Now Playing – twice every week, a roundtable of our writers will give their views on some of the recently-released new tracks. It’s as simple as that! If you want to tell us what you think of the song, feel free to leave a comment below.
Track: ‘Where Were You?’ by Sufjan Stevens and Rosie Thomas
Average grade: 3.5
Craig: Apparently, we’re in Autotune City and it actually feels sort of tolerable in this context. The electro instrumental sound is an ambitious change from Stevens’ usual repertoire, but still, one could easily mistake for an unreleased Postal Service song. I am left with the feeling that Stevens is feeling out a new sound with Rosie Thomas, and that this may only be the beginning of an expanded medium for him. But, that is just what this song is–a beginning yet to be developed, and far from perfected. 4/10
Stuart: Cher has her good points. She was actually quite decent in the movie ‘Silkwood’. She made that hilarious music video for ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ in which she danced like a clown on a battleship wearing a thong sheathed in a polyester condom. And she seems like she’s personally a nice lady too because she’s trying her hardest to make Pete Burns look half-human by continually one-upping him in the plastic surgery wars.
Cher has her bad points too though. Although Auto-Tune was popular before 1998, it was her ‘Believe’ single that made it absolutely inescapable and a scourge on modern electronic music. Consequently, this track sounds like a mangled cover of a rejected Z-side by The Postal Service. By Cher. Particularly annoying too is the noodling electric oboe tone, which makes it sound a bit like Enya. Yikes. ’Where Were You?’ Quite honestly, I wish I was anywhere else. 1/10
James: Now don’t get me wrong I love a bit of autotune but its like one of those ‘wacky’ people that can only be handled in small bursts. The overuse in this track doesn’t let the instrumentation breathe, which is a shame from such a promising collaboration. 6/10
Anna: Whoah… that vocoder turned me off IMMEDIATELY. Doesn’t help that the whole thing sounds like a child experimenting with their synthesiser either. 3/10
Rosie: If you don’t like autotune, don’t even bother pressing ‘play’ on this one; but if you can get past it, this is actually a beautifully made track. The lyrics are wistfully romantic, the song drifts along in a dreamy manner and it gets rather uplifting towards the end. It also has Sufjan Stevens on it, which is always a bonus. 5/10
Stef: I just really, really don’t like that glitchy, beepy feel the song has. I like my songs to have some sort of flow, but that stop-start-stop-start rhythm like a computer that gets into error mode just never does it for me. 2/10