Monday, January 4th, 2021

Alfie Templeman – Shady

Pictured: Our resolution going into 2021…


[Video]
[4.92]

Samson Savill de Jong: Alfie Templeman is 17, and finding that out after listening to “Shady” was not surprising. Not in an insulting sense, as the music here is pretty good. But the attitude of the lyrics is that of a young person, lamenting that his partner has changed — i.e. grown up — and wishing they’d just stay the same forever so the narrator doesn’t have to consider his own flaws and whether or not he too needs to mature. It’s good because it’s intentional (I think), but boy would that character be absolutely insufferable to go out with.
[7]

Katherine St Asaph: Asshole-pop that, thankfully, is a bit fuzzier and scuzzier than your average Puthalike. Templeman’s vocal is a little too mumbled and hesitant, coming off like Finneas fronting Arctic Monkeys but warned before going on stage that if he opened his mouth more than a few millimeters, he’d trigger a tripwire and detonate a town. But “mumbled and hesitant” exactly reproduces the mannerisms of this species of dude, at least, and while “Shady” isn’t especially believable and doesn’t quite rock, next to the blandness of Templeman’s male singer-songwriter peers, he just might be the next best thing.
[7]

Will Adams: My God, the Olly Murs… they’re, they’re… multiplying.
[3]

Alfred Soto: A fetching start — hel-lo, bass line! — yields to the sorriest Justin-Bieber-in-heat imitation in recent memory. 
[5]

Iain Mew: I like the sneaking bass, but otherwise it sounds like Of Montreal without the weirdness or depth, or like “Feel It Still” without the hooks.
[4]

Austin Nguyen: The SoSo fauX verses and Halsey bridge are fine, but was there no songwriter in the room who thought, “What is a lyric/rhyme from the most famous Destiny’s Child single doing here, in a song (allegedly) about authenticity“?
[5]

Thomas Inskeep: Seems to start out as indie-boy rock before quickly becoming a Simian Mobile Disco record, verging on DFA (the label). Templeman’s voice isn’t great, but fits the material (both song and production) nicely; sometimes, a great voice isn’t required.
[7]

Andrew Karpan: A halfway arresting Prince impersonation that does not reward extended contemplation, this is Netflix-quality pop without a center or a soul, a strange impersonation of a song, like that guy on the cartoon show about a sad horse who is really three children in a trenchcoat. Less impressive are the lyrics, a painful jumble of empty phrases like “Do you really wanna go there?” and “I’m not acting shady” that, similarly, feel lifted from a bad script. It’s nonetheless kind of funny, like as a conceptual experiment, and count me interested when Alfie Templeman does decide to go there. 
[2]

Rose Stuart: My MP3 player has a glitch where sometimes it cuts off the last twenty or thirty seconds of a song. You get to the bridge, anticipating the moment where everything that has been building throughout the song will combine into an aural climax, and then the song suddenly stops and you’re left feeling underwhelmed, confused, and slightly annoyed. “Shady” leaves me with the same feeling. It is a great throwback track with a stunning guitar line and one of my favourite drum beats in a while, but after a gorgeous bridge and what should be a pre-chorus it abruptly ends. If this song simply had one last chorus that built on the ideas it raised in the bridge, it could have been great. As it is, it just feels like a 2:56 minute long tease.
[7]

Rachel Saywitz: No element of “Shady” sounds in place with another. The clean-cut production sounds much too clean to mesh with the psychedelic groove Templeman seems to be trying out, a shame because the song would flow much better if the beat hadn’t been padded out on a drum machine. Templeman himself is muddied and unenthusiastic in his vocal delivery, so I doubt he’d be able to elevate the song even if he had a live band backing him. Overall, he just sounds like another white guy trying to elevate his image by diving into music’s older years, but with little success. 
[5]

John Pinto: Alfie Templeman the producer seems like a cool guy; gotta give extra points to anyone who does the “shake an overdriven spring reverb to make a big crash” trick. But Alfie Templeman the frontman seems lost and anonymous, a trend I’ve come to associate with this wave of bedroom-pop kids. Leave them alone with the recording software of their choice and they’ll craft yacht rock symphonies to God, but tell them to entertain a living person and they’ll wither.
[4]

Scott Mildenhall: A thoroughly nice young man with a boundless desire to simply make music and hone his craft: what’s not to like? There is little in “Shady” to love, but like really is the word. The lyrics are non-committal, and the Jungle-assisted sound is doggedly unthreatening, but in sum their target is thus hit. Lightly woozy and unimposingly catchy, this song knows what it is, and where its parameters lie. More ambitious efforts will hopefully follow.
[6]

Joshua Minsoo Kim: It’s an awkward wobble of a mess: the percussion and bassline feel like the same loop copy-pasted ad nauseam; the zigzagging hook is sung with the conviction of a nervous high schooler; and the modest guitar solo flatlines the whole thing right when the song could use some semblance of dynamics. “I could be someone,” sings Templeman. Let’s hope so.
[2]

Reader average: [10] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

Comments are closed.