Cut Through The Noise: Juice WRLD, Justin Bieber, 5 Seconds of Summer, Tory Lanez


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Sam Listiak

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.


Juice WRLD and Justin Bieber – ‘Wandered to LA’ ★★★★★

Juice WRLD’s latest single, featuring Justin Bieber, is a fun, laid-back song that is relaxing to listen to. The beat is very smooth and flows well, which makes the song mesh well. The vocals on the track are stunning. Juice uses a lot of autotune on this track, as he has for most of his career. I like the autotune on this track, as it really matches the tone of the song perfectly. Justin Bieber doesn’t use nearly as much, but he still sounds great. Juice’s verse follows his classic formula, singing about heavy drug use and lost love. However, the fun tone leaves you with more of a happy impression than a sad one, an anomaly when compared to the rest of his catalogue. Justin’s verse is great, however, it is unfortunately pretty short. I would have liked to hear him do a little bit more on this song because he seemed like he had a lot of potential with this beat. Despite this, he smashed his verse, doing a great job keeping with the melodic, happy style of the beat while also making his lyrics a little more positive than Juice’s. Overall, this song checks all the boxes and is an extremely good listen for anyone who wants to try melodic rap and a must-listen for any Juice fans out there.

5 Seconds of Summer – ‘2011’ ★★★★☆

The latest release from band 5 Seconds of Summer, “2011” is a rather slick pop song that has the group remembering better times and wishing to return to how it was 10 years ago. The beat is mostly covered up by the band’s singing, but it sounds pretty smooth and uses a lot of drums, specifically in the chorus. The vocals are very nice, they hit all the notes on the song perfectly and it really took the song up a notch. The chorus sounds deep and powerful, which really adds to the listening experience. There is a lot of emotion in the song which I found surprising considering the pretty nonchalant topic of reminiscing about the past. The one issue I had with this track is that the chorus took over the song. It was only present once in the first half of the song, but in the last half it made up pretty much the entire song. This wasn’t a huge issue, since the chorus did sound great, but it was disappointing. I wish I would have been able to hear at least one more verse. All said, though, this is a very good song that I would give to anyone just looking for a song to add to their playlist.

Tory Lanez – ‘87 Stingray’ ★★☆☆☆

Tory Lanez latest track, “87 Stingray”, is a very interesting R&B/Soul blend which is a lot different from his previous rap-focused songs. The song doesn’t focus on complex lyricism, but rather on Lanez’s vocals. The beat is very odd and sounds like it came straight from 1987, just like his Stingray. It feels very bouncy, almost like it came out of an old arcade game. He does a great job matching the beat with some really impressive vocals. He is able to hit highs and lows pretty effortlessly which I found surprising. One issue I had with the song, however, is it’s very repetitive. For some, this might not be an issue, but I found it very dissatisfying as an interesting song I was enjoying listening to turned out to be the same chorus looped a couple times with only the first verse changing a little bit. Another issue I had with the track is that it felt really short. It clocks in at just over two minutes, but the repeated chorus made it feel as if I had to restart it every 30 seconds. However, I still think the song was at least alright. I might recommend it to someone who really likes R&B, but for someone wanting to hear the genre for the first time, I don’t think this is what I would give them to listen to.