OK, I tried to do some reviews of everyone's round 2 song; I really did. But I don't really have it in me at the moment. I DO, though, have some general thoughts.
I was heartened to see that nobody chose the "obvious" news story... Anthony Weiner. I tend to believe that everyone else believed it would be the obvious choice and avoided it for that reason. If so, kudos all around.
I'm always astounded that no matter how much latitude a songwriting contest gives, there are some duplicate thoughts. For instance...
- In the "write a song about one of the 700 mole men" challenge of Song Fu 5, "Suction-Cupped Johnny" was chosen by Alex Taylor and Jalapeño Habañeros.
- In the "write a song about a number" challenge for Song Fu 5, the numbers 2, 23, 5, pi, and the imaginary number i were all used more than once... even though the number of numbers to choose from is literally infinite.
- In the "Secondary Historical Figures" challenge of SpinTunes 2, Round 3, with all of history from which to draw, both Edric Haleen and Charlie McCarron wrote about passengers on the bus with Rosa Parks.
- Two songs about the final shuttle flight:
- Too Soon To Say Goodbye by Caleb Hines
- The Last Launch by Alex Carpenter
- Two songs about the "one dollar bank robber":
- Independence and Freedom for All by Godz Poodlz
- One Dollar Robber (shadow entry) by Young Stroke aka Young Muscle
- Two songs about the legalization of gay marriage:
- What About Love? by Edric Haleen
- When Frankie and Johnny Get Married by Steve Durand
- the subject of gay marriage is also touched on briefly in Ross Durand's The American Way.
I'm not making a point here except to say that, when responding to these challenges, you simply can't be concerned with how "original" your idea is. No matter how offbeat the challenge, chances are good that somebody will be thinking like you. I would have thought that in a topical challenge, religion and war would have been well-trodden ground; yet the only other "war" song was Jutze's tongue-in-cheek number, Re: Your Oil. (btw... Ross Durand noted in his review that our song, Prayer for Peace, sounded a bit like listening to someone pray. Having read the review, I'm now thoroughly convinced that our title was waaay too subtle, and am considering re-naming it to Some Jewish Guy Praying For Peace, and You Can Listen In. ^_^ (I love you, Ross, and so does my wife. In fact, I hope you have a spare room, 'cause she's on a bus, headed your way.))
Even when there is duplication of concept, I'm always impressed with the wildly different interpretations. I can think of nothing further apart than Steve Durand's and Edric Haleen's entries. Steve gives us a narrative in a perfectly styled turn-of-the-19th-century "oom-pah" waltz, while Edric abandons his usual storytelling for an in-your-face rap message in unfettered street language. Both entries are great.
Apart from the instances noted above, this round pulled from the most diverse sources. Some were simple, local stories, such as Program aids food stamp users by The Offhand Band, or A Tight Spot by Matt and Donna (about a kid who gets his head stuck between two railing posts). There was national news, like Wait What's Bunny Please Don't Go, and even an op-ed represented with Alexa Polasky's Infidelity. Add to this mix Something In The Air; a flight of fancy from Inverse T. Clown worthy of a tabloid... except this tabloid story appeared in a reputable source.
All in all, this was a very good round, and a general step up in performance. I was especially impressed that the rappers upped their game, and that Wait What? decided to add some conviction to their performance that was sorely missing in the previous round.
The overall quality is good enough that I have no expectations of surviving the round or "leaving the island". Either way, it's all good...I get to feed my mp3 player with great stuff.
P.S. If I haven't mentioned it already... the very best song of the round is Caleb Hines' Too Soon To Say Goodbye. And if you don't agree... well... all I can say is there's no accounting for your horrible taste in music. It's a good thing you have me to set you straight. This song's got a great tune, tremendously poetic and descriptive lyrics. Easily Caleb's best evah.