Davai – Loco

“Yep, that is certainly an interesting lyric.”

Tim: Nice quick Friday dance number for you, and there’s a lyric in the chorus here that’s a nice cross between quite weird and pretty good.

Tom: “Doing our thing like Yoko Ono.” Well, yep, that is certainly an interesting lyric.

Tim: Hard to know whether ‘our thing’ involves breaking up bands or living with deep and strong philosophies, but I’m hoping it’s the latter because that’s a lot more pleasant, and a bit more inspirational as well. Take that thought, and then just a few seconds later dance all over the place inspired by it, because this is a good song to dance to.

Tom: I think I’ve gotten numb to dance tracks lately. This is another one where I just go “yep, that’s a dance track” and then move on. What is there to say?

Tim: Nice combination between good beat and strong melody, and while it would of course be improved as a straight dance track if the beat kept up underneath at least the second verse, I guess that’s what remixes are for. It’s nice, and I like it.

Tom: Okay, yes, there is that to say. It does its job. Maybe I just need to listen to something different for a while, and then come back, but right now I’d love a dance track to something interesting, different and — crucially — uplifting. It’s just not happening right now.

Dada Life – Higher Than The Sun

“Apparently I’ve got literally nothing to say about this.”

Tim: This Swedish dance outfit’s most recent track, One Nation Under Lasers, released a few days ago, got sent in to us yesterday, but it’s a bit noisy and not very pleasant. This previous one, though, just a few weeks old so still nice and relevant, is quite a bit nicer.

Tom: Nicer, or just… well, it turns out I don’t actually have any adjectives that sum up “I literally can’t remember any of this after it finished”.

Tim: Oh, Well, I say quite a bit nicer for two reasons: firstly, there’s the existence of a vocal, which not only here has a great tune to it but also serves to take attention away from the slightly less great underlying synth line. For me, that might be a bit too heavy otherwise, as that’s certainly my problem with the vocal-less follow-up. Here, though, we’ve got that chorus, with its simple but lovely melody, to keep the focus.

Secondly, of course, there’s the video, which has a more interesting narrative than part two, viewable at the above link.

Tom: I’m just not sold. Maybe it’s that I was distracted watching the video — but it also says a lot that I wasn’t really watching the narrative, just trying to work out how the animators made the shadows move properly. I… yeah, apparently I’ve got literally nothing to say about this.

Tim: Upsettingly, that second part still doesn’t explain where the green guy came from – maybe that’ll be an exciting revelation in part three, and I’m hoping it’ll be something nicer than just a big bogey that was stuck in the wine.

Tom: Mate.

Tim: 👍

Seeb x Dagny – Drink About

“Those are two names that promise a lot.”

Tom: Those are two names that promise a lot.

Tim: Question: if you’re dropping f-bombs fairly prominently in the chorus, and making no attempt to hide them, is there actually any point whatsoever in censoring them in the lyric video? Seeb has chosen to find out.

Tim: Sure, you could argue that it means you don’t have to slightly redo it if you ever wanted to put out a version with edited audio, but why not just do that to start with?

Tom: I’d say ‘money’, but honestly, it doesn’t really doesn’t take much effort by a motion graphics designer to change out one word. Although, they would be changing it in a lot of places.

Tim: It’s a pity, really, because that line could work perfectly with a ‘hell’ or a ‘damn’ or even just using a longer ‘I’ sound, but oh well, it’s done now. Nice dance track, mind, despite that, with a memorable hook and, I suppose, lyrics. Good production, good vocals – all well done, really.

Tom: Yep, it’s a competent middle-of-the-playlist dance track that does exactly what it’s supposed to. Not spectacular, but not terrible either.

Tim: Just a shame about the rudeness.

Alan Walker, Keala Settle – This Is Me (Alan Walker Relift)

“Does Alan Walker remixing it make it better, worse, or just different?”

Tom: I described the original version of this track as “so polished that you could slip on it and crack your head”, although you were a lot more enthusiastic. The question is: does Alan Walker remixing it make it better, worse, or just different?

Tim: Hmm, see I’d been avoiding this one, largely because it was described to me as ‘not ideal’. But go on then, because it is, I suppose, a question I do want to know the answer to.

Tim: Huh – that is nowhere near as bad as I was worried it would be.

