Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Antony & Cleopatra – Why Don’t You Just Call Me

Probably a less unwieldy stage name than Cocknbullkid…


Scott Mildenhall: And so pop delivers the bones of a very simple flowchart: put your phone down when you’re together, pick it up when you’re apart. Pleasingly, “Why Don’t You Just Call Me” sounds like a hit single from 2003 — specifically “77 Strings” — something that’s ineffably present in Anita Blay’s part-wounded, part-pining performance. She’s a thoroughly adaptable performer with understanding and experience of pop music of all kinds, so the strength of this is no surprise.

Alfred Soto: Shrewd enough not to confuse anonymity with blankness, this duo has constructed a more than serviceable dance hit with early-’90s sampled brass and a low end that won’t quit. 

Iris Xie: “Why Don’t You Just Call Me” sounds like what Jennifer Lopez’s career should have been after “Waiting for Tonight.” But it’s a bit slight for a pop house song — the synths are like spotlights blown out during a party, but the vocals are surprisingly limp and unbalanced against the instrumental.

Jonathan Bradley: The title suggests strife — the chill of words not spoken that could be resolved through conversation. The insistent filter house, which gets buzzier and busier as it goes, makes clear that the tension is in neglect, not conflict. Anita Blay appears from and falls into the arrangement wonderfully, but I wish it would do more to overwhelm her; there’s a rush here that, if it were more intense, would properly pound this song’s feelings of anxiety into abandon.

Katherine St Asaph: New song, more hiccups, but same problem: the verses are tense, simmering, heartbreak barely concealed, then the chorus is low-energy bibble where there should be pathos and devastation.

Will Adams: Begins as above-average, yearning house-pop but really snaps into place during the bridge: the man counters, in a curiously Sisqo-esque affect, “Late night and you’re on the phone / Date night and you’re all alone / Pick up and you’re never home.” Who do I believe? Who’s waiting on who? Who’s the flaky one? And with that it becomes a melodramatic tango that’s perfectly suited to the frenetic disco behind it.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The musical equivalent of taking an incomplete grade in a course. There’s no crescendo, and what movement exists, in the form of a lukewarm drop and a muttered post-chorus, just adds to the half-baked feel. What’s here (the core melody, the synths on the verse) is intriguing, but it’s difficult to call this a full song.

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