And then you start to take in the lyrics...
'O, God, you're so amazing!' and 'O, God, you're more than we bargained for, Your lightest wind is a perfect storm' So then you start to realise that as light and frothy as it is on the outside, inside is a rock solid message. I've never really been into Christian rock per se, usually because of the lyrics. Cam and other Soundclick Christian musicians showed me that there is a better way to couch it and - out of all of them - Cam's Even Song have come the closest to what I would consider acceptable to someone who may not share those views.
The secret, I think, is to work on different levels. I KNOW from long experience that Cam is often Biblically lyrical and it's a side of his work I very much appreciate, and where it really works best is in a track like this one. On the face of it, with the first plays, it's a great little pop song that appears to be about little children and cosmic spaces, but then when you get to the chorus, it doesn't register that when Cam is using 'O God' he is using it in the proper way. So it takes time then to pull this track into your brain but it is sooo worth it, regardless of your beliefs - and that is exactly the way I like my Christian rock.
Highly Recommended pop and MUST HAVE for fans.
The genre of the song? I agree, not easy to nail down. Especially if we’re talking about forcing it into a SoundClick category. At times like this I would prefer to invent a new genre. Now that is not as easy as it sounds, I mean if you’re going to do it right, something that makes sense and that could be a genre that includes lots of other songs and artists.
Well we have a bright sound and some positive feelings. In listening to Cam’s Evensong over the last year or so I have been often reminded of a sound that traces back to a single cut. Now usually I avoid any mention like, “you sound like so and so” but this is irresistible to finally reveal.
Which is a complement since it came from one of the most famous songwriters of our time. Sir Paul has often delved into many genres but he has been especially talented at capturing the sound of joy with bounce and fun. Other artists too have been able to write like this, so my new genre is now going to be:
P.S. listening through some of your tunes I really liked Glass Slippers!
I mean, I grew up listening to all varieties of Christian music, and your music is nothing like any Christian music I've heard, and is far more what I'm looking for in a song taken from skripture. Looks like we've both become fans of each other's music. I have nothing bad to say, in fact I'm awarding you a golden sushi roll…Great job Captain. OH! And the tom-tom fill in the middle was superb.
Cam's Even Song - It's Just Like That/We're The People/A Touching Place/Seeing Darkness/Mythology
2006's Artist of the year Cam's Even Song just keep rolling out the hits in an endless blizzard and this year has seen some truly extraordinary examples of this Canadian musicians talent. You would think that someone so prolific would drop the occasional clanger but not this guy. Out of the EIGHT must haves this musician got, I still couldn't sort out any less than five that I would say are amongst his best work.
We have a mixture in music which is bouncy, but belies the deep nature of the song. Anyway the verse is bouncy. The chorus is more plaintive and carries some of the weight of the song as does the electric guitar lead line that holds all the emotional weight.
Cam decries the loss of the sense that all is right with the world or a time when he knew ‘the world was right’. Hmmm … for me as a paranoid tyke, I never had that sense until I grew older and more blissfully confident, but have returned to my more knowledgeable state of despair.
There are some really impressive levels of writing here which may not first be apparent by Cam’s use of contrast. Contrast the ‘headlights/ Paint my ceiling bright’ of his more optimistic time with the current pessimistic ‘I’m seeing darkness’. Look at the turn in the chorus from:
I somehow only see the darkness now.
And I know you can’t see darkness anyhow,
I somehow never touch the magic now.
And I know you can’t touch magic anyhow,
There is a movement that propels the song along at a steady pace in the strumming guitar and the steady understated drums. The lyric matches the movement, but does not seemed forced to match the rhythm; it has an all together natural feel (a strong point for any song).
A fine production job if not for anything else as the placement of sections of the song and the feeling of development. There is nothing startling here with verses, chorus and bridge, but they are well done and distinct.
As always a welcome clarity to the lyric that allows the message to get through from the first listen. The first listen is the only chance you get for anyone to return to your work again. The voice is slightly falsetto sounding and doubled.
Acoustic guitar, bass and drums open with effects electric guitar entering on the chorus and adding the build and intensity a chorus relies on to stand out.
Effects are there but used sparingly, which is something I really like. I know sometimes creators fall in love with an effect and it really works for the song. However, such an effect can be more effective (so to speak) if it appears and then disappears because then it calls attention to itself in a good way. Just take note of the effects and voice additions on the hook, “I’m seeing darkness”, especially as it is used in the fade.
Title: Seeing Darkness
It's been almost two years since Cameron Bastedo (aka Cam's Even Song) won my acclaimed - by me anyway - Artist Of The Year award. If you don't think that amounts to much, let me tell you that Nad Sylvan, Jim-n-Lisa and Maria Daines and Paul Killington were previous winners, so its not peanuts ya know? Cam shows absolutely no sign whatsoever of resting on such tawdry laurels, as the string of Must Haves he has enjoyed since then testifies. Like any good musician, Cam's work just keeps getting better and better, and vocally the man is definitely on the rise. The last couple of tracks (and this one incidentally) have shown a new vocal maturity that I find immensely satisfying, but I am a long term, die hard Cam fan.
