For all its criminal and badboy allusions, 'Bang Bang' is one of the most inoffensive tracks to come out of 2016. It's a shame that nobody seems to care about making it any good.
The latest collaboration between seasoned hitmakers DJ Fresh and Diplo, ‘Bang Bang’ is one of the flattest productions either has ever offered – a statement that is particularly astounding in the case of the former. The sparse trappings of this mid-tempo, middle-of-the-road offering don’t feel deliberate – they’re more of a guide for vocalists that would later be filled in, but weren’t. Its lyrics are no better, being the most confused, disparate jumble of words since my last coursework submission. All three (count ’em) of the guest vocalists seem to be appealing to a person who’s recently given them the elbow but that they would rather still be with, which you would think would be quite a passionate topic to ‘sing’ about.
You wouldn’t know it from ‘Bang Bang,’ of course. Whilst Craig David, the lord and master of the sick, quick sixteens himself, puts his name to clearly the strongest portion of this dismal offering, his verse is still pretty forgettable stuff on the whole. For those still curious and not bothered enough to scroll back to the top of this review – let’s face it, why would you be? – ‘Bang Bang’ also features Selah Sue, a 27-year-old Belgian, and R. City, the American duo whose real names are Theron and Timothy Thomas. Thanks, Google. Thoogle.
This ensures quite a variety of styles are present on the track, which is perhaps why it doesn’t sum to anything of any substance. David is very much pulling in one direction these days, and it clearly isn’t the same one as DJ Fresh and Diplo, whose work is (unfortunately) a marked departure from their 2013 collaboration ‘Earthquake.’ The only act involved which seems to fit naturally to the sound of ‘Bang Bang’ seems to suit is R. City, which is not amazing. It feels unfair to say there’s a lot of talent squandered with this record, but there was definitely potential for something better than what was actually released. If an unsigned artist offered this as a demo to the same label behind ‘Bang Bang,’ we would never have heard the track again. Imagine that.
In short, if you hadn’t already guessed, ‘Bang Bang’ is nothing to write home about. In fact, it’s barely worth writing for The Edge about. Like this article, it should hopefully soon be buried beneath much better content. Having been dumped into the dreaded Q4 release slot without any kind of nighttime feeling to it, despite what the accompanying visuals might try and tell you, it may well pick up radio play come January, but it offers little beyond a C-List at best proposition, and even then only thanks to the names involved. Although still far from a banger, ‘Bang Bang’ could have perhaps been better served with an April release, but at least we’re getting it all out of the way pre-Article 50.
‘Bang Bang’ is out now via Ministry Of Sound