Whispering to the Wind Reviews are hard to come by. When I released "Reality Bends", in 2002, I was able to get several reviews for the album, most notably from Rambles.net.  Nine years later, in 2010, after the "Indie Inundation", I have not been able to get any reviews of the new album, until 2015 when I was delighted that a noteworthy music critic took note of the albums:

 

The “Whispering to the Wind” album “…shows Arthur Davenport to be a noteworthy talent,” according to music critic Jeff Burger, who also finds that his 2002 “Reality Bends” album offers “rich vocals and thoughtful lyrics”, recalling artists like Cat Stevens.

 

Read the full review at NoDepression.com:

 

http://nodepression.com/album-review/album-reviews-jorma-kaukonen-and-more

 

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Desperate for attention, I paid for reviews and evaluations of the songs.  I did it in states where poetic prostitution is legal, in licensed, bonded and registered houses of condescension and indie-song duck shooting parlors. Sigh...

 

Here are reviews from the prestigious Nashville Songwriters Association International Song Evaluation Service that explain why the songs have not hit the charts, yet...

 

Humble Pie for my Pie in the Sky. I Like Try, I Like Try.

 

 

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"The Great Mystery" Review

 

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(They missed the point - this song is a parody, but they didn't get the joke... The review is amusing, since The Great Mystery has had the most radio play, in all mediums. Not in Nashville, though.)

 

Evaluator: #209

Genre: Americana/Folk

Song Title: The Great Mystery

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NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SONG EVALUATION

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“EVALUATORS OPENING: Hi Art. This is evaluator 209 talking with you. I think this could be a good song for you. Please remember as you read my feedback that my comments and suggestions aren't facts. They're simply observations made with an eye towards making your song stronger.

 

FORM/STRUCTURE: To my ears, the song sounds and feels long. With that in mind, I'm not sure the last section of the song is necessary. It seems to undermine the value of the final chorus. My suggestion is to consider taking out the repeat of the last chorus and the section after that and see if it doesn't make the song feel more concise.

 

TITLE/HOOK: I like the idea of this very much. However, I'm not sure the lyric is as focused as it needs to be to support the title properly.

 

LYRIC: The second verse has some good images in it. The visual of kids getting under their desks in fear of WWIII is good. However, I'm not sure how each of the verse sections really adds up to the chorus. The fact that the narrator likes homegrown whiskey and having sex with his wife doesn't all up to why the narrator believes in the Great Mystery. If the narrator is saying he believes in the Great Mystery, then I think it's incumbent upon him to show the listener why that's so. The commentary about whiskey and sex and dirty politicians might be construed more as one persons view of the world than anything else. As a listener, I'm not particularly interested in the narrator's sex life or how he feels about politicians. I want to know about his view of the Great Mystery. And, he opts out of his moment to start doing so when he says, "whose names are too many to recite." All in all, I think this lyric needs a lot more focus and clarity in order for it to connect with a listener.

 

OVERALL THEME/IDEA: I think this could be a great theme for your song. But, I never get a sense of how this guy feels about the Great Mystery. 

 

MELODY/METER (IF APPLICABLE): I think the opening section is strong musically. And, I think the chorus is fun to sing. However, some of the melodic lines feel like they have too many notes in too small of a space. Meaning, the verse melody isn't as clear as it needs to be. One tool you might consider bringing to this melody is the tool, or technique, of meter. Meter is making sure your verse melody is consistent from verse to verse. 99% of the time, your chorus melody doesn't change every time you sing it and neither should your verse melody. So, one way to check your verse melody is to compare melodic lines from verse to verse. For example, sing the melody without the words for the first line of the first verse. Then, sing the melody without the words for the first line of the second verse. Compare those two lines. They should be as close to matching as you can get them. Then, compare the second, third, and fourth lines and see what you have. If you can write the melodic lines so that they're consistent line to line/verse to verse, you'll have a more consistent verse melody. And, you'll have a stronger song overall.
 

CLOSING COMMENTS: You have some ability for this songwriting thing, Art. So, I hope you'll give some thought to focusing the lyric more. And, laying out the form of the song so that it's easier to follow. I think a simple verse/chorus/verse/chorus/verse/chorus format might be easier for your listener to follow. And, I think the verse melody could be more clearly defined. Those are a few of my thoughts about the song. I'm glad I got to hear a little bit of your music.  Best regards to you and thanks for using the NSAI Song Evaluation Service.”

