Monday, February 18th, 2019

Lewis Capaldi – Someone You Loved

We’re not sure what gave you that impression, Lewis.


Julian Axelrod: Late one rainy eve, Ryan Tedder sat alone in his lab. It was a night like any other; he was putting the finishing touches on the closing ballad for Jess Glynne’s new EP. But in the pit of his stomach, he knew something was wrong. He tried to put his fears aside, racking his brain for a word that rhymes with “matrimony,” when his assistant Sherrie burst through the door. “Mr. Tedder, you better come quick… It’s escaped.” Ryan sprinted through the halls of his compound, but he already knew it was too late. When he reached the holding cells, he stopped dead in his tracks. There stood a giant, pulsating figure made out of pure, dull light. Ryan recognized it immediately: He’d been assembling his cast-off piano ballads in secret, hoping to create a figure so bland, so soporific, it would lull the world into eternal slumber. But this was bigger and duller than he’d ever intended. Various holders and hangers-on tried to contain it, but they were no match for its drowsy might. “Step away,” Ryan commanded. He slowly, gingerly, crept toward the light. He reached out to touch it; as he ran his hand across his surface, he was astounded by how smooth and plain it felt. It almost felt like he was touching nothing at all. “Shall I call the authorities, Mr. Tedder?” Sherrie whispered. “That won’t be necessary,” Ryan replied. “We can use this. We’ll release it into the world, get it some UK radio play, maybe a spot at Glastonbury. And we’ll call him… Lewis Capaldi.”

Katherine St Asaph: Eerie: it’s almost six years to the day since I’ve had reason to mention the Pachelbel Rant.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: The thing about overwrought piano ballads is that the instrumentation is always a double-edged sword. It’s often simplistic, like it is here, so the musicality of the piece is moot, because it’s really just a showcase for the vocals. But, at the same time, there’s a unique catharsis that is understood when one performs a piano ballad — the near-thoughtless playing of simple chords and melodies gives a sense of purpose to the belting out of sad lyrics, the rudimentary piano-playing a mere crutch to help justify and encourage this therapy session. I feel the same way about “Someone You Loved” as I do “Someone Like You” as I do any song of their ilk: they have a way of successfully transferring the act of sitting at a piano and singing and singing and singing. Capaldi offers trite lyrics and an ingratiating performance, but I still feel the ever-universal loneliness of a dinky, right-handed melody.

Andy Hutchins: Astoundingly, there is a market for loud-loud-louder-LOUDEST verse-chorus-verse-bridge progressions of Sheeranian lyrics. Unsurprisingly, there is not much appeal to that mish-mash.

Alfred Soto: Thank you, Ed Sheeran, for opening those gates to hell. 

Thomas Inskeep: He even looks a bit like Sheeran, for Pete’s sake.

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