Monday, February 1st, 2021

Anne-Marie x KSI x Digital Farm Animals – Don’t Play

Good advice!


[Video]
[3.83]

Samson Savill de Jong: “Everything you’re sayin’, I think I’ve heard it all before”. It’s always good when a song summarizes itself so succinctly. 
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Vikram Joseph: Sainsbury’s Basics UK garage, featuring a fairly uninterested-sounding Anne-Marie who is nonetheless made to sound relatively dynamic by KSI, who raps like a 12-year-old who’s been forced to read a sonnet in his English class.
[2]

Rodrigo Pasta: KSI’s legacy as a musician is gonna be akin to Ricky Gervais’s. (Oh, wait, you didn’t know he was a musican? Now let’s just hope KSI’s legacy as an entertainer doesn’t follow suit). Anne-Marie will become a reality star in the next five years, and her songs will be as well-remembered as Paula Abdul’s. Digital Farm Animals, on the other hand? Eh, Dua Lipa’s “Be the One” will hold up, but Louis Tomlinson’s “Back to You” unfortunately won’t. Boo to you all.
[2]

Kayla Beardslee: An alternate universe where Anne-Marie is good probably does exist (if so, this would be the wormhole into it), but “Don’t Play” is another sign that we are not, in fact, living in it. The hook meets the bare minimum of catchiness; nothing else is notable.
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Thomas Inskeep: “The feels hit me differently”? Do people — by which I really mean, people 20-plus years younger than me — really talk like that? Okay, fine, I can accept that I’m not the target audience for pop in 2021. But because I am 50, Digital Farm Animals’s skittering UKG/2-step beat (hello, 2001!) grabs me. Anne-Marie’s vocal is pleasantly anonymous enough to fit the track, and KSI’s rap makes sense here too (shades of the pop edge of early grime). This isn’t great, but it doesn’t have to be; I’m kind of a sucker for it, even though I feel like I should know better.
[7]

Scott Mildenhall: At last, Anne-Marie has stopped just before 2002. Her more subdued turn on Rudimental’s “Come Over” was a reminder of what she’s capable of, so the nasal robot moments here are in some ways a step back, countered nevertheless by several steps onward to comfortable sonic ground. KSI is more successful as a brand than a rapper, but that does seem to be the crux of it all.
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