Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter

Blurbs are coming…


[Video]
[5.00]

Abdullah Siddiqui: I missed you, Mildred. 
[8]

Alfred Soto: Playing “Mother’s Daughter” after new Banks emphasizes the homogeneity of the pop scene; also, its indebtedness to Sky Ferreira when complaints about the star-making machinery rise to epic levels (the chorus hints at Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch,” which is something). As usual, Miley Cyrus’ protean vocal gifts — she can avenge and suffer; she’s Medea and Antigone — turn a song into radio fodder.
[6]

Katherine St Asaph: Parts of this are quite good. Unfortunately, that’s because they’re the melody from “Swim Good.”
[4]

David Moore: On an EP of truly heinous material — the kind of stuff that makes Can’t Be Tamed sound like Bangerz;seriously, check out the RuPaul duetthis one is merely perplexing, an ode to a mom who is… fierce like a crocodile?
[3]

Will Adams: I imagine something like this could work: a blustery mission statement like the type Diana Gordon’s done, delivered with an endearing conviction. But imagining that alternate reality just serves as a distraction from my general annoyance with the whole package. “I’m nasty, I’m evil,” Miley sneers, as if the chaste rebranding of the Younger Now era didn’t happen just two years ago. It’s hard to be invested when she’s just trying on genres on a whim.
[4]

Scott Mildenhall: With such a vague list of affirmations, much rests on their delivery. Already painted into a corner by the words “I’m nasty, I’m evil,” Cyrus duly fails to prevent them from sounding laughable, something compounded by how she really doesn’t seem to be playing this for laughs. It was ever thus. Still, switch off from the overcompensation, and there remains an enjoyably tough piece of music.
[6]

Alex Clifton: The thing about Miley’s music is that it’s always been distinctive — even when it’s not been great, it always felt like something that could only come from Miley herself. I can’t imagine anyone else singing “Party In the USA” with such conviction, and “Malibu” was gentle and dippy but still felt true to who she is as a person. (We don’t talk about the Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz album for obvious reasons, but needless to say that’s very obviously from her.) This is the first time since her Disney days that a song has felt entirely anonymous. That’s a shame because I think the conceit of the song is neat but nothing about this feels distinctive. Blerghhhhh. I’m bored.
[4]

Tuesday, June 11th, 2019

Young Thug ft. J. Cole & Travis Scott – The London

Hottest rap hotel anthem since “Holidae In”?


[Video]
[5.17]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: If Young Thug and J. Cole, who at this point are less rappers and more symbols of certain opposite paradigms in modern rap, decide they should link over a skeletal Travis Scott hook for the sake of Song of The Summer positioning, then so be it. “The London” is neither as stylistically daring as Thugger’s best or as heartfelt as Cole’s, but at least it’s not as scattershot or corny (respectively) as their nadirs. Most of all, it’s just pleasant, the kind of radio rap single I can listen to endlessly without being moved all that much in any direction.
[6]

Ashley John: “The London” is the summer rap equivalent of a Forever 21 romper: a dumpster of a season’s trends, each of which is nothing special on their own but in sum is overdone. 
[4]

Alfred Soto: “A verse from me is like eleven birds” is the most interesting lyric J. Cole’s written in years, but he’s gotta boast his hard credentials while Thug’s in the title hotel ordering surf ‘n’ turf. I suppose this is the best we can expect from the pop one per cent.
[5]

Katherine St Asaph: A pleasant enough pensive beat, that two out of three rappers handle perfectly well.
[5]

Nicholas Donohoue: Young Thug wipes the floor with his featured artists who just serve to drone and annoy but definitely did their job of making the song bigger. A point off for the heavy reverb which weigh down the track more than they impart what was suppose to be a more clout-y ritzy trap.
[5]

Julian Axelrod: This is Young Thug’s highest-charting single as a solo artist, which would be more exciting if it wasn’t one of his least Thug-centric songs. On the whole, this is a remarkably egoless posse cut, with three huge names blurring the margins and cribbing liberally from each other’s styles. Cole runs Thug’s spastic yelps through Travis’s sad-robot filter, while Scott and Thugger aim for Cole’s carefully cultivated balance of horny and introspective. Even the beat feels like it’s trying to make itself scarce, dicing one of the 2010s’ last unused flute loops into gauzy ribbons. It’s compulsively listenable and pleasantly forgettable, a chance for three of rap’s biggest personalities to leave their personalities at the door.
[6]

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Jess Glynne & Jax Jones – One Touch

Maybe work on that plan?


