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First Impressions: Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Thomston And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 08/22/2017

First Impressions are our weekly roundtable reviews sifting through all the fresh new music. Our writers take a listen, slap a score on it and then justify said score. This week Justin Bieber, Odette, ZHU, SACHI & Thomston, Lil B and Miley Cyrus face the jury.

Justin Bieber & Bloodpop – Friends

Zanda Wilson: It’s kindof cool to hear a Bieber song with a bit of bite to its production rather than just a forgettable and repetitive melodic pattern to it. In saying that, there’s so little development in this I’m still pretty bored by the end. 3

Sam Murphy: I feel like if this was released three years ago it would’ve made for a very strong lead single for Purpose. Three years later it’s a little like an off cut because the sound has been done to death in pop music. That said, in terms of the melody it’s a pretty faultless ear worm. And, to be honest, Bieber could sing an entire Hillsong album and I’d probably give it a listen so this all amounts to something that’s unremarkable but very likeable. 3.5

Odette – Watch Me Read You

Zanda: Pretty incredibly innovate stuff from newcomer Odette. You’ve simply just got give it to this, it is truly a work of art, and although the spoken word style stuff isn’t necessarily my vibe I still rate this so highly. Interested to her other songs by Odette that are all sung. 4

Sam: It’s been so long since I’ve been genuinely blindsided by a local release. Admittedly I had no idea who Odette was at the beginning of last week but this totally changed that. It’s such a hypnotic song by an artist who has incredibly carved her own identity in such a short time. Spoken word often doesn’t hit me in the gut but there’s something simultaneously honest and poetic about Odette’s verses that make this hypnotising. It really won’t be long before everyone is talking about this. 4.5 Sam’s Pick

ZHU – Dreams (Feat. Nero)

Zanda: I absolutely understand that ZHU is always going for this mysterious vibe, but I really don’t see the value of a 45 second intro that bares little relation to the rest of the song. Beyond that, this track is a really fun, hard-hitting collection of influences from both ZHU and NERO, but I did expect something a bit faster from NERO. Perfect for a 3am muzz out at a festival or club. 3.5

Sam: Can’t stand Nero, can’t stand ZHU so this was never going to amount to much for me. The rest of the EP is admittedly pretty good but this is just another assault of bass and lacklustre dark vibes that’ll be played out a few times at festivals before it reaches its natural death. Would’ve been very cool in 2011 when the soundtrack for ‘Drive’ was in vogue. 2

SACHI & Thomston – Ride

Zanda: Damn this is a tune. Absolutely loving the harmonised, layered vocals, and the fact that the build up delivers a chorus with a surprising amount of power. The drop is just fantastic, incorporating the filth of a really exciting electronic artist without taking away from the captivating vocal vibes. 4.5 Zanda’s Pick

Sam: Why does Australia have such a problem creating pop songs and yet New Zealand is churning them out faster than Cotton On does discount t-shirts. I love this because SACHI’s production compliments Thomston so much. It really takes both artists to the next level which is exactly what every good collaboration should do. The vocal layering in the hook is perfect, the drop is interesting, the way the words trickle off each other in the verse is hypnotising. It’s all good news. 4

Lil B – Global (Feat. ILOVEMAKONNEN)

Zanda: This track has just about the most energy of any of the tunes from this week, and you have to love ILOVEMAKONNEN. The bassline is utter filth non-stop for 5 minutes and I’m loving every second of it. *Thank you Based God* 3.5

Sam: What a ridiculously bonkers song. Gosh, it really should just not work at all but it does and now I’m desperate to hear this out one night. Every time I feel like I’ve worked out exactly what it sounds like I realise I have no idea at all and maybe that’s a good thing. It’s as unpredictable as Lil B’s entire mixtape and who would’ve thought that Makonnen and Based God would’ve worked on something this dense and electronic. 4

Miley Cyrus – Younger Now

Zanda: I guess these days you have to judge each of Miley’s songs on its own merits, and try to forget the weirdness that has come before. In saying that, I’ve got almost zero interest in her attempts to hark back to some weird country vibe. If this came on the radio I’d change it immediately because I just don’t care for it at all. 2

Sam: As Bangerz becomes more and more of a distant memory, I die a little bit more with every lame dance move she does in a poodle skirt. To me, this is better than Malibu but I’m not sure if that’s because I actually like it more or because I’m not blindsided by a “rootsy” new song now. This is ok, though. I like how the beat kicks in midway through the first chorus and her voice does suit country but it’s just really not exciting at all in a post-Bangerz world. It’s like starting the night on vodka Red Bulls and then moving to half strength beer – anti-climatic. 3

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