If you've been on Soundclick for about five minutes and don't know this artist, you should know why Cam is held in such high regard amongst all manner of SC denizens. His music, purely and simply, makes you feel good. Really, really good on ocassion, and Seeing Darkness is one of them. Cam's music and voice carry a lightness to them that infects everything he does, and when he comes up with the right song the result is an instant grin moment. The first time around, I knew this track was going to be a corker and - as usual - the more you played it, the more you played it If you know what I mean. Cam hasn't just raised the bar on his vocals, he's done it with arrangement and production tricks.
The chorus on this track is shiver inducing, especially if you are a fan but this is a track that could melt even the hardest heart. Propellled by a lovely acoustic guitar sound Seeing Darkness is a pop powerhouse and catchy as hell, as you will discover if you even give it a glancing listen. The real magic, for this reveiwer anyway, has always been in Cam's very prodigious songwriting skills. In all the years I have known him, and through countless tracks (he has some 211 tracks on ONE of his Soundclick sites) I have never known him to put a foot wrong as far as the song goes. He is lyrical, funny, biting but always immensely entertaining. Seeing Darkness is a song about how our perceptions change as we grow older and look back at things once deemed important. Yep, Cam's on the loose again and I am soooooo glad.
MUST HAVE rock pop song.
Doing a search through my review archives is never slower than when search for this artists work. I must have written reams and reams of blah-di-blah about this likeable Canadian pop rock Christian artist, and I'm not the only one to do that. Fact is, in his 194 years on Soundclick (no, seriously) Cam's Even Song has become the affirmed favourite of a great many people. Sure, he was never going to get the attention of the majority of the crowd (ie hip hop) but he does manage to get his stuff across to many different people. That, and his online personna, is the reason why I named him Artist of the Year 2006 in my own shabby awards ceremony...
and you can only get one of them Wink
While other artists may think to coast awhile on such adulation (Ed: Gilmore delusions; a potent force), Cam just kept on cranking out Must Have after Must Have. Those fortunate to know about one of Soundclick's brightest songwriter will already be aware that this artist is a) prolific as the East Bunny and; b) can make a song about almost anything. Take, for example, Mythology. It was inspired by a session with the Age Of Mythology game and, knowing Cam, he read much into it; also another highlight of his songwriting style.
I can eulogise forever about his songwriting abilities but it wouldn't mean squat if he couldn't deliver it and Cam not only did that, he added extra bonuses. For a long time Cam's technical and musical skills were generally working in tandem (which is why he is so good) but on this track I am stunned by his growing grip on arrangement. Yeah, the whole premise sounds well shaky but believe me the track is anything but shaky. Vocally and musically it is class Cam all the way, and one of the best tracks I have ever heard from him. All this is absolutely gob-smacking (Ed: amazing) when you take into account that this whole track is just one guy.
Cam, right on the money as usual. MUST HAVE
Do you have experience with the genre? so so
Did I download, of course
Cam’s Even Song
Genre Alternative: Indie
I have to admit it. I am fast becoming a Cam fan.
So what is it about Cam that wins you (me) over. Well, here is a little song that probably says something to explain this effect – ‘Indie-scribable.’ This is short and meant to be an introductory piece to Cam’s newest album in the works with the same title. You can’t put Cam into the cubbyhole of any particular genre except, it is fair to say, Indie ... But Indie what, this is the point of the song and the truth it is.
I find myself clicking on his songs trying to peel away the onion skins to get at the heart. Then I find the onion is gone and the table is piled with onion skins. No, I am not saying there is no heart to Cam. It is just the opposite. Each one of these skins is the stuff of heart and soul. It is deceptive … the songs are light and dark … they are snippets of daily life. Maybe you are used to reading the journals of writers, but maybe you did not recognize that here you have a true musical journal.
For an idea of what Cam’s songs can mean as a diary, I might recommend listening to:
My Ripped out Pages
Cam is prolific in his output, but his work is never sloppy or under produced. Even his lightest stuff has significant wit and meaning. He is treating his listeners as friends by being open with us about the good and bad of his life. That is perhaps the winning part of his music. Cam is a teacher up in Canada (well up from me in New York). I am willing to speculate that he is one of those teachers whose classes are looked forward to rather than dreaded.
Grade A+ with a few silver stars on your forehead, Cam.
I begin to wonder how much work went into this short piece. You can just let it wash over you or you can really listen. There is so much elemental detail that subtly steps in and out of the mix, you might not be aware of the musical wit in it all.
I will talk about these things in the music section because they are really elements of music and song as much as the music line or words.
