Cut Through the Noise: MARINA, Ava Max, Justin Bieber


Maren Wilsey

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 of writer, reviewing recent single releases from a variety of artists.

MARINA — ‘E.V.O.L.’ ★★★★☆

Fair use from Atlantic Records UK

For the 10-year anniversary of her sophomore album “Electra Heart,” Marina has released two new songs that didn’t make the album. First is the album’s title track, and second is “E.V.O.L.” Though a video was made when the album was originally being promoted, the song was never commercially released until now. From the moment E.V.O.L. starts, it feels so familiar. It perfectly embodies everything about the Electra Heart era. Marina sings about a toxic relationship, a theme present throughout the whole album. The song feels very nostalgic just because of the contrast of themes with her current music. Sonically, Marina’s music is still similar, but the topics have matured considerably. Now instead of youthful and problematic relationships, she sings about real-world issues and self love. While I love how much Marina’s grown with her music, there’s nothing wrong with a good throwback.

Ava Max — ‘Maybe You’re the Problem’ ★★☆☆☆

Ava Max has just released her latest single, “Maybe You’re the Problem.” Right off the bat, the song is nothing new. While I’m not a big fan of hers, I’ve heard a few of her songs before and if you played any of them for me, I don’t think I could differentiate between any of them. The song feels very similar to “Blinding Lights” by the Weeknd, which has had even more copycats from other artists since its release in 2020. So not only does it sound like many of her other songs, but it blends right in with any other uninspired pop song one might hear on the radio. The lyrics aren’t much better — the most interesting way I can describe them is bland and uncreative. Even after just listening to the song, I’ve already forgotten how it goes — it’s just that boring. 

Justin Bieber — ‘I Feel Funny’ ★☆☆☆☆

Fair use from UMG Records

Unfortunately for everyone, Justin Bieber has decided to unleash his latest creation, “I Feel Funny,” to plague the general public. Simply put, this song is terrible. It was released alongside a video shot between takes of his project “Honest,” and filmed on an iPhone over the span of 15 minutes. Due to this, it seems like it was intended as more of a teaser for the real project, but after listening to all 75 seconds, I wish he had just posted a video from the set instead. Funny is a very kind way to describe it. The song features Bieber rapping random lyrics in a whiny voice. It would be a lighthearted joke of a project until you remember that people spent time, energy and money making this an official single. While I generally don’t like any music Bieber puts out, I have to admit this is by far the worst. After “Yummy” I didn’t think he could sink any lower but apparently I was mistaken. The only good thing I can say about this song is that I’m happy it’s so short so as not to prolong the listeners’ suffering.