First Impressions: Migos, Justin Timberlake, James Blake And More

Written By Sam Murphy on 02/01/2018

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 Migos, Justin Timberlake, James Blake, Dro Carey, Zedd and Rejjie Snow face the jury.

Migos - Walk It Talk It (Feat. Migos)

Parry Tritsiniotis: Unfortunately this collaboration has been caught in the middle of the Migos marketing strategy of the more songs, the more streams, the more money. An underwritten hook, half hearted verses and an extremely bland beat all underline the money grab that unfortunately is this song. Drake’s feature breaks up what is the monotony of the currently saturated Migos sound. 2

Georgia Griffiths: Migos are absolutely everywhere and I can’t say I’m thoroughly enjoying it. If their songs are good, they’re great, but if they’re not, they sound like this. It’s the classic Migos sound but it just seems like a bit of a money grab with no real substance. Agree with Parry on the Drake verse though - I wish that was the whole song. 1.5

Sam Murphy: Someone needs to get Drake and Migos in a room and teach them how to edit. Show them how to delete things, show them how to cut tracklists, show them how to know when a song is finished. I’m voting for Vince Staples to do it but honestly anybody could. This is not a song, this is a sketch and apart from feeling flattered that they’ve sent me a draft to judge, this just ain’t good enough. 2

Justin Timberlake - Say Something (Feat. Chris Stapleton)

Parry: Kanye West MBDTF era or JT with that drum pad? Classic JT, always finding ways to stay relevant to the youth. Luckily this track isn’t as close to cringe as anything he has put out so far for Man Of The Woods but its still nothing special. Chris adds nice depth, and so does the choir at the back, but the repeated vocals and lack of progression keep the track boring as ever. 2

Georgia: This is the JT track I like the most so far from Man Of The Woods. I feel like it’s the closest he’s gotten to the old FutureSex/Lovesounds vibes (although still nowhere near as amazing). I can’t really tell the difference between Stapleton’s and Timberlake’s vocals (sue me) so don’t really know if that adds a lot for me. The last line of the song is also really cheesy but kinda clever, so I’d say overall it’s pretty good. 3

Sam: I would very much prefer if Justin Timberlake didn’t turn up to 2018. Are you actually going to release a song that says, “sometimes the greatest way to say something is to say nothing at all,” when you’re being criticised about saying nothing at all about being in a Woody Allen movie. The country/R&B crossover is tired and he sounds devoid of any soul. This is the biggest piece of trash, I can’t find a bin big enough for it. 0.5

Zedd, Maren Morris, Grey - The Middle

Parry: Stay 2.0. This future bass pop sound is so horribly repetitive, first the chainsmokers now Zedd rewriting songs. I see this going off at a Primary school disco or at an icerink with some 8 year olds. 0

Georgia: 100% agree with the Stay reference. This is kind of catchy, but it’s definitely been done before by Zedd and literally everyone else. I’m sure it’ll do relatively well but it’s such a shame to see Zedd doing the same thing over and over again. 1.5

Sam: It is literally like a remix of Stay but the top line in the chorus is strong enough for me to be here for it. Also Maren Morris sounds really good on this and I would like to here her on more pop stuff. Underwhelming but not offensive. 2.5

James Blake - If The Car Beside You Moves Forward

Parry: Thought this song was really cool the for the first minute. The drums are awkward, vocal chops weird and the bass line has an almost G-funk quality. However the track never gets out of 1st gear, nothing really happens. The lyrics are edgy and existential, and people are hailing James Blake a revolutionary with this track, but for some reason it is not resonating. 1

Georgia: I am a huge James Blake fan but this is really not his best. It’s great to see him experimenting with his production and showcasing that side of his music, but this song begins to border on excessive. A little less chopping and changing and a stronger hook could’ve seen this become a great track. 2.5

Sam: I actually think this is kind of next level. I haven’t heard James Blake this experimental in a very long time and it feels like he’s really bushing the boundaries. A few moments sound stilted and jarring but for the most part it’s a totally brain-melter in the best way possible. It’s taken me about 10 listens to really be able to follow it but there’s something exciting about having to try to discover the beauty in it. 4

Dro Carey - Glow Now (Feat. Taliwhoah & Genesis Owusu)

Parry: Minimal, techy, housey this is abit of a bop. The synths, lead vocal and drums are lovely. Genesis Owusu’s verse breaks the flow of the song unfortunately, with his rhymes doing 0 for me. It’s the sorta track that’d get my head bumping on a table outside at a club. Decent groove. 3

Georgia: This starts off a little slow but once it gets into it it’s a huge tune. Taliwhoah’s vocals are amazing and I get Disclosure vibes from the way it’s all brought together. Genesis’ verse seems like a bit of a space-filler - it’s not really needed. I wouldn’t be mad if I heard this one a bit more. 4

Sam: Very here for this one. Every little sound packed into it is so delectable and yet it manages to pack on the bass in the chorus without overwhelming. I love Taliwhoah's vocals and Genesis Owusu is a nice addition. I feel like if this found itself on British radio it would be a huge hit. 4

Rejjie Snow - Rainbows

Parry: I’m a real fan of this new dreamy, synthy urban blend. The beat is glossy and heavenly, but the ASMR vibe on the verse makes me a little uncomfortable. The lyrics are witty and ignorant giving the verses a nice bold punch. The hook is very clean, melting together the track very nicely. 4

Georgia: I like this one! His voice reminds me of old Tyler, the Creator, but not as terrifying. Chorus is super simple which works really well against Rejjie’s clever verses. I did find myself getting a little bored at the end, but at just over three minutes this is generally pretty short and sweet. 3.5

Sam: Rejjie really gets the whole concept of an album. His aesthetic has never been stronger from the visuals to the sound and it's all just so cohesive. Rainbows is brilliant from the lo-fi, groove-infused beat to his laid-back but poetic delivery. Dear Annie is seriously going to be one of the best records of the year. 4.5

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