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Music

Critique of "Will You" by Kelsey

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The more times I listened to "Will You," the more I enjoyed it. I was a little frustrated in not being able to make out all of the words, so forgive me if I respond to a lyric that is not quite what you wrote, Kelsey! Including lyrics is such a useful addition to a track submission!

I am not sure the title should be as stated because it simply was not repeated enough. The hook of the song is currently more in the layered vocals of the chorus. I would try to establish a more noticeable and definite hook if it were my song, and long before the bridge.

This is a critique of "Will You", by Kelsey from Emerald City Studios. You'll find the original workshop here.
couple in love and jealous woman in background

Form

The eight-bar intro set a bluesy, sultry mood nicely, and the vocal entered at just the right time. The first four-line verse was followed by another B section verse and then launched into the chorus. This whole form repeated again and was then followed by a bridge section that never returned to a verse or chorus to finish. I think that either would have been more satisfying and I would have preferred one or the other over the repeating bridge.

To me, the final section was two to three times longer than it needed to be, and my ear really wanted a return to one of the earlier sections.The melody of the bridge is very static and while it was interesting, I felt like some melodic movement was eventually overdue. The overall feel didn't have finality.

Black Female Singer

Melody

I really liked the melody all the way down. If I had one criticism other than the overlong bridge, it would be that the song sounded a little mellow for the subject matter. Suspicion of betrayal is a painful emotion, yet the verse melody sounded light and almost playfully flirtatious. I like the use of a B section as opposed to another identical verse. It gave the song added tension and dynamic. There is plenty of musical and rhythmic contrast between sections which I believe in strongly.


Lyric

My main issues with this song are in the lyric. The chorus was simple, but worked well. The lyric preceding the first chorus is not direct enough. Here is an excerpt:

The wording was more complicated than it needed to be. I would go for a more conversational tone. The lyric goes on:

Like one in particular circumstance that I prefer

and then a line ending in the word "eliminate".

The fairly vague language accomplishes little, because it is difficult for the listener to follow the intended meaning. The word "eliminate" is out of the language of the rest of the song and comes out of nowhere, adding to the confusion.

Sad girl

Continuing into the section before the second chorus, the language continues to be vaguely complicated, and a reference is made to "emanating" from her ears. Again the word is out of place and non-conversational.

The most unexpected couplet of all was:

Some old crow is stealing my show.

I also had issues with:

It reeks of my most hidden fear.

Again, both are too much of a departure from the tone of the song, which is not the least bit angry or fearful. A song generally works better when the language has a consistency to it.

I would advise writers to write freshly but conversationally.The bridge expresses the singer's disappointment which is a very civilized emotion as compared to the emotions in the crow line. The line might have worked in a playfully angry uptempo with lots of attitude but not in this song.


Commerciality

With some work I think this song has commercial potential. The emotional slant needs to be streamlined and not so varying and replaced with a simpler more interesting way of driving the point home. The R and B flavor is effective and provocative. From a non-singer's perspective, it sounds like a fun song to sing with lots of room for improvisation. Most of all, it needs a strong repetitive hook for its title.

In closing, I have a few thoughts about a common lyrical misconception. To put it plainly, some lyrics sound like the writer "tried too hard" to sound creative. At the expense of clarity, thoughts are rendered in a convoluted and unnatural way. Apart from the rhyme, if you wouldn't speak a line to another person is conversation, it probably won't work in a song either. Sounding too casually is preferable to the alternative. Just be sure to keep it interesting!

Need constructive criticism on your own tracks? Submit them for a workshop using this form. Most but not all submissions are published. There may be a wait of up to two months.
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