Cut Through the Noise: Alok, Grace VanderWaal, Iggy Azalea (Week of March 22)


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 Mercury Records

All the Lies – Alok, Felix Jaehn and The Vamps   ★☆☆☆☆

“All The Lies” by Alok, Felix Jaehn and The Vamps is a complete disappointment. The song incorporates an ill-fitting dubstep beat and a nifty, though unoriginal, guitar riff. It is bearable from the start, but once the beat kicks in it’s all downhill from there. There are some interesting production tricks used, such as a few moments of strategic silence in the pre-chorus, but they don’t fit well enough with the rest of the song to sound decent. The chorus is dissonant and poorly written, and to add insult to injury, it’s really boring. At some parts, the vocals even sound a little out of sync with the backing track. Despite the awful chorus, there are some entertaining aspects of the melody in the verses and the pre-chorus, but all of the good parts are completely unimaginative. The lyric quality isn’t atrocious, but it also isn’t very engaging either. There are a few good melodic moments, but they quickly transition into something stale or dissonant or both. The entire track is a generic mess, not worth a listen.


Hideaway – Grace VanderWaal   ★★★★☆

Grace VanderWaal’s “Hideaway” from the upcoming movie “Wonder Park” is a beautifully nostalgic song. The song begins with only a pretty ukulele riff and VanderWaal’s vocals starting off the track with a dreamy intro. VanderWaal’s vocals are completely breathtaking, fitting perfectly with the indie feel of the track. The lyrics are gorgeous with romantic lines such as, “I’ll chase the stars inside your eyes.” The mood is light and content, giving off similar vibes as the very beginning of Pixar’s hit film “Up.” The simplicity of the almost-acoustic track adds to its wistfulness, with the slow introduction of new sounds throughout the song to build excitement. The percussion stays light using only snaps and a simple beat, allowing the string addition partway through to be heard, adding to the joyousness.


Fair use from Universal Music Group

Sally Walker – Iggy Azalea ★★☆☆☆

Iggy Azalea’s latest attempt at a hit song is a huge letdown. Coming from someone who created songs like “Fancy” and “Black Widow,” I was expecting that her newest song would at least be enjoyable. The beat had potential but sounded unfinished giving the track absolutely no originality. The lyrics in the chorus are terrible — generic, boring and repetitive. The best line on the track is a poorly written reference to RuPaul The whole thing just seems like a half-hearted attempt at spitting out a copy-and-pasted rap song. The melody and lyrics are stale and uninteresting, and it gives off the vibe that it’s trying way too hard to replicate Cardi B’s latest album, “Invasion of Privacy,” a much better addition to music than “Sally Walker.” Though the original concept of making a rap song out of children’s music is an interesting one, the execution, in this case, is just awful.