Cut Through The Noise: Mckenna Grace, Wallows, Shania Twain


Illustration by Isaac Wert

Alicia Mainjeni

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 Genius

Mckenna Grace — ‘Ugly Crier’ ★★★★☆

Musical genius, Mckenna Grace, dropped her latest single “Ugly Crier” for the world to fall in love with, along with a visually stunning music video. “Ugly Crier” is a song that feels familiar due to the throwback aspects Grace incorporated musically. As a listener, I felt as though Hillary Duff and Olivia Rodrigo wrote a song together, and the execution was marvelous. Grace told a story about imperfections and the expectations young women are expected to live up to. Lyrically, she did a beautiful job of sharing discrete lyrics that clearly got the message of the song through to listeners. The song is rich with intentional yet simplistic musical and vocal choices. I can hear the intention in her voice as Grace executes her vocal range in the harmonies and bridges incorporated in the piece. “Ugly Crier” may not be revolutionary or radical, but it is impressive and tells a deep story about societal perfection standards. The instrumental blend in “Ugly Crier” is also impressive. I don’t typically like instrumental solos in a song, but Grace included lyrics during an instrumental portion of the piece that made the instrumental part a hook rather than a release. This song gets four stars in the sense that it checks the majority of the boxes. Overall, Grace did a great job writing a song that is both trendy and catchy.


Wallows — ‘WISH ME LUCK’ ★★★☆☆

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The alternative boy band, Wallows, continues making music after a tour of the America’s with their latest single, “WISH ME LUCK.” The song is a remake of a previously released piece by the boy band. Compared to other single releases, “WISH ME LUCK” remake was nothing special. The song feels rock heavy at the start and intensifies musically throughout. It makes me feel like I am a teenager in the 2000’s overthinking my love life. “WISH ME LUCK” is repetitive lyrically and is boring musically. The piece was not significant compared to other Wallows songs, and I expected more considering the standard they set for themselves after their last album release. “WISH ME LUCK” had no change in climax or tempo making it feel like a guitar solo with lyrical solos in between. The idea Wallows had was all in the music, however, it was not executed in a way that made the piece pleasant to listen to. 


Shania Twain — ‘Giddy Up’ ★★☆☆☆

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Singer, songwriter Shania Twain released her latest single, “Giddy Up,” and it took a different turn than anticipated. Growing up, Shania Twain was who I listened to when I wanted country. “Giddy Up” makes me feel as though Twain has entered her country-pop combination era, and I am not a fan. I will say that I loved the instrumental portions. They blended well. The song was overtaken by autotune from the second she started singing. For me, the amount of autotune got old immediately and made the song a challenge to listen to. The lyrics in “Giddy Up” were redundant and boring to listen to, there was no break from the chorus and too much giddy upping for the song. There is no message or climax in the song making it boring after a few seconds of listening. There is no setting where I would willingly listen to “Giddy Up” and sing along. Generally speaking, I got the vibe that I was on a vacation in an animated movie with no way out, and for that this piece received two stars.