Thursday, May 15th, 2014

MNEK – Every Little Word

Finally, someone sticking up for “a” and “I” and “to” and “it”…


Scott Mildenhall: MNEK’s willingness to go with his imagination is by and large a great thing, but it can get the better of him. On this occasion there’s too much going on with too little actually there. “Every little word you say” is repeated and modulated and repeated almost until every little wor-every little word you every little word you get the idea with that. Thanks particularly to some of the background shouts, it ends up sounding like a not very good version of “My Secret Lover”.

Thomas Inskeep: This is just the kind of futurish R&B at which the UK excels. He’s got a little bit of Bobby Brown’s ’88 swagger, which the world can use more of these days. Love when he goes up an interval on the choruses. 

Will Adams: The messy, jam-packed production recalls “Scream,” while the transposed choruses are out of this world. Still an up-and-comer, MNEK could use some more consistency of sound between singles, but for now, I can’t help but move my body.

David Lee: Quintin Christian and MNEK’s production seems literally overloaded with bells and whistles. But on second and third and fiftieth listen it reveals itself a Rube Goldberg machine, each clang and clomp playing its proper role in the process of churning out funky sexiness. In light of each artist’s specialty, it is not a surprising end product. Christian’s Soundcloud echoes the dark, industrial sensuality of late 1980s house. MNEK adapts this style to his R&B instincts, threading Zapp-like vox and choral chirps through a latticework of whirring, thumping beats. My Zapp and 1980s house references are intentional: “Every Little Word” feels referential. The heady key change, for instance, hints to vocal theatrics common amongst male R&B groups from the 90s. But MNEK, rather than leaning on Dru-Hill-era Sisqo, draws from that and other sources to create a new reference point: himself.

Alfred Soto: The burbling keyboard-distorted hook is a standout, but the arena rock chorus isn’t compelling enough to justify repetition. That goes triple for the distorted “Do you fuck to this shit?” No pox on his Gorgon City collaboration earlier this year.

Anthony Easton: The little breaks here and how the chorus is repeated both slow and quickly, how it piles up and skirts at losing meaning, are such excellent examples of how something can be tight and loose within a few moments. 

Katherine St Asaph: Do you know how rare is that a new hotly tipped R&B guy can actually sing? Dude’s 19 and he’s already got more vocal oomph than all his peers combined. (Like, if you layered all their falsetto — falsetti? — on the same track, it’d still sound thinner than this.) The production, like a ’90s kid recreating a ’70s kid’s glitter-eyed vision of the future, is even better. If this came out the year MNEK was born it’d be starmaking.

Juana Giaimo: MNEK forgot about the over-sentimentality of “Don’t Call This Love” but kept his sophisticated style and turned it into a spontaneous, fun and exquisite classic. 

Brad Shoup: This track is parched, y’all. Every time he makes that melodic leap I want to hit the watercooler. It’s an arch new jack swing track, it’s a black hole… get sucked in by the synthbass and the frazzled chorus will bend your spacetime.

Reader average: [8.4] (5 votes)

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3 Responses to “MNEK – Every Little Word”

  1. Huh, that subhead sounded way better to me at 2am…

  2. Underrated. This is my favourite single of the year so far.

  3. I should have written about this. Dumb school! But this is a great single.