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Mike's picks: weekly A&R post

By Mike on September 22, 2013 in Music, Music Industry, Uncategorized

If you were an A&R at a big label seeking to sign big new pop bands and to find new monster hits for the current roster of pop acts, how many songs do you think you would have to listen to before you hear a hit that meets your criteria? 8? 10? 100? More?

If everyone you speak to tells you they have a song you have to hear, that it’s the greatest hit since Hotel California, but they almost never live up to the hype, how would you manage your time? Would you promise to listen to anyone who submits material to you? How many hours per day would you dedicate just to hearing new music? How would you reduce the listening load and decrease the number of duds you have to hear before you hear a hit?

Spotting emerging talent and great songs that often need more polishing before being embraced by the masses is a tough job. Granted, it’s not like curing cancer but it’s nevertheless risky, challenging, and high stakes.

If you like pop music, take a listen to the following selection of 8 songs and tell me which one(s) you think are hits. Pretend you are in the A&R chair.

As always, below are some of the songs I’ve stumbled across this past week. Personally, I have favorites among them but generally speaking I hear merit in them all. You can hear some of my previous selections here.

“My Mind Wants To Go Back To You” by The Far Removed


“We Own The Night” by Brooke Turner


“Twice The Speed of Sound” by Reed Waddle


“Never Want To Wake Up” by Cat Cork


“Late Night” by Stlcontact


“Great Josephine” by norkjen


“Life of the Party” by Brooke Turner


“Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis



  1. Tommy Mack September 22, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike, If I was an A&R #1 Best vocal for me Matt Bellis,(need to hear his vocal’s every second of that song), # 2 Reed Waddle, and # 3 Norkjen . The rest all good just thatI’ve heard before and better that’s all.

    Tommy Mack

  2. Dennis Yu September 22, 2013 Reply

    Mike– love the Music X-Ray service!
    How do you think the addition of the comments box affects those in A&R?
    Were I an artist, I’d want to drive as much positive feedback there as possible to influence my rating, right?

  3. Frank Lauria September 23, 2013 Reply

    “Twice The Speed of Sound” by Reed Waddle, but it needs to be remixed. As to “was it tedious” to check them all out, the answer is no–if something didn’t interest me within the first 5-10 seconds, I didn’t listen any further.

  4. Steven September 23, 2013 Reply

    I’d never be in A&R . I know my mindset as a musician prevents me from doing so. Not one of these did “anything” for me personally. But that’s not the point of an A&R person. They are trying to find that song that’s going to do “IT” for a mass consumer base. Do any of these songs have that appeal? Of course they do, for someone somewhere. Brooke Turner has an audience somewhere, if you push it hard enough. It’s not about 3:42 seconds of talent is it. It’s about how much you can convince others that what you’re holding is hot and ready to be consumed by as many that can get to the table as possible, before the next entree is served. You can’t make the people eat, you can lead them to the table though.

    With that in mind, probably The Far Nowhere has some potential. norkjen and Matt Beilis. They all have that easily digestible easy bake oven kind of marketability where the songs are just enough to say it’s pleasant to listen to, it might occupy the brain for its shelf-life longevity, and may mean something to someone somewhere down the road years from now.

  5. All Seeing Al September 23, 2013 Reply

    I’m at a loss as to which of them I found more bland, derivative, or downright uninteresting to be honest.

    None of them seem to be connecting with their songs on any level, which makes for quite a hollow listening experience (and makes it hard for me to connect with them in turn).

    The only thing worse than no emotion, is when the emotion feels forced, unthoughtful, and fake.

  6. marie packer September 23, 2013 Reply

    you have two potential hits amongst those above,”My mind wants to go back to you” and “dial tone”. The rest are just album fillers.
    “Great Josephine” started off well and would certainly benefit from a title change to perhaps “Hey Josephine”.
    Apart from that I enjoyed the experiment of listening to new stuff. Thanks for the opportunity :)

  7. Jordan E. Spivack September 23, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike! Thanks for the chance to hear a little of what you hear every day. I didn’t much like any of the songs as “hits”. In some cases it was a combination of performer and/or arrangement that distracted me from the actual song. Several of the songs did not have lyrics that captivated me from the start, and some lyrics did not convey the essence of the title or story. I thought the best of them was “Dial Tone”, because it had a good current “feel” – although the performer did not annunciate the lyric, he sounded passionate – song lacked a good hook. Best wishes and have a good week. Jordan

  8. Andy Altmann September 23, 2013 Reply

    Hey Mike,
    Had an hour to chill and saw your email. Great listening to the tracks. Thanks for the opportunity.

    My 2 cents: None of them are hits and I’m 90% sure none of these artist are going to make it big. They are nearly all trying to imitate famous artists, and/or worked with the wrong people/producers who tried to make them into something they are not. Yes, there is a lot of talent there and all the songs are good. But each one of them is lacking in something fundamental, i.e.: either the Chorus comes to late or isn’t clear enough, the lyrics aren’t grabbing you, the instrument parts are not helping the vocals or the song form, etc, etc.
    In the end, the quality of a production is not important as whether you believe the artist 100%.
    I’m not hearing the artist trying to pave their own path with their music, but rather chasing trends (that can also be the producer’s fault).

    Fact is a good A&R knows when they hear a “hit song” because the song is UNDENIABLE. These songs are not hit songs.

  9. Paul Thomas September 23, 2013 Reply

    This was an interesting exercise. First of all, I think everyone knows that no one can pick a hit. Everyone can be a critic, but quite often hits arise out of the blue that catches all the “pros” off guard. I notice in the comments under each song, that Tim Curry is analyzing each song, especially the lyrics, as if that is what makes a hit. Yet there have been hit songs that generally no one knows what the song is about. I remember seeing a video interview for the song “Union of the Snake”, a hit for Duran Duran back in the 80’s. Not one person interviewed had any idea at all of what the song was about.

    I, personally, don’t listen to the song lyrics. And I’m a songwriter. I try to just absorb the song. I don’t analyze it, or impose a theory on it. With that being said, I went through each of these songs. If it didn’t grab me, I stopped listening. And that’s what I’ve read A&R people do. They don’t have time to get past the first 30 seconds of a song, if it doesn’t grab them somehow. The key word here is “somehow”. Not necessarily lyrics, or production. But something. And with that in mind, there were only two songs that kept me hooked, and made me keep listening. They were both by Brooke Turner. And I don’t even like that type of music. I never bought anything by Madonna, or Jennifer Lopez, and I wouldn’t. But her songs made me keep listening. To me, she has the “hits”. Nevermind what the lyrics say. It’s the overall feel.

  10. Jamahl Wimberley September 23, 2013 Reply

    Good Day Mike, I’m very interested in transitioning into an a&r role, I’m a writer and artist and have written and produced everything from country/pop to alternative hip hop. With such a heavy and fast paced work load I typically give unknown artist about 20 seconds to peak my interest, there are certain things I look for in songs such as: uniqueness, wow/shock value/ the delivery of the mood/message, catchiness, and after those things how does all those things fir into todays market. With that being said my top picks are:

    (In no particular order)

    Brooke Turner- We Own the Night
    matt Beilis – Dial Tone

    I think a couple other songs need to be slightly re-directed and polished

    I’m very interested in speaking with you more about the opportunity
    and hope to hear from you soon

    thank you

    Jamahl Wimberley

  11. Tim Johnson September 23, 2013 Reply

    From a purely musician’s standpoint, these are all musically weak. From an A&R standpoint, a couple of them might be sellable. There are way worse songs out there that have sold millions of records (Just listen to Taylor Swift). What needs to be remembered is that it is ALL about marketing. Any of these songs/artists could probably do ok with the right promotion. Personally, I am really tired of fluff songs – which is what I would call all of these. None of them are particularly well constructed or have much to say musically that is original or exciting or even worth saying in a song. That doesn’t mean they wouldn’t sell. It just means they aren’t very good.

  12. Randall September 23, 2013 Reply

    I like Matt Beilis the best. Great vocals, nice hooks.

  13. Jo DC September 23, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike ~ Interesting exercise! Perhaps because I have such quirky musical taste or a short attention span but the only ones that half caught my ear were Matt Beilis and Reed Waddle (reminded me of Counting Crows). The others sounded too much like someone else (can you say Carly Rae?) or had too long of an intro (my mind wandered before I could get to the vocals). Of course, advertising likes to repeat what has already worked so Brooke Turner’s songs would probably get picked.

  14. Mercy September 23, 2013 Reply

    I didn’t think any of this has any potential as they all sound like something I have probably heard before. The Dial Tone probably could be in the charts but not very sure.

  15. Edwin Rutkowski September 23, 2013 Reply

    “We bring the party
    La di dotty”

    Two songs in and I’m already done.

  16. Michael Doherty September 23, 2013 Reply

    The two Brooke Turner tunes grab me commercially. Both are “up”, have memorable melodic tunes (unlike most others), lyrics that young women will catch, a good “hook” and are “toe-tappers”. To me, that’s the magic formula.

  17. Edwin Rutkowski September 23, 2013 Reply

    Okay, in the interest of fairness I forced myself to check out all the songs, and the clear winner for me was the Cat Cork tune. The scary guy. His was the only tune that had anything resembling an original melody and strong structure that wasn’t a blatant ripoff of something currently out there. Kind of a Beatles B-side vibe goin’ on there (like it or not). Not a smash, but by far the best tune offered up.

  18. Randall K. Harp September 23, 2013 Reply

    As an A&R guy in the current economy and commercial landscape (which I am not) I would probably be a bit risk-adverse and go with tracks that might seem more familiar to the pop marketplace. For that reason, I think that the contemporary teen/tween productions from Brooke Turner have a lot of potential – although I do feel that the chorus on “We Own the Night” is pretty much a copycat of Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the USA” and the guitar’s chord progression on “Life of the Party” is too reminiscent of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”. The polished yet somewhat predictable production quality is exceptional and I think that these tracks are 95% “there”. As for a great-sounding track with a bit fresher sound, I like “Dial Tone” by Matt Beillis – although the lyrics need a fair amount of polish. His voice, style and the overall production quality have considerable potential.

