Review: “Remember I told You”
By Niy Birden
Dancehall, dubstep and EDM have created a whirlwind of hits for mainstream radio. This has been happening since the 70’s, but with the era of technology and live retweets, when there’s a hit,there’s a hit. For the song “Remember I Told You”, however, this hit is much more interesting due to the roster of artists featured.
Nick Jonas, the legendary ex-Jonas Brother hailing from the teenage stardom of Disney Channel, has come such a long way. From Disney rock, to young-but-still-impressionable rock, and now to R&B and Pop, Nick actually has quite the discography on his hands. While he has only managed to get genuine hits since the start of his “Chains” and “Jealous” year, the hits he make are charming, upbeat, and, if you’re like me, something that you probably wouldn’t mind listening to.
He’s managed to pair with a lot of notable names in the last few years (including Mike Posner, who joins him again for this song), but for this new release, he’s tapped into a little old school and a little new school with sorta-newcomer Anne Marie, who has her first U.S. hit this year with “Alarm” and pop heartthrob Mike Posner, who you might remember from his earlier hits “Cooler Than Me” and “Please Don’t Go”, or more recently, “I Took A Pill In Ibiza”. So what can come from two veteran artists and one newbie? Electro gold, apparently.
Remember I Told You , like many other dancehall songs on the charts as of recent, is actually a quite simple song. The chords of the song don’t change much, and the tempo stays the same the whole time. However, the slight R&Bish melodic elements really make each performer’s vocal delivery shine, especially since each singer has proven their ability to hold their own plenty of times. Nick, of course sprinkles tiny elements of falsetto to embellish his main lines, but mostly keeps his voice in a smooth, subtly-sexy way. Nick has been really tapping into R&B as of lately, and while it has come to some scrutiny from traditional R&B fans, the pop universe seems to love it. But can we really be surprised? He and his brothers grew up in a Christian household, and he even released a live Gospel version of “Jealous” in 2014 when he started to really make waves. Now while you probably won’t see him winning any BET Awards anytime soon like Bruno Mars, it wouldn’t be surprising if we see Nick go straight R&B or even release his own 80s-90s throwback album.
And then we have Anne Marie, whose voice actually quite resembles Selena Gomez’s voice for this feature, since her tone in the entire song is mostly whisper-like quiet and at some point, almost a bit lost with the really upbeat chords that go by so fast. However, she still makes a genuine contribution and even puts some convincing belts in there. But that’s no surprise. She also exudes innocence in this song. The softness of her voice even almost seems a bit sarcastic due to the contrast of her voice, versus lines “You’re probably somewhere, with someone I don’t know/That’s cool, and that’s cool/And I hope that she gives you, all the things that you deserve/That’s true, that’s true”. Perhaps the ‘alarm’ she had to ring has finally found a resolution?
Finally, Mike Posner comes in with his signature rap-singing style and gives us a piece of his mind as always. When you consider the message of the song and how it’s sung, it’s pretty fitting that Mike is on it. The “Cooler Than Me” vibes practically ooze through its entirety, especially when it gets to his part. While his lyrics are aggressive, full of bravado and all, the ending line sums up the entire song with the lyrics: “Hate is just a fancy way of saying that I care”, which we alllllll know is true coming from him.
If there is anything that could make the song any more summer-ready, it would be the mostly black and white video released. The video, which features each artist interacting with models and each other (and, notably a very random-ass guitarist), basically makes you wonder why the hell you are just sitting, staring at the computer, instead of dancing and partying with a really tall, gorgeous woman like them. The scenery is also very interesting: the rooms are clearly too small to have a legit party in it, but there are also glitching televisions, boxes of packaging peanuts, a bathtub, confetti, baseball bats, and, pimp coats. Coolness aesthetic: achieved. And hey, for all of the weirdos looking for something more interesting from those models, there’s a very innocent pillow fight (come on, we were all waiting for it). At first, when the video starts and you see the bare walls and open doorways leading to shadows, you would immediately think that this is a time of deep contemplation, regardless of the sound of the song. But nope! If there’s anything that the artists this year have shown, it’s that this is the year of getting over ungrateful exes. And making a dance hit or two.