Tuesday, July 30th, 2019

Tones and I – Dance Monkey

That funky monkey…


Alfred Soto: Oh boy, that vocal — dat’s so cute. 

Scott Mildenhall: Tones and I makes herself felt in a far less ham-fisted way than with “Johnny Run Away” here, which is to say she chucks her vowels about all over the place, with every inflection a grievance. If that’s what might turn people against “Dance Monkey,” it’s also its strength: non-lexical scorn coursing through. This is not a consonant song.

Tim de Reuse: With an instrumental that sounds like it was banged together in the course of 30 minutes, we’re left with a track that laser-focuses on every little nuance of the vocals, which veer wildly from sensible to incomprehensible from line to line — giving the dude from Black Midi a run for his money in the 2019 leaderboards for “wait, why are you singing like that?”

William John: Just when you thought busker-ska couldn’t get any more hideous, along comes this piece of nonsense, with a vocalist that sounds like a Saturday Night Live cast member impersonating Sia and a Saturday Night Live cast member impersonating someone from an Icelandic village in equal measure. It’s enough to make me yearn for the days where all we had to worry about in this realm was Tash Sultana.

Katherine St Asaph: This is a mediocre bit of quirk, but it did amuse me that you can hum “Monkey’s Delivery Service” over it, so it’s not a total bust.

Iris Xie: If anyone could bring back torch singer for dance floors as a genre for a popular audience, it should be this type of song. The slightly Minnie Mouse voice, combined with the jaunty piano synths and its almost off-kilter swing rhythm would be a great example for a very 2019 type of partner dance. Combined with the fingersnaps and an arresting intro, it’s pretty much made for an “Oh, I heard that song somewhere!” while you are at a restaurant or something.

Kylo Nocom: A looming electro-disco throb in the chorus almost sounds competent compared to the awful fake-soul mush surrounding it, but the awkward layered vocals of the conclusion brush away any hope that Tones and I actually realized what was working for her.

Nortey Dowuona: Tones is done being everyone’s monkey. [pauses, thinks about it. “Is she talking about herself or me?”]

Ian Mathers: God, I cannot WAIT for this particular kind of vocal timbre to be out of style again.

Kayla Beardslee: Wanted: a proper chorus, not an endless buildup with no proper payoff that sounds like it was left in as a placeholder and forgotten about. Not wanted: all these damn bananies and avocadies.

Reader average: [1.58] (12 votes)

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4 Responses to “Tones and I – Dance Monkey”

  1. not sure if this has been posted on TSJ before but I really enjoyed this blog post on “indie girl voice”: https://www.acelinguist.com/2018/10/dialect-dissection-indie-girl-voice.html

  2. Interesting; I wish I had more of a vocabulary for this sort of thing, because plenty of the examples in that post I don’t find even remotely grating at all, so there’s something else (something more specific?) that’s getting lodged in my ear here.

  3. Thanks for sharing the link, that was really good and useful and it made me realize that “Dance Monkey” reminds me a lot of how Sia sang on “Buttons,” although Tones and I goes even harder to the point of almost sounding like she’s trying to do a Sia caricature.

  4. This score isn’t nearly low enough guys.

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