Friday, June 5th, 2015

Caro Emerald – Quicksand

Tarantino? Parisian busker? You decide – we can’t.


Ramzi Awn: “Quicksand” features Emerald without much fuss, and the timbre of her voice puts the song one step ahead of your run-of-the-mill Dutch pop.  The hint of jazz doesn’t hurt.

Thomas Inskeep: A remixed version of a busker singing uptempo Norah Jones songs in the Paris Metro. I wouldn’t give her any money.

Katherine St Asaph: This was so not what I was expecting that I had to revisit her last album: yep, the same Imelda May/Paloma Faith faux-retro I’d dismissed. “Quicksand” is supposedly Emerald’s pop move, except it seems everyone involved stopped paying attention to pop after 1995 (this might actually be true) — making it a Europop move, from when Swedish reggae was plausibly new. (Well, Dutch reggae, but still.) This smothers any flame and calms any darkness the track so clearly wants to have, but secretly haunting Europop tracks — like this, perhaps — are among my guiltiest pleasures, and this is one.

Brad Shoup: You can put a cowboy hat on your single art, but this is just standard-issue shuffling cafe-dance from Emerald. 

Alfred Soto: The casualness with which it flirts with chintz is attractive: Eurohouse arrangement, a coy see-you-at-the-bottom vocal and lyric, I mean, really. If Emerald’s vocal didn’t sound filtered, I wouldn’t be tepid.

Scott Mildenhall: Caro Emerald forgoes not only the pop jazz she made her name on here but also all the niceties of emotion, deftly delivering a thoroughly unbothered performance while the music does all the legwork around her. With Flirts-esque synths, Gotye-remix xylophone and near-dubby guitar, it defies genre, entertainingly so.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Jeez, dance music’s going all Tarantino movies on us. Can’t say it’s doing all that many favors.

Will Adams: Out of nowhere comparison time: the chorus has got the same contour as Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life.” “Quicksand” has the benefit of a ticked-up tempo and a fresh spritz of house befitting the Verve Remixed series.

Edward Okulicz: This song sits on a knife-edge; it’s not sure if it wants to turn into “Larger than Life” or “Hole in the Head.”

Reader average: [4] (1 vote)

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