  19. Bg Dave September 23, 2013 Reply

    If I was a A&R I would choose Brooke Turner because both of her tracks have a current feel to me and are fun tracks as well as radio ready, which usually equals mass appeal with the audience it captures. The content and subject matter are nothing new but works in her case.

  20. anife henry (r&b/pop songwriter) September 23, 2013 Reply

    “my mind wants togo back to you” by the far

    tittle was too long
    overall the song was ok
    not a record that makes a lasting impression
    lyrics and melody could be tweaked just a bit

    “we own the night” by brooke turner

    strong chorus
    great quality sound
    universal appeal
    sounds like a hit
    overall a great song from beginning to end

    “2wice the speed of sound” by reed waddle

    i could hear this on the radio
    i liked it overall
    the live instrumentation was great
    he entered late on the intro
    chorus is to short and not strong enough

    “never want to wake up” by cat cork

    chorus could be written better
    great vocals for track
    instrumentation is good
    not a ht record though

    “late night” by stlcontact

    the production was ok,luke warm record
    he would be better off having someone write for him , thats if he has the image of a hip hop superstar ….NEXT

    “great josephine” by norkjen

    it was very smooth
    i didn’t like the pauses inbetween the verses
    it was very boring ,couldn’t wait for the song to end
    would not buy that record

    “life of the party” by brooke turner

    sounds similar to her other track
    she has to be careful to not have every song sound the same
    good sound quality although the backing vocals could be a little bit louder
    needs more post production
    decent record though

    “dial tone” by matt beilis

    great sound
    chorus could be tweaked a bit
    melody is excellent
    verses need to be re written
    lyrics dont make sense, not a clear message
    great production
    the only song that made a really good lasting impression despite the poor lyrics

  21. John Daly September 23, 2013 Reply

    Brook Turner is definitely the most likeable in my book. Her pre-choruses are as catchy as her choruses and are instantly stuck in your head. Her melodies are great. Right up there with Katy Perry. Then add her looks to it and there it is. The rest seem to take too long to get to the choruses, or are just forgettable.

  22. Jacko September 23, 2013 Reply

    5/10 – “My Mind Wants To Go Back To You” (3:45)
    Listenable but the hook is repetitive. I’d like to hear more of a pronounced bridge with different chord progressions and maybe a slight lead/solo to give a break from the constant vocal. That drop out bridge doesn’t quite do it. Drums too robotic and snare’s too limp, leading to the overall lack of punch. Whole production could be more dynamic between parts.

    6/10 – “We Own The Night” (2:55)
    Vocal production value is good. Music could have a little more presence – vox are overwhelming (even for a bubble gum production). Maybe a touch of simple and subtle live instrumentation to give a bit of impact to the music. Safe lyrics. Unexciting.

    3/10 “Twice The Speed of Sound” (4:03)
    Nice mix. The first half of the song isn’t very interesting. Needs some breaks. Intro’s a bit long – shave a bar or two. Kill some La La La’s at the end and make a few more bars for the jam at the end.

    4/10 “Never Want To Wake Up” (3:37)
    The hook is there. Not sure what the story is – he’s in love, dreaming? If he’s in pain, need to hear more of it – every verse/chorus sounds the same, flat, uninspired – almost copy pasted. Guitar “lead” section was weird – just hammered that note. Potential but not quite.

    At this point, I couldn’t get the music player to load anymore so as an A&R, sorry. Pass.

  23. Anthony September 23, 2013 Reply

    I think that you guys are being a lil to technical about the whole
    Process, when a person gets a cd or a song from an aspiring artist you have to have the ability to see past the person singing, recording techniques used etc….. After all an A&R persons job it’s to find something to sell! The minor details like who’s singing or how there signing doesn’t matter because there is always someone out there who could do a better job. You want a HIT? Let kids listen to it, 8 to 12 yr olds they’ll let you know.

  24. Mark Wilson September 24, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike
    Artist: Matt Beilis
    Song: Dial Tone
    This my pick; radio ready, great song story, well recorded and performed, artist seems well put together, knows his demographic and how to reach them.
    A dial tone is somewhat non-existent anymore, but I digressed and as mentioned before, his fan base would get it and forgive the detail…
    I would pass on all of the others
    Thanks, to do
    Mark Wilson

  25. Favors September 24, 2013 Reply

    like this ”we ow the night.

  26. Kevin September 24, 2013 Reply

    I think that any of them could be hits if various things happened to line up all together. Some of them need to be performed better (almost all of them seemed to suffer from a lack of power in the presentation), some could use slight tweaks on the melodies to tighten the hook a bit, and some could use some structure tweaks (remove a gap here, repeat a chorus there, take a melody that isn’t emphasized and emphasize it because it is actually better than the one chosen to be emphasized). I don’t know that any of them felt complete as a recording to me. Some vibed as songwriting demos, and some just vibed as though they would shine better if performed by someone like Pink, Five For Fighting, or whoever.

    Having said all of that, I would love to remix a few (or better yet hear a Dave Pensado treatment) of them.

    One thing that is interesting to me about this exercise from an A&R perspective is that these were all chosen because they had a certain amount of merit that got your attention. Is that any sign that the days of no artist development are over and maybe artists will be signed and then marketed so that they can grow rather than be expected to pay to play, pay to promote, pay to travel, pay to eat, pay to support family, pay to record, pay to mix, pay to master, etc. etc. etc. do all the staying up all night and run out of time to write more music and eventually lose all momentum gained, or in keeping momentum never need a label in the first place?

    One thing left out of the discussion of A&R picking songs is all the times bands that have already made it, and some who have yet to make it heard “you are great, but you just don’t have enough traction”, or “you need to have an audience before we can work with you.” One group of these songs are aimed at the create a star side of things where playing live may never matter until there is enough label support for all the pyro, dozen dancers, lights, backing singers, session band situation the Katy Perry’s of the world are in. Not saying there is anything wrong with that, but there was a time when rock bands and the other group of these songs (singer/songwriter) could have hits too. For the most part, the rock side has to build its hits slowly through the live shows and slow adding to radio stations. Is this mostly due to the piles of pop tunes A&R guys have to go through?… thus rock BANDS, country BANDS, RnB BANDS, etc. are kind of left to go out and push through their live shows and particular sound while pop artists are pushed through the formula of pushing the hook to bigger and bigger heights?

    I realize that I am rambling on, but one of the things that has led me to a lot of these thoughts is how the biggest hits seem to be the songs with the most crossover potential, even if they’re never recorded in another genre. I call it the Def Leppard phenomenon. When we have to play 4 hour club shows, we have to cover a lot of cover material and throw our own songs in the mix because… well, it takes many albums and years to have 4 hours worth of original material. lol We cover everything from Ratt to Journey to Megadeth to Toto to Michael Jackson to Madonna etc. Lately we have begun to work up hard rock/metal versions of songs like I Knew You Were Trouble and Radioactive. Throw some arpeggiated guitars and a Rick Allen drum beat on Pink’s Try, and its a hard rock ballad. These are some of the most popular moments of our current show, even in very hard rock oriented clubs. Having said all of that, few of the songs in the above list sound like they would be that huge sounding in any genre even with some melody tweaking.

    My last thought on the role of A&R here is related to what I said about the difference between a lot of rock bands pushing hits through the show, and the solo artists pushing them through fine tuning of the songs to the nth degree and recording dozens and dozens of songs… One thing about an artist like Pink is, SHE BRINGS IT! No one ever heard her song and said, “that’s the song.” They hard the artist’s brilliant voice and quirky personality. Adele could have sang happy birthday and most A&R folk would start a war over her. However, sometimes the artist needs to be connected to the song. Adele is a win win because she has that voice, and she writes great songs. Same with Lady Ga Ga. I don’t know that any of those artists jumped out at me as WOW that punches me in the face like Adele did the first time I heard her, or Freddy Mercury, or Paul McCartney, etc. So, is this exercise about the song, the artist, or both?

    All these variables affect the rules differently for every A&R guy on the planet. Someone MIGHT sign my band like Beau Hill would have if he were still head of A&R at Interscope. The rule is that they will not. One already would have, so maybe another would too. Someone MIGHT sign the pretty blonde girl because she has a high ceiling potential on her voice. The rule is that they will not. In the end, all the discussion of the rules, and what the songs should be, what will be a hit. I loved all the comments on the songs about what is wrong with them.. one thought the George Harrison guy’s song meandered, another thought it was tight and Beatlesque. One thought one guy’s song would never be a hit because the lyrics weren’t understandable. Oh yeah, every pop tune in history is intelligible. LOL Yet another discussed how it wasn’t made clear why the singer doesn’t want to wake up if it is a dream even though the lyrics say it is because she a list of several things. That’s going to keep it from being a hit? No, not getting heard will keep it from being a hit. Not having enough good tried and true hook elements could keep it from catching on. The words not flowing off the tongue “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away”, “Pour Some Sugar On MAAAAEEE lol” might keep it from catching on. But, not analyzing the subject to death. Songs that don’t mean a darn thing, or that nary a soul has a clue about what they mean are some of the biggest hits of all time. Bohemian Rhapsody, Stairway To Heaven, Hotel California, Blinded By The Light, In A Gada Da Vida…

    Hopefully this journey has revealed that the real key is KEEP GOING. Desmond Child once pointed out that out of his handful of top 5 hits, and couple dozen top 10s, and hundreds of top 50s, he has thousands of songs that went no where. If you have a song that could be a hit, or even worth releasing because of a niche market, the first few passes by a few A&R people doesn’t mean a thing. You’ve already seen how they have too much to listen to on their own anyway. Maybe you hired a singer and you’re the one who really needs to sing it. Maybe you need to get out and perform it yourself. Maybe you need to raise some money to hire a PR person yourself… or find investors(which in the end is all a label really is).