However, as for production, what could I contribute that would be nothing more than a smattering of praise? It has everything I like … clarity, sense of space and balance. I love it when a piece is clear enough so that I don’t need a lyric sheet. Elements are everywhere and it is easy to determine what they are, and therefore, we have a chance not to miss that musical wit I mentioned before.
Nobody would mistake this recording for a major studio production, but nobody could say this is not well produced. I am willing to bet a good deal of work and fore/after thought went into this production.
This is in all a pleasant and humor soaked piece. Lilting … or as my wife describes it … sung by a leprechaun. The music is not startling in its chord structure or lead line. The magic is in the supporting instruments and sounds that support the theme.
We open with the old sound of a radio dial being tuned. This is a bit of the wit for a song that is about not fitting anyone’s rigid definition of form or style. Tuning past radio stations with formats nailed to genres and styles.
Everything drifts in and out quickly satirically suggesting various ‘old and tired’ forms. We have appearances of choral backgrounds, an errant harmonica, arpping electronica, swarmy violin pads, whooping dog barks and sine whistles; a terrific mixture of elements that play well with the main music line during their brief visits.
The content is certainly clear. It has great meaning here at SoundClick where we have a site trying to deal with the major problem with internet music.
Look at what we have, millions of songs recorded by everyone with as much as a $300 computer and an on-line connection. Everyone is struggling to be heard above the next person. Genre might have seemed to be the answer; limit the focus so the listeners can connect with the creators. But there is a fallacy in assuming music can be so compartmentalized.
The song also suggests in the attempt to fit a genre, we limit our own musical creativity and range. We dress the same things up in some new outer shell (‘glitz’), but at the heart it is the same thing because everything is prescribed.
This song is for all of us who struggle to find our place, but really want to be recognized while we run wild. Think about this the next time you decide to chide someone for posting in the wrong forum or putting things on the wrong chart.
Superlative. Absolutely Must Have.
B - Musicality - 10 - From the great underlying rock bounce, to the cool poppy sounding chorus. The choir ahhs and the organ in the background really do a good job of carrying the piece along. Love it! Not trying to kiss @$$ either. you know I say it how I hear it.
C - Likability - 10+ - All the pre-mentioned elements mixed with a great message. Who could ask for anything more.
D - Emotion - 5 - I feel you really nailed this one. Kudo's
E - Mix - 9 - I like it for the most part. The kick is a bit omni present though. I'm more of an in yo face kind of sound.
F - Master - Maybe a few more highs but all in all it's not bad.
G - Production - Well done. A+ in my book.
In short - A cool message track, that most on this site will appreciate. Must listen!
Cam's delivered a song which can be likened to something akin to All Along the Watchtower musically, harkening back to that style of classic rock and to that spirit of song. The mood left in the wake of minor key acoustic guitar driven subdued but persistent fervency left me feeling like I was in motion, and it conjured up all kinds of visuals just from a couple of listens. There is no doubt this song would do well on a road trip compilation.
Without question one of my favorite tracks lyrically from the Cam vaults, and yes, I'm fully aware that saying such a thing is like picking your favorite straw out of a two story stack of hay. I'm a fan of the open metaphor...the more universal, the better right? Well, I suppose not ALWAYS, but here it really works. There is no point of view forced down your throat, but the words here could be meaningful in so many ways to so many different types of people with just as varied beliefs.
Alas, I have a simple single bone to pick with Words you Said, and it's been established now that it's clearly not with the words you said but instead directly with the length of the music accompanying the words you said. Here I sit feeling like a great song was cutoff before its time, and THAT is purely opinion. It doesn't end inappropriately abruptly but rather, I was enjoying it so much I just didn't want it to be over.
Fortunately, there was a simple fix: Replay it.
Oh God, does my sycophancy look big in this???
It's Just Like That finds our chums, Cam, Jim and Lisa in whimsical pop mode, coming in at just three minutes. In other words, one of what I would call Cam classics. If you ever really want to say what defines Cam's Even Song, it has to be this eternal shifting from the musical rooots of the Beatles to Bob Dylan and country on out. That and the totally approachable, warm manner each track excels in. As I've said before, I prefer Cam's more heftier work lyrically and stylistically, but when I can't get any of that, I'll definitely go for the pop side and this track is - now what is that saying now? - right in the pocket.
As indeed it should be.
With Jim on sax, Lisa on backing vocals and Cam on everything else, I would expect nothing less. What I didn't expect was how bright and fresh a sound comes out of the combination. Mmmmm. Sorry, got a bit lost there with thoughts of launching Soundclick's first supergroup Cam shows just how good he is at writing songs with pace, drama and more power than the Energizer Bunny, if I had reviewed the song alone it would be a surefire winner. The bonus of The Old Wailer (Ed: I think he refers to Mr Miller) and his good lady wife (Ed: that'll be Lisa then) is the icing on a cake already replete with treats. Music to gorge on. So, put it like this... If you think I jest in any way in the praise I heap upon their puny shoulders, put it to the test. Grab a listen to this knockout track. It's three minutes out of your life. Whadda ya lose?
