Lisha Cash with Mark Zubek
SPOTLIGHT 57: Stupid Boy
Rock and Pop
Mac G5 1.8 GHz with RME Fireface 400, Presonus Digimax, and Universal Audio UAD-1 card running Apple Logic Pro 8 and Waves Diamond plug-ins; Neumann M 147, Shure SM7B and SM57s, AKG D112 and C451s, homemade "subkick" speaker mic; Universal Audio 6176, Tannoy PBM6.5 monitors, Sony MDR-7506 headphones; Yamaha Recording Custom drums, Zildjian cymbals, "box of salt" shaker, Music Man Sub bass, Martin D15 acoustic guitar, Epiphone Dot electric guitar, Line 6 PodXT, Acoustic Image Coda II combo amp, Propellerhead Reason, bunch of old Casio toy keyboards.
Production Notes & Credits:
"Stupid Boy" is a female vocal pop song. The song was co-written by Mark and Lisha, Lisha sang the vocal, and Mark took care of the arranging, production, programming, performing and recording/mixing.
Reviewed By: Marty Peters
Recording: This month's Spotlight is a catchy "modern" pop song featuring two pretty darn talented artists. So why do we say "modern"? Well much like contemporary R&B, a lot about the genre has changed over the years. The current model owes more to Katy Perry than to Bobby Darin, and this is where our review begins.
We understand that Lisha has already had some success placing her tracks on TV and elsewhere, and it's pretty clear why. First off, this is a catchy tune, which is absolutely vital since all "pop' music lives or dies by how long the track stays in your head, i.e. "Beat It", "Material Girl", etc...
That said, without solid performances and creative mixes, the best written song can fail to make it to the next level. Fortunately, Mark and Lisha have brought their "A" game here. Lisha's "in your face" vocal is perfectly captured by the Neumann 147 mic, and Mark's creative use of filtering gives the vocal a texture that adds and keeps interest throughout the track.
The rest of the show here belongs to Mark, and friends, it's worth the price of admission. Many of us claim to be "Producers" and arrangers, but few can walk the walk as well as Mark. His creative arrangements are the real star of the show in our opinion, from the three-tier dynamic buildup to the beautifully conceived bridge / wah solo / chorus ending.
As a producer Mark was savvy enough to keep the focus on Lisha, while making sure that the additional sound sources served the track as a whole. THIS is what a true producer does, the rest is just posing. Listen and learn, all ye faithful, listen and learn!
Summary: Rarely have we seen so many hats fit so well on one head.
Contact: Mark Zubek, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lisha Cash, www.lishacash.com