Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Mutya Keisha Siobhan – Flatline

No, Adam Lambert’s not a member, but we’ll take all the stan-traffic we can get.


Iain Mew: THE OUTRO THE OUTRO THE OUTRO! Thanks to whoever made this video to explain why I found its gentle descent through the clouds quite so familiar and overwhelming. Though obviously it wouldn’t work so well if it didn’t come at the end of such an excellent song that itself offers nostalgic thrills in hearing these three finally together again.

Edward Okulicz: The original members of the Sugababes produced the group’s most underrated singles, “Run For Cover” and “Soul Sound,” and “Flatline” fits nearly between the two. It doesn’t have the emotional knockout chorus of the former or the sweet self-assurance of the latter, or use the harmonies to the full extent like either of them, but when those do appear on the chorus, it’s something special. Consider “Flatline” a proof-of-concept that it can work; if they can muster a dozen choruses like this and a couple of verses to the same standard, so much the better.

Patrick St. Michel: I was answering e-mails while listening to “Flatline,” and I swear the song lasted a really long time. It had a straight-ahead-pop section, but then it swelled and strings entered into everything and “Flatline” got ratcheted up a peg in terms of drama. “Wow, that lasted so long, but I loved every minute of it! I wonder how lon….What?????,” I though as I switched tabs. “Flatline” clocks in at under four minutes, but packs in so much during that time. Yet it never sounds bloated.

Brad Shoup: Dismayingly ragged songwriting from the MKS team. The pre-chorus especially strains for import. But they put some tears in the chorus (which barely resolves — it’s like they gave themselves a second chance at the pre-chorus), so while the track as a whole is a bit mudcaked, it ferries you, quickly enough, to the refrain. Imagine some mixture of Brandy and Coldplay, and Brandy wins.

Scott Mildenhall: “Don’t say it no, please wait till we’re sober.” Now that is an opening line. Unfortunately, “don’t play a sad song, put your guitar back down” is one that immediately follows it, and such over-literalism paired against such brilliant scene-setting is characteristic of the hit-and-miss lyricism that runs through “Flatline.” Thankfully everyone’s favourite Sugababes iteration that they either didn’t pay attention to or don’t remember from first time around have more up their sleeves than that though, confirming hitherto unspoken truths from behind painted smiles beautifully enough that it could be a prequel to Olly Murs’ “Dear Darlin’,” and that is praise indeed.

Will Adams: This clearly comes from the same world of “Everything Is Embarrassing,” and no, it’s not just because it’s Dev Hynes. For one, there’s the identical chord progression in the chorus. More importantly, there’s the same sense of defeat, the sulking in the corner when your vision of love doesn’t come to fruition. Amidst the theatrics, pulsing bass, and giant toms, there’s a central line as devastating as it is numbed: “There ought to be a way,” but there’s not, and there’s no getting around that dead beat. It’s this year’s “maybe if you tried, then I would not bother”; a song to sit silently to as the world around you turns against your will.

Alfred Soto: The spare keyboard-anchored production does the voices no favors: they sound thin and breathless from the effort of embodying the title conceit, although it acquires more heft when the chorus comes round the second time.

Katherine St Asaph: Much love to MKS and Dev, but the thing about flatlining is it makes for pretty crappy melodies, or choruses or hooks or comebacks. Maybe they should have borrowed Girls Aloud‘s conceit?

Reader average: [7.46] (15 votes)

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7 Responses to “Mutya Keisha Siobhan – Flatline”

  1. If only there was a way of getting this into the right dimensions to use as the image:

  2. I’m one of the stans for MKS. I’m just happy that they are coming back with a no-co-writers song, written by themselves only. The song is great, and a bit of a grower too, but to me, the fact that they did all of the writing themselves makes me the happiest. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for these ladies.

  3. It underwhelms the first two or three listens; then as you think ‘Is it Haim-ish or Mac-ish’, you remember all the drama that went into getting these three to this point and then you realize that it’s kinda ‘Overload’-ish and that was your goal for them it in the first place. Hopefully this time, everyone gets it.

  4. Flawless song and death to all the reviewers here who gave it a shitty mark. Y’all just don’t appreciate REAL MUSIC!!!

  5. The chorus doesn’t exist. It starts out promising and then, well, flatlines.

    Really, they should have just recorded “Medevac.”

  6. ^^ Cosign this. Or “Goldfish”.

  7. Hmm, I disagree. I think the chorus is gorgeous. I like how it’s more subtle and the verses just bleed into the hook, and I love after the middle 8 when Keisha comes for Mariah’s weave with those ad libs during the home stretch.