“Way, way above most of the other ex-One Direction singles.”
Tom: Time for an unnecessarily dramatic video. (Perhaps he’s envious of Harry Styles’ turn on Dunkirk.)
I reckon that, when it gets to the chorus, you’re going to go “oh,” and then one or two beats later go “oh!”
Tim: On count 1: yes, that really is unnecessarily dramatic, though it is quite fun. Count 2: yes, pretty much. Chorus starts okay, and suddenly becomes GREAT.
Tom: I’ll be honest, that “ee-ee-ee-ee” bit in the chorus doesn’t work for me, which means there’s no way I could give this track full marks: but it’s still definitely a cut above most of the other ex-One Direction singles.
Tim: Oh, way, way above them, as I have a massive amount of time for this. Sure, the ee-ee-ee-ee is possibly a slight irritant that detracts from the rest, but it’s still damn good.
Tom: There’s a lot going on here — possibly too much. And it’s possibly a poor choice to use Sia just for backup vocals: that voice deserves to at least have a bit of a solo.
Tim: Quite pleasing how much we’re agreeing here – I too found it weird that she’s only there to directly duet, there’s no variation from Zayn’s line to hers.
Tom: But still, as Credible Big Pop Tracks go, Zayn could be doing a lot worse.
Tim: The first film gave us Love Me Like You Do and that dodgy version of Crazy in Love.
Tom: Dodgy? It was absolutely brilliant. Anyway.
Tim: The sequel brings us both Taylor Swift’s first new music in over two years. Would you like a music video which absolutely definitely was filmed with the two of them together at the same time?
Tom: Astonishingly, it actually was, although heaven knows why they bothered.
Tim: Huh, weird. But also there, amongst other things, is Zayn Malik showing us exactly what sort of vocal range One Direction missed out on when he wandered off, and it’s quite impressive.
Tom: That’s some impressive falsetto there – particularly for what’s usually the masculine role in a song like this. I can’t help feeling that I actually want him to hit some notes in a lower register at some point. Surely he’ll knacker his voice?
Tom: Anyway, I don’t know whether the song was written for them, or whether it was tailored afterwards, but it really does match both their vocal styles.
Tim: There are a lot of other bits in there that are good as well – right from the start, that backing vocal is great, and I’m also a fan of how the drums pretty much leading the instrumental throughout.
Tom: It’s also a good chorus, by which I mean I can sing it after one listen and it’s not irritating. Those are my main requirements for a good chorus.
Tim: And so much as I didn’t think I would like it the first time I heard it, I’ve really grown to like this. Doesn’t mean I’ll see the film, though.
“I was all ready to pan it for for being too quiet and too uninspired, and then that chorus happened.”
Tom: Yep, he’s just “ZAYN” now. Which is fair, ‘cos I don’t think there’s a more famous Zayn out there.
Tim: Though apparently he’s not quite confident enough not to shout his name, and the track, and probably many other things.
Tom: Well, that’s about as modern a track as you can get.
Tim: And indeed pretty much along the lines of what everybody assumed he’d come out with.
Tom: Downbeat production that sounds like Bieber’s latest album, with either a little bit of autotune or a bit of a vocal filter. Occasional bit of swearing so it’s edgy. All one amorphous mass of noise. I was all ready to end it there, to pan it for for being too quiet and too uninspired, and then that chorus happened.
Tim: Yes, that’s one to mention. It’s odd – he left One Direction because he said he didn’t like the music they were making, and yet that’s a chorus that’s not hard to imagine coming from a modern One Direction album. But sorry, you were saying.
Tom: It’s almost like they got the spirit of Phil Collins and his big gated drums in, and just said “right, make it sound big again”. Actually, given that video, it’s a bit like they got the spirit of Phil Collins’ video editor in, and gave him some more modern technology.
It’s not a big singalong chorus, but I’m also sure it’s not meant to be. This is the future. Tomorrow, let’s talk about History.