Thursday, August 16th, 2018

Shaun – Way Back Home

Sorry, Shaun, you did not score better than The 1975 today. But look on the bright side, you didn’t get any [0]s…


Iain Mew: #1 in Korea and Vietnam, but not K-Pop. Instead, an obvious stylistic debt to folk-era Avicii (though the melody is more Armin Van Buuren ft. Trevor Guthrie) but with a drop so subdued as to not even be a drop. This is EDM, in fact, with very little E or D — a convoluted way back home to folk-rock. That brings it dangerously close to being Jonas Blue – Fast Car (acoustic), but it has a balance of gentle ease and oomph that puts it in an unusual sweet spot of its own.

Alfred Soto: A guitar line that ripples as prettily as this one could stop earthquakes and the red tide off Florida’s west coast. Credit Shaun too for melding the best of Asian pop with the smoothy insouciance of Romeo Santos.

Katherine St Asaph: Importing one Ed Sheeran was enough.

Will Rivitz: Beneath the surface of this one’s anemic electric guitar, anemic Clean Bandit synths, and anemic falsetto, I can almost hear the H&M ad speeding my way.

Will Adams: I could appreciate the moves made here to break from the tropical house formula, but the half-asleep guitars wade dangerously close to the worst of “Waves”-wave and the deflated drops — obviously there to meet 2018’s Chill™ quotas — sound more like someone threw a wet blanket over the whole song.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A member of The Koxx who also helped produce f(x)’s “Papi” releases a single from his debut EP that serves as another reminder that South Korea really needs to step away from all things tropical. There are numerous Western touchstones here, but this mainly feels like something that came in the wake of Mamamoo’s “Starry Night.” And while there may have been controversy surrounding this song’s sudden success, it doesn’t take away from how it feels emblematic of what would top the country’s charts anyway. If coffeeshop folk turns into coffeeshop trop I’m gonna go crazy.

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