Cut Through the Noise: Ally Brooke, Florida Georgia Line, Jhené Aiko (Week of Jan. 4)


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Emma Leff

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 Atlantic Records

“The Truth Is In There” — Ally Brooke ★★☆☆☆

Since leaving Fifth Harmony in March of 2018, Ally Brooke has failed to create a successful solo career, and her most recent single “The Truth Is In There” isn’t going to help. Based on her previous releases, I wasn’t expecting much, but Brooke still disappointed me. The heavily electronic and energetic beats create an interesting, yet far from unique accompaniment to Brooke’s vocals. The strong instrumentals often overwhelm her weak voice causing her vocals to fade into the background. This isn’t all that bad as it makes the plain, boring lyrics harder to hear. The chorus consists of seven or eight lines, five of which are “‘cause the truth is in there.” Aside from the lackluster chorus, the other short verses fail to add anything worthwhile. Apart from the sub-par lyrics, “The Truth Is In There” would be a relatively decent song to dance to. Even though the song is less than two and a half minutes, with the painfully repetitive lyrics, it couldn’t end soon enough.


Fair use from Big Machine Records

“People Are Different” — Florida Georgia Line ★★★★☆

Florida Georgia Line’s latest track “People Are Different,” released early from their upcoming album “Can’t Say I Ain’t Country,” masterfully combines a country melody with heartfelt lyrics. Despite facing criticism from their fan base to stick with their hip-hop and rock-influenced country style, the Florida Georgia Line duo have embraced a classic country sound with this track. The song opens up with a stunning guitar-based instrumental, which continues for the duration of the song. The calm yet dramatic beat creates the perfect backdrop for the emotional lyrics. Throughout the song, they sing about opposites, like “left wing, right wing” or “white collar, blue collar,” to show that people are different and to emphasize those differences should be embraced. The song’s powerful message of encouraging inclusivity and accepting the diversity of the human race leaves a strong impact. The catchy chorus is passionate and entertaining, making you want to sing along. Overall, “People Are Different” is an emotional and poetic song that everyone should listen to.


Fair use from Def Jam Recordings

“Wasted Love Freestyle 2018” — Jhené Aiko ★★★☆☆

Jhené Aiko released her newest single “Wasted Love Freestyle 2018,” one of the first since her album “Trip” came out in early 2018. In the song, Aiko opens up about falling in love but having it end up being a waste. The slow rhythmic beat hypnotizes the listener. The peaceful instrumental successfully sets the stage for the emotionally rich lyrics. Aiko’s smooth and effortless vocals expertly match the beat, although they become boring as the song goes on. The whole song is sung at the same volume with almost no inflection, which makes the whole song blend together without any defining parts. Aiko is vocally gifted, but this track fails to demonstrate that. However, the lyrics, along with the instrumental, make up for the flat vocals. They are creative, relatable and expressive. Although lost love — the topic of the song — is very common, Aiko impressively manages to create a unique, polished track. While the vocals had room to improve, “Wasted Love Freestyle 2018” is another solid single that many listeners can connect with.