    P.S. It is important to reiterate that these are all songs that have a lot of merit. I have several pages of songs I’ve listened to on Xray that are absolutely AWFUL. People need to be careful to understand where they are along that road. I wonder if as many HORRIBLE songs and HORRIBLE performances made it to label offices in the years before internet and cheap computer recording made everyone with a computer a wannabe rock star. By the same token, when picking these songs to the bone (Tim lol), please keep in perspective whether the song has any hope, is obviously a hit (whatever that is), or is some of that other awful stuff we’ve all heard. lol

  27. Tom Woolrich September 24, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike! Thanks for the post. My thoughts:

    Not real fond of the 1st 2.

    “Twice the Speed of Sound” – Very nice feel….reminiscent of Counting Crows. Maybe the bridge should be w/o vocals. La La La doesn’t really convey a message.

    LOVE the folksy quirkiness of “Never Want to Wake Up” but I am partial to acoustic sounds. Great album track, maybe a decent radio tune, not a mega-hit.

    “Late Night” would make me change the radio station immediately.

    “Great Josephine” really falls flat. Doesn’t engage the listener. Chord progression is awkward…like he was trying too hard to be unique. Comes off with a poor flow. I wouldn’t buy the record based on this at all.

    I don’t think I care for Brooke Turner at all. Too contrived. Too plastic.

    “Dial Tone” is nicely composed, needs reproduced, and the lyrics wander, not very focused. Again, they don’t get the listener involved with the song.

    If I had to pick one, I think I would go with “Twice the Speed of Sound”. Have the artist drop the La La bit and just let the music carry you out of the chorus. I think it’s OK to have a little musical bump between lyrical passages.

    Hope that helps.

  28. Rick Herron September 24, 2013 Reply

    I have to agree with Kevin that there is too much of a manufacturing process involved here with the artist/band carrying the load. FORMULA comes to mind and not just the structure of the song, I mean arrangement, arrangement, arrangement. A and R people should read George Martin’s Auto biography or reread it if they have and understand that there is no right way to do things but that many things are trial and error and requries a need for a freewheeling sense and allowance of the happenstance of a composition to filter in. Too much of the music is heavily packaged but the material inside is devoid of meaning and feeling.

    If I were an A/R person I would look for an Artist/Band with quite different qualities than seem to be what is requisite in the music industry today. If I found a song that interested me I would not depend on that song alone. Before I would invest in the artist(s) I would ask to listen to 12 of their songs. If they didn’t have that I would ask them to come back when they did. This excludes those who just want to sing and perform songs written by others.

    If the artist does not have at least 12 songs under their belt they have not in essence as Ringo Starr sang, paid their dues, mastered their craft. This doesn’t mean that their music has to be polished but what I would be looking for is variety, can they write a blues song, then a folk song, how about a soul song. Songs at 80bpi as well as 150. I would also look for variation in their vocal renditions. What is their vocal range, can they change the style of their voice, Paul McCartney comes to mind as the best at this. Can the band members play multiple instruments, can the arrangement have flurries of maracas, eggs, short pre chorus transitions etc. Can they change tempo from 2/4 to 3/4 in a song or change key. Do they know how to harmonize. How all around gifted are these individuals I am listening to.

    Instead of the requisite single hit that everyone seems to ask for as in “Get your song heard by industry professionals.” It should be “get your album heard by industry professionals.” This would, I am certain, reduce the number of entries and in effect reduce the noise and the workload out there for the A/R man. It would also truly separate those who are one trick pony’s to well rounded artists, writers and preformers.

    I would do everything opposite of what A/R people seem to be doing and maybe this has gone on for a long time, a tendency to recreate the last hit. I think the most successful artists and bands are those who have breadth as well as depth. If you have that then you are not afraid either of the historical music past nor future. Part of the problem is the sheer number of hopefuls today compared to those back when I was a teenager in the sixties. There is too much out there now that the price of equipment has come down and the technology to record professionally more widespread. A teenager can easily afford a DAW and all the accouterments so the need to hone one’s skill and learn the trade as performer has gone by the wayside. This is a shame. We are now more concentrated on Recording artists rather than performing artists. We are concentrating on songs by committee rather than the natural outflow of the process from a group of close knit individuals or an individual who truly wants to create music. Why else would syncing to the music be so practiced even among the most popular artists including Beyonce. Would an Aretha Franklin or other professional from the fifties and sixties have done so? I think for them it was the sheer joy of performing live errors and all while to day it is all dependent on maintaining image.

    Because of all this, I think that the music industry is changing just as the film industry here in Los Angeles is. With technology the music is now truly getting back into the ranks of the working class so to speak. It is becoming dispersed and multinational. The hold that “Hollywood” and other music capitals may be dwindling just as movies are now being produced and filmed all around the county and world. This is a positive and I think that all these performers here should be commended. They are on the right track, music is a journey of discovery not only for the performer but his/her fans. These artist represented here should just keep writing and performing and build up their own discography. In the end the only one the artist needs to please is his loyal audience.

    Rick Herron

  29. J. Russo September 24, 2013 Reply

    The two songs that stand out the most for me are “We Own The Night” by Brooke Turner, and “2wice the Speed of Sound” by Reed Waddle. Both artists have a unique voice that engages you right away. Brooke’s tune engages you right away with the first note – something about that sound and rhythm piques your interest. She really captures the essence of a great pop/dance tune, a la Katy Perry. The chorus needs to be pumped up a bit – seems to lay back a little too much, almost like a ballad’s chorus instead of a dance tune’s chorus.

    Reed’s song really evokes emotion and intimacy and he nails it while pullling on your heart strings. The lyrics and arrangement need be tweaked a bit – for example the intro is way too long, vocals should come in sooner. A few other tweaks here and there to drive the momentum and chorus and build more tension and have more release.

    Both of these artists have demonstrated mastery of their craft. They are ready for some guidance from a producer and the help of a record label to take their careers further!

  30. Smokin Jelli October 2, 2013 Reply

    Dial Tone IS A HIT! His voice is like Adam Levine’s but more brash and he has an awesome sound. I’d love to hear where he goes from here, up I imagine.

    We Own The Night is candy pop, too much like Miley Cyrus. Vocalizations were too mechanical. Didn’t sound authentic at all.

    Late Night – the artist is in the bubble. He needs to escape the bubble.

    Great Josephine – his voice is very monotone, doesn’t take my anywhere. He’s talking more than singing.

    I couldn’t open the rest. :(

  31. Michael Anderson October 2, 2013 Reply

    Here’s an interesting comment by Steven: “You can’t make the people eat, you can lead them to the table though.”

    This is empirically incorrect. Look at all of the crossover musical “artists” that have been produced by Disney. They start out with a show on the Disney channel and by the next summer they’re part of, or headlining, a tour of similarly mediocre acts. While a new Steely Dan or Rush might not come along every day, the right look and massive promotion will always trump good songwriting and actual musical talent (especially when it comes to teenage girls). There are far more manufactured stars on the charts today than there used to be, when you had to play the crappy clubs and build a following before you’d get a contract. Today’s pop charts are 90% promotion, 10% music.

  32. Gwendolyn French October 2, 2013 Reply

    I have a great ear for hit songs, so I was disappointed that I received an error message for most of the songs. I will tell what titles seem original and worthy of a listen: We Own The Night, Great Josephine, Life of The Party, Dial Tone. When I thought about the first pick, My Mind Wants to Go Back To You, I simply thought “it’s not a ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately?'”

    Gwendolyn French
    Night Owl Music Publishing

  33. The life of the party by Brooke Turner

  34. Concetta October 2, 2013 Reply

    Are you hiring? Lol

  35. Matt Lewis October 2, 2013 Reply

    There were several songs here that I would have picked as A&R today. Doesn’t mean I liked any of them though. And there is the problem with the music industry today. Any of those songs could be a hit with a quarter million $$ in record company promo behind it. Sad to say however, that not one, In my opinion can stand on it’s own as a memorable top hit song. How many A&R Reps today, were picking hits back in the 60’s & 70’s? I only say that because those songs are still being played big time. With the exception of a few artists today, holding their own, most will go by the way side over time. So me the money and I’ll give you the Hits.

  36. Alan October 2, 2013 Reply

    We Own The Night” by Brooke Turner
    Could be a top ten hit.

  37. Alan October 2, 2013 Reply

    We Own The Night” by Brooke Turner
    Could be a top ten hit.
    But i would add maybe brass to it.

  38. Mark Ettinger October 2, 2013 Reply

    Just like you, I don’t have time to listen to wanna be’s and posers- Especially if I’m not being paid for it or presume that you’ll like my comment and ask me to be an A&R rep – ha-ha!. I could only get one to upload and play and I didn’t like it – then I wrote this comment. Now, I’m an A&R rep. Years ago, I picked Aerosmith, Led Zepelin, Madonna, Police, then Sting, Eric Clapton, Guns and Roses, Rolling Stones and they’re all still around.
    I guess I’m a good A&R rep. Thank you, Mark

  39. DJ Vibrational-Mode-Spin October 2, 2013 Reply

    If I was an A&R guy, I would pick “Great Josephine” and “Dial tone.”

    “Dial Tone” has that “large voice”
    and “Great Josephine” has that cool,
    alternative feeling with great potential if
    a good producer worked with it.

  40. JR October 2, 2013 Reply

    If my company were considering these tracks for “hit” potential – I would say non of them would be. Are they good songs and could they exist on an album – yes – but as a “single” I don’t hear one here.

  41. Kala October 2, 2013 Reply

    Best song out of all of them was “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis. Music punched hard and the lyrics matched perfectly. Angry music, angry words.

  42. Daniel October 2, 2013 Reply

    If I’m the A&R man at a major label looking for a guaranteed hit, I’m passing on all of them, a couple of decent album cuts at best.

  43. Dylan Bedford October 2, 2013 Reply

    If I were to place my self in the chair of an A&R. First thing I would be thinking about when I’m going to be listening to a song is what is currently in demand from the listeners and what the mass media is currently playing. As much as someone may want to sign someone because they really enjoy their music, it’s not based upon a personal choice. It’s based on what is in demand. In the aspect of how many songs I would listen to would really depend on what other work I have at the time and if I want to put in a little more extra hours. 50 a day only seems respectable in accordance to being an A&R How are you doing your job if you listen to anything below that? That’s hardly half a days work if you are working 9 hours.

