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First Impressions: Childish Gambino, Christina Aguilera, Troye Sivan And More

Written By the interns on 05/09/2018

Another week of new music, another bunch of new songs under the microscope. This week our writers take on new songs by the likes of Troye Sivan, Christina Aguilera and Childish Gambino.

Troye Sivan – Bloom

Ben – This era of Sivan has been completely faultless, and Bloom really cements the fact that he GETS pop, whilst also being so incredibly and importantly subversive. Whilst its a bit of a laugh getting caught up around the fact that “lmao it’s not ACTUALLY about flowers!! xD”, this song really shows how easily you can put gay representation in the mainstream, plus it slaaaaaaaaps! 5

Ti Butler: It’s about flowers, my arse. 4

Sean Tayler: Whether or not this song is about bums, I think we can all unite in the fact that Troye is bringing world peace. Happy vibes in its authenticity <3. 4

Sam Murphy: I like this but I’m not going bonkers over it like I was for My, My, My. The chorus feels like it turns left before it hits Teenage Dream levels of euphoria. I can see it getting even bigger but then again the subtlety of it is really starting to grow on me. 3.5

Christina Aguilera – Accelerate (Feat. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz)

Ben – “Baby it’s alright, Baby it’s okay” features on the pre-chorus, plus its exactly how I feel towards this. I like that she gives us a few bars, but 4 minutes shouldn’t feel this long. 2.5

Ti: I must stress, this isn’t terrible. It could just do without either Ty Dolla $ign or 2 Chainz, take your pick. It really could have wrapped up at the 3:03 mark. 3.03

Sean: Christina Aguilera is an icon. That is exactly why it’s so devastating that Accelerate is stuck in neutral. Christina sounds like she’s doing a Cardi B imitation and the features sound so forced. 1

Sam: This is stupidly brilliant and although people may also label me stupid for thinking this I just think this song is so exciting. Admittedly, the first three listens I had absolutely no idea what I was listening to but since then I’ve found the way Xtina and Ty Dolla $ign trade lines so intoxicating. We get a brief moment of old Xtina in the hook but she keeps her vocals relatively subtle, going for something much more current. This isn’t going to light up radio but I think it does wonders for her relevancy. 4.5

Gallant – Doesn’t Matter

Ben – I love artists that somehow have this talent of forcing you to listen to each lyric, and from a first listen, this is one of Gallants strong points. Plus a bit of extra love from me because it sounds very SZA <333 4

Ti: Oh hell yes. This song is so clever; it has so much going on lyrically that you almost need the chorus there to give you a breather from the verses. Love the production, love the vocals, love the song. 4

Sean: The wavy production on this track and the hazy vocals on the chorus make it quite interesting. It’s fairly enjoyable but it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. 3.5

Sam: This is the most pop we’ve ever heard Gallant but he still doesn’t dive explicitly into the genre. He maintains that slinky R&B vibe and delivers what could be his most defining moment yet. The verses are filled with genius wordplay and then it lifts off into this soaring chorus I didn’t even know he was capable of. 4

Travis Scott – Watch (Feat. Kanye West & Lil Uzi Vert)

Ben – I love lil uzi with all my heart, and he’s great on this track, but Travis isn’t very exciting enough to elevate this one to a memorable status, and Kanye at the moment is leaving a kind of shitty tinge on everything he touches, so his verse is a bit meh. BUT, “Look at my rollie” is sooooooooo damn catchy though. 3

Ti: “She can’t see my room / fuck her in the hallway / gettin’ bored with this money / count it all day”? Yawn. At least Kanye rapping about juice to vodka ratio towards the end gives it some kind of redeeming feature. 1.5

Sean: I don’t what’s going on?? The opening production reminded me of the synth-heaviness of Stranger Things which is cool as but it kinda faded out a bit. It feels mostly filler which is sad because those damn synth jingles are really cool. 1.5

Sam: Terrible timing to release a very OK song. Uzi is the only one that comes out of this sounding victorious. All of Scott’s uniqueness seems to get swallowed and while it’s good to hear Kanye giving us bars again there are clunky moments. 3

Labrinth, Sia, Diplo – Genius

Ben – THOSE VIOLINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I loooooove how deep, dark, yet fun this sounds. SIA and Labrinth are the mum and dad of my dreams and who knew uncle Diplo could put my new parents in such a ripper of a track. I want more! 4.5

Ti: Do you reckon they started with the punny name and worked backwards? Like, Labrinth and Sia are sitting there in Sia’s lounge room/evil lair, just having a chat, and Sia goes “hey, if we got someone with a name that started with D on this project, we could call it LSD!”, and then Labrinth is all, “bloody hell Sia, you’re a genius – but who would we get?” and then Sia opens up her phone and types D and it pops up DAVID GUETTA and she thinks “no, that would be too easy” so she keeps scrolling and then the next artist who appears is DIPLO and then she screams “I’VE GOT IT” and the rest is history. I’m fairly sure that’s how it happened. 3.75

Sean: I came here to say that I love Sia and her feature on ‘Genius’ is reminiscent of her the circus vibe from her earlier albums, aka her golden age. Also Labrinth’s vocals almost sound like George Ezra if he was in the Gatsby soundtrack. I’m here for this! 4.5

Sam: I don’t know if I’m missing something but I’m finding this difficult to listen to. Both the vocal deliveries of Labrinth and Sia border on annoying and the whole thing feels disjointed which I know is hypocritical given the praise I dumped on the Christina song. I’ve tried and tried with this but it’s not for me. 2

Childish Gambino – This Is America

Ben – Everyone knows how incredible and important and groundbreaking and genius this video and Childish is, so my thoughts are unworthy. but!!! watch !!!! the !! video!!!! OFF THE SCALE

Ti: All-time. 5+

Sean: This is so funky and gorgeous and fresh, thank you Donald Glover! 4.5

Sam: I’ve never been a fan of Gambino’s music as much as his visual output. Finally with this I feel like he’s giving the same potency that he delivers in Atlanta. It’s an incredibly stark and disturbing portrayal of modern America which is something I think many have attempted but few have managed to deliver quite like this video does. The juxtaposition between the gospel-infused hook and the dark transition into “this is America” is really quite affecting. I still don’t think Gambino is up there with Kendrick and Cole as a rapper and lyricist but maybe this project doesn’t really position him like that. 4.5

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