Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Laura Marano – Boombox

Yet another instance of score side-eye…


Juana Giaimo: “Boombox” is a proper first single because it doesn’t involve a lot of risk for Laura Marano. It’s an upbeat and catchy song about love with an explosive chorus to celebrate her positive emotions. But I wish it told us a little bit more about her. 

Alfred Soto: Although the fake ebullience annoys me, the big beat and guitar syncopation is not the sort of thing of which TV show themes were made a decade ago — a tribute to the desperation and Catholic listening tastes of producers for hire.

Sonia Yang: This is pre-packaged, mail-order, standard issue, straight-out-of-the-factory pop. It doesn’t get more formulaic than this. Yet this is the perfect marriage between my Hilary Duff-loving inner 13-year-old’s playlist and a more carefree version of 1989-era Taylor Swift. This is comfort food that hits the spot. Count on me to put this in my summer commute rotation.

Cassy Gress: The verses of this make Laura Marano sound a lot like Lana del Rey, particularly in the way that she slurs up to notes and extends every long “i” into the full “ah-ee” diphthong. But the problem with sounding like someone else (intentionally or not) is that it doesn’t leave much room for your own identity — thinking “oh, she sounds like Lana” made me later think “oh, ‘Teenage Dream'” or “oh, ‘Party in the USA.'”

Iain Mew: After airy verses that pass like shrugs, the chorus reminds me of a less intense “Teenage Dream”. That’s a decent enough idea to be no problem in itself, but does make “Boom boom boom!” a problem by association.

Katherine St Asaph: Yet another music-as-metaphor single, and one that works off borrowed nostalgia — I guess “you’re my ad-free unlimited streaming of something I’m probably pirating” doesn’t scan? (Given that boomboxes don’t sing, I’m also not convinced Marano isn’t singing about a karaoke machine or a Vocaloid.) But this is as early-Madonna peppy as the rest of them, and “boom” is as cheaply, annoyingly effective as a hook as the last time, when it also went clap-the-sound-of-my-heart.

Brad Shoup: It’s pneumatic but really sluggish, like a Carly Rae demo someone scooped from the bin. Great assonance in the verses. Marano yowls there, yelps on the refrain, and they still needed to bring in a backing chorus.

Will Adams: “Boombox” would fall into that micro-micro-genre of pop that’s an easy win with me: “Teenage Dream”-modeled ebullience with a metaphor extended to endearingly silly levels (see also: Victoria Duffield’s “More Than Friends”). Except that this particular metaphor — music/music player as love — is one that’s been rather, erm, played out.

Reader average: [5.75] (4 votes)

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