Bellhouse – Like You Loved Us

“Don’t promise me strings unless you’re backing it up with more than occasional sample.”

Tim: String-backed dance track?

Tom: You’ve got my attention. Wait, are you still in a really good mood as you write this? Because I think there’s going to be a pattern here.

Tim: Well, let’s see.

Tim: And isn’t that marvellous?

Tom: Not enough strings, Tim. Don’t promise me strings unless you’re backing it up with more than occasional sample. Other than that, I think we’re back on the same pattern: what qualifies this as marvellous for you?

Tim: The verses sound lovely, like a decent pop record, and then the chorus hits and you’ve got big pianos and drums and strings everywhere. According to Ms House–

Tom: Fair, that is her formal title.

Tim: Obviously–it’s about some worrying that the relationship’s over and stuff (hence the ‘give us a try’, I guess, it’s hardly subtle), but really this is too much of a big dance track to worry about all that – yes, you’ve got a couple of quiet verses, but it’s all about the beats. And they’re good beats.

Bellhouse – White Dress Black Dress

Tim: Ms House (technically Ms Andersson, but she chose the stage name so I’m going with that) says this is “a reminder that you never truly know the people around you”, and about how “none of us are one-sided, but we struggle to drop the facade and share all of our nuances”. That’s all pretty much true, I guess, if a little disappointing for fans of heart-warming, everlasting relationships where two hearts beat as one.

Tom: I might like this track.

Tim: Anyway, it wouldn’t be the first time a downbeat message has made for a good pop song, so have a listen.

Tim: And it’s also made for a fairly good song here, no?

Tom: No! It would be if it weren’t for that awful, awful post-chorus. “White dress black dress” repeating over a dirge of a beat: this song could be great if it weren’t for that. It’s just unnecessary.

Tim: The lyrics make it even grimmer than the introductory message, implying as is does that Bell will struggle to find any lengthy or meaningful relationship, but none of it really matters to me as long as she can put a chorus that’s as good as this one, right from when it first swooshes in after the heartbeat style ending to the verse.

Tom: It is a very good chorus, and it follows a lovely verse.

Tim: It brings in that lovely high rising countermelody, bouncing along with those snare drums underneath, and all just sounds fabulous, really. Sod the lyrics, I’ll take this on chorus alone.

Tom: Just not what comes after.