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16 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i love this song, 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne (MP3 Download)
great song that I hadn't heard before but so catchy and makes you want to dance around the living room, A feel good song that you must listen to
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be (Audio CD)
A great cd
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 July 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne (MP3 Download)
Amazing song. Listened to it over and over on holiday.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it now, 9 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be (Audio CD)
Great song for a sing along. Before long you will be tapping your feet and singing at the top of your voice
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dance song with textures from classical music, 9 Jun 2014
By 
John Abbott (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne (MP3 Download)
When I first heard this song, in passing on the radio, I immediately honed in on the bubbly synth accompaniment as its most interesting element. It was a while before I heard enough of the complete song to notice that this material is also used as the introduction, played on a string quartet – and played convincingly. This isn’t a typical pop string arrangement. It makes full use of the independent voices and is also written idiomatically for the instruments, clearly by someone who knows what a string quartet can do. And it converts surprisingly well to the video game sounding electronic bleeps that alternate with strings throughout the song to play this music. (Note: the sheet music suggests it’s a string trio rather than a quartet – it sounds fuller to me on the recording).

Researching into the song, I found that the band Clean Bandit was formed out of a real classical string quartet from Cambridge, the Chatto Quartet (named after cellist and band member Grace Chatto). This sounds exciting. I can only think of a handful of pop songs that make the most of a string quartet – “Yesterday”, of course springs to mind, but also “For You” by Judie Tzuke, on which the quartet arrangement was made by Paul Hart.

I’m still listening to Clean Bandit’s just-released album New Eyes to hear what else they can do with this combination. I have to say that, so far, I’m not entirely convinced. For instance, while “Mozart’s House” uses a chunk of Mozart’s String Quartet No 21 (a less obvious choice than most Mozart “samples”), it’s not really integrated into the rest of the song, and at one stage it sounds disconcertingly close to the Hooked on Classics approach – an unforgiving regular beat dominating the music and draining out all of its life. I do like the use of strings in an earlier Clean Bandit track called “UK Shanty” – not included on the new album – where folk music elements are more in evidence. And the videos I’ve seen are very inventive.

However, the album, and the song “Rather Be”, both indicate that the songs themselves are more generic, and that it’s the textures where the main interest lies. At its core, “Rather Be” is very simple as a straight song. It seems as if the songs are mostly written by outside writers and the band then adds the quartet textures – so we don’t get a lot of classical influence in the basic material itself, which is a shame. The band’s personality is also perhaps weakened by their use of different guest vocalists for every song. And on the two dance remixes of “Rather Be” the strings seemed to be excluded altogether, indicating that for the hardcore clubbers strings perhaps aren’t what they want to hear. Despite all that, it’s catchy enough to have made the charts, and I think its appeal comes from a combination of both the song itself and the unusual instrumental textures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne (MP3 Download)
Kept hearing this on the radio wondering who sang it. Just an amazing song! Can't stop playing it :-))
Buy it now!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lemon, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be (Audio CD)
Good production and excellent vocals although the mixes were a little repetitive. More variation on the mixes would have been better.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great toon!, 20 May 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne (MP3 Download)
Bought this after Iesher's performance on the Voice! Never knew the band or song but a such a catchy tune…Love it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Music To My Ear's, 16 May 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be (Audio CD)
Brilliant!!!!!! love this song hope jess makes more great tunes like this add this song to my top 10 cc collection
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great funky rock, 18 April 2014
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This review is from: Rather Be feat. Jess Glynne (MP3 Download)
I heard this track sung for this for the first time on Jules Holland and I thought it was brilliant
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