“Velvet Rope” – Rita Ora
Sometimes artists struggle to understand themselves. Rita Ora is self-aware and has found her niche. “Velvet Rope” highlights everything she does well and, more importantly, it is easy to listen to and well written.
Ora’s voice is magnificent to say the least, but many artists with great vocals still struggle. She did a perfect job of fitting the music to her vocal range, and each strike of the piano keys complements the change of note in her voice. The track takes on an airy vibe, “do-do-do”s swaying in verses.
Another challenge is writing music that is both original and memorable. Although not a cover of Janet Jackson’s “Velvet Rope,” the track certainly takes a page out of Jackson’s book, exploring similar themes with lyrics like “Where did it go, the love that we shared?” The piano, with soft highlights overlaid, is bubbly, easygoing, and pretty in an understated sort of way. Written entirely in a major key, the song maintains a happy vibe throughout.
Even though it is not quite the perfect five-star song, it is still an impressive performance from Ora. She shows a popstar potential while channelling those who came before her.
“Take One” – Kodak Black
“Take One” sounds like old Kodak, and it is fantastic. This beat is wavy, fun, and it’s easy to picture Kodak dancing to it. Travis Scott and Offset feature with clever verses and the Migos rapper’s signature ad-libs. The beat swerves through heavy bass dips and light-hearted island sound synthing. Overall, this is a fun song, from start to finish.
“I’m Not Goin’” – Gucci Mane ft. Kevin Gates
Kevin Gates was the bright spot on this disappointing single—his verse was excellent. Gucci Mane, on the other hand, was mediocre. The track itself is slow and has a dark, eerie sound which should have fit Gucci Mane’s style much better than it did. He did not sound great and his rhythm felt a bit off. “I’m Not Goin” is probably a flop, but it could have been worse.
Featured Image by Atlantic Records