Comparing the Spotlight Passes

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  • Vexus said:

    For me, any such scoring system would have at least a third vital component: general-familiarity. How likely is the song to get played in real-life multiplayer among my friends, knowing that no vocalist ever chooses a song they don't know. And that's the area where the score for widely known songs - even ones I don't especially like like Shania Twain - obliterates season 8. The only pass song in S8 I could even envision one of my friends selecting for familiarity is Business Time, while every other season has at least 4 songs that are on the general-public-knows-it radar.

    That's only because Season 8 was so focused on being as fresh as possible. Give it time and at least some of the songs will become well-known.
    Now I think we need more Imagine Dragons like Cracker thinks we need another folk singer. But Natural would be a natural choice for fresh and current with a likelihood of still being remembered next year.
    “Low” confirmed! Please, please please.

    For new pop-alternative, I prefer Imagine Dragons to most, could see Whatever It Takes or Natural. Going back and getting Demons would be a good add as well.

  • Vexus said:

    For me, any such scoring system would have at least a third vital component: general-familiarity. How likely is the song to get played in real-life multiplayer among my friends, knowing that no vocalist ever chooses a song they don't know. And that's the area where the score for widely known songs - even ones I don't especially like like Shania Twain - obliterates season 8. The only pass song in S8 I could even envision one of my friends selecting for familiarity is Business Time, while every other season has at least 4 songs that are on the general-public-knows-it radar.

    That's only because Season 8 was so focused on being as fresh as possible. Give it time and at least some of the songs will become well-known.
    Now I think we need more Imagine Dragons like Cracker thinks we need another folk singer. But Natural would be a natural choice for fresh and current with a likelihood of still being remembered next year.
    @thatmarkguy Come on down and collect your prize!!
  • thatmarkguythatmarkguy Road Warrior
    edited November 2018
    I'd rather another folk singer. Or some Cracker.
  • Season 4 is my favorite with only one song on it I don't like (Shania Twain). Everything else is great in that season.
  • Noticing that Season 8 seems to be really polarized in general opinion. Here I come to add more confusion to the matter. This has actually been my favorite season, thus far!

    8/2 > 3 > 5 > 4

    Almost every season seems to have more than just a bit of what I like. I'm sure 3 easily enough good songs to rival 2 for me, so I have them matched, but for what it's worth, I was active during 2 and not 3. 4 seems to have very little of interest to me, however.

    Worth noting that I'm a glutton for difficulty, so songs like God Damn, Twilight of the Thunder God, and especially Three Lives easily make an entire season for me. Not like there wasn't plenty of other great songs in all of those packs to keep me going even without it.
  • Runa216Runa216 Road Warrior
    Season 9 is off to a bad start. I think it's Maroon 5, but regardless of whether it's that or Imagine Dragons, both get the lowest rankings from me. Hated both songs. Mostly because they're both so boring to play.

    I'm sure it'll get better, though!
  • It's Maroon 5. And it's a really bad start, yeah. Don't think we should expect a trend of this, but time will tell.
  • Looking at the first week songs for each season, if I'm reading the lists on Wikipedia right:
    2: "Stupid Girl" - Garbage
    3: "Play That Funky Music" - Wild Cherry
    4: "18 and Life" - Skid Row
    5: "Unwritten" - Natasha Beddingfield
    8: "Pictures of Girls" - Wallows/"Simplify" - Young the Giant

    Adding in my scores, that's an 8/10, 7/10, 7/10, 6/10 and combined score of 11/20 (6/10 and 5/10). So for me at least, the first week has steadily been getting worse. Then again season 4 started properly with "Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode (which was a 9/10 for me) just to complicate matters.

    For the record, I don't own Girls Like You but it's a 1/5 as a song and looks like about a 2/5 for gameplay just because its strum pattern looks a bit challenging for guitar combined with some of the fret changes. Being utterly dead on drums and bass does it no favours. So if we consider 18 and Life as the start of season 4, it's a solid downward spiral.

    Well, in my mathematical expression of my opinion anyway!
  • One thing that you have illustrated is that it seems they like to start each pack off with one of the well known songs. Only exception is season 8 and that because there were no known songs that season. But I think Simplify was the best one so they still put their best foot forward
  • I would have thought My Demons or one of the RBN tracks would have been more fitting as "known" songs seeing as they weren't pretty much fresh releases. Failing that, there were some other big bands in there too. Coheed and Cambria and Halestorm come to mind immediately since they've both been on actual RB discs, but Greta Van Fleet, Of Mice and Men, CHVRCHES and Flight of the Conchords are hardly what I'd call "niche" either. Neither is Young the Giant, admittedly, just that I don't think Harmonix lead with the biggest song/act at all. Big, sure, but by comparison:

    Season 2: Alice in Chains and Avenged Sevenfold are most likely bigger than Garbage, and the rest are probably at least as popular (though among different crowds).

