Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Alice Chater – Tonight

If you guessed Alice Chater, you are correct! We also would have accepted “the entire Billboard Hot 100 of 2011.”


Iain Mew: The end-of-the-world banger trend was due a return, and this is very much a return. Question, though: why does she now sound like she’s doing a Shakira impression? 

Katherine St Asaph: Alice Chater following up “Hourglass” with a song that hinges on the repeated syllables of ga-ga-ta let it go is a choice: one’s influences crashing through one’s poker face. Maybe that’s on purpose, because “Tonight” is all influences: 2011 apocalypse pop with a 2014 Sia melody and 2017 vocal squiggles, a lot of “Disturbia”/”Motorway”/”Marry the Night”/”No Tears Left to Cry” melancholy, a keening house string and ad-libs (both way too low in the mix, but whatever), an explicitly reference to the radio, where one might actually encounter these things in sequence. Also not a lot of Alice in there, but “Tonight” is such potent, yearning time-tripping that I don’t mind. I miss 2011 more than I miss some people, a life forever preserved in my memory in neon and sepia, and occasionally try to relive it; the chorus to this — an initial burst, then a melody that immediately implodes and sinks — mirrors the feeling exactly.

Alfred Soto: Party slobber that gets the party started if you’re in college and spent your adolescence with “Marry the Night” and your older brother’s Sky Ferreira mp3s. 

Josh Buck: What in the name of all that is “Toxic” is this “Britney for the dark-pop era” nonsense?

Will Adams: Alice Chater’s investment in early ’10s dancepop alone makes her sound electrifying compared to other pop upstarts of now, but she’s especially good at selling it. She flips her voice to where it needs to be — raspy verses, growled “got-gotta”‘s, cathartic ad-libs in the final chorus — to create a killer pastiche of apocalypse-pop that, while not as immediately explosive as “Hourglass,” feels urgent and vital.

Vikram Joseph: This is objectively a banger, but it’s such a close genre cousin of Georgia’s “About Work the Dancefloor” that, released in the same febrile summer, it can’t help but pale a little by comparison. Both songs share a sense of embracing hedonism in complex, uncertain times, with verses that throb with a relentless, cumulative tension and choruses that reach for a transcendence that’s just slightly out of reach. But where Georgia created an introvert’s dance anthem with a chorus that felt tantalisingly unresolved — never quite getting out of its own head — Alice Chater takes a more linear route, with the processed post-chorus vocal hook perhaps sounding just a little too generic. It goes admirably hard though, and there’s plenty of room in pop right now for both of them.

Kayla Beardslee: I want to like this so bad. Parts of it deliver everything I’d want from an effervescent synthpop song — the explosive chorus, the wobbly synth, Alice Chater putting in a strong vocal effort — but the lyrics drag it down hard. “Got-gotta let it go,” “I wanna be with you tonight”: this is exactly what people who don’t like pop think pop sounds like. And everything “Tonight” tries to do, Chater’s previous single “Hourglass” did better.

Ian Mathers: Lyrically this isn’t a particularly interesting take on the always fertile field of pop songs addressing some sort of apocalypse, but the drunken sway of some of those synths in the back — those I want to get a closer listen to. Between them and the satisfying delivery of “got-gotta let it go” (almost percussive!), this one winds up on the right side of the line.

Kylo Nocom: Alice Chater goes for a less image-conscious approach to 21st-century pop revivalism, but without anything else to offer sounds like some sort of poor anachronism spewed from the wasteland of rejected Sia demos. No danger, no threats, no harm ultimately done, but a little bit of time wasted.

Reader average: [4] (1 vote)

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One Response to “Alice Chater – Tonight”

  1. This is just really really forgettable. Competent is the best I can give it. (4)

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