Should I sport this #murricane t at the EP release show tonight at the Northside Tavern? You decide.  (at Northside Tavern)

Should I sport this #murricane t at the EP release show tonight at the Northside Tavern? You decide. (at Northside Tavern)


Hilarious “Volume One - The Maze” Crowd Sourced Reviews Day Two - “Statues” and “The Maze”

Day two of the hilarity that is the “Crowd Review” feature on For Some background read yesterday’s post! Now let’s dig in. Today I’ll be posting some crazy reviews for songs 2 and 3 from the initial Royal Holland EP “Volume One - The Maze”,  ”Statues" and the title track, "The Maze.” Commentary added where it couldn’t be helped. Enjoy!


So again, this go ‘round there were definitely some nice reviews:

I love the country/folk genre of the song. The acoustics is very catchy and the lyrics are nice. The singer has a very nice voice. :) Listening to the lyrics I think it’s a very meaningful song.

But then, some of this:

What the hell is this. Very very boring. I think this person needs a reality check. He can’t sing at all. It’s very old. And no effort whatsoever on the lyrics or vibe of the song.

I mean, did they really need to use two “very“‘s to describe how boring it was. One would cut deeply enough. I am getting older, though. Thanks for the reality check!

A slight bit of schizophrenia?

That almost sounded like a ladies voice for some reason at the beginning. To me it did, anyway. I do not know why because the singer does not sound anything like a lady. He has a pretty deep voice. The song is subtle. Meaning, it seems like it might be a bit boring for me stylistically. Except, it is not boring at all. I am kind of digging it. I like the subtle beats of the guitars and drums. The singers lyrics are cool and he tells a great story. He adds flavor to the subtleness of the song. It is sneaky good.

I’m so sneaky! I really am just trying to pull one over on everyone. Hopefully at first they not only think I’m a lady, but that my songs are boring. Then, all of a sudden… They’re not!

And then a few more sneaky pull quotes for my one-pager:

Overall i doubt if this song would gain mass success but its creative, and the band has potential. I think the track is quite bland and forgettable, but good effort. (RH - Creative and bland?)

Creative lyrical content and accentuated phrases are needed in the arrangement.

The musical arrangement is very nice, and very relaxing to listen to. The lyrics are also very nice to listen to. Overall I think that this song could be a lot better than what it was. It was nice, and it was steady. But at the same time, certain elements of this song were not very steady at all.

I only wish I could always be so contradictory! Let’s move on to the Maze…

The Maze

This song is kind of a beast in many ways, and was the one that gave me the most trouble in the studio. I enjoy how it turned out and some others did too - maybe a little too much.


Phew. Yet again, the real beauty lies in the gory and brutal criticisms:

the lyrics made me laugh a little bit.

Not exactly what I was going for…

The first two lines that were sung were too slow for them not to rhyme, and the second verse is guilty of rhyming words with themselves.

Your first point makes no sense. Your second point is false. NEXT!

Is this song suppose to tell a story or is it about western song.His lyrics in the song didn’t really make sense i didn’t know if he was talking about a women or just singing words that was all over the place.I like the beat and the drums playing but the guitar playing wasn’t all that good.And the artrist needs to work on his singing and lyrics a little better.

Seeing as most reviews don’t ask these types of rhetorical questions, to no one… I’m going to give you some answers. I’m going to say this is probably about western song. Also, I’m usually just singing words all over the place. It’s dangerous, but I like danger.

This song also seemed to generate some of the weirdest and most random bits of all the songs I had reviewed. They’ll leave you scratching your head, like so:

The chinese people have a lot of rice and kimchi, and makes the rice for the Asians.

It’s very mellow and the males’ voices echo as if they were being thrown into the wilderness.

The way your voice is i dont know if your doing that or this how your really singing.

Yeah, I said it: folk-opera. lol.

This sons wasn’t quite as fast as it could gave been.

This sons never are.

