Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Liz ft. Slayyyter – Diamond in the Dark

Diamond Dark Revolution…


Oliver Maier: Liz is hardly the only burgeoning underground star to boast the musical and visual aesthetics of 2000s pop, but while many of her contemporaries are careful to maintain a level of ironic distance from their inspirations, “Diamond in the Dark” scans like a sincere love letter to the heedless emotionalism of peak Cascada. Even more surprising is that her chipmunked and Auto-Tuned vocals pair so elegantly with the Eurodance-indebted instrumental, instead of feeling irritatingly anachronistic. As diamonds go it’s not perfectly cut — Slayyyter’s voice is similar enough to Liz’s that the feature feels redundant, and even at four minutes the song seems to end a little prematurely — but it’s a gem nonetheless.

Leah Isobel: There is no conceivable universe where I’d give two Britney soundalikes doing DDR-core trance anything below a [6], but the melodies are too non-committal to go much higher. Liz is at her best when she’s teasing, and her bland warmth here doesn’t leave much of an impression; Slayyyter’s softer approach is what finally brings the song to life.

Will Adams: My desire to exist in a timeline where Angel City’s “Sunrise” has an above-zero influence is mostly responsible for my score; even with all the reverb removed, over-saturated Euro-trance-pop still makes me swoon. But it’s difficult to fully commit as it’s another case of Liz hopscotching from one nostalgic sound to another, and Slayyyter’s presence only reminds that she’s doing far more interesting subversions of mid-’00s pop.

Kylo Nocom: How unfortunate is it that Slayyyter’s Paris Hilton’s My New BFF-ready personality is gracelessly sheared away here in favor of flat-out XCX-imitation? I blame Liz. Dylan Brady’s also here, but don’t expect any of the millennial chaos that he indulged in on 1000 gecs. Don’t expect anything at all, really; you could’ve just as easily guessed A.G. Cook was in the credits. Only in /r/popheads’s wildest dreams is this what the charts are like: spaced out vacuum synth aimlessness, creaky Euro belts, a plasticky pink façade. White noise.

Alfred Soto: It splits the difference between Tegan and Sara’s rueful verses, Britney Spears’ dismissal of melancholy, and K-pop’s ebullience. 

Tim de Reuse: It rides out shamelessly on a clunky FM bass and a tempo that’s too energetic to dance to while still looking cool. Close my eyes, and it’s the mid-aughts and I’m making fun of this track with my friends in 10th grade (it’s purely performative, to cover up the fact that we all kinda like it but we’re not sure why).

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Remember when people derided PC Music for being smug about pop music, claiming that the collective’s ironic distancing was a means of positioning themselves above mainstream pop? It was argued that their music — and the acclaim it received — was emblematic of listeners’ perpetual rejection of pop music as something rife with emotional complexities and self-awareness. Whether those points were tenable or not is perhaps less important than the fact that the music could bring about such impassioned discussion. In contrast, “Diamond in the Dark” is everything from that era with all of its peculiarities and eccentricities — be it in terms of vocal delivery or production or lyrical content — removed. Liz has felt like that at various points in her career, while Slayyyter is just Charli XCX for people who want a version of her that’s all surging emotion with none of the nuance. 100 gecs’s Dylan Brady handles the production and makes something that suits both of their sensibilities: An A.G. Cook song that’s frustratingly safe. Sometimes, solid but boring is worse than bad but thought-provoking.

Reader average: [3] (1 vote)

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2 Responses to “Liz ft. Slayyyter – Diamond in the Dark”

  1. The phrase “ironic distance”, the real MVP

  2. This song is boring.