Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Martin Garrix & Dua Lipa – Scared to Be Lonely

Yeah, it’s Dance Dudes With Guest Ladies Thursday, because why not?


Katie Gill: Look, everybody go listen to “Blow Your Mind (Mwah)” again in the hopes that we can make Dua Lipa big enough that she doesn’t end up stuck to mediocre EDM songs until the end of time the way that it’s looking like poor Daya or Bebe Rexha might be.

Alfred Soto: When Dua Lipa tremblingly wonders if it’s just their bodies or are they both losing their minds while the keyboard manipulates noise into mimicking a violin, “Scared to be Lonely” makes good on its title. The stutter effects, however, show Martin Garrix running out of ideas so soon after “Do It Right.”

Joshua Copperman: The instrumental break here isn’t as powerful as “In the Name of Love”, but the lowkey nature works. I wish Garrix could let the drop breathe though — the whole invisible side-chain thing worked on “In the Name of Love,” but those synth stabs should have sustained all the way through. Obviously, that’s nitpicking; I still happen to like it a lot, and even Dua Lipa, who doesn’t go that much deeper than Mumford and Sons’ attempt at this same subject matter, pulls it off well. Depending on what Dua does next, I’ll like this more or I won’t like it at all (the recent song where she claimed that it’s gonna be “lit tonight” worries me), but for now, this is definitely good enough. 

Maxwell Cavaseno: That’s probably going to be a top 5 EDM Breakdown of the year, so good on Garrix. Not too much is going on here that should stand out, but in both managing to limit Dua Lipa’s lack of a personality to brief phrases and getting to hear those weird moments in the bridge where her voice squeaks, that might be the biggest impression she’s ever managed to make on a record. Sometimes minor achievements mean the world.

Mark Sinker: The pulsed-and-smeared string-synths (or whatever they are) punch fabulous non-Euclidean holes in a not-very-involving moan about, I don’t know, lack of commitment? Walk out through the holes, people: the universe outside your stupid relationship is very startling tonight. 

Cédric Le Merrer: Sorry guys, there’s no prize for sounding more like everyone else than anyone else. The most generous reading of this song I can imagine is as a self-flagellating satire of disilusionment with landfill EDM, and I’m not super into self flagelating satires, really.

Iain Mew: Martin Garrix has given up on anything distinctive at this point, but it actually works in the song’s favour. He doesn’t feel the need to show off with the drop and gets to the point, allowing it to fit as a swoon right into the song and its narrative. Dua Lipa gets her voice over it without it being messed with, even, which supports what “Scared to Be Lonely” is really all about — her cutting loose on a ballad, and it’s about time.

Katherine St Asaph: Speaking the subtext again, reducing the centuries-old despair of post-coital tristesse to a listless kissy emoji. As usual, every “we” actually means “I” — projection, it’s not just for light shows! — and probably also means “we”: the festival “we,” the soused “we,” the crowd or lost generation or whatever. Dua Lipa remains anonymously sassy, but Martin Garrix’s blurry drop reveals promising signs of having listened to Arca. Just listening, mind, not emulating so much.

Will Adams: “What are you thinking about?” I’ve been whispered this question on numerous occasions, by separate people, as we lay together in bed afterward; most likely betrayed by my distant, eye-averting look. I never had an answer, just stared upward and tried to sift through the cloud of thoughts to come up with something: what if I had just stayed in tonight, alone; would I have been just as okay? What if all this simmering potential is doomed to amount to nothing? Did I enjoy it just because we’re told to find that someone? Is this person only lying next to me for that same reason, because I have so little else to offer? I never had an answer, because bringing any of this up would have dismantled any remaining semblance of romanticism. The answer to “Scared to Be Lonely”‘s central question for some might be a fist-pumped “Yeah!” For others, like me, it’ll be “no, I’ve been lonely for so long, what’s the big deal?” The follow-up, however, is, “…but for how long?” The brief moments of heightened emotion via giant drops emphasizes this longing, even while knowing it’s all show, all trickery, all a façade I so desperately want to be real.

Scott Mildenhall: What a shame that Martin Garrix couldn’t carry on making music like “Animals” and “Wizard,” because this could almost be by any American duo with a Spotify advert. Lyrically there’s a kernel of intrigue, but everything else is about as memorable as something that hasn’t actually happened, with the difference being that it’s actually easier to remember something that hasn’t happened. There is a drop, that’s for sure, but it’s unclear where it lands.

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