Friday, July 9th, 2021

RAYE – Call On Me

We like her but we think she’s done better…


Wayne Weizhen Zhang: RAYE is extraordinarily talented. Go all the way back to “Shhh.” Dip your toes in “Natalie Don’t,” “Love Me Again,” or “Please Don’t Touch.” Listen to Euphoric Sad Songs front-to-back: anyone with an ounce of sensibility should be able to hear how she effortlessly weaves catchy melodic hooks with narrative-driven storytelling to create coruscant pop, gems that soar and sparkle in their own melancholy. This is all to say: it should break all of our hearts that RAYE’s label has been sleeping on her for years, and manipulating until the point of public pleas for help. The EDM-lite of “Call on Me” isn’t my favorite look of hers — there’s also evidence that her label has asked her to switch genres — but I don’t care. Her talent was always going to propel her through this industry, and after having made her struggle public and received an outpouring of support, her ascent into better things is preordained at this point. 

Vikram Joseph: Just the latest in a string of uncomplicated but fully-certified bangers from one of the most underrated pop girls. This one’s got more than a touch of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Higher” in its DNA. Euphoric Sad Songs proved her emotional range; “Call On Me” doesn’t feel the need to prove much, other than that she can churn out high-calibre summer dance-pop in her sleep. Leak the album, RAYE, I dare you.

Ian Mathers: Of course there are so many songs out there that share titles, but there’s something about the way the track briefly lifts off every time RAYE sings the title that really makes me want to hear a remix/mashup that brings in the Steve Winwood sample from the other “Call on Me.”

Mark Sinker: Promise of full prog-freakout about two-thirds in: just voice for a line or so and then gorgeous self-harmonised expansion and sky-studded firework-flower release… only the build is too brief and the release soon contained and it all falls back into the rhythm-clatter of a living-room organ’s little drum-machine. Promise broken. 

Thomas Inskeep: Gloriously soaring house-pop that sounds like sunscreen and frosé in the best way.

Edward Okulicz: “Call on Me” is fine if wallpaper-y, jumping eagerly from cliche to cliche (musical and lyrical) with a good deal of charm, but no guts or blood. It’s a bit too dinky and cute to work as a banger and it hasn’t got any desire behind it. I feel like if you were to come on over to RAYE’s place she’s most likely to offer you a cup of tea and show you holiday snaps or something.

Alfred Soto: Successfully Dua Lipa’ed, RAYE releases a house popper that would’ve been a banger in 2019. 

Frank Falisi: Sugar spins, slight buzz — if I forget that I drank a glass of chocolate soy milk this morning, it’s not that it is not still somewhere in me subjecting my juices to its sweetnesses, it’s just that is being assimilated by belly processes instead of lingering in limbs.

Nortey Dowuona: The lunging piano chords scratched by the shifty percussion and the Leander drums surround Raye’s surging voice then suffocate it underneath cloudy almond synths and bouncing rubber drums, then the synths open up to see Raye shine over the handclaps, crooning her love to your ears.

Leah Isobel: Another year, another RAYE single that shows her to be a charismatic, likable performer chafing against the restraints of white-bread radio pop even as she elevates the form. Destroy all major labels, and for fuck’s sake stream “Natalie Don’t.”

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2 Responses to “RAYE – Call On Me”

  1. Oh dang I was busy yesterday and missed this… what the hell guys this is a [10].

  2. lolol my first thought reading this set of blurbs was omg where is Kayla’s blurb she’s definitely going to give this a 10