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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "It's a Mad World" - Solar State

Protest songs often have a reputation for being more messaging than music. With his catchy, pop single, "It's a Mad World," Solar State blends sound and statement to impactful results. Amsterdam-based Radboud Miedema uses his experience as a songwriter and producer to fashion one of his stickiest melodies yet. Rooted in an exquisitely mixed acoustic guitar and dance-pop drum machine, "It's a Mad World" morphs around the repeated titular phrase. Instruments and vocals phase between the foreground and background, like a measure march towards the end of the world. The subtle melodic whistling provides an eerie sense of imminent collapse.

Miedema threads a familiar tapestry of societal frustrations through "It's a Mad World." Pharmaceutical greed, war, climate change, and the list goes on. The wide net with which he captures the mess we're all in is overwhelming, but the breezy pop keeps the track from derailing into desolation. "Losing sight of human essence," he mourns on the second verse. As the father of four kids, the songwriter and producer is able to harness his personal fears for future generations. On the bridge, the choral chanting sounds as though it's submerged underwater. An ominous synth line bubbles up, a harbinger of disaster, before the chorus kicks back in atop Miedema's husky call. "It's a mad world," they chant once again. By the end, it sinks under your skin.

Solar State is the pop project of Amsterdam-based, Radboud Miedema. As a songwriter and producer, Miedema has written and produced a number of hit records for artists. With credits, such as Lost Frquencies and Martin Garrix, he decided to pivot to incorporating solo releases of his own. The beachy vibe to much of his music is inspired by his origins from the beaches of Amsterdam and travels to those of Venice and Los Angelos. In total, he has over 1.5 billion streams credited to him worldwide, a testament to his experience in songwriting and producing. "It's a Mad World" is Solar State's first release since "Strawberry Blue" in September.

Written By Andy M.

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