“The vocals, the composition, the production: everything works.”
Tom: They’re still a thing!
Tim: Yep, they’re still a thing, and this has an interesting lyric in the pre-chorus.
Tom: And an interesting theme, given that it’s about the fallout from a toxic relationship. There’s a complicated tone there, and I really like it.
Tim: Good, isn’t it? Though, speaking of the lyrics, part of me wants to overanalyse them and say ACTUALLY given that that pre-chorus occurs several times over the course of several minutes, that 42 seconds should dramatically increase by the end of it, but I though no, can’t be bothered, because (a) the ‘give you head’ lyric outdoes any harm done by that and (b) it’s a great track and I don’t want to waste time being petty when I can instead properly just enjoy it and be positive about it.
Tom: There’s so much to like here. I was surprised the first time I heard the chorus — I wan’t expecting that much electropop — but once that settled in, damn, this is good. The vocals, the composition, the production: everything works. Except possibly that middle eight, but I can forgive it: like you say, it’s a song I want to be positive about.
Tim: Because damn, I know they were fairly decent back in the day, but this is better than any Veronicas track has a right to be these days. I’d go so far as to say, in fact, that it’s flipping marvellous!
“And now someone’s given them some tropical synth pads.”
Tom: You mentioned this last week, but I thought we should cover this — because it’s a band we’ve talked about before, and one that’s been going for twelve years.
Tom: And now someone’s given them some tropical synth pads.
Here’s what I’ve noticed about songs like this, where an otherwise-mainstream artist has suddenly hooked into this style a bit too late: they never write a decent chorus with it.
Tom: It’s almost like they write the synth melody, figure that it’ll do, and then someone insists they put some vocals in the chorus too: so they sort of mumble something in the background. A pop track doesn’t have to be singalong, of course, but it rarely hurts. In this case, all you’ve got is a few notes of a hook. It’s not a bad hook, as these things go, but it’s not all that catchy.
Tim: I don’t know; you’re certainly right that there’s no shortage of tracks where it seems the composer’s written a dance song and only afterwards remembered that pop tracks are meant to have vocal choruses. Here, though, I think it’s slotted in okay. It’d work just as well if the vocal cut off after “Even if you believe it”, but I think it works as is. Catchiness, I’ll agree with you – the only part that stays in my head “Life isn’t pretty…”, and that’s only really because it comes straight from Fast Car.
Tom: Even at under three minutes, this feels like it outstays its welcome a bit.
Tim: And there I definitely disagree. Whatever you may think of the vocal, the instrumental part of the chorus is a lovely melody. I think I recognise that from somewhere as well, but I don’t mind. It’s great.
Tom: There is very little pop music coming out this month, so I’m casting the net a little further aside. The last time I heard the Veronicas, it was nearly ten years ago, and they’d just come out with an album of competent but slightly generic girl-power pop. To be honest, I was a bit surprised they were still going…
Tom: …let alone that they’ve gone all political.
Tim: Well to be fair, if you want a first-world country that’s a deserving target of a video promoting ACCEPTANCE and COMPASSION, Australia’s a pretty good bet.
Tom: I mean, the video description links to Sea Shepherd and to Russell Brand, and they’re literally flying their flags in the video. Bit weird, especially for a song that seems to have a few notes in common with The Saturdays’ Higher.
Tim: Yeah, I got that as well – doesn’t help that the not-actually-that-many notes it does have in common get pumped out right at the very start.
Tom: The trouble is, with that video, it’s sitting in an odd uncanny valley: it’s released by Sony Music, filmed on a high budget, and doesn’t really have any revolutionary messages in it. On its own, the song is… well, it’s good, I guess? It’s certainly not bad, it just… well, I kept wanting to sing “Higher” instead.
Tim: Certainly listenable, and you’re right, the political message is half-arsed at best. But yes, Higher’s a much better track, particularly the Flo Rida-less album version.
Tom: Also, can we have an intervention for whoever’s making their posters? Spewing out large, A4, Times New Roman sheets from Microsoft Word really ain’t the best way to make a prop, folks.
Tom: I’ve still yet to hear any actual Australian pop music on commercial radio while I’ve been down under: admittedly, I haven’t been listening to much of it, but it all seems to be tracks that I recognise from the US or UK.
Tim: Fair enough; what’s this, then?
Tom: So here’s a track from one of the more popular Australian bands of the 2000s, two-piece girl alt-rock band the Veronicas. Their third single, oddly enough, but it’s the one that had just been released last time I was on this continent. It actually managed to get some airplay – although in the northern hemisphere it’s pretty much unheard of.
Tom: It’s mostly by-the-numbers, without a particularly inspiring verse, but somehow that chorus (and that brief middle-eight) got stuck in my head and wouldn’t leave.
Tim: That’s all fair enough – it’s a decent chorus. It’s not quite as catchy as Untouchable, their only track that really made it over here, but it’s still very enjoyable.
Tom: There’s not much more I can say about it, really, other than it really is Genuinely Australian.