MUST HAVE pop. Heaven for saxmaniacs.
Aaah, did notice that, did you?
Anyway, Cam's Even Song appeared also be be a popular choice to be AOTY, and 2007 has seen the man (Cameron Bastedo in person) really s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g his personal envelope - always a good sign. One of the main reasons why Cam's Even Song is so popular is because his music its instant accessability in the time tested old school method, The one favoured by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and others, all of which Cam claims as influences. Certainly shows up in his music and I'd say it is fair to say that he is coming up with some astonishly varied ways of telling his tales.
No Limits should come as no surprise to us grizzled Cam vets, but it would come like a bucket of ice water to the unsuspecting listener. It has echos of the Travelling Wilburys, a musical experience I do - to this day - enjoy enormously, and I guess that's one of the main reasons I can relate so strongly to what this artist has to offer. Cam was complaining he had a cold in this, and I can see why but I don't think anyone outside of his nose would be able to tell the difference because I certainly couldn't. Cam is always a class act as a musician and stronger as a songwriter so this should come as no surprise...
MUST HAVE. Vintage Cam's Even Song.
What do ya' GOT Within? reminds me I'm bamboozled as to how this guy writes such clever lyrics AND remain so prolific. I guess he's gifted. This track is no exception there and I encourage anyone on his page to click the lyrics and read them. They come with an opinion, an honest opinion- but his delivery is infectious regardless which side of the 18 sided Dungeons & Dragons dice you hail from.
I loved this song.. It's fun, well produced and incredibly listenable. The guitars are great, effortlessly so you Bastedo! The chords are great, that solo was perfect in every way. The claps are money. Great Great Great: out of synonyms great.
"I'm striving for a 'homespun' feel on my tracks, but still want them to sound professional..."
Houston, we have a Success...(that's how it really ended that time too right?)
The use of the minor sonority throughout is an intriguing choice for a song about "Angels", until you realize it's almost like poet William Blake's motive for "Songs of Experience" - about the loss of innocence and the nature of hope in the shadow of less worthy human frailties such as doubt and despair.
I can't fault the delivery or production here, and the track is evocative and emotionally engaging.
Worth a repeated listen, especially with the lyrics in front of you.
Taking a leaf this time out of the Beatles songbook, Gonna Sell Something to the Telephone Salesman! is one f those tracks you could have sworn you heard on an old Beatles album circa (say) Rubber Soul. Cam's puts in a performance above and beyond on this extremely endearing track which, needless to say, I loved from the get go. The Lennon-esqe loudhailer vocals that pepper (no pun intended) this track was the first thing to strike me about the track but it's the overall composition and arrangement of the whole track that's gonna win it space on your hard drive - and it IS gonna win that space. Considering the blinders (Ed: I think he means good tracks but you never can tell with this guy...) he supplied us with this year, the man is starting 2007 like a racehorse fresh out of the gate.
Pure Cam, pure enjoyment. (sigh) MUST HAVE.
Artist: Cam's Even Song
Song: We Could Use A Hero Spiderman
Bottom Line: ** 5 Masks out of 5 **
Quick Link: http://www.soundclick.com/pro/view/03/default.cfm?CurrentPage=2&bandID=40733&content=music
Have me review your Comedy, Parody, Electronic, Dance or World Song
Just reply to me or the primary thread of my reviews!
" 'We Could Use A Hero Spiderman' is a wonderfully written song about a subject that most would usually find uninteresting, as usual you proved my initial instincts wrong and delivered a peak performance. "
The background music was certainly unique in this song. "We Could Use A Hero Spiderman" was kind of a mix between dance and modern day rock. The whole song was very interesting, and unlike the other song I reviewed by Cam's Even Song, this one's lyrics stood out evenly with the muisc. I think I actually enjoyed this one more, which is saying quite a bit because I gave "Manuelito" a 4.
While technically this is my 50th review, as far as Soundclick is concerned It's only my 5th, so I have to be careful not to compare you to any of my old MP3.com reviews or Garageband reviews, people may not have heard any of those artist's names before. I have always viewed Spiderman and certain other super heroes as Underwear Fighters, so hearing that in a song certainly gave me a smile, another artist tried the same thing on the late MP3.com and failed miserably. You mentioned it without focusing on it overly, which is why it worked. The thing that enlightens me about your music is charisma--it shines in your work. I don't ever hear words that just seem out of place or not quite right. . .it's always good.
