Collab with GhettoFab - Word Salad

Here’s a song I just finished with my friend Brett. We’d collabed on a song in '08 called ‘I Burned My Lips’
which he’d sent me as an instrumental with that filename, and I wrote the lyrics to fit that title, and sang them.

We did the same thing here. He sent me an instrumental titled ‘Word Salad’ and I wrote the lyrics to that theme.

Check it out!
Word Salad
Brett Grace/ Lenny Lee ©2010

I always liked your big ideas
you’d chase the truth and nothing less
then turned your water into wine
and drank a toast to happiness
So settled in your Shangri La
that most can never find you
but I have found my own way home

So spare me from your armchair philosophy
so thoughtful yet invalid
it’s like some wild-eyed epiphany
yet all I can hear is Word Salad

You always had the sweetest dreams
'til hope turned into bitterness
and you’ve been pushed to the extremes
you’re screaming in the wilderness
And no two experts can agree
exactly which direction
we’ll find the land of milk and honey

So spare me from your armchair philosophy
so thoughtful yet invalid
it’s like some wild-eyed epiphany
yet all I can hear is Word Salad

So you’ve become a devotee
of verbal promiscuity
but who is ever listening?
And still that wind is whistling
emotions running hot tonight
so you squeeze off a shot tonight
and someone’s praying in the aftermath
that you may find your home at last

breathe in - breathe out
You gotta let it go
breathe in - breathe out
breathe in - breathe out

Hi Lenny

This is Sooooo dang URBAN

I like it a lot … it’s got such a lot that I love to find when playing online deathmatch. Street and heavy. And dark enough to make even hardened crims go out at night in pairs.

Dig the ending too!

All the best

[btw, I lost an eBay auction fo ran Oud that WORKS]

This is excellent. Great lyrics.

Not sure about the vocal FX, they tend to mask the lyrics and render
them pretty much unintelligible[*]. Nice FX–yes–but they are a little too
much, I think. Can you try stepping them back a little?
Word salad becomes coleslaw!

The ending is simply absurd, but so likeable.

[Edited: for correct adjective]

Yeah… not too shabby! Kinda gritty and biting in an urban and industrial kinda way. Vocal FX were overly harsh for me though. I realise it’s supposed to sound brittle and gritty and all that but overall I found the mix to be a bit too brash - though I’m on headphones at the moment so… By the way, Is that a good note you sing on “armchair philosophy” (1:27) :question: I really like the “breathe in breathe out” section at the end… ‘that’s perfect’ :slight_smile:

Oh… the snares no good. :stuck_out_tongue:

for me this is over the top good. its interesting, imaginative and it reaches alot of great places. love the timing on the snare and the groove efx during changes. I also like the vocal efx, its a really cool creative side of the track.
we can all say we’re looking for something different, but can you recognize it if its in front of you, I can and this is a prime example.
great track lenny

Hi Lenny,

Great lyrics but I can’t hear them. I don’t know why we on this forum are so bent on getting vocals dead center. This would benefit from the vocals being spread out away from all the FX you have going on.
The bass and drums, in my mind, kill the vocal presence. The vocals as a track are outstanding, and I imagine them coming at me from all sides, clear and distinct, biting and on beat, riding over and on top of your wonderfully flowing rhythm tracks, but, you have not done that here.
Again, why vocals should be dead center is beyond me. The first rule I learned in music composition is, there are no rules, except, it should sound good. I’m almost sure you would not dream of posting an off center vocal track as you will get bitten hard here. But that is what this needs.
I’m ranting in your space, sorry, but I like the song. :slight_smile:


Hi Lenny

I don’t hear all the lyrics clearly but I don’t care. I like the effect of the vocal being a sound effect or another instrument.

