• G. Smith

The songs I wrote – and how I feel about them now

I keep emphasizing that I'm not a great singer (which is the truth) and that I'm not a very talented composer either (which is also true, at least in a traditional sense). That is not to say that I've never written or recorded a song that I was proud of. If I disliked all of my songs, then why would I even upload them? So yes, there are instances where I like my own singing voice – and I've also managed to come up with some pretty cool arrangements. I have abandoned many promising projects halfway through because I just couldn't seem to get them right, but I've also completed a bunch of songs (or song demos) over the years and uploaded them to YouTube and my website. That means that – at least at one moment in time – I felt good about them and deemed them ready to be released to the public. Let's discuss how I feel about them now ...


For this article, I'll only look at the songs that are 100 % my intellectual property. Someone else may have helped with the singing, but I wrote and recorded these songs myself. You can listen to and download all of them here.



Jerk with a plan


The first song I actually recorded. Crappy headset microphone. Poor pronunciation. I played all the music on my old keyboard. No idea how many takes it took. The result is pretty catchy though and definitely playing to my strengths (i.e. not the most complex melody).

I still like this song a lot. It's more upbeat than most of my work and still holds up more than a decade later. I was 22 when I wrote this. I had no idea what I was doing, but the result was more than decent. It will always be dear to me.


Don't wanna be there when you cry


I recorded this one shortly afterwards and in a rather similar way. I remember being particularly proud of the lyrics back then. Granted, there's a line or two I would do differently today. The background music is quite cool during the verses – The chorus is pretty weak though. I rarely listen to this one nowadays. I don't know why. It's really not that bad at all. I could actually see this become a single if I ever recorded a high quality studio version with a decent arrangement and some changes for the chorus.


Not gonna happen


This one's different from the first two. Most of the music was done digitally. The chorus is really neat and I like the overall style. The lyrics didn't age so well. If I recorded this song today, I'd probably replace the verses with much more extensive ones. This could be some kind of rap song.


Perfectly fine


I had almost forgotten this song. It's weird because I spent a lot of time recording it. I like the bass line. The lyrics are good too. The delivery could be better. I think it's a rather relatable song, content-wise. The pseudo choir chorus might not be to everyone's liking. Well, I was trying out something new. It's funny, but I think the second chorus actually sounds better than the first one, even though it's more extreme. I guess sometimes you gotta go all in to get the results you want. Not one of my favorite songs, but solid and holding up well enough.


Small eternities


Gosh, I haven't listened to this in ages! And it's so good. It was one of my favorites when I wrote it back in 2011 and it still is one of my best. Strong lyrics. Strong feels. The arrangement is simple but not boring. My singing just fits the overall style. This could absolutely be a hit single. It's a very personal song, too. I can see a lot of people relate to this. Check it out!


Christmas time!


My anti Christmas song. This is one I listen to a lot. Perfect lyrics (really quotable too), haunting fake piano ostinato. I screwed up the effects on the chorus a bit. Christine's singing was way better in her original recording. Oh well. I don't know what I'm doing most of the time. This song is great though. Christmas and depression are a perfect match anyway.


Close to home


This just might be the most personal song I ever wrote. It's about the other side of one-sided love. The one that usually gets forgotten. Not being able to love someone back when they clearly deserve it, is a terrible, terrible feeling. It deserved a song. The piano couldn't be more simplistic, but it just fits so well. I recorded voice and chords at the same time (which I never do). I still have this song stuck in my head sometimes. Listening to it almost brings me to tears. I love this song.


Zitronen


10 years of recording song demos and so far this is my only German solo song. I wrote the lyrics late at night on a beach in England (now there's some irony), the very same beach you can hear in the background. The words just came to me and I could barely write them down fast enough. This is the only time I just knew exactly what the finished song would sound like when I started writing. The lyrics are very personal once again. I love the main message, the sound and 99 % of the words. Recording this one in a real studio would be amazing. There's a translation of the lyrics somewhere on my Facebook page.