[Video]
[4.83]

Ian Mathers: Every so often someone goes back and looks and says “hey, you know how the public memories of ’60s pop music is all the Beatles and shit, well there was actually a bunch of very successful stuff that your parents were listening to that nobody remembers now.” The more successful she gets without ever feeling an iota less generic, the more I am convinced that Jess Glynne is the exact equivalent of those acts.
[3]

Scott Mildenhall: It’s scarcely credible that Jess Glynne has occupied 95 per cent of non-soundproofed space for more than five years now, and yet she and her casual affirmations of uncomplicated devotion seem as essential as the air that carries them. It remains unclear what brought her to this mission, but it has become her life’s work: to tell the world unobtrusively — kind of — that there is love in the world. For as long as Jess Glynne is around, you don’t have to walk alone.
[6]

Ashley John: A few months ago, I would have given this song a middling review: just another summer dance jam that will be forgotten as quickly as it came. However, to the surprise of everyone I know, and more so myself, I’ve become a total sucker and fallen in love, making this track giddily relatable.  With her broad, sweeping voice, she makes small moments large and all-encompassing. Like the feeling it describes, “One Touch” is commonplace but still booming and charged. The song takes a takes a tiny gesture and create a castle for it. Glynne and Jax validate the butterflies I get waiting excitedly at the bar for him to walk in, the rush at a simple hand on my back. 
[6]

Edward Okulicz: This throwback is a perfect use of the emotional foghorn that is Jess Glynne, who I find a little much in most surroundings. But these surroundings suit her perfectly so she sounds excited rather than like she might smother you with a pillow if you don’t love her back.
[7]

Katherine St Asaph: I have wasted an inordinate amount of time in the past month on Ganbreeder, generating photos of cloaks generated from photos of dogs or coral or upholstery. So I can now reverse-engineer “One Touch”: generated from “We Found Love,” “Take Care,” and “Time of Our Lives.” Sometimes the source material is much better.
[5]

Alfred Soto: For several years, Jess Glynne has specialized in the most received ideas about dance-inflected pop: empowerment cliches given what she thinks is soul over beats that the average person with taste and smarts could assemble with her laptop. “One Touch” continues this impressive record.
[2]

Monday, June 10th, 2019

Ed Sheeran ft. Chance the Rapper & PnB Rock – Cross Me

Given that header image, our score could be much worse…


[Video]
[4.86]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: My expectations for this were practically nonexistent, but 2019’s Corny Dude Summit (inaugurated by Jackson-McCartney 1982) actually works out fine! By packing in two collaborators, Sheeran himself doesn’t have enough space to say anything truly annoying, and while Chance has a couple punchlines that don’t land, he also is back in charming form after a series of disappointing verses. But the MVP here, weirdly enough, is PnB Rock, who brings in a smooth hook that undergirds the two larger artists, preventing them from wandering off away from the track’s relatively compact premise.
[6]

Katherine St Asaph: The [5]est of [5]s, but an extra point for the couple seconds throughout where it sounds like “Cross Me” is about to go into a bounce break. (The fact that it doesn’t is why this is the [5]est of [5]s.)
[6]

Alfred Soto: Sheeran sounds convincing crooning love man blather over second generation Isley Bros finger snaps, humiliating Chance the Rapper and his attempt at a #woke verse. Yet “Cross Me” in toto plays like a middling cross-genre post-Spotify redress of “Shape of You.”
[5]

Jonathan Bradley: The antipathy to Phil Collins has long confused me — in his home country, in particular, he seems to epitomize flailed blokey striving. He’s a doofy looking white guy, sure, but he’s got bangers. It hurts me every time I realize Ed Sheeran is his 21st century incarnation.
[6]

