Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

MK x Jonas Blue x Becky Hill – Back & Forth

If only there were a joke to be made involving the song title and the varying scores…


Thomas Inskeep: “17” gave deep house legend Marc Kinchen his first UK top 10 single under his own name earlier this year; expect this to become his second shortly. I raved about “17” some 12 months ago upon release, and “Back & Forth” is, impressively, even better. Give a big chunk of credit to Becky Hill, who occasionally sounds like Lorde hitting the dancefloor here, while MK amps up the drama — and those perfect piano chords. (I have no idea what, if anything, Jonas Blue is doing here.) This is what unimpeachable deep house sounds like, and proof that you can make it work as a radio/singles medium, too.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: A dull verse, a grating “oooooooh,” and an amateurish attempt at cutting up vocals. While the song starts off somewhat vibrant, it loses all verve as its elements become more familiar. At first, “Can never tell if I’m in love” succinctly captures my thoughts on “Back & Forth.” As the song continues, “It’s the same old story […] it ain’t good for me” becomes more apt.

John Seroff: The (perhaps?) Adventure Time-inspired video is maybe my favorite of the year and elevates an enjoyable but slight bit of deep house from a fun listen into a must watch. Nonetheless, sans video and following a half dozen spins, I’m okay letting this float one back indefinitely into the ether… so a point for each play sounds fair.

Ian Mathers: There’s nostalgia, and then there’s “Huh, remember when you thought all ‘dance music’ sounded exactly like this and that wasn’t compelling enough for you to pay attention, and you missed out on a ton of music you love? Yeah, kids are dumb.”

Anjy Ou: I love piano house as much as the next person, but we get no reprieve from the overloud pounding of the keys on this track. Becky Hill has a lovely, rich voice but she sounds strained and shrill here, as if she’s hoping she can emote enough to make something of the bland lyrics. It only adds to the discomfort this song gives me — I’m basically this gif when I’m listening to it. Whether it’s on purpose or not, I’d much rather listen to MK’s smoother jams.

Crystal Leww: One of my most joyous moments on a dance floor this year was thanks to MK (and Carla Monroe!), and “Gecko (Overdrive)” remains still textbook pop-house. There’s nothing new to the formula — hell, MK and Becky Hill did this together two years ago — but somehow it’s still not tired! This is still going to inspire some rhythmic strutting on sidewalks, some shuffling on subway platforms, some closed eyes, hands up dancing in the club. +1 for how perfect a line like “Can never tell if I’m in love with him or lost with him” is delivered, with the “lost” basically sounding like “lust.” Still not the highs of “17,” but pretty darn close.

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