Cut Through the Noise: Christina Aguilera, Shawn Mendes, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora

Amaia Barajas

More stories from Amaia Barajas


Illustration by Isaac Wert

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.

“Fall in Line” by Christina Aguilera (featuring Demi Lovato):  ★★★★☆

Fair use from RCA Records

After taking a break from music for the past six years, Aguilera came back with a bang, recently releasing “Fall in Line,” her collaboration with Demi Lovato. “Fall in Line” is a diva duo with Demi Lovato screaming girl power. It’s an electronic song, mixed with some heavy bass and powerful lyrics. While the song is not that different from Aguilera’s previous work, “Fall in Line”  has a maturity to it, showing her musical and personal growth.“Fall in Line” is a great reentry into the industry for Aguilera and it reminds the audience of the pure vocal power she puts in songs.


“Youth” by Shawn Mendes (featuring Khalid): ★★★★☆

Fair use from Island Records

The new single off of Shawn Mendes recently released  second studio album shows how perfect Khalid and Shawn Mendes sound together. On “Youth,” both artists’ voices meld beautifully together from start to finish. The song starts off with Khalid’s unique, smooth voice and an acoustic guitar, closely followed by Mendes. The next verse is filled with a pop, electro beat, but still has the guitar in the back. While the beat is strong, it does not overpower the vocals, which greatly improves the song because the two singers have softer voices. This song reminds me of summer and is definitely a song to listen to when you want some lighthearted fun.


“Dinero” by Jennifer Lopez (featuring DJ Khaled and Cardi B): ★★★☆☆

Fair Use from Epic

Jennifer Lopez’s latest  bilingual single, “Dinero,” brings Spanish influence to a  hip-hop beat. The song is definitely catchy and fun, but the beat is a little messy. It’s obvious the producers tried to blend classic Spanish merengue and bachata beats with trap, the beat barely works. Cardi B definitely delivers with a classic Cardi verse about being at the top of the game, which is definitely something to  bop to. Lopez is my least favorite part of the song – her voice is bland and does not seem to fit, and it seems like the aging artist is trying to fit in with the new wave of hip hop music. While Lopez is a living legend and I love her, “Dinero” isn’t her best and is nothing to to write home about.


“Girls” by Rita Ora (featuring Cardi B, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX) ★☆☆☆☆

Fair Use from Atlantic Records

Girls”  is nothing special.  A cheesy pop song through and through, Rita Ora’s latest single doesn’t offer much of anything beneath the surface. While listening I got incredibly bored and it reminded me of any pop song in a stereotypical teen movie. The most exciting, dynamic part of the song was Cardi B’s verse, but even that wasn’t her best work, it missed her usual charm and flow. The versus sung by Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha and Charli XCX all blend together, and fail to leave an impact on listeners. None of the singers  have very unique voices, and they really just sounded like they were yelling the lyrics and not singing them. Overall, “Girls” is easily forgettable and I would not recommend it unless you like cheesy pop songs.