Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Hailee Steinfeld – You’re Such A

If you seek Hailee…


Lauren Gilbert: And from the paint-by-numbers electropop of “Love Myself”, Hailee Steinfeld shifts gears to…  this. It’s very Radio Disney, shying away from even saying the guy in question was a dick. It’s also reminiscent of all the songs I listened to a tween — I would swear I’ve heard that shout-along chorus somewhere before. I can picture 13-year-old girls singing along to this in the car, and their parent in the driver seat, hoping against hope that they don’t have to listen to it one. more.  time. Unfortunately, I’m with the parents here — while there is good music made for and by teenagers (Alessia Cara, Taylor Swift’s “Fearless”, and of course, Lorde), this feels lazy, a commercial cop-out by an artist who didn’t exactly have much street cred to lose.

Alfred Soto: I’d checked out before the well paid chorus joins the banal title gimmick. Steinfeld’s character-free voice doesn’t honor the decision to emphasize the penultimate syllable in the verse. While, yeah, about that title gimmick: in 2016 this coyness doesn’t even work for Meghan Trainor anymore.

Thomas Inskeep: I absolutely, positively detest this cheap, stupid lyrical conceit. And the cheerleader-chant effect doesn’t help.

Iain Mew: The chorus is very close to being the same gimmick as Haley Georgia’s “Ridiculous”, but the difference is everything. Haley essentially sang “you’re a dick, you’re a dick” then pulled back for plausible deniability; Hailee sings various things that only tease the plausible possibility that she might have been about to sing “you’re such a dick”. That mode of bait and switch can work — I like Brand New’s “she’s probably only looking for s…o much more than he could ever give”, but that has its hissed “s” and is a one off rather than a big chanted chorus. “You’re Such A” leans in heavily on the trick and politely fluffs it. It’s ultimately a song in which someone repeatedly fails to sing “you’re such a dick”, and about as fun as that makes it sound.

Will Adams: Hailee Steinfeld thinks she’s being clever, but I can see right through her trick. Clearly she’s trying to release a royalty free song (tags: happy, handclaps, ukelele) as an actual single! Almost got me there.

Anthony Easton: This is kind of great, with the sing along chorus and the fantastic drum beat. Extra point for the call out to silly vaping.

Brad Shoup: The production is a fun-sized “Roar”, and the omitted cuss works: it’s an exasperated pinching-off. Steinfeld’s in complete sing-song mode, even when there’s not much to sing along with. Extra points for the verse about e-cigarettes, because I’m not complicated.

Cassy Gress: If the chorus weren’t so jaunty, this would have scored lower. In the verses, she sounds like she’s both belting and sleep talking at the same time (something about her enunciation, or maybe I suspect her facial expression is pretty flat). But then it got to “DAMN YOU’RE SUCH A did you think that I would let you”, and then a bit later the stompy drums came in and elevated the handclaps, and then the vocals just turned into “la la la”s. And it would have all come together nicely if she didn’t fall back asleep again on every “I know the truth”. Wouldn’t it have worked better if that was an actual melody rather than just a sort of half-hearted interjection? Demi Lovato could have done this better.

Danilo Bortoli: I’m with Lindsay Zoladz when she asserts there is no conceivable way of understanding Hailee Steinfeld’s path to pop stardom. It’s hard to pinpoint the reasons why she would go this way, but I’m afraid that this is not the best question to be made right now, nor the most honest. Even if you (misleadingly) consider her path of choice to be a fabricated one, there is still room for other inquiries concerning, like, the music itself. Leaving all this behind, it becomes easy to see that “You’re Such A”, much like last year’s “Love Myself”, is not necessarily covering new territory in pop right now — the kind of pop music that gets promoted by Popjustice and nowhere else, that is. In this context, “You’re Such A” is more than simply competent at what it aims to do. A thumping beat that never quite goes away, a piano which appears at the right time just to support the bridge, a chorus sung in unison. Hailee, somehow, ends up proving that, while we might be way too concerned about finding out more about her voice and what is supposed to make her more unique, we might be, instead, forgetting about the music itself.

Katherine St Asaph: She’s got the eye of the tiger, the fire / she saw you be brave there / the saddest things in modern pop / are the rips of Grizzly / barely works as a gimmick / last seen in The Hot Chick / and yet, somehow, Rob Schneider’s kid / made a song that’s far less / demographically cynical / saps the energy too / I will admit I liked True Grit / but the single’s kinda

Reader average: [4] (3 votes)

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