Thursday, April 11th, 2019

Alec Benjamin – Let Me Down Slowly

Oh, we do…


Edward Okulicz: I’m a proponent of the relatively painless quick breakup. I don’t think someone who’s ready to move on needs to slow down most of the time, really. Nonetheless, I find this song’s commitment to stretching out a period of emotional rawness, through advocating it in lyrical pleas and proffering a performance from Benjamin that codes a tantrum in slow motion, to be admirable as concept almost as much as it is excruciating in practice. The narrator in this story must just be a nightmare to date, honestly.

Alfred Soto: Singing as if traversing a freshly mopped floor, Alec Benjamin offers hesitation and a politely synthed-up hook with which Years & Years and Troye Sivan could have gotten few more clicks. This should indicate to audiences how Benjamin codes. Pathos in search of a vessel.

Tim de Reuse: It’s not that his voice is high, it’s that it’s completely without gravitas or any sense of effort. He delivers lines like “I once was a man with dignity and grace” without even trying to lean into their latent melodrama, and it lands somewhere between “tonally disorienting” and “embarrassingly self-serious.”

Iris Xie: This song is strange because it sounds post-Hamilton to me, specifically “Wait For It,” which probably is post-something else but I can’t locate it at the moment. It’s probably in the combination of the steady dedication to pop hooks and the slight hip hop inflections in the topline. It also sounds perfect for the first trailer of a YA novel’s movie adaptation, and gives me flashbacks to all the Spider-Man movies, specifically a much sweeter take on Dashboard Confessional’s “Vindicated.” The song is surprisingly delicate in tone, which is expressed through Alec Benjamin’s singing voice and how the unfussy production aims to highlight it, but “Let Me Down Slowly” lacks the rawness that would add texture to its polish.

Tobi Tella: I keep hearing this on the radio and I totally thought it was a woman the whole time, so thanks for the surprise, Alec! Unfortunately, that’s the only surprising (or interesting) thing about it.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Whenever I listen to a song that I’m trying to review, I try to consider both my own personal enjoyment and how much the intended audience for the song would enjoy it. “Let Me Down Slowly” gives me no joy– Alec Benjamin’s mewling vocal performance and constant reference to his own aggrieved masculinity are a turn-off, and the aggressively neutral guitar pop backing isn’t doing it for me either. But even if I were a heartbroken teen, “Let Me Down Slowly” wouldn’t work. It’s too drained of real emotion to work as a break-up song, too immersed in its self-pity to work as a getting-back-together anthem, too generically “sad” in aesthetic to ever be attached to an actual heartbreak. It’s a song for no one.

Reader average: [3] (1 vote)

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