Friday, January 31st, 2014

Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – Rather Be

Strings? Stevie Nicks?

Scott Mildenhall: There are so many brilliant individual lines in this, two words in particular summing up how almost everything about it directly hits the spot: “sacred simplicity”. You can go a long way with such a succinct sentiment as “no place I’d rather be” as a hook, and when you add in the violins, the piano, and those rhotacisms of Glynne’s, you do go even further. Clean Bandit know exactly what they’re doing.

Iain Mew: The first thirty seconds of “Rather Be” is divine, a state it largely achieves through restraint. It’s there in the perfectly placed silence and in the brevity of the string figure before Clean Bandit reconfigure it into floating bubbles of synth. Most of all, it’s in the way Jess Glynne makes “a thousand miles” sound buoyed by love to be just as light. When it builds into a neat but more conventional pop song and she sings “we staked out on a mission to find our inner peace”, I want to reply that they already found and lost it.

Alfred Soto: “Sacred simplicity” is Jess Glynne’s mission as statement, connecting string samples and 808s and house pianos. It’s such a nineties throwback it even evokes affirmative crap like “You Gotta Be.”

Patrick St. Michel: Oh, those strings are so unnecessary besides surface-level sophistication. Yet “Rather Be” is nice dance-pop that doesn’t need to be muddled up by such sounds.

Megan Harrington: I know this song is using bloopies and violins and Jess Glynne to manipulate me into feeling like my life is a commercial for the McDonald’s breakfast menu, but I’ve been feeling for weeks (or since her Stevie Nicks-officiated wedding) that I really miss Vanessa Carlton and that whole Starbucks pop gang. As long as “Rather Be” is playing I’m ok with pretending that I have the golden bang:face ratio and I’m telekinetic with my cat and I have a boyfriend whose glasses match mine and strangers think it’s super cute. I like this fantasy world filled with major chords, slightly soulful voices, and dappled sunshine. Believing in the utopia of true love and togetherness for four and a half minutes isn’t so bad.

Brad Shoup: Love the combination of Glynne and that piano; they lean into that chorus with the same vigor. It’s forceful and light, a rush of assurance and lovingly tendered violin. I’m not sold on the verses (at least the parts not backed by strings), but maybe they just suffer by comparison.

Reader average: [8.26] (15 votes)

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

7 Responses to “Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne – Rather Be”

  1. “to manipulate me into feeling like my life is a commercial for the McDonald’s breakfast menu” – I read the Singles Jukebox for lines that describe my ambivalences that simply. Thanks for this!

  2. I have loved hearing this song on the radio the past few months.

    I’m curious if any of the Jukeboxers feel more positive (or negative) feelings about it at this point!

  3. I missed writing about it. Probably would have been a [7] then, though it’s closer to an [8] now, thanks to stumbling across a couple of very nice remixes.

  4. i love this song; it’d be a [9] from me

  5. It’s definitely one of the 5 songs I’ve heard most without my volition this year. Some of those songs I like but I’m tired of; not this. Maybe I had a minor lull with it a while ago, but I love it every time now. Everything about it is bang-on.

  6. Same here, pretty much. My views on the relative highlights haven’t changed but I’ve come to love it a bit more after hearing it a lot.

  7. one of those songs that is so great in the context of the radio. i checked the DB for it cause i wanted to blurb and then saw we did it LOL 8 MONTHS AGO

    i mentioned on tumblr that the string melody sounds like it was lifted directly from a 90s JRPG