Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

KZ x Shanti Dope – Imposible

Not a Shontelle cover…


Kylo Nocom: Quote from my father: the Philippines has “many great singers, very few good songs.” So much of OPM is the adult-est of adult contemporary, a breed of ballads for talent show prospects and little else. KZ Tandingan obviously doesn’t diverge from this demographic much; she’s a winner of The X Factor Philippines, and she was a contestant on the same season of The Singer as Jessie J. “Imposible” succeeds not through mind-blowing innovation on the formula (though YouTube comments are very excited about how she’s “breaking the Filipino ballad mold” and how this is a song “without the typical ‘OMG di ako makamove on’ theme”) but rather that the vocal show-offness manages to be arranged into something magically, genuinely human. The new “Imposible” is a slight remix of a track from her 2017 Soul Supremacy, yet despite the lack of too many changes the difference in quality is clear: the live band drums have been replaced by a much more appealing low-end beat, alleviating the track of its turgid coffee shop qualities; instead of segueing into the original’s breakdown of wordless melismas, teen rapper Shanti Dope joins to erase all except for a vocal transition that, for some reason, is only fully heard in the video cut. KZ displays an impressive vocal agility while rapping her verses and smoothly gliding through the three sections of the hook, each another layer of firmness in the face of infidelity. Her anger sees a partner in Shanti Dope, as he swiftly responds in a verse with a flow that sounds apt for its own song. Sure, it’s all quite goofy sentiment, but there’s something lovable about a song that’s so reassured of its own quality, especially when backed by an arrangement of plush horns and bass. I’ve found this Disney soundtrack adjacent R&B to be suitable for calming my mind down, relaxing to the sounds of a home I’ve never been to.

Nortey Dowuona: A ocean wave of bass is surfed by KZ as the open faced, glancing drums and rising droplets of synth piano are raised up by the looping, slipping flow of Shanti Dope as a flock of strings and horns swoop down to follow them, KZ laughing as Shanti tries to stop her from eating his hair.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The lyric is torn between longing nostalgia and a resigned sort of realism, and the music does much the same — the keys and horns are warm and unplaceably retro, but the groove of the drums and guitar prevent it from falling into schmaltz. But the point of “Imposible” is in KZ’s vocal performance, which holds melancholy and joy all at once. It’s perfectly charming, the sort of performance you could stick anywhere and end up with a decent song. Fortunately, her accompaniment suits her — even Shanti Dope’s verse, though the weak link, is a nice counterpoint in its wordy ambivalence.

Katherine St Asaph: Very potent Mya “Now or Never” sunniness, plus horns; goes on slightly too long, but sometimes summer’s like that.

Anjy Ou: The warmth of KZ’s voice and the coffeeshop pop instrumental that’s perked up by the spunky bassline and tempo make easy to forget that this is a breakup song. Then again, it’s not the rending-your-heart type of breakup song, but the type of song for when you’ve finally put yourself back together. After you’ve cried your body weight in tears, you emerge from your heartbreak cocoon a beautiful new person, so confident and content that you can’t even be bothered to cook up some angst for your deadbeat ex. Like a ray of sun in a darkened room.

Joshua Lu: Emerging out of a medley of rainforest sounds, “Imposible” feels like it was discovered instead of created. Every syllable and beat feels carefully placed, and when tied together by KZ Tandingan’s entangling vocals, they feel naturally assembled despite being so multifaceted. The song is at its most sublime during that chorus that unfurls like a blooming orchid, with every section undergirded by rich sonic layers: spurts of brass, a meaty bassline, piano keys, and wispy vocals that keep the song featherlight and ethereal. It’s an upbeat smorgasbord of sounds, yet it still manages to sound effortless and utterly relaxing.

Reader average: [3] (8 votes)

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5 Responses to “KZ x Shanti Dope – Imposible”

  1. beautiful blurb kylo!!!!

  2. Wow none of y’all were determined to tank her, and failed. She easily surpassed the 7.0 mark

  3. everything abt this entire entry is gr8 whew!! and ty oliver i think will did some editing on it to make it a little less messy lolol

  4. Wow, I think this is the lowest controversy track of all time??

  5. It definitely has the highest Consensus Rating of all time by a country mile (that’s total score with a nontroversy multiplier).