Cut Through the Noise: Taylor Swift, Martin Garrix, The Chainsmokers (Week of May 3)


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.

“ME!” 一 Taylor Swift (feat. Brendon Urie) ★★★★☆

Fair use from Republic Records

During my first time listening to Taylor Swift’s latest single “ME!,” it felt way too bubbly for my taste. But as I continued to listen, the undeniably catchy instrumental began to grow on me. This upbeat pop song is a far cry from Swift’s last album, “Reputation,” and lacks the same emotional depth. In the lyrics, Swift is not calling out one celebrity or another — like her past singles — and is simply focused on her love interest. This change is a nice break from the darkness of her “Reputation” era, and shows that Swift’s personality and music may do another complete flip after her last change from “1989” to “Reputation.” Featuring Brendon Urie as Swift’s love interest in the song was an interesting idea, but in the end unnecessary. Urie’s voice doesn’t compliment Swift’s, and this style of music is far from his comfort zone. “ME!,” while not life-shattering, is a great new cheerful direction for Swift and with its catchy style, I see it as one of the songs of the summer. I’m very glad that Swift is headed back to her “1989” style and hope she continues to stick to a similar sound for her upcoming singles and albums.

“Summer Days” 一 Martin Garrix (feat. Macklemore and Patrick Stump) ★★☆☆☆

Fair use from Stmpd Records

The start of Martin Garrix’s “Summer Days” was very promising with a softer beat and talented singing, but as soon as the first chorus starts, it all goes downhill. The combination of artists, who all have very different styles, confuses me. Each of these artists are relatively big names and each have potential on their own, but in “Summer Days,” their voices were unable to mesh together successfully. Patrick Stump’s voice starts off more deep and emotional, but when the chorus hits it goes up a full octave and not in a flattering way. The chorus is also when the offputting dubstep beat starts. I generally don’t mind EDM music, but this feels as though it has no cohesive beat which took away from the rest of the song. When Macklemore begins to rap, it is completely unexpected, but not entirely bad. Macklemore is a great rapper and he sounds great on this single, but his part doesn’t make sense with the rest of this song. “Summer Days” had the chance to be great, but the vocals were unable to combine correctly, and the overall vibe did not work.

“Do You Mean” 一 The Chainsmokers (feat. Ty Dolla $ign and Bülow) ★★★☆☆

Fair use from Disruptor Records

In the Chainsmokers’ single “Do You Mean,” I was glad The Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart took a backseat on vocals and focused instead on Bülow’s beautiful voice. Like all of the Chainsmokers’ music, “Do You Mean” is a perfect song to dance to and is an ideal song to listen to during the summer. Although the beat stays steady throughout the song, I feel like it is still interesting enough to keep you listening. Ty Dolla $ign’s significantly less auto-tuned voice was almost unrecognizable, but added more to the song than his usual style. The song doesn’t have much lyrical significance or meaning to me, but it is still an enjoyable song. The Chainsmokers’ signature repetitiveness is obvious in the chorus, which takes away from the much better verses, but it wasn’t unexpected. Bülow is the real star of “Do You Mean” with her angelic vocals and amazing range. She is able to brighten up Taggart’s monotone voice during their duets. The Chainsmokers’ single “Do You Mean” is nothing out of the ordinary for them, but is still a good song that people will continue to listen to throughout the summer.