 


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 "Out Of Control" Review

 

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Evaluator: "20"   Reviewed November 8, 2012

Song Title: Out Of Control

Genre: Rock

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NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SONG EVALUATION

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EVALUATORS OPENING: Hi there Art, I’m Evaluator #20 and I want to thank you for using NSAI's online evaluation service. There's nothing more rewarding than crafting thoughts and feelings into songs to share with others and I appreciate your willingness to share yours with me...

 

FORM/STRUCTURE: This follows a verse-chorus-verse-chorus-instrumental-chorus structure which is a go-to classic and works very well for you here, especially with the riffs you have going on! Great energy.

 

TITLE/HOOK: I think the title is awesome and the hook is just as much the melody on “oh no, it’s out of control” and “oh no, I got too high” as much as it is the lyric, which is great. It’s super catchy!

 

LYRIC: First of all, I think this lyric is really excellently crafted and has a great sound to it. In a song of this melting pot genre the “feel” and “sound” are more important than the specifics of the lyric and you’ve really grasped that here. That said, the lyric is clear but still mysterious so it works well overall. I really have no suggestions. If you were going for a commercial pitch, I’d recommend bringing a little more of a clear storyline into it but with this song as yours as an artist I think it’s awesome. The lyric is incredible and esoteric but still readable and I especially love the first chorus!

I’m sorry I don’t have more to say but let that stand as a testament to the level of writing. It’s really pro. Great work.

 

OVERALL THEME/IDEA: I love the overall theme of this – I’ve never heard a rocking song about diabetes. I’ve never heard any song about diabetes and this one (pardon my French) kicks ass. I like how you veiled the meaning with high art references but that it’s not so vague that it’s lost on the listener altogether. That’s a fine balance and you’ve achieved it remarkably.

 

MELODY/METER (IF APPLICABLE): The melody of this is perfect for the content – love the hook of the chorus. Great job.

 

CLOSING COMMENTS: This is a really really excellent piece of work. Like I said above, this song is great as-is. Your craft really shines in your esoteric but grounded lyric and awesome melodic hook. Thanks again for using the NSAI Song evaluation service and for sharing this song with me. :) Rock on!

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"Who Are We" Review

 

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Evaluator: ( #7)

Song Title: Who Are We

Genre: Pop/Americana

 

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(I learned that I should never, ever, ever, never ask a question in the chorus if I didn't ask a question in the verse too.)

 

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NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SONG EVALUATION

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“EVALUATORS OPENING: Hello Arthur. Welcome to the evaluation service at NSAI. I am Janey Street, aka Evaluator 7. Thanks for your submission. Please keep in mind that my evaluation is my professional opinion. My intention is to help you to be the best songwriter you can be. Hopefully my comments will help you towards that goal.

 

FORM/STRUCTURE: You have V/C/V/C/instrumental/V/ breakdown/C. I suggest you covert your 3rd verse breakdown into a bridge that’s musically a departure from the rest of the song for better dynamics.

 

TITLE/HOOK: It’s an interesting hook, but I’m not sure what it means in relationship to the rest of the lyric. Perhaps if some of the other lines were questions instead of statements, it would make more sense.

 

LYRIC: Same as above. You have a lot of cool lines and images. I know this is symbolic and poetic and meant to be that way, however there has to be some kind of thread that runs through these kinds of lyrics. I don’t see that here. You have lines like “ I’m broken now and bad memories, where love has rarely been “ which are all cool, but how does that relate to the hook? It would be better if you said “can we find a place to plant thsee (sic) seeds where love has rarely been, can you bring me home, where does love come from and can you love me?” What makes us what we are? Not that, but that way it would at least be talking to your hook.


OVERALL THEME/IDEA: Good theme. With some tweaking, this can work for the Folk/Americana market.

 

MELODY/METER (IF APPLICABLE): You have a cool folk melody and cool fiddle part, however your melody stays the same throughout the song. Try to make the “who are we” a real uplifted chorus and make it feel like a chorus. The sections are just 3 sections all together that are the same. You need defined verse and chorus sections that are different musically.

 

CLOSING COMMENTS: This needs some work but it has potential. Keep up the good work.”

 

 

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"Here And Now" Review

 

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Evaluator: (#13)

Song Title: Here And Now

Genre: Pop/Americana

 

(I learned that I should never, ever, ever, never mix metaphors OR hooks...  It seems I have two hooks in this song, which confuses the listener.  In order to succeed commercially I will need to say just one thing, with one hook, over, and over, and over, and over, again. "I wanna hold your hand, I wanna hold your hand, I wanna hold your ha-n-d, I wanna hold your hand." 