Tom: I’m going for “different” and “worse”. Which is a shame: but the original already had percussion and energy, it knew exactly what it was aiming for, this just confuses matters. Unlike a remix that takes an emotional slow number and makes it INCREDIBLE, or that turns a good key change into a ludicrous key change, this… just adds some beats where there didn’t need to be any.

Tim: Ah, you see this is where having listened to that original 20+ times on repeat gives me more info: there’s more than that. In particular, there’s a whole new lovely countermelody under it (which is what you can hear on the obligatory ‘click to subscribe’ bit at the end).

It’s most notable during the chorus, where previously there was nothing – just the vocal – and it actually does add something to it, in a positive way for me. Sure, there was power to come from having the vocal unencumbered by anything else, but I don’t think this detracts from it at all.

Tom: It’s a shame, because there is, no doubt, a good remix to be had here: it just needs to either be much more transformative, or of a different track from the musical.

Tim: Speaking of which, The Greatest Show recently got added to the playlist at work, and my job satisfaction has subsequently increased by at least 150%.

MARC feat. Caroline Høier – The Way I Do

“That’s, like, maybe a bit bulky at most.”

Tim: Bit of hefty dance for a Friday, with a caveat: it’s the sort of genre I have to be in a particular mood for. Right now I am, so…

Tom: That’s not hefty! That’s, like, maybe a bit bulky at most.

Tim: You think? Even with that chorus? It’s not technically drum & bass, I suppose, but it’s sure as hell verging on it with the two step beat and the massive bass that comes along with it, and I really, really like it.

Tom: It is good, I’ll grant you that: it reminds me of a lot of older dance tracks, and I think I like it for that reason, rather than anything in itself. It’s never going to be a floorfiller, but it’s a good middle-of-the-playlist track.

Tim: It’s got decent amount of pop mixed in with the verses, and a smidgen of euphoric in the mix, and while that makes for a hell of a journey, it also seems to make for a hell of a good track, in my eyes and ears.

Slushii feat. Marshmello – There x2

“Maybe this whole thing is a nonsense after all, particularly when his twin brother comes along at the end.”

Tim: Okay then. Here’s a song whose chorus line is incredibly specific and not really relatable; fortunately, it sounds brilliant so we can at least all enjoy it.

Tom: “Slushii” and “Marshmello”. Okay. Let’s get through this…

Tom: …damn it, I like it, and I dislike the fact that I like it.

Tim: Obviously, no self-respecting pop singer would release a song that makes no sense, so I think what we need to assume is that he’s just broken up with someone who has an identical twin, and now wants both of them, rather than just the one. Was that what prompted the breakup in the first place? Well, we’ll probably never know, but if it was he’s really not helping his case here. Also not helping his case: the sheer number of times he sings “I still miss you” – Mr Slushii, 39 times is TOO MANY.

Tom: And this should really, really irritate me! To be honest, it does! But all the ridiculous bubblegum synths and euphoric-build-noises around it somehow make it okay in my head.

Tim: And also, “if I’m here, will you be there” – is he, what, seeking knowledge that as long as he doesn’t move, she won’t go anywhere, even though she’s somewhere completely different? Oh, I don’t know, maybe this whole thing is a nonsense after all, particularly when his twin brother comes along at the end.

HOWEVER, now that we’ve entirely failed to get that sorted, let’s move on to the music, which I’m fairly sure is entirely brilliant, yes?

Tom: Aaaaagh, yes it is, although I increasingly want a version of this that doesn’t have as many ‘STILL MISS YOU’s in it.

Tim: Sensible introductory beat and then melody to let everyone know that yes, this is indeed a song to be danced to. And then when that dance beat comes along, the heavy synths that indicate “really, you should be dancing to this”, then that really is just a great CHOON. Is that still a word? I don’t know, but if it is then this is one. And if it isn’t, well this still is anyway. GREAT STUFF, though I really could do with an instrumental.

Henry Land feat. Vilde J – Wildfire

“Oh boy, are we going to disagree on this one.”

Tim: Unlike yesterday, here’s a track that got me right from the very first note, so please, help yourself to a play button.

Tom: Oh boy, are we going to disagree on this one. What do you like about it?

Tim: Well, right from the off there’s the lovely euphoric-style underline, a gentle but fast-flowing piano line, a good vocal – so far, so top notch early 00s.

Tom: As with yesterday: I just don’t hear it. Maybe I’m burned out on music like this, but — apart from the promise of that build into the chorus — it just left me cold.