Thanks for reading! Check back tomorrow for the last two songs from the EP and make sure to go buy it for $5 right now

Here’s one to leave you with from someone who “get’s it”. 

Bob Dylan esque singer. This style of music is pretty uncommon in mainstream music. This is a song that will appeal to more mature, patient music fans. I personally enjoy more artistic music so this is right down my alley, and the type of music I usually prefer. I like to be challenged emotionally and aurally by music. 

Stay Royal,


reverbnation crowdreview music music review royalholland Songs hilarious funny life choices volume one - the maze existential crisis

These Crowd Sourced Reviews of Royal Holland’s new EP “Volume One - The Maze” Are Hilarious.

I recently underwent an experiment of sorts through the website Reverbnation. They offer a democratic song reviewing process called “Crowd Reviews” in which you can submit your song to an anonymous group of people and get feedback regarding the song’s potential in the “market”. 

I went into this hoping to score high enough to be featured on the Reverbnation homepage in order to build some more awareness around the release of my first EP “Volume One - The Maze” which you can pre-order for $5 here. What I received in return wasn’t exactly what I expected, but It was in fact, pretty hilarious.

Leading up to the release of the EP this Thursday Sept. 4th, I will be posting some of the true gems of these crowd reviews for your reading pleasure. Today’s song; the first track on the disc “Devil’s Night” which you can stream here.

Some of the reviews of “Devil’s Night” were positive and life-choice affirming:

Right up my alley! I love this song. I love the claps (snaps?) in the background. The melody was nice. This song may be a little “hipster” but I like it anyway. The singers voice is nice and calming, which goes well with the semi-playful melody. I enjoyed this song.

However, some of the reviews were somewhat puzzling in their contradictions, and pretty harsh due to the anonymity afforded the reviewer (spelling mistakes left in for journalistic integrity. If you’re going to mis-spell time, isn’t “thyme” the most thought-intensive way of doing it?)

I think the song isnt that good. I would try to do a differnt thyme with it.I dont like the voice of the guy that is doing this song.It needs to have more beats to it.It seem like the song was suppose to be song bye a girl to me.

I guess I should sell it to Taylor Swift?

This one sounds a little too much like it was written by a robot…

the bass in the beginning quickly establishes the mood and tone of the song. the claps keep the beat very well. the quick drums sound good because they are not too loud. the guitar is strummed in such a way that it keeps the tempo with the drums. the vocalist does a good job at matching the melody and tone of the song, his emotion ion the song is unmistakeable. the lyrics are easy to understand and here and are relatable. this song could have a potentially large audience and has the possibility of building a lot of popularity. the song was produced very well, every different instrument is easy to hear and the song gives the listener a mellow more relaxing kind of vibe.

This one, just baffles me:

The song has a nice and catchy tune beat I wasn’t a big fan of the vocals. The lyric is nice and religious. Somehow it has a nice holiday rhythm, I don’t really know how but yea.

So, I’ve pulled out some of the most interesting and demoralizing reviews of the song, but these really just scratch the surface. Below are some pull quotes that will most certainly make it into my press kit…

Benign, easy-listening. Might do well on a soft-rock station.

I think this song should just be on an ad for a cat food and be done with it

This song sounds like The Beatles meets Backstreet Boys.

I also can tell that the auto tone that is in this song is smooth and natural. I LOVE IT. (RH - So natural it’s not even there.)

Even the chorus is kind of just blah but I don’t hate it at the same time.

As you can see, there is some very constructive feedback here! 

All said and done, I was happy to have done this and had a really great laugh in my car at a rest stop, driving back from Philly when the email came in that my crowd review was ready. Despite some of the scathing words I read, I also happened upon some folks who seemed to “get it” and that folks, is why I keep doing this crazy, exhausting, glorious and meaningful thing called making music. Stay tuned for more of these leading up to the release party this Thursday at 8PM at the Northside TavernUmin and State Song will be joining me for this FREE show!