    You are right Mike, a lot of these songs have merit and personality. But. In regards to which songs I would pick are:

    “Twice the speed of sound – Reed Waddle”, “Never want to wake up – Cat cork”, Dial Tone – Matt Beilis”, and in some funky way “We Own The Night – Brooke Turner” but only because it has the club feel and seems like a good song after a bunch of drinks.

    With that being said,

    The other songs just don’t have personality that jumps out. Although production on all of them is iffy, these are the only 4 that I would have another listen and request another song, although I’m leery on Brooke. She does have what it could take. I feel if someone else wrote a song for her to sing it would be much better for her. The biggest being Matt and Reed, their vocals stand out from the rest. Their songs sound like they would be on the radio. Right next to Bruno mars, Justin Timberlake, Taylor swift and the like.

    Being an A&R isn’t as easy as it sounds. A situation like this is extremely risky. You could waste hours upon hours of studio time and boat loads of money finding out that none of these were a hit. I do believe on the other hand given the time and care the artists I have chosen from your list could come out on top and be the next big hit. I won’t say sensation because there is a huge fight for that as is and many that are competing for this spot have been in the music industry for years.

  44. ALMIGHTYGREEN October 2, 2013 Reply

    Never Want To Wake Up” by Cat Cork} I really like him very nice would be my first choice; my second call back would be We Own The Night” Life of the Party” by Brooke Turner she has great vibe and my third choice would be Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis and the rest what eles can say? i would run with that bunch for a min. and 2 be fair i had a problem with somthings i just cant go into details ‘ sorry and good luck

  45. Kiko Jones October 3, 2013 Reply

    Not my cup of tea, but if I’m going to do the A&R gamble searching for a pop hit, I’m definitely going with Brooke Turner and Matt Deilis. All three songs are definitely hit material.

  46. Mendi October 3, 2013 Reply

    I agree mostly with everything Anife Henry has commented. I believe the only potential hit of all those songs is “We Own The Night”, mainly for the teenage crazy-partying market.

    Anife, get a job as A&R. 😉

  47. Louis Rapson October 3, 2013 Reply

    Hi Matt,

    I gave each song a verse and chorus and didn’t think any of them sounded like hits. I love pop music, but the songs either were not the right genre for today’s market or were not commercially ready. There also wasn’t enough information to assess whether an artist would be an asset to a label from just one song.

    If I was going to sign a band to a record label I would definitely have to see them live, and would want more than just one hit from them

  48. Sam Tumblin October 3, 2013 Reply

    I loved listening to “Great Josephine” by norkjen I think it has star potential sounds eerie, macabre, and dark. I can see using it in combat or scary movies or video games.
    Sam Tumblin

  49. Christina "TinaCris" Keen October 3, 2013 Reply

    I would 1st choose “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis as #1 out of 4 of 10 choices, “my mind wants to go back to you” by The Far Removed as #2 out of 4 of 10 choices, if more was work done to this, then a possible #3 of 4 of 10 choices would be “Great Josephine” by Norkjen. The final # 4 of 4 out of 10 choices wasn’t available in this selection so I do not have a choice of the final one.

  50. Melany Rose October 3, 2013 Reply

    Well this was a fun opportunity..I’ve always been good at hearing a new song and predicting whether it would make it into the top ten..
    I listened to all to see which would grab me enough to listen the whole way through and then make me want to listen again..I am surprised that any of these would be considered at all..needless to say none made it past first chorus..yes all of them had nice enough vocals but there was something lacking in each song to give it that magic..Brooke Turner had the most appeal but she is nothing fresh or new, another Kate P, Miley etc wannabe..I think I would enjoy the role of A&R though..

  51. dj R&B October 3, 2013 Reply

    Strange game Mr. McCready, the only winning move is ‘do not to play’… :-)

    1) My Mind Wants To Go Back To You, by The Far Removed
    2) Dial Tone, by Matt Beilis
    3) Great Josephine, by norkjen

    these are interesting productions IMHO.

    (p.s. 30 seconds from the start are enough to fell right, then almost 5 times of entire re-listening are needed for each ‘right’ song found)

  52. Ervin V. Pulliam October 3, 2013 Reply

    Greetings Mike,

    I think all the songs have some redeeming qualities…Although, that said, the only songs of these here that “could” be or that I think sound anything near ready to be “so called” HIT worthy or possible quality…are the (2) songs by Brooke Turner, especially…”Life of the Party” that one probably has slightly even broader appeal but both her songs are pop/commercial ready for sure…and marketed/promoted properly I think they’d do quite well…within the ages that purchase most of the music 12-18 year olds…roughly, in particular that is…She has that Disney/Nickelodeon artist production machine quality type feel going for her at least that’s how it grabs me. Then there’s “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis…Now, I’d buy that one myself…in fact, I wanted to hear it again just as soon as I finished listening to it the first time around…I feel that song has HIT like qualities and could definitely sell well, again certainly with the right marketing/promotion budget behind it, etc. Not to mention, I also think both Brooke & Matt’s songs and music have the qualities that could be used in other ways for example…i.e…film/tv…

    Thanks much! All the best in your endeavors!
    Match 1 Entertainment

  53. Rick Bolling October 3, 2013 Reply

    Reading all comments before my own there are people who understand the type of songs that appeal to themselves. As an A&R rep. you have to make sure that all audiences will have a relation to the lyrics, not the music, not the voice. I can pull great voice with great musicians all day long. New feel, twist and hook approach is what sells.
    If I’m being asked, Beilis will capture more market than any of the above. It’s total three elements would live on the charts high. But only after a re-mix of voice to music.

  54. Sissy Elizabeth Williams October 3, 2013 Reply

    After busting my rear in A&R for many years (now retired) I have to say this is a lot of fun for me. I may not always be technical in my comments but it is clear what I think.
    When you hear demos by the dozens on a daily basis I had 3 piles…Trash Now;), give a 2nd listen, and YES!!!!thank ya Jesus!!!
    If you get a #1 you FEEL it, you KNOW it and usually are right-at least a top ten

  55. Dean October 3, 2013 Reply


    “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis is the best track by far from my years of music knowledge running my own record labels, the track is catchy, would appeal to a far wider audience then the other tracks, there is alot of feeling to the track, mastered to a high quality, the piano, guitar, vocals and drums all blend in perfect together.


  56. Michael gambatesa October 3, 2013 Reply

    I’m so disappointed, All the music I have listened to confirms that the music business has lost it’s way..and that goes for the song writers too. We are bombarded by the same safe music, with no challenges, no real music from the heart or soul I’m bored with the whole music scene at the moment. The music industry is run by young conservative executives who are manipulating what we should listen too. Just listen to the shit that’s being pumped out on our air waves..These writers have tried their best, but the best ain’t good enough.

  57. Jhon October 3, 2013 Reply

    todos son una completa basura
    las masas necesitan algo mas heavy!!!

  58. Beverly Gant October 3, 2013 Reply

    A lot of the songs could be Hit potential songs with some rearrangement, added vocals & music rearrangements. Brooks “We Own The night” is a good party dance song!

  59. Mighty Dreadnaut October 3, 2013 Reply

    I am an underground Jungle DnB producer, have been since roughly 2009. Before that I was a DJ playing underground Jungle, DnB, Hip Hop and Dancehall Reggae for a little over a decade. Beat mining in record stores taught me three things about selecting music when confronted with literally thousands of choices that had to be narrowed down to less than a couple dozen in a matter of hours.

    1- you can somewhat judge a book by it’s cover. When you looking at the release artwork it’s going to reflect the music in a couple of ways: the originality of the content, the effort put into the music, it’s relative position within the spectrum of underground-mainstream. These three things help screen out a lot of badly done, totally derivate stuff that would otherwise eat up a lot of time.

    2- is it a great track or just a good one? Given that you only have so much money to spend you need to get the most bang for your buck while keeping in mind the audience you’re playing for and what they want to hear. If you spend all your money on mediocre tracks you’ll get a mediocre response. Look for stuff that stands out immediately, anything catchy, anything you find yourself humming or nodding your head to.

    3- don’t listen to full songs. What you’re really looking for is the main riff of the track, what the body of it sounds like, plus the chorus and any hooks. You don’t have time to listen to 20,000 songs in the course of a day so keep it to what the highlights of any song *would* be and get an impression from that.
    *when looking for heavily vocal stuff, particularly R&B this doesn’t always necessarily apply as song structure, emphasis and arrangement is a little different with vocal acts

    With respect to the songs in the tracklist, they’re all good songs in their own right, four in particular stand out.

    The Brooke Turner songs both have a lot of potential, the second more so than the first. The first is a good track but is missing something. From a producers standpoint I’d have put a power saw or something in the upper mid range of that song to give it some liveliness instead of just letting her voice create the entire melody. The second is all around a good song and I could definitely hear that in the top 5 on top 40 radio if she were to do a cameo remix with some well-known but “safe” rapper like Drake or somebody.

    The Stlcontact track is decent but from a marketing/radio standpoint would probably never see beyond 35 on a chart. It’s a decently produced tune but in the post 50cent era you gotta come with more than just a good beat and a solid flow.

    The Matt Beilis track is solid, reminds me almost of Dave Mathews Band in their heyday, has the same kind of feel to it. A song like that can turn out to be a sleeper, you wouldn’t expect it to become as popular as it does but nobody who was into Dave Mathews in the early 90’s ever expected them to become as big as they did 😉

    Anyway, that’s my two cents. And I would *love* to be an A&R guy…. 😀

  60. Allen Paulson October 3, 2013 Reply

    Want to hire me as an A&R rep. Thanks Mike. :)

  61. Elizabeth Racz October 3, 2013 Reply

    I could go by which one I turned off latest, and that was the Matt Beilis song, largely thanks to the accomplished vocal delivery. With some I didn’t last more than 20 seconds, and that can’t be a good sign. I also thought The Far Removed offering could be whipped into shape easily. It was the only song I didn’t mind going back to and check it out a second time. You want to hear something more than once = potential hit. Thanks for the exercise.