    3: Wild Cherry is really a novelty one-hit wonder to most people, in a season with Chuck Berry, QOTSA and Radiohead.

    4: Skid Row is a kind of mid-tier hair metal band in a season with Shania Twain (a successful country-pop singer with hits outside of America) and Coldplay ('nuff said, it's Coldplay).

    5: This season's the exception that proves the rule really, as every song seemed to be a kind of niche pick from a particular period and/or genre. Even then I would have thought Breaking Benjamin and Status Quo were better known than Natasha Bedingfield. At the very least, I can see a demand for more Quo and Savage Garden existing.
  • @Vexus The first spotlight pass song of season 3 was Johnny B. Goode.
  • In that case, we've gone 8, 8, 7, 6, 6+5, 3. As opposed to my previous ratings which went 8, 7, 7, 6, 6+5, 3. Not really a big difference there or anything that throws my "the first week is getting worse" hypothesis out the window.

    As for Chuck Berry/Johnny B. Goode in relation to the rest of season 3, I feel like Chuck's an artist whom most people would just want that one track of. Not that there aren't other great songs of his, but Johnny B. Goode is just that much better known compared to the rest. Can't say that so easily about QOTSA and Radiohead. It's the kind of song that's going to be loved by most, but probably not their favourite of that season. That's just because of how eclectic season 3 was though.
  • 8 because it has the most music to run in circles to.
  • So, so far the Season 9 spotlight pass has one classic rock song...one pop song, and TWO country songs.

    *cough*ithoughtthiswasROCKband*cough*
  • I am accepting apologies from the season 8 haters any time now~
  • TheStuddzTheStuddz Lil Rascal
    edited December 2018
    Vexus said:

    I am accepting apologies from the season 8 haters any time now~

    Not getting one from me! As worried as I'm starting to get about season 9, I still like it much more than season 8, and will continue to unless the next seven songs are just novelty and screamo.

    "Crazy On You" tops any song in season 8.
  • TheStuddz said:



    *cough*ithoughtthiswasROCKband*cough*

    No, it's Rock Bland...

  • 4 > 2 > 3 > 5 >>>>>>>>>>>>>> 9 > 8

    9 is ahead of 8 only because of Crazy On You and Semi-Charmed Life being classics (even though one is a re-record), whereas Uncomfortable and Three Lives were bangers but brand new to me.
  • Comparing last season to this season so far... I'd have bought is unmarked.

    CHVRCHES - "Graffiti"
    Coheed and Cambria - "Unheavenly Creatures"
    The Devil Wears Prada - "HTML Rulez D00d"
    Flight of the Conchords - "Business Time"
    Greta Van Fleet - "When the Curtain Falls"
    Halestorm - "Uncomfortable"
    Octavision - "Three Lives"
    Of Mice & Men - "Back to You"
    Starset - "My Demons"
    Stroke 9 - "Little Black Backpack '09"
    Wallows - "Pictures of Girls"
    Young the Giant - "Simplify"

    -----------------------------------------------------
    Heart - "Crazy On You"
    Kane Brown - "Lose It" (Mostly for the guitar chart alone. Actually is really fun)
    Maroon 5 - "Girls Like You"
    Old Dominion - "Hotel Key"
    Third Eye Blind - "Semi-Charmed Life '09"
    ???
    ???
    ???
    ???
    ???
    ???
  • Comparing last season to this season so far... I'd have bought is unmarked.

    CHVRCHES - "Graffiti"
    Coheed and Cambria - "Unheavenly Creatures"
    The Devil Wears Prada - "HTML Rulez D00d"
    Flight of the Conchords - "Business Time"
    Greta Van Fleet - "When the Curtain Falls"
    Halestorm - "Uncomfortable"
    Octavision - "Three Lives"
    Of Mice & Men - "Back to You"
    Starset - "My Demons"
    Stroke 9 - "Little Black Backpack '09"
    Wallows - "Pictures of Girls"
    Young the Giant - "Simplify"

    -----------------------------------------------------
    Heart - "Crazy On You"
    Kane Brown - "Lose It" (Mostly for the guitar chart alone. Actually is really fun)
    Maroon 5 - "Girls Like You"
    Old Dominion - "Hotel Key"
    Third Eye Blind - "Semi-Charmed Life '09"
    ???
    ???
    ???
    ???
    ???
    ???

