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Cut Through the Noise: Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Jason Derulo (Week of Sept. 8)

Illustration+by+Isaac+Wert
Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Illustration by Isaac Wert

Our weekly rundown of new tracks hitting the airwaves

Welcome to “Cut Through the Noise,” a new column from the St. Louis Park Echo covering new music releases. Every week, a different Echo staffer will take on the role as writer, reviewing recent releases aiming for success.

 

“…Ready for It” by Taylor Swift: ★★★★

Fair use from Big Machine Records

Following the release of her polarizing comeback single, “Look What You Made Me Do,” Taylor Swift unleashed “…Ready for It,” the second track off her upcoming sixth album, “Reputation.” The experimental song opens with heavy industrial synths, grabbing listeners’ attention before Swift launches into a rap-like verse that climaxes in a glimmering pop chorus underscored by light dancehall synths.

The song sounds fairly on-trend, and by its explosive final chorus it is clear that “…Ready for It” has hit-song potential. However, its jarring production, similar to “Look What You Made Me Do,” might ruin the listening experience for some. Ultimately, “…Ready for It” is worth a listen, as it exhibits a different side of Swift’s return that combines experimental production with a classic, anthemic, Taylor Swift chorus, appealing to both new and longtime listeners.

 

“What Lovers Do” by Maroon 5: ★★★

Fair use from Interscope

Maroon 5, a band long past its prime, continues to explore 2017 music trends with their new single, “What Lovers Do.” With a feature from R&B up-and-comer SZA, “What Lovers Do” provides a bouncy tropical beat, sounding like a mashup of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Calvin Harris’ “Slide.”

What the track lacks in depth, it makes up for with its funky bassline. Catchy, fun, and easy to listen to, “What Lovers Do” proves to be the best of Maroon 5’s recent efforts, which include dull tropical-pop song “Don’t Wanna Know” and the aptly-named “Cold.” Although Maroon 5 is unlikely to return to its former popularity or quality, “What Lovers Do” is a step in the right direction.

 

“If I’m Lucky” by Jason Derulo:

Fair use from Warner Music Group

Despite a handful of hits in his back pocket, the majority of Jason Derulo’s career has consisted of mediocre manufactured music, including his newest single, “If I’m Lucky.” The track sounds like a distant cousin of Selena Gomez’s 2015 hit, “Hands to Myself,” but it lacks the same punch. Starting with guitar plucks reminiscent of Charlie Puth’s “Attention,” “If I’m Lucky” never picks up its energy, with its light and inoffensive beat plodding along for three minutes.

Derulo’s only minor-hit this year, “Swalla,” wasn’t a great song, but its mediocrity was saved by being a fun track overall. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about “If I’m Lucky.” Monotonous and uninspired, “If I’m Lucky” will hopefully disappear into Derulo’s lackluster back catalogue – frankly, Derulo’s lucky I won’t give it zero stars.

 

Check back next week for more review and analysis of new music.

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Cut Through the Noise: Taylor Swift, Maroon 5, Jason Derulo (Week of Sept. 8)