A highway not all of us want to ride all night long…
Thomas Inskeep: This is genuinely interesting: starts off sounding almost country (with great use of acoustic guitar), morphs into pop-rock with an increasingly intense vocal, and then adds some dancey touches on the chorus — but more Walk the Moon than Chainsmokers. And goddamn, the build on this thing. US pop radio would do well to add this in for spice (but sadly, won’t, as the lyrics are in Finnish).
Alfred Soto: This example of hoarse Finnish pop is a case study in global pop: rapped verse, K-pop wistfulness in the bridge, an eardrum buzz of a chorus that Paramore would recognize.
Will Adams: I’m reminded of Art Angels, not only the via the blustery trance-rock but Elli Haloo’s vocal, which twists and turns between speed-rap and rasp and belt. It’s all a bit overblown, but the genre play is winsome enough and demonstrates an endearing willingness to just go for it.
Maxwell Cavaseno: You know what’s one of the worst ideas in music? The ideas that tension and release is so sure fire. Frankly if you know that A+B=C, it doesn’t matter how long you pause and widen your eyes and take a deep breath to blurt out the end of the equation, we all know it’s going to be fucking C. Speed rap, Morricone-inspired guitars and marching drums, EDM breaks, loud singing… We know already! It’s going to land on “THERE.” The thing is, there isn’t anything to make anyone care about the landing, it’s a bunch of placeholders to say, “Here’s how we get to point B.” Didn’t anyone teach you kids that the journey is the destination? Apparently not, because the roads are sketched in chalk and the windswept desert background looks like a diorama. Europe deserves better than Peter Jackson Pop.
Ryo Miyauchi: “Hulluden Highway” depends upon Elli Haloo’s presence as a vocalist, who’s eager to get right into some form of revved-up rapping when she starts to feel the beat. Because if anyone believes this hokey hot mess is the scripture people want for comfort — and man, there are some questionable statements here — it’s Elli Haloo, and every band needs someone like that to lead the way.
Will Rivitz: Just when I think pop-house’s edge has finally disappeared, this song comes around to reinvigorate the genre in my eyes. This means the next few months will be a disillusioning trawling of YouTube promotion channels where I try and fail to rediscover the magical endorphin manipulation of this song, but let me have my moment for now.