Tim de Reuse: An anthem for that one straight couple you knew in college who never shut up about how strong and committed their relationship is even though the dude still casually refers to her as “the ol’ ball and chain” whenever she’s out of earshot. Neat bassline, though!
[3]

Edward Okulicz: If you wanna be my friend, you gotta get with my lover. Well there’s the inversion of that pop trope I didn’t know I didn’t want. But it’s got a neat, popping bassline, and Ed Sheeran could legit make a decent hook singer for rap tracks. When thinking about him making them, my general response is more “eh Sheeran,” but his bit’s better than Chance’s. Honestly.
[6]

Alex Clifton: The PnB prechorus is decent. The rest of this is, err, certainly a song.
[2]

Sunday, June 9th, 2019

Bonus Tracks for Week Ending June 8, 2019

We have more content from our writers to share with you!

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Cardi B – Press

“Cardi don’t need more press”, apparently, but surely a little coverage from her favourite independent singles blog can’t hurt…


[Video][Website]
[6.00]

Katherine St Asaph: I’m sure I’ll change my mind after hearing her next splashy pop feature, but absolutely relentless Cardi might be my favorite Cardi.
[8]

Andy Hutchins: Pugilism is one of Cardi’s fortes, and keyboard savants Slade Da Monsta and Key Wane outfit her with some stunning ring-walk music on “Press,” with plinking alien transmission synths and a squashed organ that befit their flyweight champ. And when the snares start rattling, this sounds like a wonderful inversion of the Lex Luger trap sound that stomped so a thousand imitators could walk, run, slouch, and so forth. But Cardi’s not really going anywhere, exactly, just shadowboxing the same targets and talking the same shit as ever, and the gunshot sounds that punctuate the hook are distressingly generic for a song that strives to be more. A better prelude than entrée.
[5]

Alfred Soto: On realizing that Cardi wasn’t covering Paul McCartney’s burbling High Reagan wonder, I settled for a manifesto no different in its sanctimony than comparable efforts released from Elvis Costello and Madonna to New Kids on the Block and The Smiths, even if it’s more exuberant in its vituperative spirit. Like “Money,” “Press” entertains the troops with the artist’s tried-and-true while she prepares for the next phase — if she’s got one. This time ’round I savor the pronunciation of “ding DOOOOONG” and a vocal attack that’s like a pistol, ahem, pressed into your gut.
[7]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: This is so ugly and unmusical that it turns those seeming disadvantages into strengths — the fact that you’re listening at all translates into an argument for Cardi’s magnetism. “Press” is not likely to have the same earwormy quality of Cardi’s prior hits — I don’t think sorority girls will be rapping along to it a year and a half on from its release — but it’s certainly a memorable work of pop mythmaking.
[6]

Taylor Alatorre: The indomitable largeness of the production prompts Cardi to up the ante in order to be heard, with the result being that this sounds more like a losing struggle for dominance than a haughty proclamation of one. It’s as if she’s in a shouting match with the beat itself, and it makes this record sound oddly insular despite its outward-facing subject matter. The parts where the beat drops out are placed seemingly haphazardly throughout, without the satisfying build-up that’s needed in order to make the release enjoyable. The only thing here that remotely qualifies as “subtle” is when she briefly imitates Offset’s flow, which should maybe serve as a warning sign of diminishing returns ahead.
[3]

