Review: "You Had Me At Goodbye" - Miles Arnell
With a lush arrangement and genre-bending production, Miles Arnell’s new single “You Had Me at Goodbye” is as infectiously upbeat as it is melodically catchy. One of the most astounding features of this song was the way it synthesizes artistic elements from an array of time periods, creating its own unique sound. The drums give notes of 80s pop: a thumping kick and punchy snare that cut through the rest of the track. The bass line could have been ripped right out of the 70s: an overwhelmingly powerful piece of slap technique with a reliance on octave jumps and stepwise motion. Arnell’s own vocal performance is reminiscent of the mid 2000s: rhythmically inclined and staccato delivery with an emphasis on wide range and memorable melody. The pure adrenaline that reverberates between the drums, bass, and vocals makes “You Had Me at Goodbye'' an earworm, easily dancable, and the perfect way to ramp up the energy in any room.
The song begins abruptly, with the drums bursting into the foreground immediately. Arnell’s intent of making a groove-centered track is clear, as the drums remain the most prominent feature within the verse, even after the entrance of bass and vocals. As Arnell builds towards the chorus, subtle synth pads enter, highlighting the piece’s harmonic texture, and adding a new side to the rhythm-driven nature of the track. Arnell plays with the idea of negative space in the chorus, opting to lower the instrumental density of the piece rather than raise it. The feel of the piece switches as the drum beat drops out in favor of claps that hang in the track's background. There is an infusion of harmonic content as piano and background vocals move to the forefront of the instrumental. By replacing substantive percussive elements with these fundamentally melodic instruments, the chorus is able to maintain the energy of the verse despite a calmer tone and less driven pulse. The return to the almost frenetic pace in the verse is then even more rewarding because of the space left in the chorus, within which the song can then build.
Raised in a musical household, Miles Arnell gravitated towards the popular music of different eras at a young age, citing Elvis, The Beatles, and Hall & Oates as some of his favorites as a child. Prior to the pandemic, Miles spent long stretches of time touring, opening for artists such as Nelly and Logan Henderson of Big Time Rush, and performing his originals at festivals across the country. During the lockdown, Miles still found ways to get his name out there, lending his voice to DJs, and finding impressive success in Europe, reaching number 27 on the German charts. Miles’ eclectic style and dedication to his career make his career very intriguing to follow, making him an artist we should all definitely keep tabs on.
Written By Liam Dun
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