 

Here And Now is a recapitulation of two of the Buddah's teachings, "The Eternal Moment" and "The Great Middle Way"...  I guess I should have just chosen one of those subjects, and stuck to it.)

  

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NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SONG EVALUATION

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“EVALUATORS OPENING: Hello Arthur. Thank you for using the evaluation service at NSAI. I am "Evaluator Lucky 13".

 

FORM/STRUCTURE: verse, chorus, verse, alternate chorus, chorus, bridge, chorus, ...this is an unusual form but it works for the song.

 

TITLE/HOOK: I like the hook.. it sings well and is memorable as a hook. I'm not really clear on what the song is about ..it seems to have double hook and two different choruses that have different subjects.. because it's an artist kind of song it has broader parameters than a commercial pitch.. i still believe that having a focused song about one main idea is a more powerful way to get a message across.. undivided but it's up to you as the writer.

 

LYRIC: Everything sings well and has a nice flow with the melodies. Being focused on one hook or the other I think will make a stronger statement...

 

OVERALL THEME/IDEA: The song is about a couple of different things that are loosely tied together.. the idea of living in the present and the other idea of having just enough.. I guess the over thing that unites the ideas is the "Living we find the way" line which is arguably the actual hook line..

 

MELODY/METER: I really like the music.. very creative and cool and original.. good production too.. nice work..

 

CLOSING COMMENTS: I really enjoyed this.. if there is a way to focus it more so the hook feels like the main idea.. the verses could be more focused on the repeated hook line so it takes on significance.. good stuff Arthur”

 

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 "Lonesome Cowboy" Review

 

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(Everything looks like a nail to a hammer.)

  

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NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SONG EVALUATION

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Evaluator: "97"

Song Title: Lonesome Cowboy

Genre: Americana/Folk

 

“EVALUATORS OPENING: Hi Arthur, welcome to NSAI's song evaluation service. I'm evaluator #97...

 

FORM/STRUCTURE:You may want to experiment with another structure to create more melodic balance in the song. One structure to try may be verse (8 lines), chorus (8 lines), verse (8 lines), chorus (8 lines), bridge (2 lines), chorus (8 lines).

 

TITLE/HOOK: The hook has a wide expanse of things to say. Narrowing that down to one thing in the hook idea may be needed to empower this hook. For instance, "without her I'm just a lonesome cowboy" says one particular thing. Using this as an example the storyline would focus on this with scenarios of his loneliness.

 

LYRIC: You've shown a lot of creativity in putting your words to paper Arthur, good start. There may be a need to tweak the lyric for the same number of syllables per corresponding line, per verse to help create more lyrical and melodic balance in the song. Also, keeping each verse down to 8 lines may be something to consider.

 

OVERALL THEME/IDEA: The hook idea may need to be developed in a chorus section using the hook at the end of the chorus to help emphasize what the song is about more. The hook idea is the main intention of the song or the message you want to get across keeping the focus on the hook. With this hook there's a myriad of things to say about a lonesome cowboy; so narrowing that focus to one particular thing may be needed.

 

MELODY/METER (IF APPLICABLE): The verse melody may need more of a catchy pattern to it. The first two lines are fine. After that the melody seems to go off in different directions. There may be a need for another melodic section that offers more melodic contrast such as a chorus.

 

CLOSING COMMENTS: Arthur, the melody has some pretty elements. There may be a need for more structure as well as a chorus section to highlight the hook idea and to create more melodic contrast in the song. The hook idea may need more development. Keep up the good work Arthur and thanks for using NSAI's evaluation service.”

  

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 "Rearview Mirror" Review

 

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Evaluator: "6"  May 3, 2013

Song Title: Rearview Mirror

Genre: Americana/Folk

 

“Congratulations, the evaluator who reviewed your song believes you are showing significant progress in your writing and you are one to watch!

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NASHVILLE SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL SONG EVALUATION

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EVALUATORS OPENING: Hi Arthur,

I’m evaluator #6 and I’ll be offering you my best ideas, suggestions and opinions on how to improve your song and your songwriting skills based on over 50 years in the music business as a professional musician, teacher, songwriter and publisher. My only goal is to help you achieve yours. Feel free to comment and ask questions in your next submission. Thank you for using our online service. I am available for Skype mentoring and phone consultations. Please check with NSAI if interested for prices and scheduling.