  62. Elliott Martin October 3, 2013 Reply

    Although none of the songs where my “cup of tea,” I thought the Brooke Turner ones had some hit potential. She is the only one I would sign.

    Interesting exercise! Enjoyed it, and would love to see more like this! Are you looking to hire some A&R guys?

  63. Ron Rich October 3, 2013 Reply

    My Mind Wants To Go Back To You would be my pick. Needs a better title. The arrangment and lyrics seems to have substance. The other songs are ok, but not hits. Then again, I’m just a singer/songwriter. I could be wrong.

  64. VShane October 3, 2013 Reply

    “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis is the best one, edgy voice, good tone and though I feel the song has a 2005 ish appeal.
    ~ VS

  65. Ayaan October 3, 2013 Reply

    Twice the Speed of Light is the hit of the bunch. Most unique sound and most likely to build a following is Matt Beilis.

  66. Dj Marvin Prince October 3, 2013 Reply

    If I was an A&R I would look for in an artist or band the formula “B.T.H.”
    B is for beat, the first thing the listener/audience hears is the beat and if the beat does not catch the listeners/ audience right away consider the song dead, no matter how good the person can sing, if the beat does not catch you right away you are not listening to the vocals
    T is for the tone, the tone in the persons voice has to be unique that as soon as you hear it it peaks your interest, you get that goose bump feeling, the tone of a person’s voice says it all ex: Sting’s voice sounds different than Elton John’s voice but it grabs your attention, Whitney Houston’s voice sounds different from Mary J Blige, RUN-DMC tone sounds different from Whodini, Shabba Ranks voice sounds different from Sean Paul, but these vocals capture your ear attention
    H is for the hook, no matter what all songs need a hook, if it’s catchy enough that a 4 – 6year old can sing it, you have a seller, sometimes songs just grow on you and then you start to like it, but if kids like it, it has a huge selling potential……..and Mike that is just my thoughts

    One love
    Marvin Prince

  67. Chuck Fan October 3, 2013 Reply

    Hey Mike, I was a musician for a long time and I have worked in the music industry and played on the local music scene in Nashville for 16 years. I’ve heard a lot of music over the years and I have developed an ear for what is good, what is bad and what needs work.

    “We Own The Night” by Brooke Turner is a very good song and I believe it is radio-ready. The tempo is right, the vocals are great and the arrangements are done very well. That is my first pick.

    “Never Want To Wake Up” by Cat Cork is another great song. It is unlike a lot of the trite nonsense that is played on the radio nowadays. It has a Folk-type sound, but could also make an easy transition to Country radio as well.

    “Late Night” by Stlcontact would be a great addition to the Rap/Hip Hop Music Industry. It is well done, the music is well-produced and the artist definitely knows how to deliver the lyrics. It reminds me of the old-school Rap from the 80s that’s been sadly lacking in the industry these days. This one would be a definite hit if it was marketed and promoted correctly.

    “Life of the Party” by Brooke Turner is another song that is perfectly executed and well done. It is a must for Pop radio and this is another one that could really do well if it was promoted and marketed correctly. Brooke Turner is the kind of artist that could tour with Lady Gaga, Madonna then easily transition to a tour with Taylor Swift. She is a great singer and this is a great song.

    “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis is another good song, but the intro just doesn’t seem to fit. I know what the writers were going for, but it doesn’t work for me. All in all, it is a good song and if it could just be re-worked and tweeked a bit it could be a great song. I include it as one of my picks because it doesn have major potential to be a really great song.

  68. Iq October 3, 2013 Reply

    Brooke Turner will make you money. Personally I’d want to make even more money, so I’d partner her with a rapper that rhymes a lot who the whole country could relate to. Preferably that rapper would not be white or black and also have that special rhyming talent like Lil Wayne does. As a rapper myself, I’ve come across thousands of rappers and think that there’s 3 or 4 of them that could blow up bigger than any rapper has so far given proper marketing.

  69. Francesco Emmanuel October 3, 2013 Reply

    I found myself skipping through songs that I didn’t like. Maybe because it was ten songs. I can only imagine how many thousands of songs an A&R person has to hear a day!

    Some of the songs were really irritating for me. I hate that cheesy-pop single, but I know that sells, unfortunately. Anything that didn’t have a ‘real’ instrument feel lost me after 30 seconds

    My picks:

    “Twice The Speed of Sound” by Reed Waddle


    “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis

    Decent songs and both singers had good voices.

    My 2 cents.

  70. Victoria Rich October 3, 2013 Reply

    “My Mind Goes Back To You” is okay, “We Own The Night” may appeal to young teenagers, “Late Night” has a good beat, but could use more bass, “Dial Tone” is okay too. None of them jumped out at me as hits.

  71. Dj Dragon October 3, 2013 Reply

    Hello there, first of all, I’d like to introduce myself. I am a Certified Audio Engineer and I work in my Home Studio to record new Local Artist. I have more 20 years experience in the music industry as singer, musician, Dj, composer and studio recording engineer.

    To answer few of your question up above, If I was an A&R working for a big Record Label, I would listen to as many song as possible in less then 8 hours. Some song I would only listen the intro maybe 15 sec. If I don’t like the intro, I stop it and I listen to the next song. There is no need to continue listening to the song if the first verse sound horrible. If I like the intro, then I’ll listen to the chorus, and so on and on until I finally take the time to listen to it all and see if I can feel the flow. If can I feel the song, it’s good. Otherwise, next. Simple. There’s no number as to how many song I would listen a day. you can’t listen too much otherwise your ears will get tired then you can’t give a good feedback when your tired. 2nd, you don’t necessary need to listen to music you receive in the mail or through email to know it “could” be the next big hit. Let us remember that some artist made it through SuperStardome through other means of exposure such as YOUTUBE for instance. I do not believe it is the greatest way to find the next big star BUT…. you know what they say…”The more VIEWS it gets, the more possibility that some folks would actually buy their Album or song if they do make one.” And that’s just my opinion on marketing of course.

    But I would say to actually look everywhere and listen to everything. Even go to Singing Contest or any places where great singer meet up. Now, coming back to the actual topic, I listened to all the song from above as you posted. The only 2 pop song I actually ” felt ” good about it was the 2 songs from Brook turners and the last one ; Dial Tone by Matt Bells.

    But there is a problem with Brook Turner thought, although I do like her song and groove and voice, her picture and personality profile doesn’t match with her song somehow. When I watched her video that you posted with another one of her song, she didn’t look like she was “all there”. Looked like kinda shy… or not ready. Or something else. For marketing purposes, she will have to look more ” sexy ” and look more “confident” and also add more …how can I say this… “Natural hyper-groovy-sexy-attitude” that matches with her songs. Otherwise, she looks ” blank” in her vids. That’s just my opinion of course and I could be wrong.

    As for Matt Bells, splendid. I felt his song from start to the end. He got the voice and the look I’d say. But, according to my 20 years expertise in this domain, I would say he should sing a Ballad style of Richard Marxx. Something very touchy and romantic for the ladies. The you would have a HIT song and an uprising superstar right here.

    So this was my 10 cents feedback and answer to your questions. Cheers

  72. Jay-P October 3, 2013 Reply

    “We Own The Night” will do good. i barely listened to the entire song going only about 30 seconds and kept wanting more. it got hit pop song qualities

  73. David Loew October 3, 2013 Reply

    I couldn’t get the songs to play…. However, knowing time is of the essence, if I had those songs sitting on my desk and had limited time I would have listened to these ones in this order and for the reasons specified.

    “Twice The Speed of Sound” by Reed Waddle- Intriguing title. Makes me wonder what he’s talking about.

    “Great Josephine” by norkjen- Again a unique title AND the name “Josephine” has made a resurgence in female baby names the last several years so the name “Josephine” will resonate immediately with a great deal of people.

    “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis- I can guess what I think this is about but it’s a unique spin on “She wont talk to me”. Instead of just “She wont answer my calls”. Something a lot of listeners can relate to but in a fresh way.

    “Life of the Party” by Brooke Turner- Because lets face it, everyone loves a good party song.

    These may not be at all what I think and of course would be judged on each songs own merit but they’re the ones I would have listened to with limited time. And if they didn’t invite me in and hold my attention by the end of the first chorus or the first 60 seconds or so, off they’d go.

  74. Derek October 3, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike great exercise!
    Here’s my 2 cents. But first,, when people say”tension” when talking about lyrics do they actually mean “plot?” or “adjectives?” Could you clarify…?

    The commercial hit in the bunch is “Life of the party”(needs hipper production for CHR) “Never want to wake up” needs a bridge” but has Jason Mraz type potential.

    As you know it used to be artists would get 4 albums to develop – then great works appeared ie: “stairway to heaven” “hotel california”; using that criteria “Great Josephine” points to a writer of potential.
    The opposite of that IMO would be “Dialtone” which it seems a lot of people like…By the way I agree with Rick Heron; and in those 10 songs I didn’t hear one compelling lyric or phrase…study the masters people.

  75. Phil Pieraldi October 3, 2013 Reply

    Listening just for the song and it’s potential to succeed in the market, Both of Brook Turners songs were very good and should be pitched to Katy Perry or Carly Jesup. “Dial Tone by Matt Beilis was the best written song would work for many artists and projects out there. This is not rocket science However A&R are the people who shape and influence the buying public and somewhere along the line A&R will have to stop copying the market and take a chance otherwise the music industry will literally satiate its own audience. That’s at least my opinion.

  76. contrell mason October 3, 2013 Reply

    Cat Cork,”Never want to wake up” I believe is a hit…

  77. David Loew October 3, 2013 Reply

    Ok, got the tunes to load. Now wish I hadn’t though. But I tried listening to them all from an A&R perspective. Not just for signing artists but finding songs for signed artists and here is my take on them..

    My Mind wants to go back- It’s just whiney. And the digitized vocals drove me nuts. There was no prosody.