Iris Xie: Cardi B, I’m convinced that you could murder me anytime, and I’ll die gladly and willingly. However, if I was the subject of “Press,” I should know that whatever I did definitely deserved receiving her ire, and whoever Cardi B is pissed about should fucking run for their life. The opening bars sound like slowed-down mutations of The Nightmare on Elm Street, It, and The Twilight Zone theme songs, followed quickly by crouching beats and hostile snare drums as merciful warnings. Cardi B only gives you a few brief seconds before, whoops, you’ve been sent to another dimension. It is a joy to witness this, because in “Bodak Yellow,” her easygoing, sexy, infectious demeanor thinly veils her coiled, simmering preparedness to smash faces to the ground. There is no such buffer in “Press.” Other people talk a big game, but Cardi B has a playful-but-forceful presence that is deeply in tune with her desire to never suffer disrespect and to know exactly where to hit them with all of her abandon. Her attempts aren’t always successful; the chorus surprisingly needs a slightly deeper mockery and a bit more variance in its cadence to match the ugly venom of the verses, which diminishes a song whose short runtime means every line is a valuable currency. Fortunately, this misstep is quickly smoothed over with the final burst of “pop up, guess who, bitch?” that blends her presence with the twofold horrors of jump scares and gunshots. Still, she hasn’t always been this daring; her 2016 track “I Gotta Hurt You” shows hesitation, where the tiny bit of malice gets hidden by goofy EDM trappings. Here though, Cardi B’s wit chameleons to reflect that danger, with the lyric “ding dong! must be the whip that I ordered” displaying her keenness to Amazon Prime whoever disrespects her. (Also unintentionally, this line may be prime as a new meme, utterly destined for queers on Twitter ready to spring “she has a big strap” and “please step on me” references.) Her last repeat of “press, press, press” at the end is more successful in expressing a sly mockery that dissolves into a careless apathy. As for me, I’ve been craving songs that exhibit a willingness to play, exert power, and dive into dangerous, malicious moods, like f(x)’s “Red Light”, because since I’ve been looking for better examples of art willing to fully tap into its dark side, I’ve noticed how often potentially great songs tiptoe that edge but never make the leap. Case in point, “Press,” even with its faults, is what I wished TSwift did with “Look What You Made Me Do.” There, our maligned heroine needed to stop hiding behind the goofy melodies, lyrics, and passivity in order to assert her glorious potential as a full-blown Dark!Taylor. Both stars have such incisive intelligence and are terrifying in their precise perception, but Cardi B is willing to do what Taylor didn’t and takes her punchback at the press all the way to the edge — making better art for it. Her readiness to be that candid, combined with her skill, makes Cardi B a standout. She reminds us that, often, there’s literally nothing to lose beside ourselves in expressing our honest feelings, and that it’s worth the risk, as long as you do the work (and edit afterward.) So, to those hesitant, what the hell are you worried about?
[7]

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Dinah Jane – Heard It All Before

Focusing on the much bigger things we are doing, some throwback R&B, a genre including Bruno Mars (of which this Tune is part)…


[Video][Website]
[4.67]

Alfred Soto: She has to get all sultry over vehement rim shots, but the former Fifth Harmony member testifies with conviction in this adequate need-you-now R&B track. The blankness is a plus.
[6]

Iris Xie: This sounds like a Type A perfectionist who studied 90s R&B and had to make a song for their final thesis, but forgot that there were things called ease, groove and relaxation that help balance out the intricacy of that style of production and vocal run. Also, that last “lil bitch” is just so awkward — if you have to phone in your frustration at doing the most, at least direct it at the subject of the song itself. I got a bit of a jolt because it sounds directed at me, the listener, and that’s really a sour feeling to come away with. The suffocating nature of “Heard It All” was already irritating enough to sit through; I don’t need desperate, misguided harassment to understand what Dinah Jane is upset about.
[2]

Ian Mathers: The most interesting thing about this song is trying to resist the urge to use its own title to dismiss it (I failed, clearly).
[5]

Will Rivitz: Can we take on Dinah Jane as a TSJ staffer? She’s done my job for me on this song, and I like not having to work.
[3]

Katherine St Asaph: If Ariana Grande isn’t going to make effervescent, summery Mariah and/or early Mya tributes anymore, someone has to.
[7]

Scott Mildenhall: Just how many members of Fifth Harmony were there? This is a very polished entry into a genre tradition whose hit ratio was significantly higher in America than the UK — certainly not the J.R. Rotem that Britain heard and loved. If you grew up listening to songs like this, you might stand a better chance of liking it.
[5]

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Lana Del Rey – Doin’ Time

The first from her Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 soundtrack retrospective…


