Listen Here: Comfort Zone/Sour Times – LMayne
Follow On Twitter: @LFMayne14
London in the building.
In this single, London’s very own “LMayne” is describing his struggle with finding appreciation from society. He describes how he is grinding, and the work he puts into music. What did I think about this? Let me tell you.
From the very beginning of this track I found an immediate error. Throughout this song, there is a woman singing in the background, it gives the song a smooth and complete vibe. It is most definitely a nice touch. However, not from the start. As soon as you click play on the track, you are greeted by the voice in mid-sentence. This makes the song feel choppy. Almost as if you started it in the middle of the song. To fix this, the artist should let the beat pick up before adding fancy dynamics. Maybe a fade-in, or at least the simple melody for a couple seconds. Honestly, anything but just letting the voice jump in.
Continuing on with the song. This song doesn’t have a hook. Instead, there are three verses separated by a brief silence and a playing of the background vocals. Usually, I would break all three of these verses down separately. However, they all sound the same, and this is an issue. When listening to this song, it is hard to make it past mid-way of the second verse without getting bored, and in-turn, shutting the song off. At least that’s how I felt. There are several errors made in this track, but don’t worry. I am going to address all of them and help the artist know exactly what he needs to do to fix these problems.
First things first. The mix and master. I am not sure who mixed and mastered these vocals, but it’s awful, and quite frankly it ruins the song. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean this in a mean and spiteful way. I mean that this actually has pretty good potential at being a good, or maybe even great song. It’s just being held down by the same crutch as a good number of other young artists, post-production error. To state exactly what’s wrong with the mix is easy. Reverb. Reverb. And more reverb. The reverb makes “LMayne’s” voice sound echoey and artificial. It also makes the words clog up and merge together, thus making it harder for the listener to understand the words being rapped. This isn’t necessarily as much of an issue in the beginning of the track, as it is when you get to about the middle and end of the track. Once “LMayne” starts picking up his tempo, all bets are off, and the words start sounding like one really big crammed alphabet.
Secondly, the master. The master on these vocals is way off. This is what stands out to me the most. The vocals are way too loud. This makes the voice even harder to comprehend. It just doesn’t sound good. There is too much bass in the voice. It sounds crowded, almost as if my speakers don’t have enough room to push out all the noise and is automatically muffling the sound. This is another error that a lot of young artists make. They are so focused on getting their words heard, that they force the equalization into being slightly too loud. Which only does greater damage to the clarity of the vocals.
Moving on to the actual song content. Listening to these lyrics, there were actually times that I was quite impressed. “LMayne” definitely spends a good amount of time writing these, and knows his way around a pen. However, there were also times where I was unimpressed. At some points, this song had great metaphors and flow. There were a couple of moments throughout this track where “LMayne” used four syllable words and made them all rhyme together, while still staying on topic. This was nice. Very nice. On the opposing side though, there were moments where “LMayne” was forcing long syllable rhymes, and stretching for rhyming words. This was not so nice. Not at all. When an artist has to take extra time finding a way for a line to rhyme, that line shouldn’t be in the song. It is easy for a seasoned Rap listener to sniff these out, and smell amateurism. Although, for the most part, “LMayne” was able to demonstrate and exhibit some real lyrical talent. Good job.
Lastly, the artist’s flow is something I really felt the need to point out here. There are several problems with this, and aside from the mixing and mastering, this could be one of the biggest problems to take from this track. The best way I can word this is that it sounds like the song was written before the beat was made. It is almost as if “LMayne” grabbed a pen and paper and just started writing. Then when he was finished he went and tried to convert the lyrics to fit the time/measures of the beat. Because at some points in this song, the flow of “LMayne’s” voice and the beat, seriously did not align. The rhymes start to sound bouncy and nursery-like. Aside from the negative aspect of his flow, I will say that his flow is different. In a good way. It’s funky. And somewhat old-school. I found myself bobbing my head the same way I might during an old BIGGIE song.
To sum this song up. I would say that this is an artist that definitely understand writing music, and most likely has a full pad of it. In order for him to reach the next level of greatness though, he will have to fix major issues with his mixing and mastering, and will have to get his flow mastered. The only way to master the flow is practice over the beat you plan on recording over. One take. Two takes. Three takes. Four takes! As many takes as it “takes” in order to get the sound just right. If you aren’t one hundred percent confident in the way a song feels when it is coming off of your tongue, then don’t release it. Every song should be another attempt at mastering your flow and reaching your full potential. If “LMayne” can get these few mistakes fixed, I can see him growing a pretty solid fan base in the UK. Keep up the hard work.
RRR Score: 4/10
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