Friday, June 1st, 2018

Little Boots ft. Planningtorock – Eros

She’s got the remedy.


Katherine St Asaph: Little Boots, as hundreds of artists unremarkably flood a dance-pop genre that was already crowded when she debuted, has quietly become one of the better artists in it. Burn, her new EP, balances the ambitious — written entirely with underrated female and nonbinary producers — with the ruthlessly effective, like “Eros”: alternately steely and keening, with lots of disco strings. “We wanted to channel Kylie meets Hercules & Love Affair meets classic disco,” Hesketh said, PR-speak probably but still miles in goals and execution from “I guess it’s success. The team’s goal, I suppose, is to sell records. [re: What was the goal of Little Boots?]” In a better world, this still would.

Tim de Reuse: Plastic basslines with rounded edges, tinny string patches that make zero effort to sound like the genuine object, and a positively juicy drum loop all bring out something insidious in the rise-fall of the chorus’s melody and its accompanying “la la la”s. It’s gotta be tricky to sound playful while you’re cooing lines like “Just because it’s cruel / doesn’t mean we won’t desire it,” because a single misstep might wreck the listener’s suspension of disbelief and make them realize how absolutely cartoonish the concept is in a Suicide Squad-ish kind of way. “Eros” threads that particular needle effortlessly. It doesn’t really accomplish anything else of note, but on top of this incredibly solid foundation anything more would just have been icing on the cake.

Alfred Soto: When Little Boots sings “Only love…” and “Am I dreaming?” she summons the winsome toughness of Sarah Cracknell, but the track, dependent on disco strings and precise use of echo, has no trace of Saint Etienne-ness. I would listen to an entire album of “Eros.”

Will Adams: A wonderful arrangement of elements taken from various eras of dancepop: “la la”‘s indebted to ATC, “Funkytown” string hits, Minogue dynasty dreaminess. It’s no surprise Hesketh stands back somewhat to let Planningtorock’s hypnotic track take the floor, but her coolness prevents “Eros” from drawing its bow as far back as it could’ve.

Kat Stevens: I like the hint of Róisín Murphy’s “Overpowered” that’s propelling this song slowly and steadily along the suburban train tracks, and I like the sharp electroclash strings that are thin raindrops slashing diagonally against the window. True, Victoria’s wispy vocal could be a bit meatier, but it’s certainly preferable to the pseudo-sultry automated loo voice telling you not to flush away your ex-boyfriend’s jumper.

Peter Ryan: No one was paying attention to Little Boots in 2015 — Hands suffocated under its own hype, and Nocturnes showed no interest in reviving commercial expectations. So when Hesketh enlisted a mess of producer-collaborators to create Working Girl, and actually wrangled the outputs into her strongest, most cohesive set of songs yet, it passed with negative fanfare. “Eros” is in a similar vein — a deft balance between precise high-fashion dance and sonic nods toward camp — but Planningtorock’s careful gathering storm of production boosts Little Boots to a new severity. This fervent want is delirium, that undercurrent is dread, and the titular figure — “beating wings and threading needles into eyes” — sounds more demonic than divine. It’s a prelude, perched on the fulcrum between bliss and ruin.

Reader average: [9.5] (2 votes)

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4 Responses to “Little Boots ft. Planningtorock – Eros”

  1. TSJ I don’t want to wait until EOY to bring this single to your attention:

    I know you’re mostly native english speakers but this one is a massive hit in spanish speaking countries – 700 million views in youtube which is more than the last 20 singles you’ve reviewed summed together.

  2. Too lazy to do the math but I think that number is higher than all the youtube views from your May and April reviews summed and that includes Childish Gambino’s viral video for This is America.

  3. That kind of claim is way too interesting for me not to check out!

    Even with BTS’s “Fake Love” unfortunately falling into June, we don’t have to go past the top handful of May-reviewed song viewcounts to beat 701M:

    Ariana Grande 244M +
    Childish Gambino 225M +
    Lil Pump 178M +
    Aastha Gill 93M
    = 740M

    Note that none of those have had seven months to reach that point as well, so that’s not entirely a fair comparison anyway. It’s our bad for missing that Ozuna single before but it’s a little old for us now. I can see from YouTube’s new music video chart, which should hopefully help us avoid such omissions in future, that it’s still the #29 most watched video in the past week which is impressive but not enough to still be current enough, I think.

  4. Yeah at this point it’s not that fresh! I think it was even a 2017 single :s I’ll do my best to send your way fresh, heavy hitters from this side of the world for you to check out.