Cut Through the Noise: Bebe Rexha, John Legend, Katy Perry, Zedd (Week of Feb. 22)

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Cut Through the Noise: Bebe Rexha, John Legend, Katy Perry, Zedd (Week of Feb. 22)

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Samantha Klepfer

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” an entertainment column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer takes on the role as writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

 

Fair use from Warner Bros. Records

Last Hurrah – Bebe Rexha ★★★☆☆

“Last Hurrah,” by Bebe Rexha opens with a fascinating guitar riff supporting a so-so verse. Rexha’s vocals are beautiful and perfectly suited to the musical style of the tune. The melody is entertaining, but not enough to save the rest of the song from monotony. The lyrics are pretty basic, but fit well with each other and with the song, rhyming easy words such as “before,” and “more,” or “smoking,” and “joking.”  As the most musically and lyrically complex part of “Last Hurrah,” the bridge is a clear highlight, only emphasizing how lackluster the rest of the song is. “Last Hurrah” isn’t so hard on the ears that it’s worth changing the radio station for, but it won’t be making any of my playlists anytime soon.

 

Fair use from Colombia Records

Preach – John Legend ★★★★☆

John Legend’s most recent addition to his musical resume, “Preach,” is a gospel-inspired work of art. Legend’s vocals are fantastic as always and the ballad style of the song allows his full sound to take center stage. The lyrics are decent, running along the lines of a ‘practice what you preach’ sermon. There’s a little bit of harmony and support provided by a chorus in the background, adding to the “Take Me to Church” vibe and the melody is perfectly expressed with Legend’s robust, soulful vocals. The churchy feel and grand, sweeping music makes it perfect for belting out in the car. The biggest flaw is the slight unoriginality of the content — it reminded me of three different, though good, songs the first time I listened to it. Overall “Preach” is definitely good, but not a highlight of Legend’s career by far.

 

Fair use from Interscope Records

365 – Zedd and Katy Perry ★★☆☆☆

“365,” — Katy Perry and Zedd’s newest song — is a disappointment from a collaboration of two good artists. The song sports a cheesy Spanish beat and the vibe is almost reminiscent of Perry’s hit “E.T.” The lyrics sound like someone stuck overused pop-music cliches and a thesaurus for dummies in a blender and went with whatever came out. The chorus is bland and unoriginal, asking “are you gonna be the one that’s on my mind?” over and over. The melody is barely discernible, and even when it’s audible, it’s boring and tacky. The whole track seems thin and poorly produced, taking all of Zedd’s worst songwriting tendencies and amplifying them. Katy Perry’s vocals are fine but don’t mesh with the song as a whole. Overall “365” lacks substance and sounds like a watered down version of what used to be a good song.

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