    We Own The Night- I’d keep this for an established female artist. Then I’d have it re-demo’d so it was more in your face and raw and make sure it went to an artist that you could BELIEVE that she owned the night. This singer has a nice voice, but I’d have a hard time thinkin’. “Ya girl! You own that shit!” With a more natural sounding instrumentation this could be a great seller. Less “Oh mickey yer so fine” and more “I love rock ‘n’ roll”. Needs more grit.Or has to be sung by a kid and it’s to much of a party song for that to be in good taste.

    Twice the speed of sound- Off after the first chorus. The first verse was just strung together cliches. Then the chorus didn’t tie anything together for me from the verse. It was like a whole new song. And the intro was to long for such a blase opening line.

    Never want to wake up- Had to force myself to listen to more than the first 4 lines. There was just nothing that stood out. It’s just I love you, you’re beautiful, you love me and I don’t’ want to wake up. Ok, what’s new? Nothing. It sounds like the outline to a song that has the general idea of what the writer wants to say but never does say it. The music was almost catchy but quickly became way to repetitive in a bad way. It left me wanting to go listen to “Happy together”… Imagine me and you, and you and me..and we wrote a song, no one would sing….ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz

    Late Night- I thought the chorus had a good groove, but through what I listened to of the song I heard the word “Work” so many times I started thinking it was the title. I would pass on this but tell him to go back and rewrite the verses and bring it back.

    Great Josephine- No real discernible story for me. It’s all “Tell me” and no “Show me”. Some of the words stuck out like he just had to find a rhyme and threw the first thing in he could find. And I stopped it after the first line and restarted it to make sure I hadn’t missed something because he started with, “To the one who..blah blah blah”. I don’t think anything is going to be a big hit if it starts off immediately by confusing the listener as to who “the one” is.

    Life Of The Party- Ok, was I the ONLY one that noticed you could put a rock distorted guitar to the intro and beginning verse music and sing “Hit me with your best shot”?? I will now listen a bit more… Nope. Sorry. I tried but I just kept hearing “Hit me with your best shot” but all messed up.

    Dial tone- *sigh* I had high hopes for this one. But it fell flat for me. The music was catchy if a bit overly repetitive but the “A” rhyme through verse one and AGAIN in verse two was too much for me. And it felt like both verses said the same thing. I’d tell him to scrap either of the first two verses and then write a new first verse that tells us what the hell is going on.

    also a common thread among most of these songs is that they are WAY to wordy. It’s hard to imagine that someone can use that many words and still tell me virtually nothing.

    On a side note,
    Someone said in a previous post that they’re sick of the executives choosing what the people want to hear. When someone says that I hear, “Someone told me my songs weren’t good enough!! Waaaaaa!” if you want to be taken seriously as a pro, then learn to take criticism like a pro. The way music is chosen for radio is based on what people have already purchased. No one is forcing anyone to only listen to radio. Or to only buy what the record companies put out. With the internet and the VAST amount of options for independent music these days, it is absurd and moronic to blame your own lack of success on label execs. If you have a CD and it’s not selling then 1. you aren’t advertising enough or 2. it’s not good enough. Suppose you suddenly got a record deal. And they put out your CD. Suppose it then started selling like Maroon 5. Does that mean the execs got lucky or finally chose right? Or does it mean your CD is something millions can relate to and want to spend money on? Just because you love your song doesn’t mean anyone can relate to it. Basically, “No relation- no hit” simple.

  78. Mario Cesar Rodriguez October 3, 2013 Reply

    1St. Song “My Mind Wants To Go Back To You” by The Far Removed. Lacks originality the first few seconds. It didn’t and doesn’t do anything but bore. Those first few seconds was all I needed to hear.

    2nd. Song “We Own The Night” by Brooke Turner. It’s a great song, current, and trendy. The first few seconds steers in the direction of what’s on the radio. Has hit potential, just needs the right sound and production.

    3rd. Song “Twice The Speed of Sound” by Reed Waddle. An organic song yet dated. No originality in the voice or song structure. Nope.

    4th. Song “Never Want To Wake Up” by Cat Cork. Boring. I like raspy singing but no hit potential. Another organic acoustic song but has a very tight market. No mass sales here for a major label.

    5th. Song “Late Night” by Stlcontact. The song is awesome. With an original sound production it will be a hit maker. Don’t need to hear the chorus. The first few seconds of the song grabs you. Great for a major label.

    6th. Song “Great Josephine” by norkjen. This song has hit potential. Well produced and with the right mastering it can go to the top. Good song to introduce an artist. Great original song structure. Makes me feel like I should’ve written it. This song makes you listen to the very end.

    7th. Song “Life of the Party” by Brooke Turner. Nope. This song has no hit potential. It doesn’t do anything. This song structure sounds very overplayed and overwritten.

    8th. Song “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis. This song has no hit potential. The first few seconds of this song has you curious yet there is no movement or dynamics. The song sounds stale. No hit here for a major label.

    PS Mike
    This was fun. Brings me back to when I was interning for a production company about ten plus years ago. I listen to every radio station here in California and admire the new and old hits regardless of the genre. I remember your emails from way back asking for support. Thanks again. Email me when you want me to listen to anymore songs.

  79. Chantel October 3, 2013 Reply

    The first one and last one are the ones that appealed to me. I deem tht although they are the same as some songs out the now that are being put to radio they still have an interesting different to them that will cath people’s attention. The rest are basically just copies of other so vs already out there and I personally song like hearing songs about the same getting drunk on Friday night stuff.

  80. Nanna Mück October 3, 2013 Reply

    Personally I liked this ” Never wanna Walke up ” song, it was the moust soulful song I think. But ” Life of the party ” is defenitly the hit song among These, – for Young teenages :-) So it is 😉 // Nanna

  81. Paul Astle October 3, 2013 Reply

    The only potential hit I hear in these eight songs is number 2 ‘We Own The Night’ scores 7/10. The worst song is number 5 ‘Late Night’ scores 1/10. All the rest are around 2 or 3 out of 10. I am listening only to the songs and not the performance of them. A great song lives forever artists come and go. The best measure is to listen to all eight songs and then see which one you find yourself humming or singing to yourself later in the day.

  82. Lara Alcazar October 3, 2013 Reply

    Hi Mike,

    Potential hit: Dial tone. I also feel that Life of the Party could be a Hit within Disney Channel World…

    And not talking about a hit but talking about the artist I feel that Norkjen and Reeddle Waddle has a lot to offer.

  83. Michelle October 3, 2013 Reply

    I would have chose “Never Want To Wake Up” by Cat Cork. The song is based on being in love but it can relate to everyone. Its a little different from the others to me personally. The others are good but dont stand out , sounding a little typical if you get me. That would do very well in the charts at the moment cause it also sounds like a song for an advert ..usually which do well in the charts.

  84. Gary Allen Welker October 3, 2013 Reply

    Agree with M. Gambatesa.Overproduced,overrated.But on that note,look at Taylor Swift.Teeny bob shit.What happened to real artists,musicians?I don`t write for money.I write from the heart.Oh thats right it is a business.

  85. Saffire Sanchez October 3, 2013 Reply

    Brooke’s music is going to be the immediate money maker. Add a bit more depth in the production work and a couple more hooks and it’s good to go, sickly teenie bopper music that could also be incorporated into pop punk…

    Personal favs
    Dial Tone – Matt Beillus
    Twice The Speed Of Sound – Reed Waddle.

    Other than that I can’t see potential. Even if you put Matt and Reed up against other people of their genres they wouldn’t make a foot print. It really is all about promo.

  86. Brian October 3, 2013 Reply

    So, while being an A&R rep might be interesting, it’s not really the role I’d want to do myself. Though, you have stumbled onto something here by accident (or maybe you already had this in mind?) One word.. crowd-sourcing. What do I mean by this. Instead, of having one A&R person sitting around endlessly listening to tracks to find a great artist or the next hit; instead, hand the listening duties off to the masses to let them do the majority of that work. If one person can listen to X songs in 8 hours. 100 people can do 100 * X in 8 hours (or however many hours a day those 100 people can devote). That’s a ton more listens than one person alone. After the listen, ask the people their take on the song (what they like, what they don’t like) and rate it.

    Aggregate those responses into a single or several numeric value(s) as ratings. The A&R reps can then pick the top rated songs from the list and audition only those which reduces their listening workload by a ton. With an effective crowd-sourcing system at Music XRay, this can dramatically save time listening and reviewing everything.

    This does two things: 1) it clearly gives the A&R rep the advantage of knowing what people want to hear (which can be tricky when tastes change over time) and 2) top rated songs avoid spending time listening to stuff that isn’t worth a listen. Of course, that doesn’t imply that any specific artist isn’t talented, it just means that that song didn’t work or couldn’t showcase that talent. Choosing the right song is important for artists to realize. Choosing the wrong song can sink an artist’s chances.

    If Music XRay were to move into a crowd-sourcing model for listens and ratings, this could easily become a very helpful service to A&R reps who use Music XRay. Just a thought, but it’s an idea that could easily make any A&R rep’s job a whole lot simpler.

    • Author
      Mike October 3, 2013 Reply

      Hi Brian,

      Interesting you should say that. Music Xray actually is an A&R crowd-sourcing platform. But instead of the masses, it’s many of the industry’s A&R professionals pooling their collective screening efforts and mining out the best of the best. Check it out.

      • Brian October 4, 2013 Reply

        Hi Mike,

        What you suggest isn’t actually crowd-sourcing in the truest sense. It’s using people from within an industry to help each other out. True crowd-sourcing utilizes the public masses and public opinion to aid in solving a scalability problem. In this case, utilizing the listening public’s opinion and ratings to sway what is considered ‘good’ or ‘valuable’ and reduce what the industry professionals have to weed through. The reason that the public mass is important and the reason it’s true crowd-sourcing is that it pulls in a truly objective element not in the industry to provide feedback.

