Track Review: HONOR – Never Off

Editor's Review
  • - 5/10
    5/10

Summary

My disappointment at not immediately loving 'Never Off' dissipated on subsequent listens, and I really think that this song is a grower and not a shower. With a bit more movement in the main tune and a defter melody, then 'Never Off' would be given the lift that it is slightly. However, it has resurrected itself from the cast-offs, and I’m ready and waiting for HONOR’S next offering.

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I’m not sure if this ever happens to you, but as someone who listens to music a daily, if not hourly basis, I’m often hearing stuff by new artists regularly. Whether they’ve been recommended to you by someone who knows your tastes, or you’ve found them by endlessly clicking through YouTube’s suggestions, or perhaps they’re supporting a band you’ve gone to see, new artists aren’t hard to come by. Indeed, the life of a music critic is awash with a smorgasbord of bands and songwriters just waiting to be discovered.

As such, discovering new music puts you on an often fruitful and joyous path of unearthing these new musical encounters: you do a little reading up on the recommended artist, and find out that they were hugely influenced by that band you’ve loved since you can first remember hearing anything, or that they once wrote a song with that songwriter whose tracks just put you in a tizzy. Job done.

“My disappointment at not immediately loving ‘Never Off’ dissipated on subsequent listens, and I really think that this song is a grower and not a shower. With a bit more movement in the main tune and a defter melody, then ‘Never Off’ would be given the lift that it is sadly lacking”

But in some instances, for whatever reason, it’s just not right. On paper, it should be your own personal earworm. But in reality, it just doesn’t fit right. Your emotions are strong and varied: guilt, despair, sorrow. Maybe you even start to question yourself: who am I, that I don’t like this music that’s practically tailor made for my ears? That’s how I felt went I heard HONOR’s debut single, ‘Never Off’. The dream-pop enigma has shied away from cameras and interviewers recently, in an attempt to let her music do the talking. In this case, the dialogue between the songwriter and listen is problematic.

Musically speaking, I love emotional female vocals with an electro backing. For example, BANKS, in  my eyes, is a modern day pop heroine, and the sultry harmonies of London Grammar make my knees go weak. HONOR fits right into this library — she even stylises her name with capitals, for goodness sake. However, that is where the paradigm becomes exhausted; while similar in name, as well as style, HONOR’s latest single does not quite match up with aforementioned formula.

Sure, the main melody could be considered as flat, but the ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’ beat in the background picks it up nicely. Perhaps some may consider the scaling synths at the end as boring, however the harmonies are lovely and choraly, and fit neatly with the song’s intricate style. And yeah, maybe the lyrics are a little cringe-worthy — look no further than the chorus with “Tonight I’m not giving up / Keep trying to understand / I can’t stop repeating / I still love you” – but who doesn’t love a love story?

My disappointment at not immediately loving ‘Never Off’ dissipated on subsequent listens, and I really think that this song is a grower and not a shower. With a bit more movement in the main tune and a defter melody, then ‘Never Off’ would be given the lift that it is sadly lacking. However, it has resurrected itself from the cast-offs, and I’m ready and waiting for HONOR’S next offering.

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