Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

Torres – Don’t Go Putting Wishes In My Head

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Aaron Bergstrom: In which Mackenzie Scott puts her name on a mountain. After a 2020 that saw her broke and stranded in Europe as the pandemic hit, it might have been surprising to see Torres back with new material that she describes as “conjuring this deep, deep joy,” but wow does this one ever deliver. Torres has always had hooks, but they were more subtle, the kind of stealth earworms where you’d have to work backward to figure out why you’ve been humming the phraseyou sang of reparations with the Native Americans” to yourself all day. This one is different. “Don’t Go Putting Wishes In My Head” flips on the bright lights almost immediately. It’s the kind of song you’re singing along with the first time you hear it. One of my music criticism pet peeves is writers overusing the phrase “leveling up,” but if I only get one for the year, I’m using it here.
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John S. Quinn-Puerta: Torres gives us an exercise in maximalism that could’ve benefitted from restraint. It’s a minute too long and a synth too indulgent, going for nostalgic signifiers to bolster a lackluster lyric. 
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Nortey Dowuona: The shrieking synth behind the lumber-hunk bass whistles as when the bass cradles it. Torres brings in the heavy drums, taking the bass and synth out to the park. The synth gathers cotton candy and the drums play frisbee with some of the guitar’s kids, Torres’ echoes flying up every time the frisbee is sent high. She rides the rides with the bass and drums, then as they drive home, the drums doze off, the synth singing the bass to sleep as well.
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Katherine St Asaph: One of the most frustrating experiences as a listener (and especially as a critic who has to slap ratings onto things) is what I call “bouncing off.” “Don’t Go Putting Wishes in My Head” starts with a great title and doesn’t waver. Torres is a presence, in full voice throughout — specifically, the part of her voice that sounds like Alanis channeling Scott Hutchison. The arrangement swells and swells, and I imagine the lyric might swell even bigger for someone — a cathartic surge that, through its sheer bigness, makes infatuation into moral thrust, feelings into fact. Everything is near-perfect; not a single thing could be improved. And I bounced right off. I wish I knew why. Maybe — I realize I’m laying out a smorgasbord for the irony gods — my love life just needs to suck more?
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Samson Savill de Jong: I think the fact that Torres is the one who got proposed to, rather than doing the proposal like the song suggests, actually accentuates the anxiety that underlies the whole thing, to the point where you wouldn’t be blamed for not realising that this song is about asking someone to marry her. This is pretty much all I want from music: a song that sounds great and is able to express something deep and personal.
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Alfred Soto: Its persistent chug is its own reward before the lyrics rise to the surface; if anything Mackenzie Scott’s decision to enunciate every word gets too fussy, as if she distrusted the pretty good racket behind her. 
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Ian Mathers: You can tell I’m still on Tumblr because some things still just indelibly make me think “the energy coming off of this is indescribable”. And if you’ve been on there (in the right parts, anyway), you know exactly what kind of superlative that is. And the energy coming off this thing is indescribable.
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Reader average: [6.66] (3 votes)

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2 Responses to “Torres – Don’t Go Putting Wishes In My Head”

  1. I really get what you mean about “bouncing off” Katherine. I feel like maybe I should’ve spent more time with it before deciding on a 4 but I was just so uninterested in listening to the song again.

  2. @aaron : It flips on the bright lights IMMEDIATELY and then it turns them up to 11, then to 12, and then it goes … galactic.
    “I know promising forever’s not your thing
    But now if you don’t want me to go dreaming
    Don’t spend your mornings and your evenings in my bed
    If you don’t want me believing that
    You’re never gonna leave me, darling
    Don’t go putting wishes in my head.”
    There are no words to qualify that.

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