    Season 8 was 5/12, season 9 is already 3/5...as long as you'd buy two of the next six songs, you're doing pretty good!
  • 7/11 Season 9 songs have now been revealed.

    It's a lot like a poppier Season 8, but "Crazy on You" gave S9 a much-needed classics boost that S8 didn't have.
  • grumblevolcanogrumblevolcano Headliner
    edited December 2018
    An interesting thing to note is if you swap the Heart and Band of Horses weeks hence having The Funeral in the spotlight pass instead of Crazy on You, you get the same structure as season 8 (older hits for season break, recent, RBN, recent, RBN, recent).
  • Well I probably would have bought Andrew WK because the songs catchy. So that puts me at 4 songs bought so far.
    One more and we will tied with last seasons pass.
  • Well, I relented and got the pass so let's see how this season is comparing for me. Note that I lack as any way of playing drums on RB4, and how measuring enjoyable vocals are requires very different metrics to guitar or bass, so I'm only focusing on guitar and bass for gameplay. Basically, I feel that an enjoyable guitar or bass (or drum) chart can make up for an otherwise poor song, but enjoyability of the song itself is more intrinsically linked to how enjoyable it is on vocals.

    Girls Like You: That guitar part is horrible. I couldn't even get through it in one sitting as it's such a frustrating strum pattern. Bass is just semibreve root notes that at least half the time are some kind of synth - not the worst alt-charting admittedly, but that's just salt in the wound at this point. Musically it's drab and the gameplay is either irritating or painfully boring. My scale doesn't allow zero scores, so it's a 2 - 1 point each for gameplay and music.

    Crazy On You: This was one of the three reasons I got the pass, so I went in with high expectations. On guitar it's a ton of fun, very varied and challenging without quite straddling the ridiculous. The sheer variety makes this an enjoyable listen too, and while the bassline is much easier than guitar it's still capable of catching players out during the bridge and electric guitar solo. It feels longer than five minutes though, and not in a good way. 4 for music, 5 for gameplay, 9 in total.

    Lose It: This was a pretty varied track on guitar too, jumping between different instruments but in a subtle and fairly natural manner. Alt-charting isn't always to my taste, but it feels fine here. As for the bassline, it's nothing really to write home about but the guitar chart makes up for it. Overall, it's a fun, upbeat country track that might get a few replays down the line. 3 for music, 4 for gameplay, 7 in total.

    Hotel Key: You got some funk in my country! It's an interesting mix, and the bassline is different enough from the guitar chart that both are worthy of playing. In fact, I think I slightly prefer the bass chart in this one, but neither are quite as fun as Lose It. 3 in both categories for a 6.

    Semi-Charmed Life: I don't mind that it's a re-record, and I really don't hear the quality issues people have complained about. As for how it plays and how it is as a song, it's good on both counts. Bass has some surprising little tricky bits while guitar is actually fairly straight-laced. It's also got a bit more variety on both than I thought it would. It's a pretty iconic 90's alternative rock track with plenty of crossover appeal. I'm feeling a 4 on both categories for an 8 in total.

    Music Is Worth Living For: I wasn't expecting the guitar chart to be just as easy as it is, or as devoid of alt-charting as it is either. It's definitely going to be one of my go-to warm-up songs now. It's also much the same on bass, which is bizarre given they're in different tiers. That said, this is my favourite Andrew W.K. song to date and the first one I've requested so far. 5 for music, 3 for gameplay, 8 total.

    99: As an Xbox pleb, I can't play this yet and I have zero expectations going in, so I have no way of scoring this yet.

    Running totals:
    Music: 1 + 4 + 3 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 20/30
    Gameplay: 1 + 5 + 4 + 3 + 4 + 3 = 20/30
    Total: 40/60

    Averages:
    Music: 3.333/5
    Gameplay: 3.333/5
    Total: 6.666/10

    Overall rankings:
    Music: 2 > 3 > 8 > 9 > 4 > 5
    Gameplay: 3 > 2 > 8 > 9 > 4 > 5
    Total: 2 > 3 > 8 > 9 > 4 > 5