I’ll leave you with one more:

I loved how this started out so fast. It made me want to get up and clap my hands along with the song. It’s a very different approach to a song but very fun and catchy. I love to dance so this song would be on my playlist for sure. I loved it and would recommend it to others as well. It kept me wanting to hear more. Very cool!

Stay Royal,


hilarious funny crowdreview royalholland music review reverbnation volume one - the maze umin statesong Northside Tavern existential crisis music review life choices

Outside the Alphabet Lounge waiting to go in.  (at Alphabet Lounge)

Outside the Alphabet Lounge waiting to go in. (at Alphabet Lounge)

@royalholland @wonkytonk at the Drinkery OTR tonight! Music at 10. $5 craft beers all night. It’s not too late to get here! (at Drinkery Otr)

@royalholland @wonkytonk at the Drinkery OTR tonight! Music at 10. $5 craft beers all night. It’s not too late to get here! (at Drinkery Otr)

Mixing is almost done

Howdy folks,

Just wanted to say hey and let you know that mixing is almost done on what will be the first true Royal Holland release. “Volume One - The Maze” is the title. It’s going to have five songs on. Devil’s Night, Statues, The Maze (duh), Twin Rivers & Shore. (You can listen to demos of these suckers plus one more called Holy Moses - that will show up on the next EP “Volume Two - Flamingo” over on my Soundcloud - a cloud full of sounds.)

I’ve been listening incessantly to the test mixes that Brian (Olive - Read more here) emblazoned onto a little silver disc and left in my car. I spin them over and over wondering just exactly what magical process created the lushly brooding, folk thumping sound waves that seem to keep washing me clean. As I wonder about it, the memories of the past month or so fly in as little reminders… Oh yeah, I fucked up that back up on the first take, my fingers went numb from snapping here, and man this has been a great deal of fun.

I’m grateful to my wife for being patient and supportive through this process, I’m grateful to the friends who have hopped into the booth or given input on the demos (Margaret and Kendall), I’m grateful to Brian Olive for being so damn calm through the whole process and helping me keep my cool when we dangled on the cusp of chaos and entropy. Lastly I’m grateful to the Universe for teaching me the following maxim: When you follow your dreams, they also follow you.

Royal Holland “Volume One - The Maze” will drop on September 4th unless I drop first. There is a release party planned at the Northside Tavern at which I’ll be joined on stage by State Song and Umin. It’ll be pretty freaking rad.


music royal royalholland brianolive kendallbruns margaretdarling statesong umin Northside Tavern cincymusic cincinnati Moonly

Recording is hard (not to want to do all the time)


As you may or may not know, I’ve been recording my inaugural EP over the past few weeks with a really swell guy named Brian Olive (Soledad Bros. Ex. Greenhornes, oh did I mention he won a freaking Grammy? Yeah… I saw it, hanging on his wall.)

Basically it is going really really well, so well in fact, I kind of wish I could be doing it all day, everyday. Brian is bringing a timeless class to the entire philosophy of recording, and for that you should really try to record with him once before you die.

Having said that, I’ve got to be honest. In the past I have sometimes recorded with a band, in a studio, even to tape, or I have recorded myself in my practice space. I have never ever recorded to tape by myself in the studio… It has been nerve-wracking, surprising, confounding and interesting, but none the less it has also been a blast, extremely satisfying and fulfilling a process.

I’m very anxious to hear the final mixes. I’m also anxious to start on the next EP. It can’t come soon enough. Until then, I’ll be touring to support this one. Check out the event list on my website to see where I’ll be stopping, and starting up again.

Until then stay royal.
- RH

recording brianolive royalholland tour

At Jay’s Place Recording Studio in Nashville, TN. I’m going to lay down my first Nashville demo in a bit. #demo #royalholland #nashville (at Jay’s Place Recording)

At Jay’s Place Recording Studio in Nashville, TN. I’m going to lay down my first Nashville demo in a bit. #demo #royalholland #nashville (at Jay’s Place Recording)

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