        The problem with using a smaller subset of in-industry professionals is that that doesn’t solve the scalability issue that using the public opinion does. Using only industry professionals also doesn’t solve one of the two problems I previously mentioned.. one of them was using the public opinion to determine and predict new musical trends more accurately. In other words, the public mass opinion will conclusively confirm what styles are currently hot in genre and what is not.

        Having only industry professionals attempt to always second-guess what the public wants is a bit like playing with fire without any training. Sometimes, you can put on a great light show. Most times you get burned. However, tapping into that public fickleness to improve prediction of popular music trends is as good as gold. Why wouldn’t any industry A&R person want to improve their accuracy at predicting new music trends? Seriously, you cannot do this by only tapping into a very small subset of industry professionals, of which most of these people likely know one other. These people work it day in and out. Their ears get fried. That’s like someone at Burger King asking their friend at McDonald’s if MickeyD’s hamburgers taste good. What are they going to say?

        • Author
          Mike October 4, 2013 Reply

          Well, I think crowd sourcing is not necessarily used to solve scalability but rather to gather data, in which case, as long as your sample size is good, you can do. We use it more to gather data than to scale, although with 1500 industry professionals we’re far from hitting our scaling limit. The industry invests in music. Our users want investment in their music. We don’t need to use the data to predict success however because it’s a self- fulfilling prophecy. The very people listening are the ones with the ability to do a deal if they love what they hear.

  87. Monty October 3, 2013 Reply

    Dial Tone- Matt Beillis and we own the night – Brooke Turner, strongest contenders here.

  88. Bob Nicholson October 3, 2013 Reply

    Mike, I pass on these selections. I don’t hear anything that would be merit signing at this time…best of luck

    • Author
      Mike October 3, 2013 Reply

      Hi Bob. I hope you don’t think I’m pitching/shopping them. I am not.

  89. Max Chain October 3, 2013 Reply

    “We Own The Night.” is the only hit song as they are presented. There is a reason I don’t listen to Pop radio, and this song is a perfect example why. That being said, and putting my barf bucket aside, if I had money, I would put it behind this song. It is a sure-fire hit, and Miss Turner will probably be a chart-topper for years to come.

  90. Max Chain October 3, 2013 Reply

    Furthermore, and in agreement that “Hotel California” is a top shelf song, none of these songs are even on the shelf, or below it, or in the basement, or in the neighborhood.

  91. Sean Earle October 3, 2013 Reply

    In my opinion, the only one that has a chance of major label attention would be “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis. Amazing production, unique concept lyrics and nice voice.

    Brooke Turner displays an understanding for current pop melodies, though I found the lyrics of her songs to be far overly simple. Also, I think she could work on adding more personality to her voice, given the type of songs she is singing.

    The rest of the songs came across to me as very generic, lyrically, melodically, and production wise.

  92. Andy Barclay October 3, 2013 Reply

    I run an Indie label and we still get sizable amounts of demos sent.
    I know an ear worm when i hear one, i know when something is perfect
    for radio, and how to shape a song into being perfect for radio play.
    But it would be nice to hear of new way’s to manage time better because
    listening to everything takes up valuable man hours that i really ought
    to be spending on other parts of the business.

  93. Todd October 3, 2013 Reply

    Brooke Turner is the only artist up here with hit potential. I’d sign her as an A&R agent. People love that poppy, don’t think much, songs. Pair her with the Daft Punk production team and you’ve got yourself 2 hits.

  94. Anissa October 3, 2013 Reply

    I’ll keep it simple: they are all okay, but they all need work, however I can imagine “we own the night” and “dial tone” doing well on the radio. They both need a little tweaking though, hers needs better music, his vocals need to be clearer. But those are my pics. If I had to pick one, tho, it would pick “dial tone”.

  95. Ian McKelvie October 3, 2013 Reply

    The final song is the only one that has the chops, unfortunately it has a sweary so its prob not a hit. The girl singing the second song is unfortunately the most likely to breakthrough because she has the looks and the pipes.
    Depressing isnt it?

  96. Brian October 3, 2013 Reply

    Actually I can say that all these songs sound like they were recycled from other hits. I heard a Ke$HA song, a Maroon 5 song, and a Mumford and Sons song, to name a few. But, I guess that’s what the music industry is all about these days. Rehashing old stuff and riding on the success of a certain kind of sound.

    It’s all about guys like this Mike McCready making money on new artists that sound like old artists. And people eat it up.

    It’s sad that the general public will just “jump on the next band wagon”, so to speak.

  97. Jakobsons October 3, 2013 Reply

    I would say as a professional songwriter and a consumer, after listening to two of the songs, “The Dial Tone” and “The Speed of Sound” I would say that “the Speed of sound” is much better. It has a very good mood and sound, something between “Mumford and Sons” and “Cold Play”.
    For some part of the masses that don´t really care about music and want to have it as much easy listening as possible, they would share Tim Curry´s opinion, and say that the intro is too long, and that the chorus is not strong enough. But for the other part of masses that really care about music, and really listens to it they would disagree with you. I think that people in general would like to have it subtle like it is. “Strong professional Chorus” is not always better, it can be boring. I think what lot of “professional songwriters” fail very often on, is that they don´t give the masses to much credit, they want to listen to songs that have dept, don´t want it to be to easy, or to quote on Andrew Stantons words, the writer of Finding Nemo: “the audience wants to work for their meal” – And one last thing I would like to ad, that I think the “lalas” wil run smoothly into the masses 😉

    Best, Jakobsons

  98. Brian October 3, 2013 Reply

    AND, it’s not like it was an accident that these songs are dopplegangers of the original. These songs are structured in such a way to deliberately sound like “Tik Tok” by Ke$HA, “At A Payphone” by Maroon 5, and so on. Those professional producers intentionally wrote these songs to keep within a certain pattern of popular music.

  99. Chris Garcia October 3, 2013 Reply

    Hello Everyone,
    My name is Chris Garcia and I am an A&R agent for BMG and Starhouse Records(Germany). We have a band called “The Mighty Rollers”, that we feel has what it takes to take the next professional level. Would be greatly interested in your opinions. http://bit.ly/GB2y25

  100. Khal Brown October 3, 2013 Reply

    If I was an A&R I would try to listen to as many songs as possible, but my minimum would be at least 20 to 30

    I would not promise anyone anything in this business as it is unpredicatble, I would definitely try to listen to it. I would dedicate the majority of my day listening to new music….that would be part of my job. I would reduce listening time by process of elimination.

    Brooke Turner We Own The Night and Life Of The Party are commercial hits and she’s very Marketable which is 85% of the game in my opinion! I would buy this album… for my daughter of course! LOL

    Cat Cork “Never Want To Wake Up” is a hit simplicity in it’s complexity. I would buy his album just to hear what he had to say. The new John Lennon

    Matt- Beilis music caught my attention in the first few seconds. As a consumer I would look forward to hearing more form him.

    Marcello Roussianos’s My Mind Wants To Go Back To You is very catchy melody and chorus. Memorable. reminds me of Sting (just a little bit)

  101. Michelle October 3, 2013 Reply

    A lot of artists these days sound the same and are going for the same type of genre. It would be good to get an Artist and match them to a particular style that suits them as the artist,l they are , but not have them blend in with the other artists out there.. I think that is the key. The key is to be different. I personally think Brooke turner has a good voice, but shes not her own as an artist..Like what i mean is She sounds like many artists put together. But dont get me wrong, she does have a good voice i just dont see anything special.

  102. Ong Lee October 3, 2013 Reply

    I don’t hear any hits. Sorry.

  103. Elizabeth Navarro October 3, 2013 Reply

    Song: My Mind Wants To Go Back To You
    By: The Far Removed

    I love that line “I just can’t let you go”. It’s very catchy. His voice is great as well, even his falsetto. The only complaint I have is on the production side of things. It sounds like they found a drum loop off of garage band, and although I can see how they were going for a “pop” sort of sound, I don’t think it was a good mix with the raw grunge sound of the vocals. I think they could have more of a live drum sound in the mix, and it would sound much better. Great song though. Lyrics were a little repetitive, but I didn’t get bored, so I say that’s a success! Haha.

    Song: We Own the Night
    By: Brooke Turner

    Well, if your audience is a group of pre-teen girls who wish they were Miley Cyrus in a club, you hit it dead on. The chorus is catchy, the lyrics are pretty much the same as every other pop song out there, and I’m not appalled by her vocals.

    Song: Twice The Speed of Sound
    By: Reed Waddle

    Very Phillip Phillips mixed with Dave Mathews. The intro was a little long, but not bad (something that radio dj’s would probably appreciate actually). Maybe add some actual lyrics on the “lalala” parts. Chorus is memorable. Love the background vocals (again, Phillip Phillips).

    Song: Never Want To Wake Up
    By: Cat Cork

    Very original voice, but needs something that I can’t seem to quite put my finger on…some pitch work, breath control, something! I’m loving the acoustic guitar solo-ing. Great sound; great blend; I’m a fan!

    Song: Late Night
    By: Stlcontact

    Wouldn’t be the first rapper to talk about “the streets”, money, jail, God…you name it. Unoriginal for sure. The first run through of the Chorus, I didn’t even realize we were in the Chorus. The whole song kind of seems to blend together with no distinct sections (verse Chorus bridge). The beats change, but I’m not gonna walk away singing the chorus or even remembering any line in particular.

    Song: Great Josephine
    By: norkjen

    Not a huge fan of the intro, but I love the shift of the music when he goes into “great Josephine”. I like the added strings in the background, but they need to be blended a little better. There’s nothing about this song that really makes it a hit, but it’s great for easy listening.

    Song: Life of the Party
    By: Brooke Turner

    Again with the pre-teen girl demographic. She’s hitting her audience dead on, so I won’t bash her too much, but I’m definitely not a fan of this style of music. The structure of the song is done well, and it’s engineered properly. I could here it on Disney Channel unedited and it’s be just fine.