Naked feet


Very cool sound. Boring words. I don't know how I managed to create this arrangement. It just might be my best. Really intense when listened to with headphones late at night.


Like dust


What an odd song ^^

Autobiographical and way too self-important. The lyrics are just too much. Can you blame me though? This was when my time on Facebook was at its peak. Many new fans, lots of comments, an actual interest in my creative work. And obviously, the song isn't really meant to be taken too seriously. I had a bit of fun with the lyrics and clichés in todays music. And oh that ridiculous harmonica sound ...


Need me here


I never got this one right and it annoys me! I wrote it around the same time as "Jerk with a plan" and "Don't wanna be there when you cry". I even recorded most of it back then. The song has an interesting almost a capella sound to it. And for about four minutes everything is fine.

The part that I miserably failed at is the rap. I wrote these German words even before I came up with the rest of the song – and they just don't work. I hate my recording of that part. It's loveless and bad and I don't know why I even uploaded it. I don't know why I can't get that part right. The lyrics are great in theory. Must be my skills then. I can't even make myself listen to the last three minutes of the song. It's atrocious!


Life's not Disneyland


Super simple. Super effective. I love it! I wish this song would go viral and get covered in many different styles by thousands of people. Such great lines in there. This might also be my shortest song yet. It just didn't need more than this.


Seven years


I wrote this one during my time in Sweden. I think it's one of those occasions when I started with the music and then wrote the words afterwards. It's your typical broken heart song, I guess. I like the lyrics and arrangement as well as my angry delivery. This one just works. There are one or two little mistakes in there, but I could listen to it all the time. Catchy too!


120/80


Hm. This is a tough one. I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's not bad or anything ... just ... I don't know. The lyrics are good. The music's mostly fine. I guess the song is ... fine.


And I was so alone


This one I'm particularly proud of. If I recorded it today, I would change a line or two, but it's a strong song with an actual storyline. I remember being very indecisive about what kind of voice to use for the chorus. Not sure I made the best choice there. The verses are great though. It even has a bridge. And aren't songs about suicide always fun?


Ask me why


Easily my least favorite one. I was working on three songs at the same time and trying to release them all within a couple of days. This one just got dragged along. I never really liked it. It's not terrible, but just not good either. A huge part of it is the lifeless singing. No point in sugarcoating it. I can do better than this.


Welcome to Madland


Neat idea, rather poetic lyrics. It's one big metaphor for life and just really works as such. Maybe I could have gotten more out of this one, had I spent more time on it. Maybe someone else could bring a more memorable style to it. Still totally worth listening to. Feel free to record your own cover!


Close to home 2


Very similar to the first one. Very dear to me. I probably shouldn't have added those extra instruments. The song doesn't need them and they feel rather distracting. Obviously written for someone special.


What I mean


I had almost forgotten about this one and I don't know how that could happen. I put a lot of work into this song and I think the result shows. The closest I've ever gotten to actually rapping, I guess. I'm proud of the lyrics and arrangement. Maybe I was trying a bit too hard. Maybe some lines don't work as well as I thought they did. This is probably something I could show to a label though because it showcases more skill than most of my other work.


Hole in me


A simple feel-good song. Definitely a change for me. Not sure I nailed the pronunciation, but this is a great song for singing along and it definitely gets stuck in your head. I can see people singing it around a campfire. One of my best. I guess I've gotten better over the years after all.


Sensational


I had this song almost finished for so long and just couldn't find a woman to sing the last verse. Elli's voice wasn't 100 % what I had pictured in my head, but it worked out fine enough, I think.

I absolutely love my own singing in this one. The music is great, too. A dark, intense, a certain vampire vibe. Sexual content. I would love to record more songs like this. Really proud there. This one probably sounds better in the dark.



And that's it. A complete list of all my solo records. I wonder if people agree with my most and least favorite ones. Let me know!


You can hear them all on my website

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