[Video][Website]
[6.67]

Alfred Soto: Lana Del Rey covering Sublime is Lana Del Rey covering Sublime: by pouring her Blue Lady affect over Brad Nowell’s stupid hooker ode, she recasts its sexism as self-mythology. But you knew that.
[7]

David Moore: I’ve been hearing a lot of naked and unashamed late 90s nostalgia in pop this year — direct references from the Macarena, Pixies via Fight Club (I assume; it fits the vibe, anyway), Spice Girls, TLC. But this one is a bit of nifty sorcery, Lana Del Rey fitting herself snugly, miraculously, into a cultural object that’s grown rancid over time, deproblematizing here and there with some gender swapping and a blurring of the boundary between the protagonist and the object of their desire and their violence. Not to mention she just flat out makes the song prettier. And, like most of the above examples, she doesn’t do much outwardly to transform or even disguise the song, yet the song sounds unmistakably different, of the present. It’s fun but haunted, the ghost of that me liking that song at that moment in that way hovering nearby like an unspoken threat as this me sings along, not quite able to fully let myself go.
[8]

Will Rivitz: 2019 is weird for countless reasons, but the one I’ve been thinking about most recently is the way we as a bizarre corner of the internet have reached a collective age where nostalgia for the state of the internet five to ten years ago has entered the cultural vogue. Soulseek and what.cd, a diverse blogosphere not hammered into a monoculture by social media; the fact of being able to say “blogosphere” wistfully instead of ironically; 2013 is firmly enough in the rearview mirror of an Instagram world that we can say things like “I miss Blogspot and forums” in real life and nobody bats an eye. This is weird for two main reasons: a) as a twenty-three-year-old, I can claim the 2010s internet as the first era I’ve lived through with a relatively adult mind, and therefore the nostalgia I feel for that is markedly different than the nostalgia for, say, High School Musical or “Check Yes, Juliet,” which I experienced in a different, pre-pubescent self; and b) so much of 2013’s internet culture was already backwards-facing, providing us in Anno Domini Twenty Nineteen with an odd sort of meta-nostalgia. Example number one: vaporwave, a genre so bizarrely at odds with and in sync with the countercultural norms of the time that it was simultaneously fiercely iconoclastic and fully conceptualized by Calvin and Hobbes decades before its musical inception. Example number two: Lana Del Rey, a singer who made a name among a particular Extremely Online cohort for (brilliant music aside) locking down the contemporary media spin cycle, inspiring thousands of takes on everything from the rosy color through which she interpolated the past to the implications of her knowing presentation of herself as almost an object for consumption, aestheticizing herself as a CRT-toned, cigarette-smoking vintage gal in much the same way as a pinup aestheticizes itself. Hence, half a decade and a world later: “Doin’ Time,” an intersection of both those examples so thoroughly moored in the *extremely read Pitchfork religiously in high school voice* cultural zeitgeist of the time that it seems, at least to my own very specifically trained eyes and ears, specifically tailored to those who would make more of its context than its musicality, production, or anything else that anyone who isn’t writing five hundred words on a blog in, again, the year of our lord 2019 might care about. I mean, here we are neck-deep in the blurb, and I’ve still said absolutely nothing about the song itself. Is it any good? Sure, I guess, but the fact of the matter is that I’ve trained myself, Pavlovian-style, to ignore any sort of meaningful details in music itself when writing about it over the course of far too many years and far too many hundreds of thousands of words, and this cover of “Doin’ Time” is triggering a flood of memories of keyboard barbs and Facebook group discussions and Limewire viruses to the point where the song is drowned out. But then, so much of Lana’s press coverage over the years has so fundamentally and unfairly ignored anything that truly matters about her — namely, her music — that I suppose it’s appropriate that, six years later, I still can’t say anything remotely intelligible about her without a messy whirlwind of context and remembrance. “Doin’ Time” has eight letters, so I suppose I’ll give this an [8]. It feels appropriately arbitrary. I miss the Internet.
[8]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: This is literally just Lana Del Rey doing Sublime karaoke and that’s OK.
[5]

