Half His Life In Prison by Charles Edmund Carter

Broadjam Artist: Charles Edmund CarterSong: Half His Life In PrisonBroadjam Pro Reviewer: Tirk Wilder (Songwriter, Performer)Pro General Comments: My apologies for the tardiness of your review.You might be able to place this song exactly as it is in a …

Charles Edmund Carter

Broadjam Artist: Charles Edmund Carter
Song: Half His Life In Prison

Broadjam Pro Reviewer:
Tirk Wilder (Songwriter, Performer)

Pro General Comments: My apologies for the tardiness of your review.You might be able to place this song exactly as it is in a production library somewhere. The groove is good. The sparseness of the instruments in the mix is a sign of good production values.There are several things that I would suggest that you might consider if you are of a mind to present this to a broader audience than I think would be available for it in its current state.I will be referring, in this review, to a mythical person whom I call "TCL". His/her full name is The Casual Listener.He/she has never heard of you, doesn't care about you, doesn't care about your song. He/she expects you to lure him/her in and keep his/her attention for up to three minutes or more, leaving him/her with something he/she can remember. As songwriters, we strive to give him/her a "moment".One of the things that is almost a must is we have to give TCL a reason to care about the person in the song. Something TLC can identify with. This song gives people a reason in almost every line NOT to care about this person being described in the song. I would be surprirsed if there were many people want to hear a litany of horrible things that a person is or has done.Listen, Charles, I see signs of a good writer here. Maybe even a great writer.You have to cut this song in half. Every single line, every single word, has to be gone over with a fine tooth comb, and each word has to absolutely HAVE TO be there. If not, it's out.For example, the last two lines of every verse are "He spent half his life in prison, and the other half in jail." I realize that's your hook, but if you use it in every verse as well as twice in the chorus, you are rendering it much less punch.The first song form that I always taught my students was as follows:Verse, Chorus, Second Verse, Second Chorus, Bridge, Last Chorus.That's exactly what you do HERE. I love that. And your chord structure is amazing. The choruses stand out for what they are because of the tension from the chord structure. You almost venture into jazz there. Very cool.I would just say cut everything down. You don't need as much information as you present here. In the first two lines of the song, I get that your daddy was a bad dude. And then that's all the rest of the song says. I would like to hear it say something much more than a lengthy list of his obvious shortcomings. Tell me his story. Tell me how his being such a bad man affected the man YOU turned out to be.Make your chorus be much more compact. Look at it this way.You are finishing up a concert in front of 20,000 people in an arena. You have your strongest song at the very end. You want them to walk out of the arena whistling that song or singing its chorus.The simpler, the better. The less words, the punchier. No phrase or thought repeats itself anywhere else in the song except for the hook. Which should be the most compact line you can think of, and then in the chorus only ONCE. Preferably at the end.The bridge should be as small as you can make it. A good bridge is only two lines long. You have a lot of stuff here in your bridge, and you could compact that down into being two very sharp, tight lines. Lines that bring you back to your chorus.Which should only be about four lines long itself.What I'm using a whole lot of words to say is that you should not use a whole lot of words to say anything in a SONG.The attention span of TCL is very limited these days. You have to have his/her attention within 20 seconds of the start of your song, and you have to keep pumping new stuff into him/her with every line to keep him/her interested or he/she will just change the station and your ass will be gone.It's that simple. If it was easy everybody would be doing it.That's why guys like you and I are important. We will give people their moments to remember. We will keep doing this until we're pushing up daisies.And I wish you the best of luck at it.

Quote From Pro: Charles Edmund Carter is DEFINITELY a songwriter worth watching.

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