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June 30, 2019

Baby I Need Your Soul - NSAI feedback

OK, so at the start of this year I decided to get value for my NSAI membership and throw as many songs in for feedback as possible. It's been a long time since I got the feedback, and I ended up with about 10 songs to post, so brace yourself, dear reader, for a series of these posts.

I didn't approach this with any strategy, so I'm just going to post these in the order I received the feedback. Here's the version I submitted, as put onto YouTube by my distributor, CDBaby:

I put it in the "Other" category - because t's not coutry or rock and there's not "Blues" category - and asked for feedback on the basis that I want it to be a commercial song. Here's what the evaluator said:


Song Title - Baby I Need Your Soul

Evaluators Comments -
EVALUATORS OPENING: Welcome to the NSAI Evaluation Service. I am Evaluator
XXXXX. My goal is to help guide you in the process of songwriting, with the
hopes of helping you become the best songwriter you can be. Please keep in
mind that this evaluation is only my professional opinion, and these opinions
are given to you to help reach your goals for each submitted song. I hope
this service will be a beneficial tool for your craft, and wish you the best
in all you do.

FORM/STRUCTURE: You have the proper from here. Keep in mind that most of
todays commercial songs are geared to the 3 minute mark. This current
structure takes the song over 5 minutes so you want to be sure to shorten
this down to closer to the 3 minute mark. Shaving down the intro, and the
turn from chorus 1 to verse 2 and transposing the final verse to be more
geared towards a quick 2 line bridge will allow the the structure to get
closer to this mark.

TITLE/HOOK: Your title is really ok, but would be presented in way that will
work to better draw the listener into the song with a small tweak to the
title to become "Soul" as this title can be written in many different ways
which will allow the title to better capture the listener and work to help
draw the listener even more into the song.

LYRIC: Opening lines help to set up the song but opening verse is a bit
confusing as to who needs who soul as it feels like the singer wants the
devils soul with the back half of the verse section. Tweaking the chorus
section to bring more focused to how the soul is cold will allow the chorus
section to better support the hook idea. Using verse two to provide more
thoughts geared towards the singer soul and the reasons why the devil wants
or needs his should will allow the verse to stay better geared to the hook

OVERALL THEME/IDEA: You have an idea here that feels a little incomplete at
this time due to the lack of lyrical support to the hook. Your lyric will
become more direct and clear to the hook with the ideas I have mentioned
above, and will allow the song to carry a solid theme from beginning to end
to your listener.

MELODY/METER (IF APPLICABLE): You have a blues feel here that holds a
marriage to the idea. Changes to the meter from section to section allow the
melodies to stay fresh, but arranging the structure as suggested above, will
allow the dynamical presentation to feel even stronger.

CLOSING COMMENTS: I hope this evaluation has helped you gain some new ideas
for the song. Consider re-writing with the above suggestions to see where
they can take the song. Keep up the writing as each write and re-write will
continue to sharpen your commercial writing skills. Thank you again for your


Once again, great feedback! It never fails to amaze me how obvous the criticism is when I look back at the song. I guess I have a lot to learn before I stop making these rookie errors. Let's go through this point-by-point:

I never really thought of this song as having commercial potential (even though I asked for that assessment), so it's nice to think that this reviewer thinks of it in those terms. Regardless of the commercial outcomes, I hear the feedback about the self-indulgent intro and length. Think I'll trim it right up for the next version and see what happens beyond that.

I must confess to agonising over the title. This is not the title of the original version, and I still didn't like this one after releasing it. Not sure "Soul" feels any better but I recognise the reasoning behind it. Will riff on this a bit after a re-write. Perhaps something better will emerge.

Now that it's been pointed out, I totally see how the lyrics don't support the hook adequately, and how this detracts from the hook. Again, I have agonised over this without direction ... now perhaps I can bring them together with a re-write. Will definitely have a go and see what emerges.

I'm flattered to know that this reviewer thinks a few small adjustments to the meter and structure could make the song "even stronger". Plenty of work to do ... stay tuned for the next, shorter, punchier version.

In summary: Think I will re-write, seek more feedback from version 2, then re-produce in the Tetrafasi template. See where this baby might lead. Unforunately my Day Job commitments are dominant and will slow my ability to develop the next part - but I'll get to it when I can. THANK YOU NSAI!

What do you think? How would you feel about this feedback and what would you do about it?

Posted by Hughie at June 30, 2019 2:01 PM

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