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Old 12-03-2015, 10:28 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Arko (Offline)
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I'm not entirely accustomed to writing critiques of songs, and it has been quite a bit of time since I did my last crit on anything at all. But I'll be doing my best to offer you some personal advice and opinions regarding this particular piece.

First things first! I think you've got a theme that offers a phenomenal variety of choices of manipulation. The idea of leaving the past behind and going along with the future is something which all of us have experienced somehow or the other, and thus the backdrop is at once universal and personal. This provides you with the first of these choices, to stick to one of these perspectives, or to use both to a certain extent. The beginning of the song sounds like a universal statement meant for everyone, something that has got to do with a consensus. That makes me wonder, although it is the crux of everything the song is meant to explore, is it really necessary?
Life’s too short to apologize
What I'm trying to say is that, is it unavoidable to make such an explicit statement? The real point of difficulty for me is that it sounds, ahem, somewhat cliché. Statements like this have been made far too often in the past, and you don't want to start off a song that rings with originality with such a common statement, do you?

Moving on, I love the next two lines. They say something against the convention. They tell us to be alive. They tell us to enjoy the present moment.
Just close your mind,
Open up your eyes
Others might argue that you cannot really 'close' your mind just like that, but what I'd like to focus on is the perspective from which you write it. We've all been there, where we have wished we could just end our endless thoughts and come out of the past. This is what really matters then. Even though a bit idealistic in the tone, these lines deserve to be idealistic at this point.

You’ll see,
A world beyond,
Beauty, majesty
These lines are open to interpretation. The rebellious advice against conventional ideas, the idea to enjoy the present, would lead us to expect that we would want to enjoy the beauty and the majesty of the world. What these lines suggest, however is the exact opposite of that.
Speaking for myself, I would like to think that the lyrics suggest beauty to be a superficial matter, as well as in case of majesty. In other words, or in another sense altogether, beauty is the agent of getting us stuck in the past in the first place. This has got an overtly philosophical notion attached to it, one which I'm neither against nor in favour of. I would just say that at this point I would avoid judgement and follow this idea to see where it leads. The one thing I particularly like here is the way you have left these lines to speak for themselves. It's almost graceful!

Lighten your head,
And lighten your heart,
Forget mistakes,
Spent years apart,
You’ll see,
A world beyond
Beauty, majesty
This stanza brings back the tone which was prevalent in the preceding one just before the diabolical issue of beauty came in. The ideas of forgetting mistakes and separation are, once again, idealistic, but have their own charm precisely because they are. In a way, this repetition of ideas works here. It somehow seems to give me a way to work out what you're trying to say. It actually shows us where to begin if we were to resurrect from the past that restrains us.

Life’s too short to apologize,
Just close your mind,
Open up your eyes,
Please be,
I'd rather prefer "life's too short to apologize" to make its first appearance here. It feels like the song actually reaches one of its peaks somewhere around here. The theme that the lyrics want to encompass could culminate here, and would seem compatible with the climax.
The other thing, and of course the far more important thing that I'd like to say is about the usage of the comma at the end of the stanza. It actually made me recall Oscar Wilde (if I'm not wrong, which I could certainly be; please correct me in that case): " I spend entire mornings putting in a comma somewhere in my text, and entire afternoons removing it. " This illustrates the power of punctuation. I hope this comma in the lyrics was voluntarily placed, because a great line would otherwise be ruined for me. The short statement "please be" bears a tremendous appeal and echoes on. It encapsulates what the song stands for. It tells me to close my mind but not to lose it, it tells me to follow myself which only I can. It tells me to live for the pure sake of, joy of living. All that happens because of the splendid comma.
Now remove the comma and this essence is lost. The two consecutive lines get merged into one continuous line, which goes "please be never too far apart", which, in the present context, does not bear any coherent meaning for me. It would sound like you are concerned about this separation, something which would contradict the spirit of freedom celebrated up to this point.
So my advice, pay attention to punctuation, and do not remove the comma in this case.

