Cut Through the Noise: Ariana Grande, Khalid, Maren Morris (Week of Feb. 15)


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Kate Schneider

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 Republic Records

“break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” Ariana Grande ★★★★★

Ariana Grande’s song “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored”, off her newest album “thank u, next,” displays Grande’s new unapologetic outlook on songwriting. Starting off with a crisp and catchy beat, the song instantly drew me in and continued to keep me hooked with the perfect flow throughout the song. Grande demonstrates her large vocal range in this song, from the deeper and more sultry tones in the beginning to her signature high and airy notes dispersed throughout the song. Grande’s vocals and the music intertwine to create a catchy instrumental that you just can’t get out of your head. While telling someone to break up with their girlfriend to be with you instead may not be the greatest idea, the lyrics, particularly the chorus, are impossible to not sing along to. While “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” is not as personal as the rest of her album, it is still filled with great vocals and a fun, upbeat sound that will be perfect party music.


Fair use from RCA Records

“Talk” Khalid ★★★★☆

Khalid’s latest single “Talk” has a much more electronic vibe than his past songs, but continues to showcase his amazing vocals. Even with the new style of song, Khalid still manages to stick to his R&B roots with the tempo and tone of his vocals. The high notes he hits never stop amazing me. The blend of genres in “Talk” create a chill and careful atmosphere throughout the entirety of the three-minute long song. While the lyric asking “can we just talk?” is a little too repetitive for my taste, it could easily be catchy enough to rise up the charts. This catchiness mixed with electro-pop vibes gives “Talk” a strong potential of becoming a song of summer 2019. This upbeat new track from Khalid makes me excited for his upcoming sophomore album.


Fair use from Sony Music Nashville

“Common” Maren Morris (feat. Brandi Carlile) ★★★★☆

In “Common” Maren Morris departs from her usual country style music to create a soulful ballad with Brandi Carlile. The song starts off with a soft instrumental that is so quiet it is barely audible. As Morris’ voice grows deeper and stronger, the music’s tempo and volume strengthen as well. Carlile’s voice in the second verse is perfectly raspy and every word is incredibly heartfelt. The two singers voices are gorgeous when alone and are paired together beautifully in a way that compliments each of their individual vocal strengths. Morris’ and Carlile’s voices are very contrasting, yet manage to compliment each other so perfectly they seamlessly blend together. You can practically feel the emotion dripping from both singers’ voices throughout the entire song. Yet even with the ballad style song, Morris’ country roots still manage to peek through in the tone of her singing. “Common” is asking us to put aside our differences and come together as a society to help each other, which is exactly what people need right now. Morris and Carlile come together on this track to create a moving and powerful song full of deeper meanings.