    Song: Dial Tone
    By: Matt Beilis

    Intro/Verse1 was a little too soft (sound wise). I get that he’s trying to add dynamic to the song though. His voice is breath-taking and original, definitely radio-friendly. Honestly, this song does have the qualities of a hit (or at least a radio hit). The melody line for the verses, chorus, and bridge are all fantastic and I wouldn’t change a thing. Even the production of the song (minus my first comment about verse 1) is perfect the way it is. Great song; Great voice; I’m a fan!

    Personally, my favorites are (1) “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis. (2)”Never Want To Wake Up” By Cat Cork (3) “My Mind Wants To Go Back To You” By The Far Removed

  104. Eddie J October 3, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Mike! I enjoyed participating!

  105. Karel Post October 3, 2013 Reply

    The last two are the winners. Both could be Sony / EMI level material. The rest is either too weak, incompetently arranged and poorly mixed.

    The singer songwriter stuff almost always loses, as you have to be VERY GOOD and VERY CHARISMATIC to pull that one off!…..

    The last two are competently mixed with a focus on the target, being a HIT in the appropriate genre.

    And LALALA…… Well…….. Don’t bother!

    Cheers! Karel Post, CEO Ears4hits, senior engineer, veteran producer CMX-MEDIA Studio’80.

  106. Aldreamer October 3, 2013 Reply

    I actually tried to post a more thorough comment but it didnt go through so im gonna sum it up by saying Brooke Turner is the next Katy Perry!! Her songs are full of life and she makes you want to sing and dance along to her songs. Definitely a Charts topper! The “All American Girl” vibe she gives will have Girls all over the world loving her! Her voice is nice and her harmony arrangements are beutiful. She creates music that gives a visual for videos which is definitely a plus!.. If i had to choose another, I would go with Matt Beilis. I like his raspy voice and his vocal and musical arrangements are really good. I would recommend that he shortens the spaces between his veres and chorus; or, add a dialtone to it…

  107. Ong Lee October 3, 2013 Reply

    I also wanted to add, in regards to time management: I wouldn’t invest time and money on any of the artists mentioned. I’ll just tell them to work on themselves and get back to me in a couple months. Until I hear something profound or knocks me off my chair with excitement, I’m not going to sign anyone.

  108. Noelle October 3, 2013 Reply

    All of the songs have the same elements I hear on the radio today in terms of sound selections and delivery. As far as hits go, well there’s maybe one that fits the bill in my opinion. Then again, any song can be a hit if it’s played a millions times on the radio.

    With that being said, I think that ” We own the night” by Brook Turner is a hit. In other words if I were an AR looking for what’s hot today, this particular artist would be my choice because she’s easy to market and so far her songs are consistent in terms of production and vocal delivery.
    However, if I was in search for the next big thing I would probably keep looking.

    I also think that Dial Tone by Matt Beilis is pretty good. I would like to hear more from this artist before I make a decision whether I would sign him or not but this particular song did catch my ear. Good production. The intro was the perfect length, his vocal delivery is strong, and the hook is nice.
    However, if I was search for the next big thing I would probably keep looking.

  109. Ideamachine October 3, 2013 Reply

    Not blown away by any but I’d pick Dial Tone in spite of using the “F” word, which I’d have him change or no deal.
    On the other hand, Brook is consistent in her style, but I have a problem when you talk about “Party” but your voice doesn’t have a “Party” sound or feel.

  110. mike griot October 3, 2013 Reply


    Nice sonic palette from the gate, but admittedly develops slowly. Great concert tune “after band is established”, but a signing would beg development. Without proper support, nurture could be expensive…
    (obviously talented, however….)

  111. mike griot October 3, 2013 Reply


    Great effort in general….this is my pick!

  112. We Own The Night by Brooke Turner would be my hit picker of the bunch.

  113. Monday October 3, 2013 Reply

    None of them – been done before…
    Vampire Girlfriend – but you’ve got that one.
    Swift/DIDO still recording. Not sure what your end game is here, but it’s probably short-term/monetary – the “quick fix”.

    The lyrics! What’s happened to Lyrics? Too angst ridden. Rhyming – Bono once said that’s what he hated about today’s Music.

    This stuff is pretty redundant…


  114. lkb October 3, 2013 Reply

    ” We Own the Night.” To many great musical ideas to be ignored. Would love to hear it just a little faster and sung with a little more drive. May not work, May increase the excitement. lkb

  115. Darell October 3, 2013 Reply

    Hello Mike! Thanks for the opportunity to listen to theses songs! I think all are very talented that goes with out question. The two at the top of my list are Life of the Party” by Brooke Turner and Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis. I feel both artist captured a sound that is current. I can hear artist today singing both those songs. Brooke turner needs to tweak some of her lyrics to sound more youthful or in a language that todays younger audience would use. Matt beilis its a really great song I just wouldnt use that as a first single. Thanks again – Darell

  116. Eddie Joyce October 3, 2013 Reply

    I’m going for the “quirky” track – Never Want To Wake Up. It could be a huge hit, especially if it was placed in a quirky rom-com movie!

  117. Francisco October 3, 2013 Reply

    Brooke Turner is definitely a perfect match for American national radio!!!!!!!! Both songs are good for an album and are Hits.
    Dial Tone by Matt Beilis is great, will surely attract Bruno Mars audience. “Never want to wake Up” by Cat Cork not sure if its a hit but will do good in a compilation album! Feedback was based on radio acceptance.. Remember that Hits are normally given airtime.

  118. Francisco October 3, 2013 Reply

    Brooke Turner is definitely a perfect match for American national radio!!!!!!!! Both songs are good for an album and are Hits.
    Dial Tone by Matt Beilis is great, will surely attract Bruno Mars audience. “Never want to wake Up” by Cat Cork not sure if its a hit but will do good in a compilation album! Feedback was based on radio acceptance.. Remember that Hits are normally given airtime.

  119. Ben Cunningham October 3, 2013 Reply

    2 + 8, no debate.

  120. Xan October 4, 2013 Reply

    That one from The Far Removed was absolutely awful. Drowning in Auto-tune. The guy needs to learn to sing. :)

    • Author
      Mike October 4, 2013 Reply

      Perhaps, but so many songs used the auto tune sound as part of the production effort and isn’t a reflection on how well they know how to sing. I got the impression from this song that it was used as a production element but I don’t know for sure without hearing more of their work, which I haven’t.

  121. Ong Lee October 4, 2013 Reply

    I’m surprised by the amount of votes for Brook Turner. Especially since these votes are from a “marketing” pov and not musically or from personal choice. Her material is subpar at best. The bar for that style of music is ridiculously high. Nobody would buy those two tracks even with a $5 million marketing campaign. If you don’t believe in an artist, why sign them? That’s like putting a synthetic fur around your kitten and expecting everyone to believe it’s a lion.

  122. Brandon Harris October 4, 2013 Reply

    My genre’s are Urban and Electronic. Short and Sweet as that is all A&R’s really have time for with all the music out there to listen to I would have to say Brooke Turner is the one to go with as she is spunky, good looking and her songs are radio ready. I like both of her tracks as they have that Katie Perry/ Selena Gomez vibe. Great for the younger crowd! Both songs are strong in their own right. Life of the Party may be the stronger track, but I am feeling the different sound of the first track on the list.

    All the others are just whatever, except the last one by Matt Bellis. It is a stronger track with crisp vocals and a strong sound. I would need to hear more tracks from this artist.

    CEO, Inventive Records

  123. Norm Bowler October 4, 2013 Reply

    Sign Brooke: Blonde Katy Perry. Send the rest home.

  124. Kimberly October 5, 2013 Reply

    Well, to be honest, I know that Brooke has what the business sadly is interested in – which would be meaningless catchy tunes that have no actual substance behind it. I would go with Dial Tone, not interested in any of the other songs. We need unique, something that has never been done before at all.

  125. Ceph Sitton October 10, 2013 Reply

    Clicked on “My Mind Wants To Go Back To You” because hey, it was first. The music was REALLY nice. Catchy. Dance-able. These would be competent DEMO singers at best. Whatever ‘it’ is, they don’t have it in spades. Good hook, but MAN were the lyrics pushed. Bad musical flow. Melody was also catchy. If I was producing it, the dynamics could be pushed too. But, of course, that goes back to the singing. Needs a rewrite. TOO MUCH BACK-WORK TO BE A ‘KEEPER’. There is GOOD in all genres of music and *I* can hear it. That’s why I always pursued writing – I knew *I* didn’t have ‘it’ either! 😉

  126. Greg October 11, 2013 Reply

    There are 2 definite hits here

    1) “We Own The Night” by Brooke Turner
    2) “Dial Tone” by Matt Beilis


  127. Tim Rao October 13, 2013 Reply

    all were definite radio som more commercial.i see what you says in deciding all have the potential for public taste but these ar what i picked with some what i heard suggestions for a beeter sound and placment.1.back to you=could use remix to space and seperate instermentals with added effects,drum beat cramed to close to vocals,unless its my sterio.5-great josephine=sounds to realy be a great soundtrack to a film.6-life of party=not much on hip hop but sounds better than some others with airplay.2=own the night-very familiar dont know how long it would last but fits in mainstream genra.

  128. Kevin October 15, 2013 Reply

    Ok.. as i was listening to everything on everyones respective pages i couldn’t help but look at the feedback on some of these songs. some of these people were being overly critical and I could tell from the criticism that although they might have had some success in the industry, they seem to focus on the most irrelevant parts of a production. “the Lyrics need to be deeper or more depth in the chorus” and all that nonsense. Having all those elements don’t guarantee a hit. Most hits can’t be explained. Most people who like a song have no idea why they like it.. they just do. They buy it cause of the way it makes them feel. So with that said “Never Want to Wake up” would be a great song for like Mike Posner. “My Mind Wants To Go Back To You” Hit home with me and is a great song that could cross over into more than one genre (Country, Pop, Alternative). Your major hit out of all of these is “Dial Tone” If you don’t believe me remove Matt Bellis from the vocals and replace them with Chris Brown. I bet we’d all hearing it on the radio like it or not..

    My name is KD,
    Music Producer/Songwriter/Engineer…yes in that order LOL

    P.S. Yeah “Dial Tone” is a dope ass song

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