There isn't much to say about this song in a negative light, The song was kind of short, but then again that's not always such a bad thing. The ending wasn't anything special, but then ending a song in this genre is nearly impossible anyway, so congratulations Cam's Even Song at receiving my first 5 on Soundclick.com, it is also only the 11th such song since I started doing reviews--which is ironically even with the number of 2's I've given out--yet to have anyone below 4 here, the music quality on this website is far beyond the quality of music I reviewed elsewhere.
The Big 5 (these may differ per genre)
1) Originality: Everyone knows Spiderman. This song wants to bring him out of the Television and the Comedy Books and into public to be a real hero. The song was symbolic of hope and dreams, and for that it gets my perferct score for originality (5 out of 5 Masks)
2) Lyrics: The lyrics of this song were well written and planned out. I can't honestly say that I heard any lines that seemed odd or unusual. The song was somewhat witty and fun at the same time. (5 out of 5 Masks)
3) Vocals: Perfect. The vocals in this song remind me of a mix between George Michael and Weird Al Yankovic. I know, I know--Weird Al isn't the vocal genious of the world. . .but he can take his voice and just sound right in any song--that's what I've noticed with you thus far too. Even though I would have never imagined the voice I've heard in your other songs sounding right here, it did! It blended beautifully just like George Michael does in his music. (5 out of 5 Masks)
4) Pacing: Nothing off beat-that's for sure. You have a nak for pacing your music with your lyrics perfectly, as I recall you got perfect on this category on my other review of yours as well. (5 out of 5 Maks)
5) The B.A.D. Factor: Below Average Dave's bottom line: !5 Masks!
Is this my favorite song ever? No. . .Do I like it a lot though? Yes! "We Could Use A Hero Spiderman" is a wonderfully written song about a subject that most would usually find uninteresting, as usual you proved my initial instincts wrong and delivered a peak performance. Congratulations on your continued ability to span all genres.
The Soundclick Community Channel (Add Your Song Today!)
Woah!! Feel the wind of that character passing? That'll be one W. Cameron Bastedo, more commonly known to us Soundclick addicts as Cam or Cam's Even Song or any of the other aliases he goes under. So why is he whooshing about, I hear you ask. Simply put, Cam has to be the busiest guy on Soundclick, the man puts out tracks like clockwork, he reviews copiously from his leaky boat anchored in the chilly waters of the Critics Forum AND he has a real life! He is also, by any reckoning, having an absolutely wonderful year gathering up much praise - a lot of it from yours truly - and attention from those people who know a good thing when they hear it. By that definition, Cam's Even Song is a very good thing indeed, as the cluster of Must Haves from me and other rave reviews I have seen testify.
But, as usual, don't take my word for it. Climb in and see for yourself.
It has to be said that the primary appeal for this reviewer for this artist is his amazing vocal likeness to Blood On The Tracks era, followed closely by his unerring songwriting capability. I've always had an admiration for his musical skill (these tracks are all his own work) and I have to say that he has absolutely knocked me on my ass this year with the quality and depth of work he has come up with. Brother Eli being no exception of course. In fact, it's the kind of track which I would point to when someone asked me what Cam's Even Song was all about. Songs. Lots and lots of songs. In all manner of guises but all unmistakeably Cam with all the attributes I have discussed above. Take a listen to any track you care to name and his professional sound and easy delivery will undoubtedly win you over too.
Having caroused with Brother Eli from morn to night over the past few days I know a keeper when I hear one and this is it. From its loopy but classic opening riffs, to the depth and authority Cam's tonsils bring to the party make this track stand out in a year full of class Cam tracks. Every time Cam has pulled this trick it has been because of his innate songwriting skills. This is one artist who knows exactly what he wants and he has been spectactularly effective this year. Seems like every track I have reviewed lately, I've been obliged to actually quote some of his lyrics and believe me I don't do that often. However, Cam being one of a kind, try this little beauty: 'Don’t drink the water from the Dragon's head!, Don’t drink the water, or you will be dead'. Nice. Cam has much of a way with words as he does with music and the one thing he hasn't don't anytime lately is disappoint. Brother Eli is a killer track with all the right ingredients.
Yep, that is him in a earlier, gentler time. He looks about 12 doesn't he?
Retrograde Pop is a new cubbyhole for a younger version of Cam's Even Song and I know for a fact there are going to be thousands of musicians on here who will recognise and empathise with regurgitating his musical past. See, another of my most influential artists has been The Beatles, particularly in their more lyrical moments and this Cam combines both Beatle AND Dylan most superbly. In A Little While isn't the time it took this track to adhere itself to my ears, cos that happened in about two notes. While it's true that there is a lot of musical reference here (for us alleged old farts) there's also a classic Cam performance.
