Monday, August 7th, 2017

Major Lazer ft. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo – Know No Better

Get out your Overworked Guest Stars of 2017 bingo cards…


Will Rivitz: Is there a better summary of the past few months than this? Camila Cabello on a mediocre hook, a phoned-in Quavo verse, the damn chipmunked vocal chops after the chorus, a dash of Lil Peep and his SoundCloud brethren with an emotive piano meeting a cavalcade of claps, and a reggaeton beat with all of its energy drained. Okay, maybe that last part is more Major Lazer than 2017, but man do the charts need a shot of something fun.

Josh Langhoff: Fetid Fêted producers team up with the public faces of Nike Air VaporMax, L’Oréal, and, um, Rap Snacks for an echoey piano-saturated house thing about their helpless thrall to flyness. For his next trick, Diplo, the public face of James Van Der Beek, will create a Willy Wonka-style shrink ray transmitter, allowing me to reach directly into his songs and grab bags of Sour Cream With A Dab Of Ranch chips (or maybe just some old shoelaces) without paying for them. The philosophical gulf between “know no better” and “know you better” will remain unexplored.

Maxwell Cavaseno: You know, if individual brands weren’t so deeply ingrained in so many musical acts nowadays, they easily could’ve had this single by themselves and maybe just left Diplo to get a producer credit. Instead, it becomes an obvious single that makes a sort of DMZ where everyone can walk away should fans dislike the routine EDM breakdowns or have some issue with the meeting of the minds. Kinda cowardly, if we’re being real.

Alfred Soto: The impersonality has a tug — Major Lazer finally created a track in which four above-the-title putative stars matter not a jot. The result reminds me of a Hollywood action film designed to be understood in Bangkok, Dakar, and Brasilia.

Ryo Miyauchi: While the Caribbean wave and that chipmunk squeak lit up summer 2015 righteously with “Lean On,” it’s now pop-chart currency that’s standard enough to turn Major Lazer into one anonymous SoundCloud upload. But what’s gone more stale since the big hit is Diplo’s choice in guests, whose middling performance reflects more poorly for the producer who once brought something out of even the most played-out names.

Jibril Yassin: Diplo refuses to give up on the idea that he had his proverbial hit moment in the sun with “Cold Water” and “Lean On” — if Jay Z could rule a million-and-one summers, why couldn’t he? Yet Diplo and Co fail to offer anything new — unless the good sense to begin in a minor key counts. Even the awful Quavo verse feels routine. At least Travis and Camila sound good!

Hannah Jocelyn: Muddy tropical house by the same people who codified the form two years ago (and remained solid as of a few months ago as well). Camila’s hook is fine but gets lost, Travis Scott remains Travis Scott, and Quavo bends the song to his will toward the end — less a reflection of Quavo’s skills than Diplo and Afrojack going, “let’s just go half-time and call it a day, okay?”

Stephen Eisermann: Best type of summer song: drink in one hand, Snapchat in the other — I will gladly dance mindlessly to this track. The lyrics aren’t compelling, catchy, or necessary enough to have to learn and none of the singers are particularly engaging, so you can get lost in the beat. Sometimes the best songs are sung by people whose name I can’t remember after a couple of drinks.

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2 Responses to “Major Lazer ft. Travis Scott, Camila Cabello & Quavo – Know No Better”

  1. Major Lazer, like Diplo, was so so so much better with Switch.

  2. where is Sua Cara we want Sua Cara