Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Clean Bandit & Jess Glynne – Real Love

From The Beatles to Jody Watley to Mary J. Blige to now…


Josh Winters: Clean Bandit’s transcendent house and Jess Glynne’s booming presence turned out to be somewhat of an unlikely match, and fortunately for them, they’ve stuck to their winning formula the second time around. However, there are times during “Real Love” where it feels like Glynne is wailing right into your ear, her voice rasping to reach those high notes, making for a couple brief but uncomfortable moments. But, as long as you focus more on those grooves, it’s likely you’ll be taken to higher places.

Iain Mew: I came round to accepting “Rather Be” as a great record all round, the bubbly chorus finely balanced with its serenity otherwise. This is a recreation with all of the former and none of the latter.

Alfred Soto: Lisa Stansfield as performed by a box of Cream of Wheat.

Will Adams: “Real Love” isn’t so much repeating the formula of “Rather Be” as it is enhancing it. The withheld release in the first chorus, the 8bit sweeps, the vaulting melody of “re-ee-ee-al LOVE!”: this is the sort of dynamism dance music needs right now.

Patrick St. Michel: That little digital trill that hits in the chorus is worth a [10] all by itself, a sound as sweet as hitting a power-upright as a horde of bad guys appear on screen. Yet “Real Love” sparkles all around, aided by the repetition of “this is real, real, real…” right after that totally unreal boost, a playful little nod from a group shoehorned into the EDM corner. And it’s Clean Bandit’s most urgent song yet, one that ups the intensity of the skip-speed “Rather Be.”

Anthony Easton: The 8-bit aesthetic as decorative as opposed to the main course, suggesting a way forward into integrating the problem of the digital history into new music. This is a 20-year-old problem, but this adds some fuel to the fire.

David Lee: How are you gonna sing about real love but make it sound sterile and leaden as all heck? The glitchy orchestral bursts offer some form of ecstatic payoff, but not enough to compensate for the mediocre sludge surrounding it.

Scott Mildenhall: Part of “Rather Be”‘s wonder is its expansiveness. It rolls out and out, around and around, Jess Glynne unconfined on a boundless map of joy, room for its core simplicity to breathe and take flight. By contrast “Real Love” is insular, insistent on your belief in its words, relying on you being bludgeoned by force rather than swept up by it. It sounds more like fixation than anything else, and it’s not pretty, but it does end up moderately exhilarating.

Reader average: [5] (2 votes)

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