Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Marshmello ft. Bastille – Happier

Don’t frown because of a low score, smile because the huge marshmallow mask you’re wearing has a smile painted on to it…

Kat Stevens: Did you SEE Marshmello nail the Ninja Warrior course? Max respect. I am automatically adding 3 points to his scores from now on.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The introductory hook’s topline is evocative, but the song spirals downward from there. For one, the verse features an ugly, off-putting melody that dips too low (in the first verse, it’s during “become” and “back”). From there, it becomes clear that the song’s attempts at unifying disparate musical elements is a paltry mirroring of the paradoxical “if you love something, set it free” notion. These warring emotions finally climax with a crude bridge that aims for catharsis but reads more like hurried songwriting. “I’ll go,” sings Bastille’s Dan Smith. I’ll follow suit.

Alfred Soto: He wants her to be happier but he changes his mind? I suppose the arrangement finds correlatives for the baffling lyrical twists — trop-house effect here, angry guitar there — but it results in an overheated track.

Taylor Alatorre: There were some good rock collabs on the Shock Value albums. There were some bad rock collabs on the Shock Value albums. This reminds me of the bad ones, where Timbaland had to dilute his production style in order to accommodate that of a band that was mostly unwilling to reciprocate.

Iain Mew: Bastille has a mood of anthemic regret that he can bring to any setting, and a song about leaving because he wants to make someone happier is a strong starting point for it. A start is all we get, though. If the plan was for Marshmello to fill in for the lack of detail beyond that, it hasn’t worked, since he provides a ping-ponging bridge and not much else recognisable.

Will Adams: The buried lede in Marshmello’s 2018 output is that he’s still creating festival-ready EDM-trap with the same bells and whistles. And while Joytime II is just as underwhelming, it makes his pop collabs feel like even more of a lark. “Friends” was and still is mean-spirited and cynical, but at least there was stuff going on in the production. “Happier” is something just like Chainsmokers but with even more toothless drops.

Will Rivitz: “Happier,” as with most other Marshmello songs, demonstrates why the producer is the only one of the legions following in the footsteps of the Chainsmokers to emulate some of that group’s magnetism. In the Hundred Acre Wood of 2018’s electronic pop realm, Marshmello is one of the Poohs: simplistic and a little dopey, to be sure, but also able to distill complicated situations down to their basic emotional cores, all tinged with a fundamental positivity no matter how dark. “Happier,” in that sense, is instrumentality the brightest of a dim moment, its synth-horn blasts and insistently major key the sound of watching the sun come up after a night of crying alone. To continue the Hundred Acre Wood analogy, Dan Smith’s treacly delivery is the Eeyore here, and nobody wants to be around an Eeyore at sunrise.

Reader average: [5] (1 vote)

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3 Responses to “Marshmello ft. Bastille – Happier”

  1. Kat is probably my favorite ‘drop-in to deliver a zinger’ blurber and this is no exception

  2. cosigned kat is great

  3. did not expect this to chart as high as it has

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