Saturday Flashback: Tiësto, Jonas Blue & Rita Ora – Ritual

“I enjoyed it, and that’s that.”

Tom: Parts of this sound like a Tiësto track, and parts of this sound like a Rita Ora track. And astonishingly, I think they both work together.

Tim: They do, as this is a good track.

Tom: I… I don’t think I could pick a Jonas Blue track out of a lineup, though.

Tim: Yeah, you remember – did that Fast Car cover that kickstarted 2016’s brief trend of tropical covers of old songs.

Tom: I’m sure he had some input.

Tom: There’s nothing that particularly stands out here for me, but somehow the whole seems greater than the sum of its parts. It’s catchy, I want to hear it again. And honestly, that’s the only reason I’m sending it over to you: I enjoyed it, and that’s that.

Tim: Good. Sensible reasoning.

Jonas Blue feat. Jack & Jack – Rise

“I have one minor but niggling issue with this.”

Tim: Jonas was, arguably, responsible for 2016’s trend of covering old songs in tropical fashion with his release of Fast Car; those days are long behind him, though.

Tom: Oh, finally.

Tim: Well, unless you count the pan pipe synths in the intro. And verses. And other tropical tropes all over the place, and actually you know what? Ignore what I said.

Tom: Aaaagh those horn-stabby-synths in the post-chorus are almost painful to listen to.

Tim: Oh, really? I actually quite like that. In fact, by and large I really like this track: good chorus, uplifting-ish message, general nice fun party track for a sing-along if necessary.

Tom: You’re right that there are some lovely parts in here, but there are also parts that sound like a kid stabbing away at their first synthesiser. I just can’t get behind this.

Tim: Oh, shame. But I do have one minor but niggling issue with this, and it’s the same as I did with Little Mix’s Wings with its “if they give you shhhh” line: writers, why are you deliberately leaving a gap in your lyrics? I get the idea – you want to be a family friendly pop act, and you certainly don’t want the F-word floating around for little brother to hear when big sister’s playing the album version – but something about it just sticks out a bit. And it’s the only thing spoiling the song for me.

Saturday Flashback: Jonas Blue feat. Dakota – Fast Car

“It took me a while to get used to it.”

Tim: Yesterday’s song reminded me of this track, and I ummed and ahhed a lot about whether to link to Tracy Chapman’s original or this cover; in the end though, it was Friday, so it had to be tropical.

Tim: And yes, I’m well aware that many people think of this in the same way sensible people think about Calum Scott’s version of Dancing On My Own – namely, that anyone who even considers playing it should be hung, drawn and quartered. I, though, disagree.

Tom: It’s changing the emotion, sure, but at least it’s not changing it to Mopey Bloke With A Guitar.

Tim: It’s arguably a not too distant predecessor of the covers of Never Gonna Give You Up and Africa, and for me this is very much on the Africa side of the spectrum, in that I like it. It took me a while to get used to it, mainly because the original was forcibly drummed into my head several times a day on a family holiday in France when it was my sister’s favourite.

Tom: There’s a long history of remixes and covers changing the mood: on a first or second listen, that synth does seem to get in the way rather a lot. It’s loud, it’s reedy, and it’s not entirely pleasant.

Tim: Ah, but after a while, though: it’s good. It has the similar melancholiness to it, but a contrasting beat underneath which helps distract from the incredibly depressing lyrics. And that’s always helpful.