All the Retrograde Pop tracks date from when Cam was a mere 16 and are some of the tracks he wrote at the time, re-recorded and performed - or at least that's my understanding. However, when you are deep in the midst of a track with the lushness of In A Little While, such things don't matter because - as Cam says - he's only picking the best tracks from the period and this is definitely that and a bit more besides. Fact is I couldn't care less when this was made/written/spawned, all I care about is yet another almost flawless Cam performance encased in an arrangement that owes everything to both Beatles and Dylan but with that typical Cam lightness of touch. Irrisistable to Cam fans certainly but I suspect this is also a casual listener wake up call too. Classic Cam. Who'da thunk it?
Face The Music is a song based on a Biblical story, hence the Four lepers and the track finds Cam in his best Bob Dylan circa Blood On The Tracks mode, an area I like very much when Cam stands up to it. I first caught an inkling of this side to Cam's work when I heard his Dylan flavoured Just The Truth On Christmas at the end of last year. He's always been - in my eyes - a talented and prolific songwriter but when he marries a style like this with a truly great lyric, it's nothing short of breathtaking. I make a lot of noise about the Dylan influence because I just bet that it'll be the first thing that will pop into your mind first. I don't, for one second, think that Cam is conciously trying for the resemblence, it's just the way his own style has developed.
Speaking of development, Face The Music, is a masterclass in how to construct a meaningful, pointed peice of music that speaks to head and heart in equal manner. While it is true to say that I have become a big Cam fan over the last couple of years, I'm still realistic enough to know whether my friendship is colouring my thoughts about what he's doing right, or wrong. Fact of the matter is, I couldn't find anything whatsoever in this track that I would want to change or have done in any other way. This is a pleasure, in every way, to hear and savour and shows that Cam continues to make huge strides in his production methods because there is nothing of the home recorded syndrome about this highly polished, extremely professional track. Now, if YOU think my friendship with Cam is colouring my judgement, I'd ask that you give this track a listen and then come and argue the point with me, I'd be glad to number the ways...
MUST HAVE (song, content, performance, all outstanding)
Now. Where was I? Ah yes, attending Even Song...
Regular readers will already know that I hold Cam in high regard, as a songwriter and musician. He has his own, very recognisable style, and is a charming and helpful human being as well. Of course it goes without saying that I'd still kick his butt if for some reason I could find fault with his work, but try as I might I only find the merest niggles - usually because of the 'home recording' syndrome. Materially and stylistically, I've never been able to feel anything except envy for his work. Cam is a experienced and capable singer and songwriter but when I have the opportunity to take in his instrumental work (ie Sonic Salad), I have found a musician of rare taste.
If ever a A Brief Survey of Human History could be worked into a six minute tune, it would be every bit as pretty, dramatic and captivating as this track. It's classed as Electronica: Ambient and it so fits the category; it's topping and tailing with ambient sounds is particularly atmospheric. The meat and potatoes though is a fairly standard rock beat married to some great ambient/electronic sounds. Each second passes and the scenery just keeps changing roaming through - I would imagine - virtually ALL man's endeavours (as you do in a nice likkle choon) and it's that detail that will keep you listening to this long after others have fallen in the dust. A big project this, and Cam has pulled it off perfectly and you know I'm not normally into the chill-out side of things...
Beautiful. Highly Recommended.
Cam is right up there in my estimation, each track he delivers is so markedly different from the one preceding it and yet still be the very essence of the man. Star Spangled Truth (as you can imagine) is a bit of topical bent - as is common with a lot of Cam's stuff - but whatever your politics the point underlying that is the music and Star Spangled Truth is very good indeed. Set in a fairly typical soft rock arrangement, with some lovely melodies, the track is either going to get you or not especially if your view of world events differs from Cam's. No matter what the sentiment, I personally think I haven't heard Cam sounding better vocally on anything I've heard previously.
At first I thought he reminded me of our own Rey Varela but after a few plays that wore off and all sorts of other influences hit me. Nonetheless another fine song from an artist that just keeps getting better and better. Like his The Truth On Christmas, the more I played the track the more I grew to like it, its familiarity becoming a comfort when needed. That, surely, must be the aim of any serious musician, and it's a rare musician who pulls it off. Ultimately with Cam's work, it's the songs that stay with you more than anything else and Star Spangled Truth is right up there with the very best of them. The vocals, however, are the real highspot of the track, warm as toast, slick as butter and as refreshing as a good cup of tea. If you are already a fan of this musician this is vocal is really gonna knock you on your ass. I urge you, unless you already know who Cam is, to check out this individualistic, feelgood musician and this track would be a good place to start.
Highly Recommended (whatever your politics)
It took me a long, long while to latch onto what Cam was up to. Like most people, I heard a Cam track and instantly thought 'cute' without really taking in the substance of the thing. That all changed over the past year when I finally started to REALLY listen (ie review) and noticed how good this guy was getting. Two tracks in particular Scream and Red Rock finally confirmed his place on my Favourites folder. Although he's a 'home musician' like most of us, the quality and tone of his tracks has consistently been higher than most but it's in his songwriting and arranging skills that Cam really scores. The Old Rainman has much of what I like about this artist to it; a classy, thoughtful arrangement, a decidely odd but infinitely rewarding vocal treatment and some of the best rock licks around right now. Not that you'd definitely recognise it as rock but that's what I call it.
