I was recently approached to review Vavo’s new single No Friend Zone by AMW Entertainment. AMW have worked with artists like Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliot, so when asked, I was shocked; they’re a big company who work with big artists.
I am not being paid to write this review. All of these thoughts are my own and I’m being entirely honest on my opinions.
Vavo themselves fit the bill; the EDM duo have charted on Billboard already in their career; their earlier single ‘Sleeping Alone‘ has charted at number 18 on the Billboard Dance chart as well as becoming their most recognised song as a BPM Breaker on Sirius XM’s BRMP, receiving radio airplay worldwide, and similar success is predicted for their most recent single.
Vavo consist of London born Alden Martin and Vancouver native Jesse Fischer; a pair that had collaborated online before meeting face to face in 2015, since creating a dynamic relationship, drawing in loyal fans. Due to this, VAVO continue to gain popularity among fans, whose loyalty has rewarded them features in numerous publications including Billboard, We Rave You, This Song Slaps, I Want EDM and Music Existence along with many other blogs and websites. This is without a doubt helped by starting 2018 off right with their release of ‘How Low’ with John Christian on Tiesto’s Musical Freedom Records. On top of that, their remix of Post Malone’s Rockstar went viral, creating a name for them there too- 2018 really is their year.
Moving along to most recent single ‘No Friend Zone‘. Released on the 29th of June, it is already getting airplay and multiple channels are putting it out on Youtube giving it publicity, and with the backing on their connections and the PR of AMW, they’re going to go far without a doubt.
But despite, this, I’m not really a fan. It’s not my cup of tea at all.
Honestly, even on first listen, I knew it wasn’t my kinda thing. I said I would be brutally honest, and I stick by that. I’m not a huge EDM fan, so I had no idea where to go with this review. While wanting to do a good job, I’ve also wanted to be honest…
We all know I like a variety of music, but when it comes to EDM, it’s not really my speciality. I gave it another listen and focused on different elements on the song each time, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was on first listen, but I still couldn’t get it.
I did like the contrast; while being upbeat, the lyrics are less so, and I do think it takes skill to get that balance right. The repeated line of ‘No friend zone’ (hence the title) almost sounds like they’re pleading to not be left in the friend zone or put in the friend zone. Almost like trying to connect with a lover or trying to create a connection with somebody, highlighted from the line ‘I need you for my own‘, and ‘This is no game for me to lose‘ showing an almost craving or desperation. We all know I’m a lyricist myself, so I hone in on the lyrics and I am more critical about them compared to anything else.
The thing is, the rest feels lazy. While the beat is decent enough and it melds and works well with the song, I do think more could have been done. After being lectured in the past of the importance of the ‘drop’ this feels poor. It feels like background music to me. While I could get into the lyrics, it’s because I kind of had to because I’ve been reviewing it. Not because they instantly caught my attention. And even they feel drowned out to a degree.
Overall? Not at all my thing. I feel like maybe they have begun to believe their own hype and have gotten lazy. Maybe after the link with Tiesto, they’re relying on that name to carry them through?
I wish I could go in more depth in a review, but with this not being a genre I listen to religiously or a lot, I find it difficult to review or critique. I just know what I do and don’t like, and I;m not a fan of this.
Despite being reached out to and having sent the review to AMG and them themselves (as requested in the email sent) I never so much got a thank you or it shared anyway: as had been agreed. So I stand by my point of them believing their own hype; if bigger names can following the rules set BY THEMSELVES AND THEIR LABEL, then they should be able to too.
I don’t think people realise the work that goes into reviews. It takes an incredible amount of time and effort. Researching bands, looking at their back catalogue, finding information that hasn’t been given. In the case of this, probably more of my effort went into reviewing and trying to be nice than they put into the song.
Stay safe and stay happy, Angels ❤️