Tim: But then, a minute in, come those vocal twiddles that put me in mind of Galantis being good, and that elevates it even further.

Tom: Whereas that just irritated me! Galantis somehow manage to make it sound joyful, whereas (to me at least) this just sounds like someone noodling about on a synth with no particular direction. And then there’s the weird brass bit for some reason.

Tim: Oh, that brass cameos? Well, that’s just a great bonus, for me. There’s a lot to like here, and nothing I can find to dislike. Wonderful.

ROTBLOND – Küssen

“YES. Or, rather, JA.”

Tim: Let’s have a weekend! More specifically, let’s have a weekend soundtracked by German dancepop!

Tom: YES. Or, rather, JA.

Tim: Küssen, if you can’t guess, translates as Kiss, and while I can’t find any of the lyrics online it’s probably a safe bet that it’s about getting off with each other. (Any German speakers reading this, please pass on any info about this, it’s been 15 years since my last German lesson.)

Tom: I’m pretty sure it’s actually about someone (presumably, the listener) getting off with them, rather than each other, but I’m sure you can interpret it how you want.

Tim: It’s a fairly decent dance track, really – yes, it could be brightened up by a key change (one at 2:41 would sound absolutely cheap and also absolutely fabulous) – but it’s got a beat, vocal skills, a decent melody and nothing hugely wrong with it. Not exactly the highest of compliments, but it’ll do for now.

Tom: “Nothing hugely wrong with it” basically sums up my thoughts too. It’s a decent mid-cheesy-playlist track, and that’s fine.

Tim: Oh, and speaking of key changes, while I know I said I wouldn’t harp on about the film, Hugh Jackman’s one in From Now On is truly excellent. Nope, I still haven’t stopped listening to that soundtrack.

Post Precious – Sign of the Times

“This isn’t a full-on IN YOUR FACE remix.”

Tim: So, remember when Callum Scott took one of the best tunes of recent times and turned it into an unlistenable piece of guitar tedium?

Tom: I try not to.

Tim: Well, dialling in the extremes a bit, Post Precious have gone and done the opposite.

Tim: Like I said, we’re dialling in the extremes: Sign of the Times was actually quite enjoyable, unlike the garbage that Dancing On My Own turned into, but it’s still nice to see that there’s always someone on hand to improve it further, because this is an improvement.

Tom: Huh. I’m not so sure about that, because I really liked Sign of the Times. This isn’t a full-on IN YOUR FACE remix of the sort that, say, Almighty Records would provide, and I think it loses something from that. It needs to be BIG, to provide the same sort of kick that Harry Styles’ spectacular vocals did on the original, and it isn’t big enough.

Tim: There’s still good vocal work there, particularly towards the end of track (as in the original), but the potentially less enjoyable guitar work of the original has instead become a really rather good dance beat. Working within the limits of the original: this is a good dance track.

Tom: It just needs to go up one or two more notches.

Tim: Though I wouldn’t mind turning down that insanely repetitive single beat that starts 30 seconds in and never, ever lets up.

Tom: Oh now I’ve noticed it, and the track is ruined. Never mind.

Martin Garrick feat. Usher – Don’t Look Down

“He decides to weirdly harass a girl he finds attractive.”

Tim: Another victim of the Safari tab cull (it was fun when it reached 69, but then it was just silly), and I’m fairly sure I had this one up mostly for the video, which was created for the “happened a couple of times then they realised no-one was really interested” YouTube Music Awards.

Tom: Hey, don’t knock them — they gave us the spectacular video for Kygo’s Stole the Show.

Tim: So Martin’s a bit upset, with no-one really appreciating anything he does, and probably also being paid sod all, so he decides to weirdly harass a girl he finds attractive. As you do.

Tom: Except, even more weirdly, that is not Martin. That’s an actor called Aj Knight. But yes, either way, that’s still not a great plot.

Tim: Kind of like she’s Shania Twain, and he’s trying to show that he can impress her very very much indeed, but she’s all “mate, didn’t you listen to the song?” In the end, obviously there has to be a happy ending, which in this case is another girl finding him attractive even though he has no interest in her.

Not sure how happy that is, really, though I suppose it’s a good hook for a Basshunter-style sequel if nothing else, with “No Really, You Shouldn’t Look Down” telling the exact same tale but just gender-swapped, and with an unusual twist at the end that no-one sees coming.

Tom: Sure, we can do that:

Tim: Cracking track, mind.