The more time I spent with The Old Rainman I saw again and again how [i]inspired[/i] this track is. Chock full of little touches that aren't noticeable with some hefty use of the repeat button, I have to say that this track is definitely a keeper for me and may even be one of the most fully realised of any Cam track beforehand. There's also - as an added benefit - a John Lennon-ish feel to this that I feel sure is intentional and if that is the case, my hat is off to you Cam because it is - by far - the tracks best feature and that's not to denigrate any part of it. How could I? It might not be perfect in every detail but by God in my world THIS is what it is all about. The right voice, the right song and the right musical talent and whammo, instant classic.
Wait, I'll say that again, instant classic. Awesome. Clearly, he was mad. :D
Steve (Umbrella at the ready) Gilmore
”Cruising with the SIMs”
Nearly everything about “Cruising with the Sims” makes any comparison to something else very difficult. The pleasant surprise for me was simply while the song is advertised as something just for fun, it's written well enough to transcend that.
I experienced this as more of the social commentary, and a healthy tongue and cheek sarcasm intertwined into the delivery
Cam's lyrics have impressed me every time for different reasons. This time I'm jealous, and a good portion of me wishes I'd written this entire song.
From the first dissonant organ notes to the staggered bass and drum groove this song is kicked into gear with perfection. The production on this track is more than noteworthy. Every sound introduced is [a] clear improvement on the overall experience, nothing detracts or distracts. The synthlines were very fitting, some weird combo of disco and only Cam knows what; what matters is how well they carried the users’ interest throughout the full length of the track.
You've given such a good performance vocally, keeping my interest just in how you really put yourself into character to sing this song. I admire that fearless approach to singing, and Cam has now caught me off guard quite a few times.
Fantastic work! …
10/10 I have nothing to suggest changing, and I think it's just right the way it already was.
I really enjoyed the building intro. Not enough songs fade in. Your voice made this track, as well as the production all around gave this track a very uplifting ethereal, positive psychedelic mood I'm going to have borrow from endlessly.
The bridge was like a little visit from Paul M. on Sgt. Pepper in the middle of the rest of the song.
The only subtractions from an otherwise extremely positive experience was that here and there the drums aren't as organic as the rest of the track. I'm assuming these are that same soundfont. Love the kick and snare.. I'm not sold on the toms yet :)
It is crystal clear that you're making music because you love to make music.
I would love the opportunity to just sit down next to a fireplace with a couple of acoustic guitars, a fella like Cam and watch them work their magic.
In summation, I could drift for hours listening to music like this. Very COOL. 9/10 (overlooking mix or production imperfections) ...on the high end of 9 for me personally.
Scoring: Songcraft: 8.5, Recording: 8.5, Freshness: 8, Vocals: 7.5, XFactor: 8.5
Ok, I’ve let my mouse fall on ‘Albert Ball’. Good story format. I like how Ball is brought into the story 1/3 way into the song, and before this, the song sets the mood and the stage very well. Great way of wording the aimlessness in the glorifying reminiscence of war... when the reality...was horror. -Ball basically commits suicide from his conscience catching him, right there in the middle of a battle?!!.. his desire to stop his share in the horror is giving life for ALL those his skill would undoubtedly destroy... but at the price of his one life.... a sacrifice of one for many with a healthy disregard for who’s wearing what uniform and who’s wearing the other. (Great song!)
-The acoustic guitar sounds ‘timeless’ to me.... a thing that seems more important than style. I’m always on the lookout for notes that can stand stable through the passage of time. So many tunes will erode in just a few years, and never be played or thought of again.... but I’d wager that if you put your songs on CD in a time capsule (with a CD-player and instructions :-) ) ...for future peoples to find.... They’ll be just as important then as now! Just being honest.
-Powerful vivid lyricism.
-Love your work.
Cam Bastedo - Coming Home
*sings* “I only know that… I’m comiiiinnngg hoooooooooome”
Music - Breezy, timeless, it emits a strong aura of nostalgia. If I didn’t know who this was, I probably would have thought it was a classic from the late 60’s / early 70’s that I somehow missed hearing. This is a very relaxing tune, and pleasant to listen to. The music is so simple, but it sounds full, meaning that it doesn’t need any extra instruments or parts to make it sound better.
Voice - One thing I’m extremely picky about in music is the singer’s voice. I feel like a singer’s voice shows more than just what I hear. It tells me about the person, and what’s inside them. A lot of singer’s today display an almost ‘manufactured’ voice. Cam’s voice is full of character, modesty, and wisdom. Its real; there’s no pizzazz, no fluff. This is your ideal voice for folk music. The voice is perfect for the music. The vocal melody seems to lay on top of the music as if it was born to be there. The harmony supports the lead wonderfully.
