Cut Through the Noise: Dolly Parton, Lil Peep and The Black Eyed Peas (Week of Sept. 21)

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Cut Through the Noise: Dolly Parton, Lil Peep and The Black Eyed Peas (Week of Sept. 21)

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 Dolly Records

‘Here I am’ – Dolly Parton, Sia  ★★☆☆☆

Dolly Parton and Sia’s first collaboration, “Here I am,” played off as a bit of a let-down. The slow rock ballad features two incredibly gifted voices but fails to make good use of either of them. The lyrics are basic and sound as if someone wrote them during their 30-minute lunch break. The majority of lyrics consisted of repeating the phrase ‘here I am,’ The melody is uncomplicated, though still pretty enjoyable. Starting off like a textbook ballad with a piano riff, the tune works in some gospel harmonies that are the only bit of icing on the otherwise plain cake. Both artists on the track did a great job with the music, but there really wasn’t much to work with melodically and lyrically. Overall, the song had the basic appeal and structure of a church hymn: super simple, easily auto-generated lyrics and a melody with a range just about anyone can reach.

 

Fair use from Colombia Records

‘Falling Down’ – Lil Peep, XXXTENTACION ★★★☆☆

Lil Peep and XXXTENTACION’s posthumus track “Falling Down” stays carefully away from being anything but mediocre. The chorus the highlight of the song has a simple but surprisingly enjoyable melody. The lyrics have some nice imagery, but a pretty low level of complexity. The verses are odd and pretty thin, forcing in autotune at unnatural moments for no good reason. The song feels memorial, even including a clip where XXXTENTACION talks about Lil Peep’s death, which takes on a greater meaning now that he too has died. The song is a nice idea and the execution of it connects well with the idea, but the song refuses to go any further than being an okay tribute. Overall, the song is a nice though not a terribly good last message from the two artists.

 

Fair use from Interscope Records

‘Big Love’ – The Black Eyed Peas  ★★☆☆☆

The single “Big Love,” was the Black Eyed Peas’ first song in eight years in a weak echo of their previous works. This marks a big step for the band as it is their comeback from their hiatus, and Fergie is not on it. Giving off serious “Where is the Love?” vibes, the song doesn’t seem to bring anything new to the stage. The entire concept screams of their past work from the laid-back beat to the politically charged rap verses. Even so, the messages are still full of hope and beauty, something I feel is greatly appreciated in this day and age. The song only plummets from there. The verses are bland and uninteresting, mostly because they aren’t really saying anything we haven’t already heard. The chorus is fine, involving a pretty good backing track, but a boring melody and simplistic lyrics help the song in no way. Despite the fact that the song grows on you, it’s still just a bland attempt at previous works.

 

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