up. You've got me hooked right here in the first 30 seconds, and that's how every song should be. Rating: 9 out of 10.

Part One (00:27 - 00:52) --- Hm, I can't say I like the lead synth here, as it winds up being a bit too repetitive by the end, but your backgrounds are great. The base-like noise that hits the off-beats has a powerful effect, and for perhaps the first time, you're really starting to learn how to use drums to their full extent. Rating: 7 out of 10.

Guitar Solo (00:53 - 01:15) -- Fist off, you realized that in this one guitar solo, you hopped across three different music styles? You start out fairly dramatic-ish (in fact, I here the Jurassic Park theme once here =P) then jump to this jumpy, overly-happy piece (excellent use of drums here, by the way) that will instantly brighten just about anyone's mood. Then, you slide over to this piece with a symphony-feel to it. Again, I love your drums now (most songs with drums make me wince in pain, as the drums have no musical quality to them). Rating: 9 out of 10.

Fun with Echoes (1:15 - 1:39) --- This part is also pretty dang bright. You keep the background "strings" there, which is good, and then you bounce back and forward between those two synths, creating an impressive echo effect, common in music, but rarely seen on Newgrounds. Then you finish with a good fade, and even more good drum parts. Rating: 8 out of 10.

Peacetime (1:39 - 2:15) --- Here, you do an incredible job of fading in between just about every instrument in the song, and form a very ambient, flowing atmosphere. I like the piano, as I hadn't noticed it until this point, and it gives a little surprise value, and it's surprises that make the song best the first time you here it. Rating: 9 out of 10.

Basstime (2:15 - 2:49) --- This part of the song jumps off with that crazy fall there, then slips into another little piano piece, with something that sounds like Cloud Control in the background, another fall, and then BAM! Bass! And of course, the bass solo absolutely kicks ass, and even more so when the other instruments come into support it. Bravo man. Rating: 9 out of 10.

Cotton-Eye Joe on Crack (2:49 - 3:28) --- No, seriously, you take this perfectly ordinary, ambient string of fast notes, and turn it into something along the same lines as Cotton-Eye Joe. You're damn scary, dude. Not only that, you take a sci-fi sounding thing, and then do the same thing with that! Wow. Rating: 9 out of 10.

Kickass Mode: Engage (3:28 - 4:15) --- And this is where everything starts going awesome. Words cannot describe this, but let's just say this is about as close to perfect I've ever seen a song get. Rating: 10 out of 10.

Guitar Solo: Take Two? (4:15 - 4:29) --- Infernoplex wasn't enough, REM wasn't enough, the first damn solo in this wasn't enough. However, this solo took everything you've ever done good, and put it together into... damn, that's amazing. Rating: %u221E out of 10.

Finale (4:21 - 5:05) --- And it ends. Nothing much to say about this finale, except that it does an impressive job of not sucking right after something so awesome. Rating: 8 out of 10.

Overall rating: 9 out of 10.


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Cerebral Infection Cerebral Infection

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars


I dislike DnB, but that's my personal preference, and I can easily see why this is a good song among it's genre. Though it a was a bit on the repetitive side, I suppose most DnB's are, so that's ok. I loved those little pauses every few seconds where the synth would make that "whooop" sound, they made me just that much happier every time I heard them, so that was cool.

I can't honestly give a full-fledged review for this, but my only recommendation for this song (and all of your songs, for that matter, is to increase the variety in your drums more, as it adds greatly to the atmosphere of the song if you pull it off correctly.

Other then that, though, keep making songs, Dimrain, and I'll be patiently waiting for the day you choose to go back to your roots and make a homage to those crazy fast strings of notes you would always make in your songs like In Dream. In the meantime, while you're being original, still, I'd like more guitar, 'cause your guitar solos rock.

Keep it up, you're awesome, man.

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-´Vexeta`- -´Vexeta`-

Rated 2.5 / 5 stars

Wow, I capped the character limit in my review...

Mm... Fascinating. The quality of the audio portal is increasing at a staggering rate. My iPod will be pleased. Checking your comments, you claim this is a remix. Good, that means this review will be shorter, and more focused on the instruments. The main synth is a bit of a stereotype, but that's ok, it's a good sound. The higher, bell-like synth is better, as it doesn't tend to grate on the ears as the other does as much after repeated listenings.

