Thursday, September 20th, 2018

Kris Kross Amsterdam & The Boy Next Door ft. Conor Maynard – Whenever

Remember Conor Maynard? Kind of!


Iain Mew: We want to put “Whenever Wherever” in our tropical blender but we can’t get The UK’s Answer To Justin Bieber (2012) to sing everyone’s favourite bit from the verses! They’ve identified a problem, I’ll give them that. If only they’d followed through to “we shouldn’t do this then” rather than the replacement. 

Juana Giaimo: This is NOT how you make a homage to Shakira. In a similar way to what Jonas Blue did with Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” “Whenever” is an EDM version that ruins a classic single that has a lot of personality — not only because of Shakira’s strong vocals but also because it was influenced by Andean music. I truly hope this doesn’t become a trend. 

Crystal Leww: For anyone who thinks that good pop stars just have good songwriters, this is good proof that whoever is doing vocals does actually matter, often adding their own mark on a track. Shakira’s original launched her English-language career. This is a true bummer to listen to and a white-washing and watering down of Shakira and Gloria Estefan.

Will Adams: Kris Kross Amsterdam continue their streak of plundering pop hits and stripping of their charm to create the aural equivalent of an oversweet, overpriced cocktail that keeps getting pool water splashed into it. Conor Maynard, meanwhile, remains as uncharismatic as when we last saw him six years ago. Mostly, I’m just mad because when I saw the title, I was prepared to write a blurb that referenced Shakira and asserted that this is so beneath her original, and they robbed that from me.

William John: This was designed, I suspect, either to be half-heard between grunts by the inhabitants of a weights room, or danced to woozily by a lobster-red tourist at a beach club in Mykonos. There’s nothing necessarily unworthy about either of those pursuits, but when placed next to the bona fide “Whenever, Wherever” — which embarrasses this with Shakira’s unparalleled bluster and memorable references to mountains — it scans as pointless and limp.

David Lee: Conor Maynard sounds like Bieber’s echo, anodyne and anonymous. That works really well for music box UK garage requiring little vocal heft, but not so well in the context of similarly beige, familiar sounds (you can almost see the producer going through a mental checklist — vaguely trop-house-chill-pop rework of beloved early aughts classic with disco-ish bridge TKTK). I could play this song 30 times and still not remember much about it other than “yea, it’s on trend.” Whatever.

Ramzi Awn: I had no idea I needed this in my life. Following in the footsteps of DJ Sammy’s greatest hits, “Whenever” instantly does a lot of things: make you feel like you’re shopping in the market for produce; make you want to strip it down on a grand piano in a cold, empty house in the middle of a thunderstorm while you cry Shakira’s tears; and transport you to the same windy beach you were at when you first heard DJ Sammy’s “Boys of Summer”. All in a few minutes’ work.  

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A strong reminder that Bieber somehow ended up providing some of the best tropical house songs that we’d have to endure. Also a strong reminder that interpolating a classic song — especially for an entire chorus — should only be done if it makes absolute sense to do so. Considering this sounds like the previous Kris Kross Amsterdam and Conor Maynard single, “Whenever” does little to convince me that it should exist. Few songs readily flaunt how they’re such a vapid cash grab. Fewer do so in such a graceless, passionless manner.

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