Friday, December 8th, 2017

Bleachers – Hate That You Know Me

Jun, you’re great! Jack, maybe not?


Claire Biddles: Like so much of Bleachers’ work, “Hate That You Know Me” is less than the sum of its parts: 80s-influenced synths and a Carly Rae guest spot should equal a TSJ-approved hit, but the result is directionless and thin. Maybe it’s because I’ve always found him sus, but Jack Antonoff’s vocal affectations are irritating and Carly is so maddeningly underused that her appearance feels like a cynical “look whose number I have in my phone” move rather than an artistic decision. As a producer, Antonoff may be good at amplifying the best bits of others’ songs, but this is evidence that he can’t really bring the tunes — or charisma — himself. 

Alex Clifton: My mum once said of the Harry Potter series that the books themselves were fine, but she hated the first chapter so much that she didn’t want to continue reading them if the entire book was going to be like that. The same applied to “Hate That You Know Me”: it’s really fine once the chorus kicks in, but those first forty seconds are such a slog that it took three tries of restarting the song to actually get to the end of it. Jack Antonoff should stick to producing, although while he’s at it, he should maybe come up with a different drum intro than the one he wrote with Lorde

Anthony Easton: The chorus is slightly off from the bridge, and it is very wordy–repeating needlessly, and overstuffed without being layered in any interesting way. Someone should stick to being a producer. 

Will Adams: I’m still not convinced of Jack Antonoff as a producer. His attempts at distortion worked fine on Melodrama but turned ugly on Reputation. He fares better at the 80s stadium sound, but too often the soundscapes reach for the technicolor of, say, St. Lucia but end up washed out in a gray fog of reverb. “Hate That You Know Me” is one of the more puzzling efforts, especially in terms of the mix. The attempt at a stop-start dynamic ends up sounding ungainly, and the bizarre way his and Carly Rae Jepsen’s vocals fade in and out of the foreground is wildly distracting. At the very least, Carly’s presence provides strong evidence that an album of hers helmed by him would not be a good thing.

Josh Langhoff: This is like that one time Jessa and Shosh were trapped in the elevator after cannibalizing Marnie, and Ray was like “this is the capital-R Revolution, guys,” and then Hannah’s baby climactically latched on… again.

Alfred Soto: The chanted male-female chorus, talk-sung wink-wink-intense vocal, and programmed everything sound way too fucking much like The 1975, only lose any hint of wit.

Nortey Dowuona: More flat, unimposing drums overlaid with soft, barely visible synths, average, simple bass and Carly Rae Jepsen being unfairly drowned out by more average synth work.

Ryo Miyauchi: Eighties pop records work like clown make-up for Jack Antonoff in a similar way that it did for Hayley Williams in After Laughter. But Paramore’s album worked because the jagged and sinister always loomed behind. Bleachers is all fluff to the point it threatens to scrub off the trauma he’s supposedly masking. Antonoff’s cartoon delivery cheapens his own song as his confession gets followed by the equivalent of sitcom “wah, wah, wah” effects that cue the laugh track. What he hides might be dark, and his self-hatred righteous, though it’s hard to take serious as something genuinely urgent.

Reader average: [8.33] (3 votes)

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4 Responses to “Bleachers – Hate That You Know Me”

  1. claire is right about bleachers stuff being less than the sum of its parts a lot of the time. “don’t take the money” pulls my heartstringssss but this is really flat… like what is it trying to do

  2. Thanks! I knew this wouldn’t get a high score, but I just love reading these shredding reviews. Still one of my fav. song of the year.

  3. Is it me or does this just sound like a more palatable Autre Ne Veut

  4. I was going to say it sounds nothing like Autre Ne Veut but then I listened again but it really does

    I like Autre Ne Veut much more though

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