Song - Well written, well recorded, well performed. There is absolutely nothing negative to say about this song. Its catchy, it makes me sway in my chair. Everything seems to fit like a glove. The lyrics are full of comfort, hope, nostalgia and spirit. Well done. I’m a Christian myself, but I’m extremely picky about Christian music, most of it just seems cheesy to me, but this is different, I enjoyed it.
Highlight - The over-all feel of the song. I also like “what is this strange enchantment”
Low point - none. There is nothing I’d change about this song.
If this song were in a movie: It’d be in a film that focused on complex characters and still images, a witty heart-felt comedy (for instance, a Wes Anderson film). I picture an autumn setting with leaves covering the road on a neighborhood street, being blown away by passing cars.
Personal POV: I liked it a lot. I listened to it a couple times to review it, and a couple times more just because I wanted to hear it again. It also convinced me to download “Coming to a Sky Near You” which I also enjoyed.
SONG: IN YOUR MODERN WORLD
GENRE: FOLK / COMMENTARY
SIMILAR: PETE SEEGER
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Contemporary commentary pieces have been with us in force since the mid 1960’s. The artist ‘Cams Even Song’ (Cam Bastedo), has written a song that follows in the best tradition of songs like ‘Abraham, Martin, and John’, by Dion Demucii. The lyrics hit home, and the whole song is well thought out. I don’t know Cam’s age, but I think his writings would have tracked well when I was a teen growing up in the 60’s.
The number winds its way over a tapestry of old radio and television news clips of events from the twentieth century. Cam’s vocals are poignant, and filled with character. The arrangement is good (I think) but for me, it is hard to appreciate the arrangement due to the instrument choices. I’ll come back to that later. The countermelodies and backgrounds are kept interesting, without overshadowing the lyrics.
When a folk song is written well, it can convey a message without hitting you over the head with a sledgehammer. In this, Cam has succeeded. It takes a person with a balanced approach to music, and to life, to accomplish this.
Earlier, I mentioned my problem with the arrangement of this song. It really isn’t a problem in the arranging, but a problem in the sounds used as instruments. This is purely a subjective thing, but I hate the concept of taking a number that is this well written and backing it up with tinny, cheesy FM type computer soundcard sounds. This may have been his intent, and maybe it was desire not to overshadow the words, but to me that type of sound has become so annoying over the years that it detracts from the message of the music.
In spite of my issues with the instruments, I would recommend that you give Cam’s work a listen to see what good songwriting is all about. If you take the time to listen to some of Cam’s other music, you will be impressed with his range and abilities as a performer / songwriter.
GENRE: ROCK / FOLK
SIMILAR: ELEMENTS OF JOHN LENNON MEET EIGHTIES BRIT POP
This seems like a song John Lennon might have written, a song that examines how misunderstood and alone Christ must have felt.
This is a weighty topic, surely I must agree. But considering the style in which Cam Bastedo performs, and how well he does perform, I can't fault him for taking on more thoughtful subject matter in his lyrics.
To a light background of acoustic guitar and light percussion, Bastedo's simple vocals glide over the music providing the perfect sound for someone to stumble upon. It's instantly likeable, and the subject matter is tackled in an easy to swallow style. "The world found no room / when you laid your glory down / I'll make room for you now" he sings in the first verse. And you feel what he's saying. You know what he's feeling.
THAT, my friends, is what a folk singer should be able to do! Cam Bastedo takes a subject that is loaded with stigma in music, and makes it accessible to anyone with ears. And most will like it even if they don't care for the lyrics, just because of how real it sounds.
Give "Alone" a listen, let this song into your head. You won't soon regret it, and you may just have found yourself another artist to add to your favorite list.
SONG: MIDDLE-AGED LOVE SONG
GENRE: POP / FOLK BALLAD
SIMILAR: PETER PAUL AND MARY/THE CEPHALOPODS/DONAVAN
This is one of the loveliest most touching ballads I've heard here or anywhere.
This is a tender, heartwarming, beautifully rendered love song to Cam's wife of many years, Dianne.
I simply can't say enough about the beauty and touching quality of this song. The vocals are rich barritone and heartbreakingly sincere. The melody lilts effortlessly from verse to chorus and back again, like a lullaby from my lost childhood.
The arrangement is superbly written and performed. The gentle marimba accompanies the soft finger-picked acoustic guitar perfectly. The ocarina solo, sweet and mellow, reflects Cam's inner feelings flawlessly.
I am sorry to have to come down from the clouds to actually try to write words to do this song the justice it deserves.
Only God could make a tree, but only Cam could make this song.
Technical Skill: 9.00
Recording Quality: 9.50
Long Term Appeal: 10.00