Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Armin Van Buuren ft. Bonnie McKee – Lonely For You

Who knew we missed Bonnie McKee this much?


Edward Okulicz: This is probably awful when you look at it objectively, but it’s so earnest in its deployment of Shit EDM Pop tropes — awful lyrics, obvious breaks, big and dumb hooks, a compelling vocalist, a good melody, echoes of great dance pop from the last 3 decades, wait… hang on, this objectively is fantastic!

David Moore: I kind of wish this one stuck with its Madonna pastiche in the intro — it sounds like “Cherish” reworked as a ballad — but instead it opts for glossy lite house. Maybe a singer less workmanlike than Bonnie McKee could have sold the pathos and made the mix work, but it comes off as cold and competent. 

Ian Mathers: “Guys, every time Armin releases a song there is always a pop version and trance version… That is what makes him great, he caters to the people who like the pop music and to the people who like the trance music.” [view 15 replies]

Will Rivitz: About time “Hackney Parrot” made it to the pop charts, eh? Ironic that, of all the drum & bass acts trying to translate their ragged edge into a top 40 hit, the only track that’s avoided dissolving into water-thin cheese comes from a leading producer in a genre defined by its cheesiness. I can’t quite follow the calculus, but the song is good.

Will Adams: Despite trance being his primary genre, Armin Van Buuren has released his share of breaks-heavy pop singles —  “In and Out of Love” and “This Light Between Us”, for two. What makes “Lonely For You” different is the choice to go full-throttle pop, both in the prominence of the drum break and a more distinct vocalist. It lacks the airiness of its predecessors, but in exchange we get tighter songwriting courtesy of McKee that evokes the same late-night melancholia of Jax Jones’s “Breathe”. It’s odd to hear Van Buuren sound this relatively un-cheesy (recall the hysterics of “Alone”), but I welcome the novelty.

Katherine St Asaph: For a few years in the early 2000s it seemed like an inviolable rule that pop radio would always allot one or two slots for something like “Rapture” or “It Feels So Good.” We should bring the rule back.

Alex Clifton: I never thought we would hear from Bonnie McKee ever again, let alone on a dance track. It’s got the flair I look for in a good Eurovision song, but like most good club fluff it’s out of my mind as soon as it’s over. It is nice having a dance tune that sounds like 2005, though; I forgot you can make songs without building up to a drop.

Alfred Soto: The vocals range from the too unhinged to the rather polite, in keeping with Armin’s fitted shirt of a house arrangement.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: “I quit you like cocaine, life changing” is a hilariously on the nose lyric, but it’s the only part of this track with any personality at all.

Iris Xie: Whoa, how did Armin van Buuren make a superior version of Hyosung’s “Good Night Kiss”? They both have the same technique going on, where they contrast one single chorus, verse, and bridge to create an entire song. “Lonely For You” is an improvement due to the small details in the transitions between the verses and choruses that flip between measured lamentations, clipped phrasing, and drop in and outs of that breakbeat and drum instrumental combo. Bonnie McKee’s vocals slide between featherlight cooing and a not quite bombastic chorus, and how the toplines become more intricate makes for an incredible mixture for a vocal and dance routine. The melody has enough suspension that allows one to follow the arrangement and pick it up, resulting in its establishment as a more subtle pop song, rather than one that requires being smashed in the face with the hook. I also definitely feel this would roll as a great K-pop demo, and this was the song BlackPink needed for a comeback after the completely mediocre “Playing With Fire.” Overall, surprisingly refreshing and reminiscent of early 2010s electropop.

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One Response to “Armin Van Buuren ft. Bonnie McKee – Lonely For You”

  1. “I quit you like cocaine, life changing” is a hilariously on the nose lyric

    I see what you did there.

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