Thursday, September 29th, 2016

Krewella – Broken Record

They’ve at least broken the record for Highest Scoring Krewella Song on The Singles Jukebox.


Katherine St Asaph: Why aren’t the Veronicas doing this?

Katie Gill: I can’t decide if this text painting is lazy or brilliant. That jerky, shattered drop after “broken record” is brilliant. It takes the typical sort of scattered, disoriented approach of most modern drops and matches it to the text, instead of the usual alternative where the drop is HORRIBLY out of place. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s just a halfway decent drop, the mild repeat on “repeat” is the oldest trick in the book, and the vocals are borderline strained as the bridge ends. But hey, can’t fault ’em for trying.

Iain Mew: It’s easy to imagine a chorus swap out turning “Broken Record” into the epic ballad it almost is, and it would be one that could have fitted in at any time from at least the 90s on. As it is, the EDM drop comes off distractingly compartmentalised, even as it’s integrated into the bit of song it occupies with a lot more care and success than pop-EDM songs coming at this stuff from the opposite side tend to manage.

Brad Shoup: The post-chorus vocalizations are fantastic: super current in their displacement of emotion onto alienating pitchshifting. The hollered vocal is something that maybe only Pink can get away with, though, until they chop “record” into three syllables and throw some drop-D chug over it.

Thomas Inskeep: EDM that’s emo as fuck, but it’s a testament to the strength of the songwriting here that you can easily hear “Broken Record” as screamo instead of EDM. There’s real emotion here. Neither of the Yousaf sisters (who make up Krewella) are particularly distinctive as singers, but based on this they sure can write. 

Tim de Reuse: There are cliches in the bombast of the orchestral sci-fi instrumentation, in the riser-drop-repeat structure, in the chopped and screwed drop that tries to cram unearned gravitas into a one-bar melody. Luckily, Krewella sound monstrously sincere, enough to put some real heart under rhymes that are mostly just by-the-numbers — ugh, damned if they doesn’t just make it work, ramping up the defiant spark in tone smoothly over the song’s course. An extra point: the inclusion of a grand finale that decides to depart from the song’s previous motif by slicing in a grungy overdriven guitar chug-chugging along. I mean, yeah, it’s not a huge thing, but it makes me smile to think that the producer could’ve just copy-pasted the last drop, which I don’t think anyone would have been surprised by, but they decided not to waste the listener’s time instead.

Edward Okulicz: The best pop songcraft would demand that after the declaration “I’m a broken record,” the real chorus would then kick in. Instead, there’s a drop. And at the end, some shouting. Sometimes what is real and felt still comes out like a bit of a cliche.

Crystal Leww: “Alive” was a critically underrated EDM-pop jam when it came out, and Krewella have been through a lot of shit since that single. They kicked out Kris Trindi from their trio, got into a public fight with deadmau5, became the target for sexists in EDM, and reportedly, their first try at a follow-up to album Get Wet was rejected by their label. Ammunition feels disjointed as far as dance styles go, sometimes sounding like straight up drum n bass and sometimes sounding something like “Broken Record,” which is a little like dance music’s take on hard rock. Even if there’s not a lot of sonic consistency, there’s an undercurrent of angst, anger, and aggression that runs through the EP. And while that emotion is certainly compelling, especially a time where everything on the pop charts skews more sad emo pretty EDM, “Broken Record” only feels like a high when one of the Yousaf sisters is screaming.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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