Will Adams: So much of my musical upbringing involved basking in the searing sun of SoCal radio rock — Sugar Ray and No Doubt and The Offspring — that I can’t not rate this highly, even if Sublime were slightly before that time. It’s still thrilling to hear Lana exploring the same playful energy she did on Lust For Life. If Born to Die was her artificial phase, and Ultraviolence her authentic one, then “Doin’ Time” is the perfect synthesis.
[8]

Ashley Bardhan: Is this queerbaiting? 
[4]

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Sleater-Kinney – Hurry On Home

Sleater-Kinney get massively educated…


[Video]
[6.25]

Isabel Cole: I love that I mishear the line as “disconnect me from my bones / so I can flirt“; it feels right for a song about all that violence of desire shit I’m so into, a song which swirls with the charybdic hunger to be consumed, the unreconstructed self-loathing which gives urgency to our quest for the interior wholeness we misname love. The brutal wisdom in the switch from dress downable/uptownable/hair grab-able/grandslam-able to unfuckable/unlovable/unlistenable/unwatchable, the ways we learn to pretty ourselves up as an apology for our own repulsiveness. Those wailing harmonies like some myth about the dangers of an ugly woman, the distorted wordless vocal jittering in the back of the chorus somewhere between playful and vicious, the way the guitar near the end crackles to life like a house catching flame. All this, and it has the audacity to sound fun!
[9]

Alfred Soto: Don’t surrender to the temptation about who does what: Sleater-Kinney or St. Vincent could have written “You disconnect me from my bones/So I can float” in 2002 or 1995. Plenty of S-K tracks boasted synth coatings too. The thickness of the riffs and the howled manipulated vocals keep this from going pop, although maybe the band thought the rhythm licks in the coda were a nice try. 
[7]

Ryo Miyauchi: Sleater-Kinney’s once jagged, coiled guitars aim straight for their prey in big, bold print, just like the expression of their appetite: the unfuckable/unlovable/unlistenable/unwatchable sequence gets across their very lack of inhibition without contention, but it’s the visceral phrase of “disconnect me from my bones” that really sinks its teeth. That said, I prefer this band as well as the hunger they sing about at its messiest: it shouldn’t be easy to place such cravings into words as a string of clean iPhone texts, and I’d like the rock music to be as scrambled and knotty as those cravings can be.
[5]

Ian Mathers: Is it fair that how we think of artists who’ve made great work can be tainted by their insistence on producing less than great work? No. But it is true (even with bands where I like the less-than great work a lot more than this). If only they’d stopped after One Beat, they coulda been all-timers.
[4]

Katherine St Asaph: One of my favorite singles of 2012 was Rebekka Karijord’s “Use My Body While It’s Still Young,” but I liked it a bit less when I realized the chorus didn’t actually go “separate the life from my bones,” but “celebrate,” when the former would suit the death-drive tempo far more. “Hurry On Home,” with a chorus built around a similar line, a similar frantic emotional clench, and a bordering-on-operatic bridge, is the song that could have been, even if it’s yet another example of a kinda-synth pivot from a 2010s rock band.
[7]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: There are some lines here that I can’t quite parse but that’s not really the point– “Hurry On Home” works on a more elemental level, with St. Vincent’s production assist warping the vivid realism that Sleater-Kinney operate in into a funhouse mirror, making the song’s point more compellingly than any particular lyrical touch.
[7]

Taylor Alatorre: Back in 2012 when the band Pussy Riot was regularly making headlines, I had no idea what they actually sounded like, but this comes pretty close to what I was imagining. It’s punk rock as museum performance art, having gone through layers of abstraction and formalization to arrive at something that carries more weight symbolically than it does musically.  I’m in no place to demand that Sleater-Kinney return to the looser, yet still politically pointed stylings of songs like “You’re No Rock N Roll Fun” — that’s not where they are right now, and that’s fine. But even on No Cities to Love they seemed to be rebelling against the burdens of representation and indie stardom; here it sounds like they’re submitting to them.
[5]

