NFB Listens To Number Ones: “Head And Heart” – Joel Corry (feat. MNEK)

I’m one of those only slightly older people, fogeys I believe we can be called, who is maybe just a single generation away from being the exact demographic that this kind of song is aimed at, so it’s the perfect example of “What has happened to music?” sentiment. I can recognise the good in this song. It’s undeniably memorable, and liable to stick in your head after you hear it (one can’t help but think of “Catchy Song” from The Lego Movie 2, where the catchiness is the point of the exercise). But the reason it does that is because of how ridiculously simple it is. You could call it just repeating sounds as opposed to lyrics: MNEK spends most of his time going “Bum bum ba bum” in what is a very short song.

Aside from that it’s just the kind of electronica layers that people foolishly think they could do themselves with a basic music program, and even though a moments consideration makes you realise how arrogant that sounds, the thought still lingers: this feels like something an algorithm could come up with given enough samples to work from. I often think the intricacies of these songs, like how some of those layers are implemented or how minor alterations in transition are done, are just lost on me and 99% of the audience, who aren’t really listening to what is pounding out of the danceclub speakers loud enough to deafen anyone within a square-mile radius.

But this is what the kids like these days, the kind of electric beats, kick and bass with simple lyrics that go well with club scenes – and not your smartphone, rather crucially, for the song’s longevity – where the point isn’t really to come with masterpieces of music, it’s to come up with something that is easy to dance too, easy to sing along with and liable to get crowds of people going fast. Undoubtedly “Head And Heart” does that, which is why it was #1 in Ireland for five weeks last summer. But that doesn’t mean that I have to like it.

Of course, I have several songs like this in my “Liked” list actually, because they’re good for a running playlist if nothing else. But I think this is not the best example of this kind of house layer cake really: the lyrics are plainly limited, the chorus sounds are frankly a little lazy and the surrounding beats are nothing you would not have heard a million times before. I think that Jax Jones’ “Breathe” is a better example of what Corry was going for, because of its more thought out lyrics: this old fogey isn’t buying what Corry is selling, and is fine with that. I do like the music video though, a clever ode to the power of positive thinking, so there’s that at least. Now, does anyone know how to get “Bum bum ba bum” out of your head?

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1 Response to NFB Listens To Number Ones: “Head And Heart” – Joel Corry (feat. MNEK)

  1. Pingback: NFB Listens To Number Ones: “Japanese Boy” – Aneka | Never Felt Better

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