Thursday, November 7th, 2019

Riton x Oliver Heldens ft. Vula – Turn Me On

The doctor is making house calls…


Scott Mildenhall: It’s great to see Vula Malinga finally given an artist credit on a top 10 single, and the “Don’t Go” riff is one of the most indelible of all time, a monolith. But for that reason, plundering it so flagrantly is best done with a bit more impertinence, and that is why the superior ongoing theft of it is in Madison Mars’ “New Vibe Who Dis”, a boundlessly pandering attempt at running vernacular through the Purple Disco Machine. That shambles is so stupid that it’s enjoyable, whereas this gestures vaguely toward a sophistication that it neither attains nor should bother pretending to.

Edward Okulicz: This song is unacceptable on most levels, but I’ve realised that I quite enjoy it. “Doctor love, doctor love!” is a fun little exclamation, though by itself that doesn’t explain the multiple bops I do in my chair. I believe there are two factors at work. Firstly, just yesterday the radio station I listen to at work played “Turn Me On” directly after “Brokenhearted” by Karmin (someone requested it, in 2019, really), and the verse melody kind of reminds me of that. The comparison is favourable, because instead of “cheerio!” there is a big dumb Yazoo sample. Secondly, EDM producers have yet to work out that Yazoo had songs other than “Don’t Go,” so I’ve also been exposed to this other recent song with the same sample. This other song is mind-blowingly stupid and ridiculous, and “Turn Me On” is downright sophisticated by comparison. I’m ready to be condemned for being an uncouth boor.

Katherine St Asaph: An eternal rule of the universe: Doctor metaphors in pop songs have always been and will always be indefensibly, laughably cheesy. (Perhaps because if you take the metaphor even slightly more seriously, it becomes kind of gruesome. Or else becomes, like, “Medicare for All for Love.”) But if you attack the metaphor with enough drama, that drama will make for an effective song, if one you’ll never mention in public.

Will Adams: Why on earth is this not called “Doctor Love?” It’s the song’s biggest hook, befits the cheesiness of its Yazoo sample, and it would have avoided any confusion with the David Guetta/Nicki Minaj song. Confusing title aside, Riton’s and Oliver Heldens’ respective styles allow for some edge to seep in via a driving synth bass and active rhythm section. Vula, too, turns in a performance on the level of a classic house vocalist, which is unfortunately rare these days.

Oliver Maier: There are things here — the brassy loop, the silly “doctor love” lyric, the chord progressions, moments in Vula’s performance — that feel like fragments of bygone EDM eras beamed into the present. But “Turn Me On” is still unmistakably, depressingly 2019. Perhaps it’s the bloodless drop — when did producers collectively decide that silencing the offbeat hi-hats, the best part of any dance track, is essential to the climax? Or perhaps it’s the cowardly decision to name this something forgettable instead of running with the much better, much more suitable “Doctor Love.” I want to be charmed by this, but it needs to work harder for it.

Kylo Nocom: Vula is a very good singer; “Turn Me On” still rings on in my ears after the song is turned off. The beat constantly donks on in dumb Euro glee. I don’t think there’s anything this song could have done to be better than what we’ve got here. I think this was condemned from the start to be just fine.

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