There’s often talk around the industry of a point in time “when the EDM bubble bursts”. Everyone seems to be foreseeing some big implosion of our culture, and the question we have to ask is “why?” What is it about dance music that has everyone predicting that the party will soon end? Krewella’s Get Wet may be the answer.
But let’s go off on a bit of a tangent for a moment. We often hear disgruntled, old rap listeners say things like “hip-hop is dead”. One might argue that hip-hop is alive and well, as it’s everywhere: appearing in car commercials, at sports events, and not to mention dominating the Billboard charts over the last two decades. So how can it be dead? Quite simply, it’s been sold out and commercialized by the major label system, with only footprints left of what it once was in it’s earliest, purest form. Although it took a good decade to completely transform the genre, the sound of hip-hop’s “golden era” (roughly 1985-1999) has more or less been completely lost.
But we live in a much faster world these days, as the information age sees trends changing quicker, as we are constantly bombarded with new things to catch our attention. This is part of the reason that the stateside EDM boom seemed to happen overnight, and why people predict it will ultimately have a short shelf life. Like hip-hop’s commercialization, the record industry has set their sites on manufacturing young, fresh-faced acts to cash in on dance music culture, which is exactly what Chicago’s Krewella is.
Get Wet is a laughably bad album; a transparent record that attempts to masquerade as something that’s a part of the scene, but instead is more akin to the Ke$ha catalog. They’ve successfully Trojan-horsed their way into the festivals, nightclubs, and playlists, but Get Wet reveals they aren’t what they seem.
In their short history, Krewella began as a dubstep act, but have quickly transformed into an all-encompassing, whatevers-hot-at-the-moment pop act, as evidenced on Get Wet. The album’s breakthrough single, “Alive”, fit right in with the big Swedish synths all summer long, but it’s follow-up, “Live For The Night”, doesn’t fare so well. Amidst its catchy hook and melody, we get an autotuned rap about bitches, whiskey, and the motherfuckin’ dollar, over an electro-driven bassline. Their true colors have begun to show.
But it really becomes evident that we, as an industry, have been drinking Krewella’s kool-aid when you really get into the album. The vocals are severely doctored in perfect key, while the lyrics are ridiculously banal. It’s almost as if the song-writing process consisted of stringing a bunch of cliches, in hopes of making the simplest sing-along hits possible. Some excerpts:
“Come and get it one more time! (Whoooa) / If you want to lose your mind (Whoooa) / Come and get it one more time! (Whoooa) / If you want to lose your mind (Whoooa) / Come and get it! [Dubstep Breakdown]“ – “Come and Get It”
“We were booooorn ready / ready to be free / chasing every thrill we could see…. / Cause if it’s fast or slow, all I really know / I’m going to enjoy the ride. Enjoy the ride! [Swedish breakdown]“ – “Enjoy The Ride”
“We are one, like the sky is to the stars / We are one, take my breath and I am yours! / We are one, as you open up my heart / right out of heeeeeere! [Hardstyle breakdown]“ – “We Are One”
Other times they attempt to shock and rebel with profanity, yet it comes off like a Miley Cyrus-esque attempt at trying to prove some level of edginess. This happens on the aforementioned “Live For The Night”, as well as “Dancing With The Devil”, where they proclaim “we are louder than your bullshit!”, or later when they sing “Fuuuuuuck all ruuuuuules,” on the first lines of “Ring Of Fire”. Johnny Cash is turning in his grave. Uh… Google him.
Autotuned vocals, over produced tracks, and songwriting that rivals the cheesiest of pop records, Krewella’s Get Wet is the problem with today’s electronic music scene. It clearly draws a line in the sand, defining the difference between “EDM” and “house music”, and is a prime example of why people are tiring of what was once a pure art form. Get Wet is a fitting title; that’s what happens when a bubble bursts.
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