Kitchen Consultation: Marat Schacht – Winding Roads

This consultation has been published with the kind permission of Marat Schacht:

Listen to the song ‘Winding Roads’ here:

The mix and instrumental composition is competently executed. I think it’s a little unimaginative, but that could be just your chosen style and creative direction. I won’t fault you for deliberate stylistic artistic choices.

The lyrics, on the other hand, could do with some work.

Some of the lyrics and delivery are a bit awkward. For example:

– ‘I left behind the city/That used to be so pretty’. The city/pretty rhyme feels forced. The first line is fine, but the second line appears not to add anything significant to the story – there aren’t any other lyrics referring to the city being attractive (in fact, the song seems to be about the city not being attractive). Hence, the line seems to be added in for the sake of the rhyme (and not a particularly interesting one at that). I’m sure you can find some more interesting and relevant words that rhyme with ‘city’.

– Sneaking through the back door constantly hiding’. This line makes no sense. There’s no other reference in the story to anything related to sneaking, back doors or hiding. And the line itself contradicts itself – ‘sneaking’ is an action, whereas ‘constantly hiding’ implies motionlessness. It’s not clear at all what you’re trying to say with this line, or what it contributes to the story. I suggest thinking about what you want this line to contribute and think of some ways to do it that are more relevant and consistent with the rest of the song.

– ‘To be someone else’. This line in the second chorus has an awkward delivery. The emphasis on the second syllable of ‘someONE’ is not how most people pronounce the word when speaking naturally. Normally we’d say ‘SOMEone’ – with the emphasis on the first syllable. I understand why you’ve done this – the melody works quite well like this (and wouldn’t work as well if you emphasised the first syllable). I suggest replacing the word or modifying the line to something that more naturally fits the melody. ‘someBODY’ might be a good substitute.

Another weakness of the song is the ever-changing chorus. As this song only has two choruses (songs with three or four choruses are more common), it’s important to make the choruses as memorable as possible.

In your song, the first chorus establishes the two lyric groups (‘Winding roads…’ and ‘All I see…’). In the second chorus, however, things start to get a bit confused. We start halfway through (‘All I see…’), then we get a totally new lyric group (‘To be someone else…’), then we return to the original two groups. This might make sense if there were a narrative or poetic point being made, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

I suggest rearranging the second chorus in a way that makes more sense – musically and lyrically. Simply repeating the first chorus twice is the easiest solution, and would work, but by far isn’t the only (or necessarily best) solution. Some other potential approaches are:

– Include the two lyric groups from the first chorus, but then write two new lyric groups to follow on. The new lyrics should extend the story and add depth and meaning to the first chorus.

– Convert the first two lyric groups into their own bridge section (similar to what you’ve started to do with the first lyric group). Here you can use the same lyrics as the first chorus, but perhaps pare them back a little by reducing the word density.

Either way, try to focus on the narrative – the way the story is told through lyrics and the way it develops throughout the course of the song.


This is an example of a single Kitchen consultation. If you would find this kind of feedback useful for your own music, get in touch with me.

– $20 will get you one consultation (basically the same as this example, but in private, with your music).

– $50 will get you three consultations or one studio demo (where I do an example edit or mix of your music to better demonstrate how some concepts would apply to your music)

– $100 will get you seven consultations or two studio demos.

The consultations can be for multiple songs or multiple revisions of one song. It’s up to you.

You can read more about the Kitchen here:

When you’re ready, send me an email to kitchen at kimlajoie dot com.


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