There’s no use of time,
Spent dreaming about,
Promises made,
Promises doubt,
Broken ideas,
I’ve lost count…………
I think that the word 'doubt' in the fourth line was introduced for the pure sake of rhyming, since "promises doubt" sounds weird and almost meaningless, even though the essence is there. My suggestion would be to drop the "doubt" part. Since it's a song you don't need to worry about the alliteration always. To mend it, you could make the music and the voice drop around the second "promises", and make it more conversation like, with "doubted" instead. If you've listened to 'Tunnel of Love' by Dire Straits you will be knowing what I'm talking about. The style permits many ways to loop around rhymes, and you could easily make a portion of the song like that without having to alter the whole song, if you don't like to.

But there’s a world out there
It will move along,

If you don’t jump on,
I like the matter-of-factness of these lines. I would suggest you to drop "but". It would make the approach colder, and more persuasive at this point. Try saying it aloud along with the preceding lines.

Life’s too short to apologize,
Just close your mind,
Open up your eyes,
You’ll see,
Beauty, Cold,
In tragedy,
I like how beauty makes a recurring appearance throughout the lyrics with continually changing companions. It helps me understand the concept better, the same concept of beauty being an antagonist that I had a vague idea about at the onset. I can imagine the voice rising to its peak around "life's too short to apologize", and slowly falling all the way down to "tragedy". It essentially captures the mood of a person who is trying to get away from the past. For that person, beauty is no longer a source of unbiased joy. That person seeks to look forward to the future not for beauty, but for life. Here beauty becomes disjoint from life, something which is really worth exploring.

So, just hold your breath,
And leap beside me,
We’ll cross the borders,
Of insanity,
Around here the comma seems overused, and hinders the way you want someone to understand the lyrics. If you wanted to strike a sense of pauses while the song is actually being sung, however, it's alright then. This is the first time that a feeling of companionship comes. Who is the speaker? What future does he/she(?) want to lead the addressee to? What actually is the role of 'insanity' here? Is it an effusion to break forth from the clutches of the present? Also, insanity is, by definition, a limitless concept, while sanity is bounded in that sense. What, then, does 'borders of insanity' mean? These are the critical questions that I would like to ask at this point. However, as the song reaches its true climactic proportions here, a bit of effusion seems justified poetically. Just make sure not to overstretch its delicate allowance. All of these questions are not applicable to the abstractness of a song, as long as that delicate limit is respected.

A minefield, of broken dreams, Oh-
Please shed your fears,
And shed your thoughts,
And fly with me,

Into the dark,
The association of 'borders' and 'minefields' comes off splendidly. Also, a minefield of "broken dreams" has an innate charm. While getting away from the past, the dreams and ideals of the past pose the most severe restrictions. One wrong step ensures entrapment once again. This idea coupled with the much tangible concepts and things mentioned here pave the way for a singularly graphic and disturbing state. The imagery here is beautiful.
Also, 'please' adds a little sarcastic tone, as if the speaker is growing tired and somewhat amused of the naive person who is being addressed. This contributes to the concluding demeanor.
Here, 'dark' for me has multiple interpretations. While I won't go into each one of them in vivid details, the most alluring one to me is of uncertainty. This uncertainty is the key of the future, that makes it at once intimidating and romantic. The subtle use of 'dark' is something I'd like to compliment you on.

Life’s too short to apologize,
Just close your mind,
Open up your eyes,
You’ll see,
A world beyond beauty,
And cruelty,
The song completes an arc and returns to its original point. However, the mention of 'cruelty' gives, at last, an explicit twist, showing that beauty and cruelty are intimately connected, and provides me one final time a sort of validation for my interpretation of the role of beauty in this song.

All in all, the rhythm works really well, as well as the format and the structuring. The feverish intensity towards the end adds a whole new layer of enigma and charm to the song. I hope I've been able to help ( 'cause at this moment I'm typing these words staring into my laptop screen with red eyes for I haven't slept all night long, and it's almost morning). Thank you if you have had the patience to read through the whole thing. I'd like to crit your next song, if you post any!
"Silent, upon a peak, in Darien....."

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