    For me, a pass has to consistently hit sixes or higher to have been a worthwhile investment. Season 5 is the only season to have failed to do so for me so far, averaging a 5.625. Season 4 is probably the most comparable season for me, which would have easily passed that threshold, were it not for one of my all-time least favourite songs that I've ended up with coming out in that pass. Though at least in season 4, there was only one other song that didn't reach a six. We'll see how the rest of season 9 fares yet!
  • 99: Not keen on this one musically. It's not offensively bad, but I really don't care for songs that read like Buzzfeed-esque "ONLY NINETIES KIDS WILL REMEMBER THESE" lists. The kinda twee indie-ish instrumentation doesn't win it any favours for me. The bassline's pretty bad too, with two sections with about sixteen bars of doing nothing followed by some strumming that, while not straightforward, isn't particularly engaging. The middle eight's interesting on guitar, but it's the only bit that really stands out for me. I'm feeling a 3 on music and a 2 on gameplay, for a 5 overall.

    Running totals for the season:
    Music: 23/35
    Gameplay: 22/35
    Total: 45/70

    Averages:
    Music: 3.286/5
    Gameplay: 3.142/5
    Total: 6.428/10

    Season 9 is now below season 4 but above season 5 for me. Still a fine season though, but January had better be good!
  • ...do I need to say that Angel of Death is a 10/10 for me? Well, yeah, I think I should back that up.

    It's Slayer. That's an instant 5 for the music. The guitar part is fast, hectic and doesn't feel entirely unfair (even during the solo). The bassline is similar to the guitar, for the most part, offering more strumming as a bit of a contrast to the HOPO-laden noodly solo. This isn't as hard by any means (especially since you get more rest bars than guitar) but makes it worth playing in its own right.

    The main letdown here is the vocals. I think some of the lines could have been charted with pitches, which would have made it feel more like actually performing the song and added some challenge. I'm actually quite torn on giving this a 4 or a 5 for the gameplay since I don't factor vocals into any other ratings, but it is a legit problem with the presentation of the song in the game in my opinion. Not one that would cost it more than one point for how much I enjoy playing the game since I enjoy the song that much to begin with - which is exactly why I don't rate vocals for anything else. I'd have docked 99 more points if I did, Girls Like You would have broken my scoring system, and Semi-Charmed Life would have gained even more points. To say nothing of what it would have done to previous seasons...

    So yeah, on a technicality, Angel of Death gets the full 10 points.

    Running totals for the season:
    Music: 28/40
    Gameplay: 27/40
    Total: 55/80

    Averages for this season:
    Music: 3.5/5
    Gameplay: 3.375/5
    Total: 6.875/10

    We're back where we started with this month's pass, and I feel like it's going to keep on tangoing with season 4 for the second-from-bottom spot. That said we've had only two songs below a 6 so far, so it's not all doom and gloom being in that position.
  • When Legends Rise: Wasn't keen on seeing Godsmack announced, and the song itself hasn't won me over though it's not awful like I was expecting. Maybe the guitar chart will earn it some points, we'll see. I'm expecting a mid-low score once Microsoft have their act together. Music 3, no score for gameplay yet, total at least 4.

    Starlight: Yet again, I seem to have an opinion that the rest of the community doesn't - this is one of the most fun tracks we've had so far this season. Babymetal is one of my most-requested bands, and I would have likely got to this one at some point. It's one of their tracks with a bit less J-pop and more metal and other genres mixed in. So if the heavier J-pop influences of some of their debut album put you off, definitely give this one a shot. As for the gameplay, it treads the fine line between fun difficult and aggravating difficult for me. Despite having a higher guitar tier, I thought Angel of Death last week actually just kept the right side for the most part. I loved that the bass drop was charted exclusively on bass while the guitar got this clean-ish arpeggio on top and that the bassline as a whole is pretty consistent in difficulty while guitar goes super easy during the choruses. Bit of a wake-up call for those who write bass off as the "easy" option! Music 5, gameplay 4, total 9. Would have been nice if the bass drop was charted as a bass solo.

    I can't fairly factor in WLR, so my average is now 7.111. Mind you, we've still got two unknown songs and one song I've yet to play to factor in yet...
  • Passes 4 & 5 were really good, and everything else had 1 or 2 songs for me
  • djb5f1djb5f1 Unsigned
    djb5f1 said:

    Wow, compare Season 2 to Season 8 and try not to cry ;)

    2 > 3/4 > 5 >>>>>> 8

    I will add 9 to the end where 8 is.

  • TheStuddzTheStuddz Lil Rascal
    I really can't decide whether I like season 8 or 9 the least...I think "Crazy on You" single-handedly gives S9 the edge, because I wasn't sure we'd ever get huge classic tracks like that ever again. Next week will probably be the make-or-break factor though.
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