Farewell My Angel by Andre Kerek

Broadjam Artist: Andre KerekSong: Farewell My AngelBroadjam Pro Reviewer: A.J. Gundell (Songwriter, Composer, Music Supervisor, Producer)Pro General Comments: It’s always inspiring for me as a pro reviewer when a songwriter returns to submit a re-write…

Andre Kerek

Broadjam Artist: Andre Kerek
Song: Farewell My Angel

Broadjam Pro Reviewer:
A.J. Gundell (Songwriter, Composer, Music Supervisor, Producer)

Pro General Comments: It's always inspiring for me as a pro reviewer when a songwriter returns to submit a re-write using suggestions I made from a previous review! There's a sign of dedication and professionalism that I really admire: as the saying goes, "writing is about re-writing." So, bravo Andre, for staying at this!And of course, some of the positives from the previous rendition still apply. Like I said, "Farewell My Angel," features "A gorgeous and unforgettable melody--both touching and evocative, and with prosody that the song's lyric suggests. Great work on that front! Lyrically, there's some strong storytelling supporting the breakup song that the title implies--with some cool loneliness imagery like "You spent the whole night here in my mind."Then I added, "Readers of my reviews here know that I use my mantra, "the holy trinity", as a yardstick for measuring the overall success of a song: songwriting, singing, and recording all need to be undeniable. Andre gets high marks for the music and lyrics to "Farewell My Angel" but the singing and quality of the recording do not measure up."The great news here is that the new vocals and re-record are both huge improvements. Production has now shifted from stiff MIDI programming to a much more appropriate big band/orchestra--with a really authentic ensemble of real sax and horn section, strings, and nicely programmed drums/bass/rhythm section. The new singer is a fantastic standards male voice in the style of Frank Sinatra and Bobby Darin. I really love this part of the package now.But for me, there is still one missing element: the song is really bittersweet, almost somber lyrically: "Last time I saw you it started to rain, I didn't tell you it was our last day I broke your heart and left like a ghost, I couldn't give love that you needed most Farewell my angel my heart you couldn't keep My journey's long and now I must sleep." As much as I love the revised big band stylistic approach, the arrangement is too upbeat, almost perky, to fully capture the heartbreak in this breakup song. Tempo/BPM is much too fast, with the quarter note at about 175. I'd take it way down to around 130. Then take some of the bounce and stabs out of the horn section, go with some softer pads that lean more romantically and poignantly on the sax. And lean harder on the strings as well--with some nice orchestral swells and builds to carry. The goal here is to fully complete the holy trinity, and ensure that the recording captures more of the dark, emotional poignancy of the songwriting.Of course, I fully realize that since this is not a MIDI production, simply slowing this down is not an option--and that another re-record is probably necessary to achieve this. But to me, it's worth it--the entire package is so close to being pitchable for jazz standards sync placements. "Farewell My Angel" has become a contemporary jazz standard, with some of the great attributes of the best of Tin Pan Alley: memorable song worm melodies, classic and heart-tugging lyric storytelling, iconic torch ballad vocalist, and wonderful authentic production elements in the style of that era.

Quote From Pro: "Farewell My Angel" has become a contemporary jazz standard, with some of the great attributes of the best of Tin Pan Alley: memorable song worm melodies, classic and heart-tugging lyric storytelling, iconic torch ballad vocalist, and wonderful production elements in the authentic style of that era.

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