Iris Xie: “Hurry on Home” is acidic, hard, crunchy, and pumped through with cortisol from the stress of living underneath the patriarchy, with all the ravages of desire and self-deprecation. I like the gleeful guitar riffs with the most visceral verse that starts with “Disconnect me from my bones,” because it rides those sentiments with a free easiness that acknowledges how often women and femme folks are used to dislocating and emptying out themselves to serve the needs of their partners. The tortured vocal stylings also reminds me of the aggressively maudlin songs by of Montreal and all of their funky misery. But really, underneath the constraints of society, women are often punished and discouraged for being direct and not self-effacing. In defiance, Sleater-Kinney is unapologetic about their lack of subtlety, to the point of the production lining up and boosting the rawness of the lyrics without any filters. For me, I am rather frustrated at my own socialization and the strain of undoing these behaviors, and would not choose to listen to “Hurry on Home” in my free time because I need a break from feeling these emotions. But, it is comforting to know that if I ever need the validation of my frustration, that Sleater-Kinney made this song as a straightforward sonic description of this interiority. It’s all such bullshit, but you have to continue living and navigating the best you can anyway — I know I have to.
[6]

Friday, June 7th, 2019

Banks – Gimme

Her five singles thus far have averaged out to a score of [5.00] – more like gim-meh.


[Video]
[4.75]

Will Adams: Is our 2000s nostalgia already at “My Love”? I’ll say this, at least it matches the unconvincing sultriness.
[4]

Julian Axelrod: I didn’t expect Banks to deliver one of the more murky and claustrophobic mainstream pop singles in recent memory, like Britney by way of Night Slugs. And I definitely didn’t expect her to hijack the “My Love” synth to get there. But at the end of the day, this is a producer-first single; listing the reference points is more interesting than anything in the song itself. I like Banks a lot; I just wish she wasn’t lost in the cacophony.
[6]

Ashley Bardhan: I love Banks’ voice. I love how curious and sharp it is, but I can’t hear it in this song. There’s no personality — all body is completely soaked up by the completely unsurprising quivering synth and plopping brick of a trap beat. In a statement, Banks described “Gimme” as “about knowing what you deserve, saying it out loud, and demanding it with no apologies.” I don’t really get that from flat lines like a vocoder-laced “Gimme, gimme it.” Give you what, Banks? “What I want, what I deserve.” I have no idea what that is. 
[3]

Iris Xie: This is a really square ‘artpop’ song, starting with those really forced adlibs that result in some crunchy synths that never relent in their staidness. They compete with Banks’ vocals, which could introduce some element of conflict at play, but instead, she is drowned by her own production. Big fat bass doesn’t cover up for such boring stiffness and ends up accentuating the posturing, resulting in me itching to get away to another song that doesn’t feel so weighed down by its instrumentation.
[3]

Alfred Soto: The electronic background obtrudes itself how I like, but Banks’ approach is too generous — she disappears beneath the beat, normally not a complaint except here when the lyrics that do emerge demand, well, enunciation.
[5]

Leah Isobel: I tend to be skeptical of Banks – her music usually feels like it’s a step away from actual feeling, too focused on constructing an immaculate sonic world. But “Gimme” works by flipping that negative into a positive. Rather than holding herself away from the rest of the track, she lets her voice melt into the synths by slurring her words and pitch-shifting herself up and down. This wouldn’t work if those synths weren’t so good; the arpeggiator in the chorus feels like an itch beneath the skin, mirroring and amplifying the lyrics’ manic desire. Instead of trying to thaw her customary coldness, she succumbs to it.
[7]

David Moore: A really gorgeous series of minor melodies, and then someone coughs out the word “bitch” and I’m jostled out of the reverie — not in a bad way. Where have I felt that before, those little spikes across the smooth surface? Ah, yes, “Gimme More,” it’s right there in the chorus, duh! Britney Spears’s 2007 bloomed like red wine spilled on a white tablecloth into our present; we should be sad and thankful.
[6]

Taylor Alatorre: I think I appreciate Billie Eilish a bit more now.
[4]