Welcome to first–listen feedback, the first of the series in our new music segment. The concept of this weekly series is to give you the first opinions of our writers when they hear the newest single. Each writer can hear the song once and then must give their very first, honest, reaction. Week one contains singles by Miley Cyrus, Calvin Harris and Picture This.
Malibu – Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus is back and isn’t too far from her best. “Malibu” is a big departure from her “Wrecking Ball” days, with Cyrus preferring a less aggressive and more bubble-pop sound. The song seems to have been an attempt at a club hit but unfortunately the upbeat guitar rhythm will have very few dancing. Cyrus’s vocals seem very lackluster and wispy, with very little effort evident and has a peculiar whispering-feel. The lyrics, when heard, have very little to say and this writer is doubtful that they were concentrated on much while writing the song. Overall, the songs seems flat and uninspired but despite that, this song still somehow manages to draw you back with the refrain of “Malibu”. A disappointing song that will be forgotten in a matter of days. If this is the new Miley she needs to hire some new writers to make an impact. 5/10
Rollin – Calvin Harris (Feat. Future and Khalid)
Rollin’ continues Calvin Harris’s record of making very funky, summery singles. Opening with the auto-tuned vocals of Khalid, the song has the same vibe as previous single and chart-topper “Slide” and follows the same theme of melodic chorus with rapped verses. Future’s verses are, surprisingly, understandable as he rapped about partying with friends and impressing women. It doesn’t have the same appeal as “Slide”, but deserves all the attention it can get. Judging from the singles, Harris could have a gem of an album on his hands. 8/10
Never Change – Picture This
You know what you’re getting with Picture This. Acoustic guitars, beating drums and Irish accents are distinct from almost every act (apart from the original Picture This, Hudson Taylor). “Never Change” is the exact same, with lyrics professing the singers love for a female (shock, horror) and offers nothing new or memorable for fans to cling to as they wait for their Nashville-recorded debut album. The similarities are to the bands detriment, as the more similar their singles sound the less fans will care. Same old same old. 4/10