Cut Through the Noise: Shawn Mendes, Karol G, Still Woozy ft. Omar Apollo and Elujay (Week of May 10)


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Amaia Barajas

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.

“If I Can’t Have You” – Shawn Mendes ★★★☆☆

Fair Use from Island Records

Shawn Mendes has a great voice and is a very talented dude. However, his new single “If I Can’t Have You,” was very underwhelming. The song sounds very similar to the sound of his most recent album “Shawn Mendes.” This may have been purposeful in order to have a cohesive vibe for this era, or he can’t come up with a new sound right now. The verses and production of the song are very similar to his past work, but the chorus is so much fun. It’s very catchy and saves the song from being too boring. It’s definitely a bop and a Top 100 pop chart worthy song, but it’s just very repetitive with a similar  sound as his other songs. The part of the song that stands out the most is the last verse, which is almost an a capella version of the chorus. Overall, this song is pretty good and has grown on me the more I listen to it, but is not an amazing, groundbreaking song.

“Ocean” – Karol G ★★★★☆

Fair Use from Universal Music Latin

I can’t even express how pleasantly surprised I was by this song. Karol G is a very big reggaeton and latin trap artist right now. She is usually known for rapping to very bass heavy music. Don’t get me wrong, her other music is great and very fun to listen to, but “Ocean” is incredibly different than what she has put out in the past. The song starts off with soothing wave sounds and very simple piano chords, making it sound very tranquil, and tropical. Karol G’s vocals are stripped down and exposed, something not often heard from her. The only three things in the song are the ocean, piano and her vocals. I really love the song and the relaxing vibes  it provides — almost perfect to fall asleep to. Fortunately, the song is not boring in the slightest, Karol G still makes room for her usual flow that she has in her songs. This song is definitely my favorite song of hers, solely because it was very unexpected.

“Ipanema” – Still Woozy ft. Omar Apollo and Elujay ★★★☆☆

Fair Use from Still Woozy

I have only listened to a few Still Woozy songs, but his new song “Ipanema” slaps. It has a very summery vibe, that greatly encapsulates the namesake “Ipanema” which is an infamous beach town in Brazil. It’s hard to explain the production of this song, it just works with the summer, carefree vibe of the song. It has a very distinct bass sound with some trap, techno and R&B sounds. It mixes a lot of different sounds to create a very unique beat. One of my favorite parts is when Omar Apollo jumps in with a very unexpected Spanish verse. Shockingly, this song is bilingual, so once he jumped in with the verse I was hooked. Both Still Woozy and Omar Apollo have very soothing, psychedelic voices that work really well with the sound of the song. Overall, this song has a very distinct sound, but I will have to be in a specific mood to really enjoy this song — it’s not an everyday song.