Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Martin Garrix ft. Usher – Don’t Look Down

Ah, that’s more like it…


Alfred Soto: “I Don’t Mind” gave Usher his first pop hit in a few years; now he returns for the clubland garbage that didn’t set anyone’s world aflame a few years ago.

Katherine St Asaph: After “OMG” and the filler on Looking 4 Myself, just about any EDM producer would be a step up, especially one who lets Usher actually sing — his value over replacement guest — and keeps Ursh on the global charts so his album might come out someday. Listen to “Good Kisser” again and remember that this is funding it.

Iain Mew: Sometimes you get a song which feels constructed to checklist but just works, its elements combining unexpectedly or the link material excelling. It feels like an obvious attempt to merge David Guetta and Usher’s “Without You” with Ariana Grande’s Zedd-produced “Break Free”, but Usher goes so much better with this kind of escapism, and “don’t look down” is a fine choice of words for it. Martin Garrix adds nothing more distinctive than the ticking clocks from “Animals,” but even that adds a grounding urgency.

Scott Mildenhall: No Martin, no. You were having actual hit singles that get played on the radio despite a flagrant disregard for the form that made them thrilling. Why switch to the sound of Usher grasping at straws? Not even clutching them: grasping at them, bidding for something – anything – that may be in the vicinity. And what is there? Afrojack’s thematically similar “Ten Feet Tall”; the theme being ineffable mediocrity. To discover upon checking that the two songs don’t actually sound that alike isn’t even down to poor memory, honest. It’s just an indictment of their memorability.

Brad Shoup: The guitar figure has me wondering what an Usher post-punk song would sound like (initial thought: distressingly disengaged, but more entertaining than the Pop Group). Usher’s performance makes me ponder how bright the afternoon sun was, after he spent 30 minutes working over inane lyrics for an EDM track by some nice kid 2,000 miles away.

Abby Waysdorf: Why get Usher to be on your song if you’re going to make him sound like Generic Male EDM Voice? He’s got enough of an identity that putting him in the role of the vaguely country-sounding guy performing the melody of a summery EDM song (compare the vocal here to “Don’t You Worry Child,” “This Is What It Feels Like,” “Dare You,” and of course, “Wake Me Up,” which really started this) seems completely bizarre. You’ve got Usher! Do something with him! Having said that, it’s a credible bit of dance-pop, with some of the little touches in instrumentation that Garrix does that sets him just slightly apart from the crowd – that little bubbly keyboard riff that circles in and out almost makes me stop wishing this could be just a little more of an effort. Mostly, though, I keep thinking how could have been more, a chance to bridge their different styles and takes on mainstream pop, experiment a bit with genre. Instead it’s just another soda commercial. 

David Sheffieck: Kudos to Garrix for crediting this anonymous-sounding vocalist, who aside from a few very brief moments could’ve been one of Kelli-Leigh’s less-skilled co-workers (#freekellileigh), but points off for sticking him on the politest EDM track I’ve heard all year, one that aims for nothing less than complete predictability and succeeds magnificently at that goal.

Reader average: [3] (1 vote)

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One Response to “Martin Garrix ft. Usher – Don’t Look Down”

  1. Didn’t have time to blurb this but Abby touched on why I really feel like Usher does not work as a house vocalist.

    Anyway, this song sounds like something Tiesto would have done six years ago and is somewhere like [5.5] for me.