Wednesday, February 7th, 2024

Teddy Swims – Lose Control

Harkening back to a time when music made you shake, rattle, and roll…

Teddy Swims - Lose Control
[Video]
[3.79]

Will Adams: Must be love on the brain. Or maybe just water in my ear.
[4]

Ian Mathers: When will The Black Keys be held accountable for what they have unleashed upon the world?
[3]

Jacob Satter: “He began playing instruments including piano and ukulele, and watched YouTube videos of singers to help develop his vocal technique. [4][5]” — Wikipedia
[4]

Thomas Inskeep: Oh, yay: another big-bearded, face-tatted white boy who thinks he’s somehow “soulful” because he heard a Stax record once. And much like Post Malone and Jelly Roll before him, throw him on the burn pile.
[1]

Scott Mildenhall: A great audition: four chair turns and a message from Rag’n’Bone Man. All theatrics are plausibly deniable, but the vocal capabilities are conspicuous, with there never being enough of a song to intrude on them. A strong message to the detractors of treading water in the natatorial world.
[5]

Nortey Dowuona: The history of soulful white boys is long and strained. The Righteous Brothers are one example, but they never got more than one big immortal hit (only one did: Bill Medley). There’s Michael McDonald, Bobby Caldwell, Tom Jones, and, of course, Fucking Drake. Each time a soulful white boy appears, he does appear acceptable, but only up to a point. Once that point has been breached, his existence becomes an anchor — not a boon — receiving enmity and bitterness for both his success and his inability to possess the skill demanded from truly soulful singers. As time has gone on, the five-alarm church runs that once ran R&B have gone out of style with the youngsters, unless coated in patiently brush-stroked Autotune. Even though live performances are a crapshoot with many of them, their excellent songwriting kept them aloft. Sometimes, their voices were so pretty that their lack of range didn’t bother us. Now, another soulful white boy who possesses the runs (with scalpel-level Melodyne on them) has risen to the top. The worst part is that his song is well-produced: done by Ammo and Julian Bunetta, a trained jazz drummer whose heavy-handed soul drums anchor the thin mix. The plaintive keys shuffle against the tambourines gently, as Bunetta’s bass lopes below and follows the key of the keys. But the songwriting from Mikky Ekko drags down this fantastic effort, leaving a held-back guitar solo by Bunetta bashing its neck against the withholding mix of Serban Ghenea. If only Brent Faiyaz was writing this…
[6]

Tara Hillegeist: Oh, this is a very passably lovelorn piece of uptempo romantic angst, the kind that sounds like it could just as easily have dropped off the back of Cee-Lo Green’s tour bus, circa “Fuck You.” But it’s not so passable that I can’t help but have my main response to it all be “Wow, your man’s such a tatted-up white lad, looks like he belongs on the set of a Guy Ritchie film, innit?” And now I’ve had that thought, I have to ask myself: when’s the last time I heard something like this from someone who didn’t, whose name wasn’t T-Pain? And now I’ve asked myself that question, I have to wonder: should that question still matter?
[6]

Joshua Minsoo Kim: This is a good time to admit that I always thought Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy” was a terrible, plodding song. This sounds like a mellower, simplfied version of that. I find the almost-rapped verse kind of sweet, reminiscent of Ed Sheeran if he had a bit more soul, but then the guitar solo arrives and makes me feel disgust. It is not lost on me that this isn’t so far from Portishead’s “Glory Box.” The difference is that it all feels so rote, the elements already pre-packaged with an understanding of their meaning and import, and they don’t ever come together to bring the track to a greater whole.
[4]

Hannah Jocelyn: Does nothing new in this type of song (except for the weird keyboard warble, which I’m not convinced is a good innovation because it sounds like “Dance Monkey (slowed + reverb)”), but the production from Julian Bunetta is phenomenal — incredibly warm, but with enough muscle that what’s probably just a drum loop from Splice sounds massive. Teddy Swims is very much in the Rag’n’Bone Man/Jelly Roll vein of gruff belters, but there’s a warmth in his voice that prevents him from coming across like Mr. Roll or, worse, Oliver Anthony.
[6]

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: I get no enjoyment at all from listening to this. Every pained vocalization, every flanged guitar stab and demonstrative snare hit feels empty to me; whatever feelings Swims has do not survive transit. And yet, I feel a certain perverse respect for “Lose Control” despite all this. Perhaps it reminds me too much of the soul revival tracks that my high school pop ensemble teacher favored, the Fitz & The Tantrums-alikes that I dutifully jammed out to for four years. It’s not a style that moves me at all anymore, but as I listen to “Lose Control,” I can almost conjure bass tabs and keyboard charts to memorize and devote myself to (and can imagine the students of a semester from now who will be playing along to teenage takes on Teddy Swims’ adult melodrama).
[4]

Alfred Soto: The echo, horn blasts, and Soulful White Man vocal evoke a pop climate at least a decade past obsolescence, a reminder that a certain overstatement will always serve as a crutch.
[4]

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: This song makes perfect sense if you just picture the woman he’s singing about standing next to him the entire time. 
[3]

Leah Isobel: This man said “problematic” like he’s on the Tumblr dash in 2011.
[1]

Katherine St. Asaph: Thoughts and prayers for anyone persuaded to fuck to this song.
[2]

Reader average: [1.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “Teddy Swims – Lose Control”

  1. a decade or more past its sell-by date. very difficult to listen to. genuinely astonished teddy swims is not british

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