Feel - This represents the emotion behind the song. I'm getting... action-y vibes from this song, with a positive note to them. It feels a bit like the battle themes from Tales of Symphonia at some parts (if you've ever played it), and is a nice little melody that really gets the point across. The way the instrument switches does a nice job at adding to the action feeling, as well. ~~~Five out of ten~~~

Power - Ah, the ever-elusive Power; hard to find, even harder to hold on to, and nigh-impossible to master. A few times, for a streak of maybe three or so notes, you pull off fairly high amounts of power, but never manage to hold onto for any longer. One of these places is at 2:00, where there's a massive power boost that fades away as you repeat the same phrase that you've done over and over again. It starts up a bit again when it slides, then jumps into a new part, but then falls back down again. I can't tell you how to keep it for any longer. I'm not here to tell you how to make better music, I'm here to tell you how to figure out how to make better music for yourself. ~~~Five out of ten~~~

Beat - This is how catchy the song is, how much it makes me bob my head, tap my foot, and such. This is probably the focus of the song: I'm bobbing my head as I type, so you're doing something right here. However, there is a rather large problem here, and almost every techno artist makes this mistake. Right now, ALL of your beat is actually coming from the synthesizers, not the drums. This would be fine, except that all it does is make your drums take up space and add nothing. My advice - make your drums noticeable; you do this every time you pull out those rolls as the piece builds up. What you need to do is make the drums a part of the music, not just things that happen to be playing to the same rhythm that the melody is. When the melody pauses, make the drums play, or perhaps even make them pause with alongside everything else. When the melody hits a strong, powerful part, tone up the base drum - make us FEEL the beat inside our skin. When the song pulls out a single strong note, slam the drums at the same time. The drums aren't there to keep the rhythm. In techno you don't need anything to keep the rhythm - no real people are there to lose it. Drums are there to EMPHASIZE the song, to make the powerful parts even more powerful, to make the beautiful parts even more beautiful, to make the peaceful parts more peaceful, to make the dramatic parts more dramatic, to make the happy parts happier, to make the sad parts sadder. They are NOT there to beat out the same thing over and over again while the melody is busy going all over the place. Drums are an instrument too - don't leave them out of the race. Anything is only as strong as its weakest link, and drums are a link just as much as any other part of the song...


I'm done ranting. ~~~Six out of ten~~~

Overall - A good song, an iPod download for sure, and lots of pretty stuff here. Even if this was a remix, you've got talent and I'm sure you can go somewhere with it. Try to do what I told you in the Beat section - if you master the art of drums, that would put you above almost every other author in the Newgrounds audio portal, and that's saying something, there are some great artists out there, and you can - no, perhaps you ARE one of them. Be glad, you have a talent many others would pay to obtain, and you can take it somewhere with just some effort. ~~~Five out of ten~~~


PS: Five out of ten means neither above or below average, not "you suck." Other people you give 10/10s don't realize that nothing is perfect. =)

Moonlit Night Moonlit Night

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

Relaxing, happy, sleep-inducing, catchy, and more!

What are you doing, XsToRmEr1? You know we're all secretly waiting for Flames of the Sky III, right? =P Seriously, though, it seems you were right in putting this in miscellaneous, as I have no idea where the heck this would go either. This is another Feel-based song, with a nice Beat there, as well.

Feel - Hmm, it feels... calming? I'm not sure. *listens for a while* Okay, I'd say this has a "Peaceful Happy" feel to it, which fits your description well. A bit repetitious, but that's okay in this short of song. I notice that the melody or whatever you might call it never really changes, but it's nice enough that you don't really notice it (unless, of course, you're listening to it many times in a row like I am =P) . The drums are relaxing, no snare drums, no bass drums (it is spelled like that for drums, too, right?), just nice little Congo-ish drums that add to the outdoorsy atmosphere you've got going here. Now that a listen to the melody a bit more, I notice how similar to a lullaby it feels. In fact, if you added words to this, it would make a great song to sing someone to sleep. It adds to the "under the moon" part of your description... did you do that on purpose? Either way, this is a great job of creating a decent number of feelings with a single, repetitive piece. ~~~Seven-and-a-half out of ten~~~

Power - I would certainly _hope_ not! If anything, power isn't what you want here. ~~~One half out of ten~~~

Beat - Not what one would expect from this, but those drums just have me bobbing my head subconsciously. The melody is catchy, and I could easily get it stuck in my head, which is an impressive job with such a peaceful little piece like you have here. I like how with every repetition of the main theme, you seem to add something new to the beat that makes me bob my head more and more. ~~~Five out of ten~~~

Overall - All in all, I'm impressed at how well you made this song using countless cliche little pieces all over the place, and yet made it sound so original at the same time that I can easily tell that you didn't take it from anyone else. Still waiting on that techno of yours, but I'm a patient person. Keep making songs, and remember that the only reason people are so negative on the internet is because it takes about five times as much effort to be positive. A good piece, and an iPod-add one as well. ~~~Seven out of ten~~~


XsToRmEr1 responds:

Oh, it's coming... :)

(skyline) (skyline)

Rated 4 / 5 stars

You, sir, win the internets. =P

Seriously, though, I clicked the song on the top of the list to give it the rating it no doubt deserved, and now I notice that it has four thousand downloads and yet still manages to stay on the top. Bravo, man. I'll have to look at your other songs after this.

