Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

AJ Mitchell – All My Friends

Team Decidedly Not A [10]…


Will Adams: Usually when someone complains about all their friends getting hitched and settling down, it’s meant to convey the angst of perpetual single-ness, not to win back a particular ex. Yet AJ Mitchell directs his plea at this former flame, and it gives an… off vibe, as if to say, “Might as well, we’re not getting any younger!” The song seems to think this is charming, so it adorns him with Tedder drums and syrupy guitars.

Taylor Alatorre: You might think that 17 is too young to be worrying about this stuff, and it is, but in pop music terms it’s the perfect age. Too much older and you risk crossing the line from earnest vulnerability into earnest bellyaching; the “Jesus Christ, I’m 26” thing only works if you’ve built a strong reputation on self-laceration. Besides, this is really a lament over a specific person disguised as a generalized paean to loneliness, which is the kind of songwriting safety net that sells the “fear of commitment” angle a bit too hard. Luckily there’s enough variety in the production to sustain this double dip and enough restraint in Mitchell’s voice to prove that not everything associated with Jake Paul is a soulless attention sink.

Katherine St Asaph: Maybe it’s just because I’m at the age where a quarter of the people I know are getting married and another quarter have been for years, but this seemed way more earnest and affecting than anything by a Jake Paul affiliate should be. Then the plinky piano started: not the form of hell I was expecting.

Will Rivitz: Say what you will about the other Team 10-affiliated musical trainwrecks, but at least they were compellingly bad. The revolving door that is Jake Paul’s entourage reminds me of post-American Idol stars, striving away from Paul’s Simon Cowell love-to-hate-him personality with varying degrees of success; “All My Friends,” in that regard, is Elliott Yamin.

Iris Xie: This makes me want to stab myself with an Epi-Pen, and I don’t actually have food allergies that would require it. But the whiny lamenting, Auto-Tune, and empty drumwork just makes me feel so miserable for him that I feel I’m getting a sad rash of anger from listening to this song. I really can genuinely not recommend this generic trash enough.

Edward Okulicz: Not sure if it wants to hint at wounded earnestness, or to be one of those Bieber-esque ballad-bop hybrids whose money it’s chasing, this splits the difference, replete with an awkward jump from the former to the latter in the second verse. Perhaps being told by a producer to affect heartsickness, AJ Mitchell missed the first syllable. It’s dumb enough to be an anthem, but not given the care to make it a good one.

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