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July 13, 2019

Home Free - Be Free re-write - NSAI feedback

Home Free is one that I have already re-written plenty of times. It has evolved a long way but I still feel it could be much better. However, I really think it has great potential if I can get it right - and crowds usually really dig it.

Here's the version I submitted, as uploaded to YouTube by CDBaby:

I entered it in the "Americana/Folk" category and asked for feedback on the basis that I wanted it to be a commercial song.
Song Title - Home Free

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 form here. Keep in mind that most of
todays commercial radio songs are geared towards the 3 minute mark. Being
that this structure takes the song closer to 5 minutes consider shaving down
the intro to half of its current form, shaving out the spoken part and
transposing verse 3 to have more of a bridge feel 2 to 3 lines with a
complete lyrical and melodic departure from the rest of the song.

TITLE/HOOK: You have a nice commercial title here that will work to stand out
to your listener. Hook lacks a solid payoff that would leave it memorable to
the listener. A hook will do this when each line of the song works as a clear
and direct idea to the hook from beginning to end of the song.

LYRIC: You have some lines here that are geared to the hook, but overall
lyric can use some tweaks throughout to allow the lyric to better support the
hook throughout. The main focus of the song is based around the title "Home
Free" which means to have achieved or achieved ones objective. With this in
mind you want to establish a lyric built around this. For example, verse
sections that show the achievement that has been made, and a chorus section
that is based around the result of this achievement and what it brings.

OVERALL THEME/IDEA: You have a unique idea here that feels incomplete at this
time due to the lack of lyrical support to the song. Using the above ideas
will allow the lyric to be more direct to the hook idea which will allow the
song to carry the strongest theme to the listener from start to finish.

MELODY/METER (IF APPLICABLE): You have melodies here that provide a marriage
to the idea, while overall feel can work for the intended market. Changes to
the meter from section to section allow the melodies to stay fresh
throughout, but your overall flow and dynamical presentation will be stronger
with the suggested changes for the structure.

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

WoW! That's pretty positive with the same critique I have received repeatedly during this exercise ... <sigh>. So, point-by-point:

Yep, OK ... structure fine but too long. I hear that. I actually had been working on putting more into this one to see where it might lead and hadn't gotten around to the taking out of stuff. The spoken part is completely self-indulgent and is based on how I perform the song in my live set. I do it second-last and use that section to thank the crowd - there's no need for that na recording. Will edit as suggested.

Lyric doesn't support the hook, huh? Where have I heard that before?? Will work harder on that one while trimming as above.

A"unique idea here that feels incomplete", huh? Positive, but where have I heard that before? Will work harder on that one while trimming as above.

Nice to hear that the melody works as intended. I often feel that melody is my weak point, but this feedback seems to be saying otherwise. I'll take that ... but keep working on writing fresher melodies.

In summary: Encouraging but same-old feedback. I will re-write and edit and try again. 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 July 13, 2019 2:38 PM

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