Songland – Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review


 

Crushing Those Lyrics

Songland returns this week with another slice of song writing mash-ups, this time with country singer Kelsea Ballerini taking to the hot seat. Looking for a different style of music to what she’s sung before, the stage is set for the contestants to deliver a unique and original song suited to her aspirations.

First up is Jack with “Lying To You”, a song all about a break-up and dealing with the social media pressure of people thinking everything’s fine when it’s not. It’s certainly a relatable topic in today’s climate and at the end of the song, the producers get to work deconstructing the song and working out how to improve it. Diving into the chorus, they discuss adding an extra pause to the beat, asking Jack what he thinks in a surprisingly nice touch.

Next up is “Easy”, a relatively straight forward but personal ballad by Jess. As the song comes to a close, the producers ask about her personal experiences with a line talking about a boy named Alex. Given the vagueness around his placement in the song, they advise her to leave him out so it can be more accessible to mainstream audiences.

Daniel’s original song “Crush” is arguably the weakest out of all four. It’s very pop-orientated and feels pretty forgettable but as the producers excitedly discuss the improvement of the chorus, one of them chirps up and applauds, “Looks like it’s fixed now!”, which does feel a little disingenious, insinuating the song was broken to begin with.

The final song is “Better Luck Next Time” by Darius. After gushing over one of the producers on the show, his song is easily the stand-out here. It’s sombre, heartfelt and feels very country-inspired. As he closes out on the final note, the producers admit there isn’t much that can be done with this but do suggest changing the key of the song to fit with Kelsea’s style.

From here, the final 3 then go on work intimately with the individual producers, with phone calls, studio beats and all the other, usual studio techniques used to help flesh these segments out.

The final performances are fine, with the usual swinging camera and exagerrated producer expressions we’ve come to expect from the show before Darius’ song is picked as the winning number. It’s not much of a surprise though if I’m honest and although Daniel’s song is improved with a female singer, reducing him to an acoustic guitar and acting as back-up vocals feels like salt in the wound after their earlier comments on the song.

Songland offers more of the same this week and if you’ve enjoyed the previous episodes then that’s unlikely to change here. The differing style of genre, shifting across to a more country-inspired pop flavour is a nice touch too and does add some variety to proceedings. I still think Songland should be more adventurous here though. I want to see songs changed into trance, house, techno, metal and other extravagent genres as I feel that is where Songland needs to go to really stand out and keep people coming back every week.

Songland does well again this week and although it’s not the best reality show out there, I still appreciate the attempt at originality here. The shift across to country is nice and asking the songwriters for their input certainly helps but whether Songland will pick up a consistent audience throughout its run-time remains to be seen.

 

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