Steve Aoki feat. AJR & Lil Yachty – Pretender

“I’m a fan of about 80% of it. You’ll work out why.”

Tim: Dance track for you; I’m a fan of about 80% of it. You’ll work out why.

Tim: Seem about right?

Tom: Oh, yes! That’s lovely. I understand why there’s a 20% you don’t like, but — for once — it does still work for me.

Tim: Hmm, fair enough. You can probably guess most of what I’m going to say, though: the music’s good, the lyrics speak to many many people, and the second verse is…well, not for me. Though that bit’s unusual, really – normally, with a feat. like this, you’d put it in for just the middle eight, but instead he’s got a whole verse.

Obviously you can’t go for a middle eight placing if you haven’t got one (insert standard moan here), but it still seems weird that he’s been given almost the same same amount of prominence as the other guys.

Not a bad thing, of course – it was presumably done to increase the potential audience – but it still seems a bit weird. Just me?

Tom: Just you, I think. Because for me, the whole thing works, start to finish — and with a video that’s just beautifully filmed, designed and edited. This is the best track we’ve had here in a few weeks, I reckon.

Steve Aoki & Louis Tomlinson – Just Hold On

“There’s certainly some good parts in there”

Tim: Following the breakup hiatus, Niall was first out of the gates with an awful dirge; can Louis do any better with this collaboration?

Tim: Yes, yes he really can.

Tom: Takes its time, though, doesn’t it?

Tim: It does, yes, with a slightly disappointing start — in particular, the vocal part of the first chorus sounds distinctly underwhelming — but the rest of it is absolutely fine. They were probably going for more than ‘absolutely fine’ though, now I think about it, but actually it does go further – that vocal at the opening of the middle eight is a particular highlight.

Tom: There’s certainly some good parts in there, but I’m not convinced by it as a whole: I don’t think the hook’s good enough to justify all the faffing around it takes to get there. In fact, I can’t remember a bit of the hook. And if your highlights are particular vocal lines…

Tim: Well anyway, of course this is better than This Town.

Tom: Damning with faint praise, there?

Tim: Not at all – better than a lot of tracks, really.

Tom: Anyway, I’ll just leave this here.