In a wildly unequal year, men have dominated the charts and sales, while women have failed to impress. On the other hand, women in music have created some of the most experimental and creative work of the year, while, for the most part, men have failed to impress. A perfect example lies in Lorde, who released on of the most critically acclaimed pop albums in history in Melodrama but ultimately couldn’t even come close to replicating the success of ‘Royals’, the hit that made her a household name. ‘Green Light’ barely cracked the Top 20 stateside and fell away with alarming speed while its follow-up ‘Perfect Places’ was DOA.
But everyone wants a hit, and while it is adored by critics, Melodrama’s lack of anything close to a solid hit leaves a sour taste, in particular with Grammy voters, who are almost always open to accepting anything that can top a chart regardless of its pedigree. In steps, the “remix” a last ditch effort to make an album song a bona fide hit.
For ‘Homemade Dynamite’, Lorde enlists some of the year’s breakout stars, Khalid, SZA and Post Malone, in an attempt to secure a few golden records come award season. However, the remix ultimately does nothing to elevate the track, instead detracting from its original flow and inspired pop brilliance and reducing it to a broken and disjointed effort to remain alternative whilst commercial. The biggest issue is the fact that it feels abnormally over-crowded. The featuring artists don’t flow well with Lorde’s sound, most notably Khalid, whose vocals appear noticeably doctored next to Lorde and SZA’s raw and unfiltered voices, who should have collaborated and left it at that, and it is this interesting potential that brings the track even further. Post Malone’s verse is decent in its execution but isn’t exceptional, cheapening the brilliance of the main artist’s incredible work. The result isn’t anything worthy of any of these separately brilliant artists, and ultimately, is a rare and unfortunate misfire in all of their discography.