I love that bass in the verses. :sunglasses:


Thanks for the listens, guys. I’ve gotta run, and I’ll reply more directly tomorrow, but figured I’d give’er a bump. :sunglasses:

Hey Glyn. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I love the heaviness of the sound of this, as well, though I’m only responsible for the vocals.
Brett introduced me to the music.
I’m pleased that we were able to enhance your death match experience. :sunglasses:


Hi Jet.
Glad you like it. I’m cool with the heavily effected vocal during the verse( I think they’re appropriate for a ‘different’ sorta production like this). I used 2 intances of Tonic,
the filter plugin that comes with Cubase, as inserts, so there’s no way to lessen them as you would with a send. One of the instances produces that squeaking sound that you hear - which I think is cool. The sqeaks are actually triggered by each note that’s sung, when I stop singing, the sqeaking stops.
This arrangement, but for a couple of added bars, is just as Brett sent it to me. The ending came like that, and I, too, thought it was strange. What I did to try to make it make sense was to tie it in with the lyrics.
Just as two people can have opposing philosophies and both be convinced that they’re right, I figured two musicians could have radically different views of where a piece of music should go, so I added the footsteps and the spoken word to simulate a producer walking across the stage to confront that piano player - “So -this- is how you were hearing it? Like this? hmmmmm…” Maybe it’s absurd, but so are many things I’ve enjoyed in music production over the years.

thanks, Ian. Except for the vocals, I have no control over the mix, though I’m cool with how Brett mixed it.
It’s got sufficient punch and all parts are clear to me in the mix. All vocal notes are exactly what I’d intended. :stuck_out_tongue:
Yeah, I like that breathe in part, too. I suppose I coulda sang ‘take a chill pill, daddio’, but I suppose Breathe in-Breathe out’ works better. :wink:
I can send you Brett’s address if you wanna talk about the snares. :smiley:


Thank you, Bob! I love Brett’s drum programming and his creative use of sounds. I was happy to be a part of this.


Hi Michael.
thanks for your comments. They’re most appreciated.
I agree that rules were meant to be broken, and I would most certainly place vocals off center, and often do,
but not too far.
Generally, and this I’ve read about from pro engineer/producers, I place Kick drum, bass and lead vocal to the center, because the bottom end is key to the fullness of the entire mix and moving them off center takes away from the power of the overall mix. The vocals are almost always the featured instrument in a song, so placing it too far off center
can also take away from it’s strength. What I do to give the vocal more width is to use a stereo delay with a 16th note delay panned to 10 oclock and an 8th note delay panned to 2 oclock(give or take). then I’ve got a mono delay on which I have a longer delay setting and I pan that delay further off center(for long vocal tails etc…), especially at certain times- as you can hear the word ‘salad’ at the end of the chorus echoing back in forth in the stereo field.
If you listen to those old Beatle songs where they began experimenting with hard panning and had the vocals
all to one side and the instruments on the other - I never liked that and find it distracting.
On this song, I doubled the lead vocal and kept the volume of one of those tracks low - so the second track
is subliminal and for thickening - and I panned those two vocal tracks slightly off center. Backup vocals(especially 2 and 3 part harmonies) I always pan them wider in the stereo field to give them separation and help make them clearer in the mix.
Another way that I like my vocals(We’ve had long discussions here about this and you may not have been around
for them) is that I like them to sit ‘in the mix’ as opposed to ‘on top of’ the mix. Some like the lead vocal very clear
and mix it in strongly. It’s a fine line, but I find that mixing them in too strongly takes away from the power of the mix, especially on a powerful song.
I can hear every word that I sing in this mix, and trust me, I do spend time trying to find that balance.
I suppose the distortion effects I use on this one, coupled with the fact that I don’t like the vocal ‘on top’, can make this one a challenging listen if you’re trying to make out the words - but I -did- post those on the song page. :slight_smile:


Thanks, Dave. I appreciate that you don’t care about hearing the lyrics. :laughing:

Happy Holidays!


As a fan of your vocals, I had a feeling this might be good…and I was right! :slight_smile:

It did take me a little while to get used to the intro of the song, sounds like this this should be part of a concept album, kind of a ‘war of the worlds’ idea ?! (which I think would be pretty cool)

Anyways, it sounds great! :slight_smile: