Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Rag’n’Bone Man & Pink – Anywhere Away From Here

And away from this song…


Katie Gill: After a surprisingly fun last entry, Rag’n’Bone Man goes back to his trademark dreariness! What the hell, man? You scored over a [5] for once and this is what you decide on for your next single? I was rooting for you, we were all rooting for you! How dare you!

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: I know there’s no point in close reading the lyrics to this sort of rote piano balladry, but there is truly nothing going on here. This song is four minutes long and it is impossible to say that it is about anything in particular. It’s a nexus of bad vibes and alienation without any catharsis, a two chord vamp that leads to nothing but slightly hoarser vocal performances.

Juana Giaimo: Getting through Rag’n’Bone Man’s first verse was hard (I don’t like his forced vocals), but I appreciate how the song stayed simple. I was expecting the typical big chorus and it never arrived — they just sang a few high notes towards the end — and it makes sense because it isn’t necessary in a song that is about feeling out of place.

Iain Mew: This had a really tough job at the end of the Brit Awards. The ceremony had covered the excitement of being one of the first test events to have crowds allowed, and now was trying to have a moment of capturing the mood of the time in between the last awards and that point. The best that can be said is that without this song’s phenomenal vagueness and emptiness, it could have gone much worse.

Nortey Dowuona: Rag’n’Bone Man has the problem of doing perfectly perfunctory Albert King for folks who have never heard of Albert King. P!nk has the problem of doing perfectly perfunctory music for people who have never heard “Get The Party Started”. This — soft, pastel piano loop swirling in a loping bass minted while a beautiful choral group lay behind them — is the proper use of their talents, letting just their powerful voices fill the mix and lift the song a little higher off the ground.

Samson Savill de Jong: This is a deep cut that’s being forced to walk on its hind legs and act like a main single. This slow and complitative song needs the body of an album to work off and respond to, cut adrift and presented in isolation it feels lost and underwhelming. I can totally see people falling in love with it if they found it in that context of listening through an album. But this is being presented to people like me, outsiders to Rag’n’Bone man who don’t know a lot about him, to try and convince us to listen to him more closely. But because I don’t already know him, I can’t connect to this song in the way it needs me to, and the song doesn’t do enough on its own to really tug at my heartstrings. In an album it wouldn’t need to, it has the rest of the project to build a connection for it. But this doesn’t make me want to listen to a full project, it just makes me bored.

Edward Okulicz: If Pink’s good at one thing, it’s making male duet partners sound crappy by comparison. Where Rag’n’Bone Man can’t get out of his own way with his portentious would-be-soulful bleating, Pink just makes it sound effortless, drawing out the decent melody without seeming like she’s trying to inflate this to the level of a Meaningful Ballad. The song itself would have made a rather competent British Eurovision entry, had anyone in that country had any idea about anything lately.

Harlan Talib Ockey: Your Honor, I think Rag’n’Bone Man should’ve just given this to P!nk to sing alone. Allow me to present the evidence. First, I don’t think I’m ever coming around on Rag’n’Bone Man’s voice. He always sounds slightly too inflexible, which is particularly rough here, since it saps the song’s first verse of its intended timidity. P!nk, on the other hand, manages this nuance far more adeptly, and her low notes are always delightful. Second, the lyrics are eloquent and clearly sincere, but there’s no reason why two people should be singing them. The verses form a single narrative, so it’s borderline incoherent for two distinct characters to be recounting it. Perhaps the idea was meant to be “if multiple people feel this way they can help each other”, but that’s never specifically mentioned. As it is, it’s a song about being lonely and out of place where two singers are accompanying each other, which is a little funny, isn’t it? Third, this is just begging to surge forward and take off at the end instead of its thudding anticlimax. Admittedly, Rag’n’Bone Man could’ve easily put together a better ending himself, but maybe the fact that he chose not to indicates that he was the wrong person to have at the helm. I rest my case, and I look forward to the court’s decision.

Alfred Soto: Soul moves this earnest deserve a caning.

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2 Responses to “Rag’n’Bone Man & Pink – Anywhere Away From Here”

  1. ok but like imagine if “all you ever wanted” was sent to Eurovision

  2. If “All You Ever Wanted” was sent to Eurovision, it’d be a situation where the UK would still get 0 points but they’d actually have a REASON to be upset about it all