Cut Through the Noise: Ellie Goulding, P!nk, Maisie Williams (Week of April 19)


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 Polydor Records

“Sixteen” — Ellie Goulding ★★☆☆☆

Ellie Goulding released her latest single “Sixteen” in anticipation of her fourth studio album — her first since “Delirium” in 2015. Although Goulding is a talented musician, this song fails to demonstrate her development as an artist, especially considering her music sounds almost identical to music she released four years ago. The aptly titled single focuses on young love and the innocence of adolescence — a topic that is overused in pop music today. Goulding, at the age of 32, needs to move on and advance her sound. “Sixteen” features a catchy beat with heavy electronic influences, but the echoes in the background distract from the relatively interesting instrumental. Goulding’s vocals shined when she wasn’t battling to overpower the music, particularly when it was more high-pitched. Overall, “Sixteen” is not a Top 40 hit by any means, leaving little hope that Goulding’s upcoming album will be anything but unoriginal.


Fair use from RCA Records

“Can We Pretend” — P!nk ft. Cash Cash ★☆☆☆☆

P!nk’s latest single “Can We Pretend” makes me wish I never heard it. P!nk released the single, in collaboration with Cash Cash, ahead of the release of her album “Hurts 2B Human” later this month. The energetic song is a catastrophic failure of meshing the beat drops from Cash Cash with P!nk’s vocals. The repetitive lyrics are anything but inspiring and didn’t blend with the music. I couldn’t keep track of how many times she said “Can we pretend?” During the chorus, the instrumental quieted, leaving nothing to cover up the horrendous lyrics. P!nk doesn’t seem to realize that adding “yeah” after every verse makes the lyrics rhyme. P!nk’s impressive vocals were the one thing that might have saved this song from becoming one of the worst singles of 2019, but there were barely any high notes. If you are looking for a great song to sing along to in the car, this is definitely not it.


Fair use from East West Records UK

“Favourite Ex” — Maisie Peters ★★★☆☆

Although Maisie Peters has yet to release an album, her latest single “Favourite Ex” demonstrates the immense potential of the up-and-coming British star. “Favourite Ex” is a peaceful, slowly paced song with a beautiful instrumental. Peters’ vocals meshed excellently with the beat; however, her voice became slightly pitchy when she tried to hit higher notes. Most of the lyrics were sung almost as if she was talking, which was calming, but could have been a lot more interesting if she expanded her vocal range. The lyrics flowed well together and didn’t feel rushed, but became repetitive after a few verses. Despite the downfalls of the single, “Favourite Ex” is an entrancing, unique song with a refreshing beat.