Monday, January 8th, 2018

IAMDDB – Trophy

Boy, did we wake up in 2018 cranky or what?


Will Rivitz: The thing about the cold is that it can be beautiful: on “Trophy,” chilling piano chords reverberate icily through a space at least four times larger than it needs to be, filling out every crevice left by IAMDDB’s bare-essentials vocals and functional 808s. The other thing about the cold, though, is that it can be monotonous: the singer spends the entire song on three notes, three chords, and one drum fill repeating over and over again until it’s no longer noticeable, the percussive equivalent of saying the word “fork” over and over again until it starts to sound kind of weird. How one deals with the cold is often a matter of personal preference, and I can understand a listener falling in love with the unrelenting spareness of “Trophy”; however, I have spent the past two days with my family shoveling ourselves out of a foot and a half of snow, and I have had quite enough of winter already.

Alfred Soto: Diana DeBrito twitches as compulsively as the beat, and her lyrics match them, although why anyone would drink champagne without a glass is a question for the ages (let alone why anyone would drink champagne).

Katherine St Asaph:I like to test timing and rhythms,” promises her SoundCloud; “Trophy” certainly delivers that, along with some gorgeous piano chords that deserve longer than the two minutes they’re allotted.

Micha Cavaseno: Nasally crooned inane stoner ramblings with heavy reverb on a piano to make you think that there’s some depth going on here. I should be fair, if this were done by a dude I’d likewise be expected to be captivated and think there was some kind of genius at work here. But it’d suck if it was from a dude too.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: “Trophy” wants to be nothing more than blissed-out stoner haze. Your opinion of that sentence will likely determine whether you respond to this track positively or negatively. In reality, this is far too much of an interlude — in terms of its ambition, length, and mood — to conjure up any strong reactions. It never takes you out of the headspace she wants to capture, but “Trophy” ends up sounding pretty admirable when you consider all the R&B singers and rappers who have failed to accomplish the same task. Still, its outro is a bit too long, and sounding better than your peers doesn’t necessarily mean you’re great.

Edward Okulicz: The heavily reverbed piano sets this up wonderfully, promising depth and thoughtfulness that the sketch of a song on top can’t really deliver. As a demo, you’d say it works but you wouldn’t keep the actual song and go to the trouble of making a video to promote it. The effect here is mostly “sure, and then what?” for me.

Crystal Leww: Breaking out in the U.K. music scene as a Black girl seems like a tough task with a very long lead time and a co-sign almost required. IAMDDB has put together a string of good tracks though still lacking that oomph to take her over the line. “Trophy” follows the rule; this drags just a little bit, but IAMDBB has a voice made for daydreaming. There’s definitely something here — just needs a little polish — and I’m hoping that she gets her “On My Mind” or “Hurtin’ Me” soon enough. 

Austin Brown: The catch in her voice adds a modicum of distinctiveness, but compositionally this feels underdeveloped, sticking together trap triplets and piano without any interest in synthesis. When’s the Ravyn Lenae EP coming out again?

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