Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

Jax Jones & Ella Henderson – This is Real

Not a cover of this, presumably…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: [Huge] [house] [scorcher] about [new love] by [Jax Jones] [&] [Ella Henderson] [!]

Will Adams: The streaming model’s effect on EDM releases has been especially tiresome in recent years; it’s expected now for artists to pump out singles as frequently as every Friday in order to make those playlists. It’s understandable, but when album time rolls around, the result is a bloated collection of 15-20 tracks that all sound the same and have been out for six months. 2019 alone has seen it happen with the likes of Armin Van Buuren, Gryffin, Illenium, Tritonal and Jax Jones. “This Is Real” is the penultimate track of Snacks (Supersize), at which point Jones’ pumping piano house has been run into the ground. In isolation, it’s perfectly fine, but we’ve been here before. In the context of the album, I would expect some reward for reaching the end of such a repetitive exercise. Instead, the chorus Rickrolls you.

Kylo Nocom: I had more fun while thinking about whether or not the Rickrolling here was intentional than I did while actually listening to this struggle house anthem.

Katie Gill: Why on EARTH did Jax Jones build a solid chunk of this song around a phrase that everybody already associates with another, much better song? He’s no stranger to love songs (and the internet), he must have known of that phrase already. There are just some phrases that through time, staying power, or sheer meme-ification are intricately linked to certain songs. Jones knows these rules, and so do I. It’s a weird choice, one that I’m not sure if it was made out of chutzpah or ignorance — though based on his track record, I’m leaning ignorance. I wouldn’t get this from any other guy. Did he think that phrase would make “This is Real” more memorable? That’s the only thing I can think of for the phrase’s inclusion. I just wanna tell you what I’m feeling and try to make you understand it’s not much of a song otherwise. It’s a middle of the road dance track with Henderson’s overwrought vocals that gives you up, lets you down, runs around and deserts you.

Thomas Inskeep: Jones’ indentikit house groove is fine, but Henderson’s vocal has a shrill, off-putting quality that sinks what likely would’ve only been an average song at best.

Oliver Maier: I was kind of zoning out on this until the chorus — immediately, buoyantly great — crashed in. Ella Henderson’s muscular performance carries Jax Jones’ staid production for the bulk of the song, but it’s only on the hook that the two synthesize something beautiful.

Scott Mildenhall: It’s very canny for Ella Henderson to try and re-establish herself in the public consciousness with not one, but two guest vocals. When she sings out, she’s perfectly suited to this kind of thing — less so with the 50% commitment, 50% intelligible verses — and she brings more to it than most could. One thing she can’t change is that this is one of Jax Jones’ less distinctive works (it’s a surprise to find out MNEK was involved), but it’s nevertheless a good showcase for a voice that people may well remember they’d forgotten.

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One Response to “Jax Jones & Ella Henderson – This is Real”

  1. I swear, Katherine’s Tracery script deserves to have its own MLA citation

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