Thursday, March 1st, 2018

Marshmello ft. Anne-Marie – Friends

#mellogang rides again


Katie Gill: A for effort, D for execution. If you’re going to do a song about the eyerolling concept of the friendzone, points for doing it from the point of the view of the girl instead of the guy. Building a song about how aggravating it is when a guy continues to misinterpret the relationship boundaries is a smart move, and one that probably has a good chunk of the listeners thinking “girl, same.” But the song itself is uneven. The pre-chorus is fun catchy and “f-r-i-e-n-d-s, that’s how you fucking spell friends” is so corny it swings into hilarious, but man is the rest of the song rocky. The spelling hook flops and the verses are kind of dull…which annoys the hell out of me because “that’s how you fucking spell friends” is 100% my right shade of dumb.

Tim de Reuse: It’s impossible to tell if this is actually condemning the creepy-as-hell behavior enacted upon the narrator — given the tagline of “OFFICIAL FRIENDZONE ANTHEM” appended to the title of the YouTube video, I’m inclined to assume it’s not. The music itself? It’s decent, as far as these things go; the beat is as empty-calorie as all of Marshmello’s stuff is, but Anne-Marie manages to at least sound like she’s having fun with the unfortunate lyrics.

Alfred Soto: The huskiness of Anne-Marie’s voice suits the take-no-shit attitude, and Marshmello’s bass line is her match. But spelling out the chorus is cornball shit. 

Will Adams: Some unfortunate choices hamper “Friends” — mostly, the awkward spell-out hook and prolonging the lifespan of the term “friendzone.” But those aside, “Friends” ranks among the likes of “Stuck” and “Fighter” in the genre of highly rhythmic, guitar-driven R&B-pop that Meghan Trainor dabbled in two years back goes. The incessant pestering gives “Friends” more teeth than “Nom” and, for Anne-Marie, is a far more convincing a kiss-off than “Ciao Adios” could ever be.

Alex Clifton: Where was this song when I was in college so I could blare it at every boy who thought that my niceness and general politeness meant that I had fallen madly in love with him? I was wary of the “OFFICIAL FRIENDZONE ANTHEM” tag on the YouTube video; I worried for a moment this would be a desperate “why don’t you love me back” song with the vocal equivalent of crying emojis, and instead was delighted with a kiss-off anthem. I enjoyed this way more than any other Marshmello song, and Anne-Marie sounds great over the production. If nothing else, I hope a crowd of girls get to scream along with this in the club every time it plays; god knows a song like this has been long overdue.

Katherine St Asaph: Zedd got Maren Morris — was Danielle Bradbery (somehow) unavailable? Given how Marshmello floods the mix with bits of EDM build-up, trap percussion, Kandi/She’kspere guitar licks, “Survivor” strings, Y2K synth, DJ Mustard vox and the general feel of Mya’s “Step,” I’d be more concerned about the red zone. Anne-Marie’s vocals are their own pastiche, of a lot of artists but mostly Rihanna; unfortunately, as usual with her and her peers, she’s convinced saying “fucking” conveys attitude and having attitude conveys personality.

Will Rivitz: I tend to treat Marshmello about the same way as I treat the Chainsmokers: their personalities and personas are both pretty garbage (Chris Comstock’s “Oh, I listen to Deadmau5 too!” headpiece and selling of “Friends” as the “OFFICIAL FRIENDZONE ANTHEM” as exemplary of my dislike), but they consistently make excellent EDM-pop cotton candy, and so I tend to ignore the less savory bits in favor of the worthwhile ones. This song is pretty much the definition of that contradiction. The aforementioned #branding is pretty nasty, unless it’s ironic, but I don’t think it’s clearly satirical enough to warrant that benefit of the doubt. The song is also a killer amalgamation of peak boy-band (those power chords in the chorus, unghhhh) and all the best production trends of pop ushered in by the likes of Taggart and Pall, clips of acoustic guitar battered by 808 hat rolls and Duplo-sized blocks of bass. At some point, the style of pop Marshmello produces will probably start to grate; thankfully, this song isn’t going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Stephen Eisermann: Anne-Marie has more personality on this track than most of her other recent singles and I’m living for the pettiness that drips from her delivery here. It does across as juvenile and redundant midway through the track, but that chorus after the bridge is phenomenal, and the production is stellar throughout. Excuse me, now, while I let my inner-bitch out and sing this at the top of my lungs.

Crystal Leww: So Marshmello is just a (pretty mediocre) pop producer now huh

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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