Friday, November 13th, 2020

Ella Mai – Not Another Love Song

Brenda from Bristol calls lawyers…


Ryo Miyauchi: Ella Mai’s descent into deep infatuation is slow, but every grain of sand in the clock lands dreamlike. She lets us into her introspection as she is wont to do while singing words of sweet surrender. As if responding to those lyrics, the beat ensures that “Not Another Love Song” feels like a blissful free fall rather than druggy suspension or a step into quicksand. For all that she’s enveloped by her feelings, Ella Mai still shows a bit of uncertainty, and her hesitance to call it exactly what it might be in the chorus cuts through the otherwise innocent drift.

Alfred Soto: To sing as poignantly as Ella Mai means remaining on alert for banality; she can’t transform received Braxtonisms like “Not Another Love Song.” Nor can Toni Braxton.

Thomas Inskeep: The British R&B wunderkind gives me serious Brandy ca. 1996 vibes here — I just wish both the track and her vocal went somewhere, rather than sitting in neutral. I want more.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Ella Mai has a voice so divine she could sing my grocery list and it’d sound gorgeous, but “Not Another Love Song” is probably the worst single she’s released. You don’t need to look further than the song’s title to see the problem: the track is severely underwritten, a series of vague feelings lacking a strong central conceit. 

Juana Giaimo: I like how lyrics and music go together in this song. “Could it be too much to say I’m in…” she begins singing, and we all know the word that follows, but she doesn’t say it. Instead, she starts looking for metaphors and excuses. At the same time, the vocal melody gets very rambling and, in a positive way, lacks focus — especially with the distracting backing vocals. For this reason I find it a little bit disappointing when she gets too straightforward in the chorus, especially with the lyrics.

Nortey Dowuona: Ella touches down through the whirling soul samples, 40 bass layer cake and Metro chart drums, and pirouettes over and over again. She disappears, then leaps out of the mist, trying to float, but stuck within the miasma of croons and bass frosting, drifts in the 3rd and 5th layers, reminiscing.

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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