Thursday, May 4th, 2017

DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj – Kissing Strangers

Certainly not strangers to this site, which rules us out I suppose…


Katie Gill: Hot take: DNCE is the new Maroon 5. Joe Jonas is a younger model of Adam Levine, equally sexless but trying his hardest to sell something vaguely resembling sex appeal. DNCE’s pop-rock is a dancier version of earlier Maroon 5, “Misery” but run through a club filter. And, unlike current Maroon 5, DNCE is actually good. The “huh!” and “na na na” of the chorus are brilliant, giving the song a beautifully bratty feel and making at least part of it eminently singable. Add in a Minaj rap break where she gives the song more life than her past three ‘featured’ credits on the site combined, and you’ve got a bright, fun, rockish jam that seems tailor-made to be labeled ‘song of the summer.’

David Sheffieck: DNCE have one song, but they tweak that song with a winning competency: the addition of Julian Casablancas’ old vocal filters is this one’s inspired idea. That, and calling on Nicki to deliver a complete throwaway in her lightest and currently-most-compelling mode. The song basically stops on a dime for her, but it’s warranted.

Thomas Inskeep: “Kissing Strangers” isn’t funky, it’s “funky.” Like, DNCE assuredly think it’s funky (Minaj doesn’t care, as long as she gets paid), and their label might think it’s funky. But this ain’t funky. It rides a DOR riddim akin to mid-period Blondie (lots of high-hat), only Joe Jonas is nowhere near the vocalist — or personality — that Debbie Harry is. It might make it as a summertime radio hit, but it doesn’t deserve to.

Alfred Soto: I’ll admit to basking in the novelty of hearing Nicki Minaj phone in a rap over what sounds like an acoustic drum track, and the “oooh-can’t-quit” section reminded me of Thom Yorke with a manicure and hair treatment playing Austin Powers around the Fountainbleau Miami Beach pool.

Micha Cavaseno: The prospect of listening to 2017 Nicki Minaj is something akin to willingly eating from the worst fast-food joint in town, while letting your guts get torn apart and say “it tasted good at the time” when it hasn’t in YEARS. In the meantime, DNCE’s sound continues to be “Imagine if a really stunted pop rock group like Hot Chelle Rae did sleazy/horny style dance rock with an ambiguously ‘beach’ feel.” It says something about Joe Jonas that in his eager willingness to be lascivious he still sounds, at least on record, more or less like a child demanding snacks.

Ryo Miyauchi: Joe Jonas paints so accordingly to the numbers of retro funk pomp that he barely seems like he’s trying. His falsetto might show somewhat of an effort, but his elongated call out at the beginning of his verse sounds like a bore, and the vocal filter doesn’t help with the flatness. Nicki’s vocal turn follows like a breath of fresh air, even if her delivery is one salvaged from “Super Bass.”

Edward Okulicz: Groove out of “Cake By The Ocean,” literally, the bass, guitar and vocal melody are all spun off this exact same idea of a frisky disco prowl. Likewise, the silly-enjoyable Nicki Minaj voices and flow are lifted wholesale out of the verses of “Super Bass.” I really enjoy both of those things and both of those songs, but they already exist, and what’s actually new here is the deadweight. I don’t like Jonas’ lazy sexless drawl and it lacks the enjoyable WTF quality of “Cake” and “Bass” which still sound fresh and silly in a good way.

Katherine St Asaph: Dual-award-winning: Second (And Third, Fourth, Fifth…) Attempt By A Jonas To AYY LMAO In Song; Most Vicious Self-Own Of Writer Via Caving Within A Week To Leaving The Station On When This Plays.

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One Response to “DNCE ft. Nicki Minaj – Kissing Strangers”


    Also, Katie and Max are sooooo otm re: Jonas’ profound lack of sexiness. I am glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.