Monday, December 5th, 2016

Anna Straker – Serious

Courtesy of Connor, a Londoner steps into the spotlight…


[Video][Website]
[7.18]

Ramzi Awn: Anna has a serious beat to work with, and she slays the hook, a Dumblonde take on Juliana Hatfield’s “Dumb Fun.” Though the track has one too many ideas, “serious” comes in late as one of the sexiest words of the year.  
[7]

Katherine St Asaph: More house should take cues from early Madonna (ignore the anachronism). Much more house should eviscerate pretentious music dudes and dance-industry politics this mercilessly. That “losing sound” bit is perfect: an immortalization-via-banger of something stupid I’m sure was actually said, and given ample interpretation space, not a bad description of the way the prechorus slips away briefly into nothing.
[9]

Edward Okulicz: Wow, the music draws you in as Straker cuts you off at the knees. My one complaint is this: why you’d take such a poised woman who gives no fucks at all and process her voice in the second half of the song into indifference?
[8]

Brad Shoup: The second verse scuppers what could’ve been a very good Chainsmokers drag. Instead, it becomes the icy glare of someone who’s so into the mechanics of record production that, on the chorus, she becomes technology. The back half of it is a magic bag carelessly dumped: empty-stomach bass, disco hits and an electro ghost vocal.  
[6]

Alfred Soto: On one hand it’s pro forma English house, and on the bridge Straker is too close to Jessie Ware, but the tension between the vocal distortions and the febrile mix reminds me never to count anything or anyone out. All you, Katy B. 
[7]

Thomas Inskeep: Tight and taut, “Serious” is a tough midtempo work-it-out, a progressive house track shoehorned into a becoming 2:52 pop single.
[7]

Jonathan Bradley: Anna Straker’s somewhat tinny deep house is of the frothy kind; “Serious” is not particularly. It feels like a night that’s just starting, when you’re feeling out your mood and wondering what might happen a few hours in when the bass starts kicking and things really get going.
[6]

Tim de Reuse: Straker launches immediately into a convincing, dynamic vocal performance over a four-note synth loop that’s pleasantly glossy if it isn’t terribly exciting. Really, there’s nothing that she does wrong, but I feel that she sticks to her comfort zone too much — the quieter pre-chorus is the only place where the energy level shifts at all, and outside of it there’s a lack of overall movement that makes it hard to stay properly engaged.
[6]

Madeleine Lee: I suspect this song is a bit thin outside of the two or three ideas it repeats, but those ideas are just so good that they do bear repeating immediately after the first go-around, and digitized deep house is hard to make unlikeable. It helps that Straker sounds so triumphant from the very first line.
[8]

Ryo Miyauchi: As glorious as that breezy 2-step beat unfolds — those tinkling bells and gunfire synths, oh my — it would not be what it is without Anna Straker dancing at its center. She doesn’t just taunt; she challenges. For my year in dance-pop full of balmy sighs, it’s a good, much needed shake-up.
[8]

Iain Mew: Like the last Saint Etienne album if it was just as self-referential but more sharp and boisterous. The more straightforward pop melodicism in places sits a bit oddly with everything else, but it’s all good enough to still work.
[7]

Reader average: [8.83] (6 votes)

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2 Responses to “Anna Straker – Serious”

  1. Sad I missed this but it is awesome

  2. Had a feeling this would be warmly revived here! Great write ups everyone. Glad you enjoyed it.