Friday, July 7th, 2017

Raye – The Line

Draggin’ it…


Leah Isobel: Raye is my favorite kind of pop star – rowdy, confident, and too clever by half. There is something so brilliant to me in writing a banger about waiting in line for the club, a double quality that the split-screen video makes clear: you can sing it loud if you’re in the club and hear it echoing in your head if you’re not. The whole song walks this razor’s edge well, zooming in on the little victories (“yeah, we look like sickness”) and indignities (“1 AM and it’s freezing… all us girls got our legs out”) that an average night out brings, then pushing the speed up to breakneck levels and letting Raye’s mischievous energy keep it all together. The mania is addictive; I wonder if it’ll get tiring later on.

Iain Mew: The emotional side doesn’t 100% work, but never mind. Getting across the ebb and flow of a whole club set within the production of a song about not getting into said club is a bizarre conceptual triumph.

Thomas Inskeep: Funny that RAYE’s cut songs written by Charli XCX, because “The Line” is basically a stronger spin on Charli’s femme-driven pop bangers. RIYL: XCX, Icona Pop, Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” (c’mon, that one was good), UK ladies with attitude. Ticks off all my boxes.

Micha Cavaseno: Is Raye what Charli XCX fans think they hear? Over grimey square waves and crisp drums, “The Line” manages to make getting up and partying not only sound like a call to arms, but a manifesto for the intent to do damage as penned by the defacto leader of trash(ed) teen vandals. Raye’s lyrics shift from self-eviscerating to glamorous in the blink of an eye, showing an unabashed love of hedonism even in the more absurd and ungainly moments. Very few records can actually make all the consequences sound like convincing arguments or even ideal results, and she manages to pull that off.

Katherine St Asaph: Gonzo, everything-at-once production wasted on flat vocals and an over-clever conceit: what portion of the club experience hasn’t yet been colonized by a would-be definitive pop song? The result falls between the singalong malaise of “All My Friends” and a pissy Yelp review.

Ashley John: This song bounces all over the place, trying to cover any and all ground that could potentially catch the ear of a listener. It finally snaps into place during the second chorus when the drums come in to add a semblance of cohesion. Soon enough it unravels and never quite finds its sweet spot again, instead barely bouncing above boring. What I’m really saying is I wish this was a Little Mix song. 

Alfred Soto: “Barely moving inches” describes Raye’s inflexible vocal and the inert backing track.

Will Adams: It’s not quite as cutting as “Ode to the Bouncer” — where Cherry goes for clever, Raye gets rowdy as the music follows suit. But as someone who’s been dragged to New York hot spots and dealt with the anxiety of wondering if I’d dressed stylishly enough, waiting for ages, finally reaching the front only to find a blindsiding cover charge, $14 well drinks and a bad DJ, I’m all for a club song that throws tomatoes at club culture.

Reader average: [6] (2 votes)

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