The nature of the growing pop music monogenre — music that’s promoted largely on the way it blends multiple, supposedly incompatible genres — means that music like Bluebloods’s debut EP Make It Rain rarely surprises in the ways it clearly seeks to.
However, no matter how it’s presented to the world, the mark of good music is not whether it is new, but whether it makes you think, feel and move. Make It Rain is a fun listen, a body shaker with enough variation in its tempo and energy to soundtrack both a dance party and a contemplative bus ride.
Make It Rain is also fluid music — drums burble gently then churn like boiling water, synth lines snake among guitars, samples and processed voices that rush in cascades settle in languid pools.
The crisp production also plays with enough subtly detailed flourishes to remain interesting on multiple listens. However, the EP has its fair share of stumbling blocks.
The success of artists like Billie Eilish, Halsey and Lorde in their pop-star infancies means that expertly-produced, minimalist genre-devouring tropical-lite pop doesn’t shock in the way it once might have.
While the steel drum-driven, Broadway-inspired dance-pop of “Bad Faith” is likely intriguing to some on paper, the execution renders it not unlike something you’d hear on popular radio.
For a collection of songs so rhythmic and dance-indebted, Make It Rain is oddly sexless. There’s a buttoned up, stodgy sensibility to many of the melodies, as if Hamilton were scored by a finicky basement producer. The guest vocalists, while suited to the material, all sing with the same subdued alt-pop smoothness — trilling and cooing with a glassy chill.
However, the rap break on “Jabberwocky” and shouted vocal samples on the percussive, endlessly energetic closer “Looking for God on Dancefloor in Steinbach” add some welcome texture to the vocal stable.
The Steinbach of “Looking for God on Dancefloor in Steinbach” doesn’t necessarily conjure the Automobile City of our understanding, it reimagines it as a colour-saturated haven of dance, packed with tumbling drums and a thrilling sense of forward momentum.
The weightless jazz-pop duet “Past Perfect” is perhaps the best track here, and Roman Clarke and Heather Thomas make the most of the sparkling melody. It’s a certified earworm, a dewy summation of Bluebloods’s strengths. It’s also, frustratingly, the shortest song on this brief EP.
There’s much to love here for fans of stylish, adventurous, capital P production pop.
Those looking for bloodier, lustier dance music — something with bite and danger — might find too little resistance in these liquid arrangements.