Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

The Head and the Heart – Missed Connection

I think you featured me on your music review site? You didn’t seem to like me that much, but, uh, I’d be interested in getting a coffee if you’re down…


Edward Okulicz: This recent alt-rock chart-topper sounds flown in from the mid-00s, which is to say it has an annoying na-na-na hook, is marginally tuneful and completely forgettable. Is that a recorder after the chorus? Does it matter? No, it does not.

Alfred Soto: I for one have long welcomed the missed connection between head and heart.

Vikram Joseph: It’s hard to believe that anyone in the studio listened to that “la-la-la-la” hook and thought it sounded anything other than obnoxiously grating. But even leaving that aside, this is very much what mid-2000s British music journalists coined the term landfill indie for — meat-and-potatoes rock music, rhythmically staid, melodically predictable and tonally grayscale. Someone call an exorcist; the turgid ghost of Razorlight still haunts this place.

Hannah Jocelyn: First things first: the only indie landfill band from this decade to pull off la-la gang vocals is Saint Motel. (It certainly isn’t Judah & The Lion.) Second things second: How did a Keane one-off from 2010 become the most influential song of the decade? The rest of “Missed Connection” after that horrible intro is closer to, of all things, Keane’s “Stop For A Minute,” though there isn’t much here nearly as baffling as “sometimes I wonder why I was ever born…” Instead, there are just unremarkable lyrics and a handful of hooks that probably make this a fixture on clothing stores (and consequently, Shazam chart), if not quite the Hot 100. The complexity of an early, if equally derivative, song like “Ghosts” is missed. 

Joshua Lu: Living Mirage is stuffed with songs like “Missed Connection,” summery little things that breeze by without concern. Here, though, this frictionless feeling feels at odds with the lyrical themes of loss and interpersonal confusion. The song is in search of answers, constantly questioning and second-guessing itself, but everything else chugs along too weightlessly to really believe it.

Ian Mathers: It’s kind of surprising to look these guys up (the name seemed vaguely familiar, but actually I think I was thinking of Cage the Elephant?) and discover at some point someone called them “indie folk”; this is such a fine, low-key puree of genre non-signifiers and unoffensive songwriting that I’d be hard pressed to call it anything in particular. But unlike most of its chalky, oddly synthetic feeling peers it doesn’t go for a bombastic chorus and that actually works in its favour.

Michael Hong: It feels like almost every popular indie-folk act has moved away from their simpler sound towards something overblown, something too overproduced. Where Mumford & Sons moved away from their indie-folk sound towards something with a little bit more of a rock edge, The Head and the Heart move towards something sleeker, with the added bonus of hip hop drums. While “Missed Connection” may deal with the serendipity of a chance encounter leading to new romance and the band’s formation, it sounds more like how its title would read: empty echoes over skittering drums. The glossy sheen further emphasizes the anonymity and emptiness of “Missed Connection,” which sounds worlds away from whatever made The Head and the Heart unique in the first place.

Reader average: [6] (1 vote)

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One Response to “The Head and the Heart – Missed Connection”

  1. It’s not a masterpiece but it’s enjoyable. (6)