I probably said as much when talking about Jazz Robertson’s previous single, Stay, but her voice strides across the pop landscape like a breath of fresh air. Within it are some almost classical tones and soulful textures but the fact that she applies such graces to pop music, a place not altogether known for anything other than perfunctory or faddish vocals, is the real charm.
It Ain’t Me could be just an ordinary pop song, it ticks all the boxes, it follows the rules, it gets the job done…nothing wrong with that. But with Robertson’s voice, dancing, drifting delicately across the top of the song, it becomes something else, something heightened, more graceful, more classically infused, something with more longevity.
The other neat trick is the dynamic arrangement and as gentle verses evolve into groovesome choruses, rock guitars, string washes, harmony vocals and a wealth of other sounds expand and toughen the song, building towards anthemic pay-offs. And then, just as crescendos peak and sonic tensions rise up, things fall back into lulling lows and minimalist interludes. Unlike most pop, which generally tries to get up to speed from the off, stays at that pace throughout and then signs off or fades out as if it had just got bored with the whole affair, as if it gets three minutes in and decided that it can’t really be bothered, there is a lot of thought gone into the composition here. It has form, shape, highs and lows, ins and outs, setups and payouts, and light and shade.
it’s reserved and delicate yes, not necessarily what you need when you are getting fired up and ready to roll on a Friday night, but when viewed more objectively it is a perfect piece of pop writing. Although the more I play it, the more that I convince myself that pop might even be the wrong word for it.
Remember when pop wasn’t a dirty word? Remember when its graceful grooves were filled with integrity and its beats were built on authenticity? When it inspired and had longevity…rather than settling for being merely this week’s fad, throwaway and replaceable, destined for the great pop landfill site of history? Remember when it was equal to any rock or indie creation, was expansive and cinematic? Remember when it drifted, when it soared, when it was creative, anthemic and adventurous, when it had places to be and things to say? Thankfully Jazz Robertson does.
[…] is excellent to have Jazz Robertson back in the review pen firing line; last year’s Stay and It Ain’t Me were fantastic tracks, songs which opted for a sophisticated take on pop by juggling all manner of […]