Thursday, May 14th, 2020

Major Lazer ft. Marcus Mumford – Lay Your Head on Me

You know, crediting MØ would continue the alliteration you’ve got going, which after all is at least as twee as this song…


Katherine St Asaph: The post-2020 world seems very much like a world where tens of thousands of people will no longer congregate on packed festival grounds, there not so much for the billed artists (or, in MØ’s case, the unbilled) but the feeling, the refracting of trite lyrics into hourlong transcendence through the prism of tens of thousands of sweaty, drunken bodies. Gone, probably, are the days of vibing, of Major Lazing, perhaps willing someone nearby to internalize these words and lay their head on them (without knocking over the watercooler-cup-sized beer or sriracha tots). So why do we still need songs like this? To hear a better take on “every single choice in your life has led you here” — one that understands the manipulative fucked-upness to the sentiment, and also the allure — seek out Fiona Apple’s new, excellent “I Want You to Love Me.”

Michael Hong: Genre mashing is best when it’s bold, where there’s a sense of risk to the work. Here, Major Lazer and Marcus Mumford sound terrified of the idea of intruding on each other’s space.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: This is as awkward and tawdry as one could have predicted just based on the conceptual pairing, but I’m most befuddled by the credits. Why is MØ not credited despite being a co-writer and clearly singing on the track? You’d think that after being the driving force behind Major Lazer’s largest hit, which has garnered billions of streams, she could be treated as an equal. Furthermore, why is this attributed on Spotify to “Major Lazer, Marcus Mumford, [and] Diplo” when Diplo is already ostensibly part of Major Lazer? Is his ego really so large that he needs to be credited twice?

Alfred Soto: Denying MØ a “ft.” credit seems churlish when her harmonies add the pathos missing from Marcus Mumbleford’s frosted shredded wheat croon and guitar plucking. For curious listeners, I beg you not to watch the video: the dancing will toast your nose hairs.

Katie Gill: The song in the music video is SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING than this. Not because of the dance challenge, but because of the brief snippets of violin, harp, marimba, and flute that turn a relatively boring song into this absolutely beautiful cataclysm of noise. But I suspect it’s a logistical nightmare to produce an actual mp3 version of the music-video version, so I guess radio and internet DJs will have to settle for Major Lazer being as mediocre as he can be.

Tim de Reuse: It’s disappointing that the collage of instrumental snippets presented in the music video is completely absent from the “official” streaming versions of this track, because it’s the only thing here that’s sonically interesting or thematically appropriate. Without the messiness of its international collaborators, “Lay Your Head on Me” is nothing but corporate inspiro-pop meshed effortlessly with the hyper-real folksiness of Mumford into a come-together anthem for car commercials. In any other year it’d be inoffensive, but in a post-celebrities-singing-imagine world, its anti-politics are irritating.

Scott Mildenhall: There’s a symmetry to the man who popularised the Rednex acoustic remix leaning on Major Lazer, but in the event, it’s a symmetry about as challenging as you might find in an infants’ school maths class. “Lay Your Head on Me” is a square cut down the middle, and not even diagonally. It hasn’t been shaded in, and no shiny mirrors have been provided to enhance appreciation of its effect. It doesn’t seem to want to have an effect. It knows it is a square, and is probably aware of how much can be done with a square, but is instead content to merely be one. Try to lay your head on it if you will, but hold out little hope — as an even more foundational maths lesson will tell you, a square is two-dimensional.

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