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Artist: The Bigfellas

Song: “California King” (from the CD Chubbed Up)

Heard By: Gil Ronduen, Paradise Hills

It was folky. When it first started off with the piano, it sounded like the intro to a Queen song. I felt that “California King” is a really witty title for the song. It definitely matches what they’re trying to sing about. It touched a whole lot on the indulgence of Southern California — like Hollywood. It’s, like, a king-size bed isn’t big enough — you need a “California” king. I wasn’t quite sure what the message was. Is he saying that it’s bad to be indulgent and have all these nice things? Or is he just trying to describe a place with a lot of things? The lyrics were painting a music video in my head. It was really easy to picture what he was talking about.

Artist: Styles Free

Song: “Creep with Us” (from their self-titled CD)

Heard By: Chris Adams, Encanto

They had a swagger to them, I thought. It was nice. It reminded me of traveling music — music that I’d listen to when I’m just cruising. It had that kind of rhythmic, flowing beat. I just got done with a 2300-mile road trip, and it reminded me of the music I’d listen to right around sunset. The lyrics sounded a little bit fatalist. They were talking about how there’s nothing after death and that we’re all going to die. At the same time, it’s realistic because we don’t know what’s going to happen. It made me think a bit. If there was any one part of it where I would say if they got a little tighter they’d be dangerous, it was in the lyrical delivery. I could definitely see it being a college-radio hit.

Artist: Pushin Rope

Song: “Reign in Hell” (from the CD Murderous Songs of Despair)

Heard By: Scott Herbert, Normal Heights

I thought right from the very beginning it sounded very comfortable and familiar. It was very easy to listen to and enjoyable. Lyrically, I thought it was maybe a little bit too definitive and almost offensive. If they would have asked in the chorus, “Will I go to hell, Jesus?” instead of saying, “I am going to hell, Jesus,” people might open up even more to the song. It might make it more introspective or spiritual. I think the song was just about life and trials. It had a folky, country vibe with maybe a more contemporary, faster beat. It seems like anything that sounds nice and has some controversy to it seems to do well. I could see it being successful.

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