Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

YUNGBLUD & Halsey ft. Travis Barker – 11 Minutes

Believe us, we were quite relieved to learn that the title was not literal…


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Andy Hutchins: I can forgive 20-year-old Dominic Harrison for moaning about “the best I’ve ever had” on what he thinks is a cooler, darker Arctic Monkeys song. But Alex Turner doesn’t write shit like “And her lipstick arithmetic didn’t stick,” and “11 Minutes,” for better and worse, sounds like a lost P.O.D. B-side about the yearning and loss involved in young lust. And given that the spiky guitar and Halsey doing that skyward Halsey thing are carrying most of the load, what is Travis Barker here for but the check?
[4]

Alfred Soto: As usual with contemporary pop the stew of a production intended to maximize streams across many artist platforms doesn’t produce a whole, not when the parts still don’t belong together. Youssou N’Dour’s lilt, Julia Michaels self-empowerment, and Ryan Tedder histrionics are not my ideas of things that belong together.
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Ian Mathers: It’s kind of crazy how much better this would be as a Halsey solo cut, although you could leave Travis Barker in or not (if not for the credit, anyone have guessed he’s here?); admittedly it already sounds like she sings most of it, but every time that (sigh) YUNGBLUD pipes up he just show off one of the most annoying vocal deliveries I’ve ever had the displeasure to hear. The rest of it isn’t amazing but it at least isn’t bad — mostly the chorus just reminds me of the superior “7 Seconds”.
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Scott Mildenhall: It’s Youssou and dour! From Doncaster to Disney to this, YUNGBLUD is on a journey to rival his townsman Tomlinson, and what an interesting pair they make. The latter struggling through an impression of his own accent, and the former faring marginally better with his take on, er, Matt Willis? Albeit Matt Willis without the tunes. Granted, “11 Minutes” does itself contain something of a tune, but it’s dragged down by a self-seriousness that again, granted, is probably part of its appeal for some.
[4]

Tobi Tella: Have you ever been able to tell you’re not gonna like a song from just the list of artists you’re not gonna like a song? Honestly, Halsey’s part was better than I expected, but when YUNGBLUD started yelling at me I just tuned out.
[3]

Joshua Minsoo Kim: YUNGBLUD’s verse is agitated and filled with rhyme after rhyme to sound like a jagged counterpart to Halsey’s more smooth vocalizing. The song would do well to be more melodramatic — the instrumentation is too rote, and the piano outro is cheap — but this is a side of Halsey that desperately needs to be explored further.
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Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: I’m a Halsey apologist and even I can’t palate this sub-Lil Peep dross. Just go listen to “Awful Things” and go.
[4]

Vikram Joseph: Objectively, “11 Minutes” is perhaps not good, but — reared on late ’90s / early ’00s pop radio as I was — I’m rendered incapable of being objective about it. There are echoes of so many songs from that period that it feels like being centrifuged in a wind-tunnel of nostalgia, while YUNGBLUD and Halsey’s duelling vocals reach sequential peaks of almost transcendental earnestness. The keening, pinball guitar riff, coupled with Travis Barker’s distinctive stickwork, localise immediately to Blink 182’s self-titled album. The chorus bears a melodic resemblance to Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry’s “7 Seconds” which, given the song’s lyrical conceit, simply can’t be coincidental. Pink, back when she was really into pop-punk and was angsty enough to compare her family trauma to the Vietnam War? She’s in there, for sure. The high-camp melodrama of “I’m With You”-era Avril or Savage Garden’s “To The Moon And Back”? Absolutely. YUNGBLUD, meanwhile, fully commits to his hoarse-throated caterwaul, splitting the difference between Chester Bennington and Jamie T. It unexpectedly, entirely works; a steaming hot mess of a song that takes me back to 1999 and 2002 far more viscerally than, uh, certain other tracks.
[8]

Will Adams: I still haven’t done the mental algebra to figure out why, against my typical taste, this particular type of emo pop-rock hits me as effectively as it does (something something function of nostalgia something something my older sister being really into Dashboard Confessional and Blink-182). This is just another data point to confound me, but I’ll take it.
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Iris Xie: If I still made mixtapes for my favorite angsty ship pairings (RIP Livejournal fanfiction and music exchange communities), I would definitely put this as like track 3 or 4. I’m honestly such a sucker for these type of predictable sad melodies and find these such a guilty pleasure, because paired with the extremely sincere and transparent lyrics, it just broadcasts all the emotions to the point of shoving it into the listener’s ears and going, “Here, here is my pain! My relationship is full of suffering.” But the real star here is the metallic guitar riffs and the intricate but not ignorable drum work, especially during the buildup of the bridge. And that outro is, suitably, a little haunting. Now, time to work on setting this to an AMV of Miles/Gwen from Into the Spider-Verse
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