Feeling - A very beautiful song, using synths just a tad different then the typical overused ones, and pulling off something amazing with them. In so many places, you use little clips that may not be entirely original, but are definitely placed in such ways that show you know what you're doing, and you're doing it well. The way you just jump in with a new instrument every so often, and yet play the same piece adds an very good effect. ~~Seven out of ten~~

Power - Not the focus of the song, so nothing to say here. ~~One out of ten~~

Beat - Oh, yeah, I'm feeling the rhythm now, bobbing my head, tapping my foot, this song is the sort that makes you want to MOVE! An impressive job, when you pull it off with so little drums. I'll have this song stuck in my head for the rest of the night, and I'll enjoy every minute of it. ~~Seven out of ten~~

Overall - Wow. I need to check this place more often. No flaws I can point out, so your on your own for that part. I salute you, Nyth-Pinank, for making the Newgrounds Audio Portal a better place. ~~Eight out of ten~~


Frozen Teardrops Frozen Teardrops

Rated 3.5 / 5 stars

A good start for a whole new style of music.

Am I the only one who finds creating new songs under the "Classical" genre ironic? *Shrug*.

First off, let me say that I really like your music, NH, and I consider you one of the top artists of newgrounds, though I do prefer your songs such as Dreamforge or Isolation over this one, Frozen Teardrops still has some good things to its name.

Feeling - Lots of this stuff in here, the kind-of organ-sounding background noise really contributes to this, the piano adds a bit when not being repetitive, and... is that a trumpet? It sounds really pretty, and the bells are just beautiful. [ 7 / 10 ]

Power - This don't come into effect until the trumpet (or whatever it is) jumps in, but is really great for the minute it does play. [ 5.5 / 10 ]

Beat - Nothing to see here. Move along. [ 0 / 10 ]

Overall - I like it! This is a download song, though not quite as quick as most of yours. It was an amazing start for a whole new genre, and you do a great job of jumping out of your box and pulling off something completely different (though I do admit, that box you have is a really damn awesome box =P). [ 7 / 10]


PS - A 7 / 10 is good in my book. 10 / 10 is perfect, and impossible, a 0 / 10 is as bad as bad can be. 1-4 / 10 is bad, 5 / 10 is neither good or bad, and 6-9 / 10 is good.

Existence Existence

Rated 3 / 5 stars

Yay! XsToRmEr1's back!

I see you've returned, that's good. Now there's one more person on Newgrounds who doesn't just pop out the same boring techno time after time. Hm, I rate a song on three things, Feel, Beat, and Power.

Feel - Primarily what you're going for here. A fairly pretty song, and at around... *checks* 3:10, you bring in a very nice part that I like, though it is pretty quiet - I'm not sure if that adds to the effect or not. A nice, peaceful song on the whole, either way though. It does a good job at being relaxing, which is no doubt the intent. [ 6.5 / 10 ]

Beat - Practically nonexsistant, with very little noticeable drums and none of that catchy stuff that makes up the techno. That's fine, though, since this is trance, unless I read wrong. [ .5 / 0 ]

Power - Again, nothing much here, which is to be expected, though, not the sort of thing that would be in this song. [ .5 / 0 ]

Overall - It's a good song. Not my preference, so it's not going on my download list, but I like the effort put into it, all the subtle little sounds you only hear if you listen closely, and much more of that sort. I can't find anything that I, with my limited musical knowledge, can point out as a flaw, but that doesn't mean there aren't any... or maybe that means the song is too empty and needs more stuff to it. *Shrug*

(Any low ratings given by me represent the fact that a 10/10 is in fact, perfect and thus impossible to obtain, a 0/10 shows that the song was completely pointless, and a 5/10 shows that it was right in between. A score over five is a good one, in my book, ignoring the overrating 10/10s that seems to rampant here among good techno artists. I was one of them, actually...)


XsToRmEr1 responds:

Thanks for being critical of my work. Seriously, this'll really push me work much harder and to pay attention to the things you pointed out: Feel, beat, and power. This is exactly why I chose to return. I want feedback like this to fix the mistakes and to strengthen the weak.

Hyperdestructive Hyperdestructive

Rated 5 / 5 stars


Wow... I love it... Keep it up NH, you're one of the better people on Newgrounds, who make it worth coming back here for more.

§ -C- ¤ -M- §
<(I . I<)(>I . I)>


Rated 5 / 5 stars

Yay! ^ ^

Dimrain! Yay! Music! Party! Pie! Uhh... Right, review.

*starts song*

Interesting beginning, I like the pause. I like the little background noises. It's kinda interesting how a random sounds just kinda jump in and out of the song, making it more of a song with every repetition. Once again, nice background sounds. Change in atmosphere, with a guitar in the background, I like it. The music softens up, and is beginning to intensify. Synth comes in... ooh spiffy! Pause, then guitar! ^ ^ I love your guitar, I wish I could play like that... It feels very Dimrain-y... a new synth, quiet this time, but very cool. It does the one-note guitar background... Ooh! I love the pause! Wow! Nice job on how the synth jumps in like that! ... Bam! Awsome ending!

All in all, I still have the desire to hug your music, even though it's impossible. I agree with the guy below me that intensifying the volume changes would be cool, but other then that your music is just pure awsomeness.

Once again, another great song by Dimrain47.

§ -C- ¤ -M- §
<(I . I<)(>I . I)>