Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Tkay Maidza – Switch Lanes

Single-handedly bringing up the average score for Australian rappers…


Crystal Leww: Tkay Maidza’s SWITCH TAPE MIX TAPE is one of my favorite releases this year, quietly dropped at the end of October. Maidza’s good at picking beats that highlight what she does well, which is not to spit the hardest rhymes or sing the sweetest, but to embody the ideal of what youth can be. “Switch Lanes,” produced by Paces, starts with xylophone and snaps and adds bubble noises, claps and light synth pings, but the greatest texture is still Maidza’s voice, letting that first verse play with “oo” sounds and that second verse play with rhythm and speed. It’s not the explosive wave of sound that “U-Huh” was, but it’s not trying to be. Tkay Maidza’s just flexing her muscles.

Brad Shoup: She sure did, into some kind of garage/grime amalgam. The effort leaves her out of breath, but the melodies (vocal and bell) are pure freestyle, and thus indelible.

Cédric Le Merrer: After the busy but laid-back “U-Huh,” here Tkay is razor sharp over a sparse propulsive beat. The only bad thing to be said of this lane switch is that the Azealia Banks comparisons make a bit more sense than they used to, but this is still an impressive show of range.

Will Adams: Switch lanes, indeed. I underrated “U-Huh,” which sounds like a saturation knob tweaked to infinity, but “Switch Lanes” has production so gray that it can only hinder Maidza.

David Sheffieck: Less a switch than a stretching out, this is admittedly less immediate than “U-Huh” — anything short of actual fireworks shooting out of my computer screen probably would be — but there’s also more to dig into, now that she’s giving listeners a chance to catch their breath. The thing I’ve quickly come to love about Maidza is that any new song feels like it could be a big switch, and yet feels completely natural in her hands.

Katherine St Asaph: Twitchy, more like: drum-and-bass, club claps, synths, navigated effortlessly like a good Pole Position run. It’s not the technicolor thunder of “U-Huh,” but a neutral backdrop for contrast.

Patrick St. Michel: Good choice on the skeletal beat, as it lets Tkay Maidza really showcase her voice. Feels a little like a highlight reel of what she’s capable of, but that’s better than a lot of other artists.

Edward Okulicz: If “U-Huh” was so enormous that it drowned Maidza out (although only on the final verse did she let rip anyway), then “Switch Lanes” scales back the sonics to give her pride of place on her own track. And it works well, with a track worthy of whoever the latest Brit-crit “dance”-“pop” “sensation” is. It also must be mentioned that the “whoo! yeah!” sample from the ’80s making a comeback is very welcome. It’s a more fully-fleshed out chorus than “U-Huh” and she uses the additional space for words well, playing with assonance and skipping around your head, impressive but also accessible. Sounds like she can do anything.

Reader average: [7] (2 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.