Hello, I’m MusiCommentator, and I try not to use my platform to boost the reputation of my friends’ music, but I decided to make an exception. Yes, this is the special shoutout I mentioned in the title, so don’t worry, this isn’t clickbait. One of my friends recently created a Soundcloud account called “Broken Elements” and released his first song called “An Ideal Love”. I am not a fanatic over jazz or anything, but I was pretty blown away by this, especially since I’m a growing fan of anything Lo-fi. I know he is releasing some kind of mixtape, too, so I would definitely recommend checking him out. I did not make this an Underground Shoutout, either, because my friend technically did not request me to put him on here (although I did ask permission). I just thought it was a really good track you should all check out, so you know I’m not lying just to put my friend here. I suggest you go listen to it…after you finish reading this post, or course.
Okay, let’s talk about Zedd. That’s probably why you all came here anyways. So, Zedd is an EDM artist that has been quietly stirring in the background for a couple of years now. He made some songs, but he really did not start getting mainstream attention until recently. He has had a string of hits from his collaboration with Ariana Grande, “Break Free”, to his more recent track with Hailee Steinfeld, “Starving”. But, his most popular one so far has been “Stay” with Alessia Cara. I actually like this song a lot! It’s an upbeat track about love persevering even under harsh circumstances, and Zedd’s production on it is appealing. The ticking clock in the background, the vocal effects on Alessia’s voice, and everything in between make it a fantastic song. If I had reviewed it on this site, it probably would have earned somewhere between a four and a five out of five. I would suggest you all check out that song, too (I really did not think I would be recommending this many songs today). Following that up, Zedd released a new track with Maren Morris and producing duo Grey called “The Middle“, which, to my disappointment, has nothing to do with the ABC sitcom of the same name. The track has been slowly climbing up the Billboard charts, so let’s see if this song is as good as “Stay”.
“Take a seat
Right over there, sat on the stairs
Stay or leave
The cabinets are bare, and I’m unaware
Of just how we got into this mess, got so aggressive
I know we meant all good intentions”
Going by the first verse, this song is about love persevering even under harsh circumstances…Hey, that sounds familiar.
“So pull me closer
Why don’t you pull me close?
Why don’t you come on over?
I can’t just let you go”
I feel like a bit of an old man accusing all modern music of sounding the same, but this seems eerily similar to “Stay”. From what I can tell, it has the same story as its predecessor, and even contains a ticking clock in the background. That can’t be a coincidence.
“Oh baby, why don’t you just meet me in the middle?
I’m losing my mind just a little”
These are the first lines of the chorus, and they use the exact same vocal effects as “Stay” used in its chorus. Am I going crazy? These songs sound almost identical! Am I the only one noticing this? I can’t be the only one. The song structures are the same, the usage of the clock is the same, even the beat breakdowns in the choruses are indistinguishable from one another! It hasn’t even been a year since “Stay” was a hit and Zedd is basically remaking the song. I can’t even tell that another producer is on here!
You know what, though? I shouldn’t compare this to Zedd’s other songs so much. I’m doing a review of “The Middle”, not “Stay”. I should go into the second verse with an open mind…
“Ohh, take a step
Back for a minute, into the kitchen
Floors are wet
And taps are still running, dishes are broken”
Oh, so you and your lover are in a bad living situation, kind of like Alessia Cara when she and her lover were “Living on [her] sofa, drinking rum and cola” on–Wait! No, I’m not comparing this! This is it’s own song!
Maybe I can’t judge this song on its own because it’s just kind of boring. “Stay” felt like it had a buildup that concluded and restarted at the chorus, but this song lacks that. I mean, they’re basically the same song, so I don’t know why I find this different in that sense. I just find it crazy how an artist can lack so much integrity as to make the same song before the last one’s hype even died down.
Overall, while I was pretty harsh in the review, this is not a terrible song. I just find it bland. Maren Morris is a fine singer, and the beat is not offensively bad, but nothing about this track makes me want to come back to it. It’s catchy, but that’s about it. If I wanted to listen to this song, I’d just listen to “Stay” (Gah, I compared them again!) For that, I’d give this song a 2.5 out of 5.
Thank you for reading my “The Middle” song review. If you liked this review, make sure to follow my website, Twitter, and Instagram, like this post, and be sure to check in to read my future reviews. Also, if you have something you want to see me review, tell me in the comments. Until then, keep on listening to good music (might I suggest Broken Elements)! I know I will.