 

FORM/STRUCTURE: The hook is only used once in the first verse. There is no chorus if the hook isn’t used…it’s a bridge. This is a very unorthodox form/structure. It would help a lot if you labeled each section as verse/chorus/bridge etc. It appears to be verse/verse/bridge/verse/verse/bridge however this form usually ends with a verse using the hook. If this is verse/verse/chorus/verse/verse/chorus then your hook is surely return. You use surely return in every section which is very uncommon and indicative of alternative indie singer/songwriter style. Some sections are two lines and some are three lines. There are virtually no songs that are currently being exploited that have two and three line sections. I applaud you for being different and taking chances. Most genres use 4, 6 or 8 line sections. 2, 3, 5 and 7 line sections are usually used in alternative rock or indie pop rock.

 

TITLE/HOOK: You picked the weakest possible hook because it’s only used once in verse 1 and never repeated anywhere else in the song. There should be no doubt what the hook is intended to be. It’s called a hook because it’s supposed to grab the listener and hook them into listening. Your hook doesn’t do that. My guess is if I asked ten people what the title was all 10 would say surely return and no one would say rear view mirror.

 

LYRIC: The best line in the song is whole wild world because it’s creative and different. Whole wide world would be the cliché. Use more lines that show this creative side of you. If you’re in such a hurry to leave why would you surely return? Who is this you you’re talking to. Who are you going to see down at the farm? Try to picture yourself saying this to a room full of fans. Which one of them are you talking to or are you talking to all of them? Is your home town the same as their home town? It’s confusing. What do you hope to say to this unknown person when you return since you haven’t left or learned anything as yet. Again would you like to go with me sounds like you’re talking to one specific person. Who is the we’ll in and we’ll come see you and is this a different you?

I’m totally lost and my guess is your audience will be confused as well. My question is what is the reason for you writing this song? What emotion are you trying to invoke in your listener? Your rhyme patterns are unpredictable and interesting and your meter is unusual.

 

Arthur, here’s the deal. You are an indie artist/writer writing alternative music. Your only rule is there are no rules. You can be as creative and unique as you want to be. You are free to experiment and break every rule and guideline there is for commercial music. But you also commented you (may) want other artist’s to record your song which means you want it be commercial as well. It’s virtually impossible to be experimental and commercial at the same time. Commercial music means you’re following rules and guidelines but alternative music means you’re not. Also keep in mind that alternative artists write their own songs and rarely if ever record someone else’s song. My advice is write the best song for you to perform and promote and don’t worry about anyone recording it other than you. If it’s a great song your chances will improve. Keep in mind your audience will let you know if they like your music and what you have to say. They are the only critics that are important. My job is to steer you in the “write” direction sort of speak…

 

MAIN THEME/IDEA: You are inviting everyone to come with you and learn about the whole wild world and then come back and tell everyone else what they learned. There are no specifics and there is no ending to the song. It starts with wishful thinking and ends with wishful thinking. You never leave and you never learn about the whole wild world. I’m not sure what the theme is or if it has a main idea…

 

MUSIC: very unexpected groove. It’s part reggae and part folk. I loved it. Very unpredictable arrangement. The melodies and phrasing kept me interested.

This shows a lot of talent on your part to take a very generic and confusing lyric and make it sound like a hit song, great job. The chorus was just different enough, very memorable and catchy melodic hooks. 

 

CLOSING COMMENTS: As an indie artist/writer I want you to be as unique as you can be, don’t compromise to be commercial, follow your own path be a leader not a follower.

Picture a line of circus elephants each holding the tail of the elephant in front of it. The only elephant not seeing elephant butt is the leader. Yes it’s a metaphor but it’s a good one. Carve your own niche in the alternative Americana genre. You have the vocal talent and the musical talent to be different and still be entertaining and interesting. That’s a good skill to possess. Work on your lyrics. Find your inner voice and say something that’s never been said before. Make a difference in this cookie cutter follow the leader music world. I want to hear this with a less confusing lyric. You can call it what you want that’s not important in your genre. Rearview mirror is the title but it’s not the hook. I hope my suggestions help. I want to encourage you to keep breaking the rules and keep taking chances, dare to be different. Come up with storylines that are unique and creative, and make other writer’s say I wish I would have thought of that. Thanks for using our online service. Feel free to comment and ask questions. I like your musical style.
 

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More To Follow:

 

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"Jewels" Reviews

 

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"Little By Little" Reviews

 

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Arthur Davenport: Whispering to the Wind

(C) (P) Arthur Davenport, Good Read Music LLC, all rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Arthur Davenport Music, Prose and Poetry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.