There’s such an overwhelming amount of music these days you basically have to make an active choice on what to listen to and what to just let go. But this process comes with some problems.
Some of the names that you’ve decided to write off for whatever reason just won’t go away (shoutout all my industry plants). Sometimes you immediately write someone off and when you finally give that music a go, it surprises you and you have to own your own musical prejudice.
When I first heard Lil Peep, I was a hard “NAH” because I’m reverse racist against white rappers, but when urged to give a more thoughtful examination of Peep’s music, I discovered a nuance and skill that I had missed the first time around.
So, one of these inescapable names these days is Marshemello, a DJ/producer who wears a big ol’ marshmallow thing on his head and makes music that I haven’t listened to but I’ve just largely assumed sucks a lot.
Perhaps I am wrong, although I feel like I’m right.
Regardless, it’s clear that Marshmello is massively popular on the pop/EDM circuit these days and for me, a supposed informed listener of the music, to completely ignore his work would just be ignorant at this point.
With all of that said, I will now listen to Marshmello’s discography, or whatever of it exists on Spotify, and journal my resulting thoughts.
Joytime! It is time, for the joy. Will this album be full of joy? Let’s find out! I will now press play on the first song.
This is overwhelming. There’s so much going on here. It feels like this dude is rushing to get to the next part of the song. I can see why people on a bunch of drugs enjoy this.
This doesn’t appear to be appropriate music for a Thursday afternoon. The “everybody know me” thing is incredibly annoying.
I like Summer! Who doesn’t? Those synths at the beginning are kind of fun actually. Oh, we’re building! Hahahah what the fuck?
This is honestly the most, like, friendly music of all-time. There’s just zero substance to this song. It’s just that one nice riff over and over again and sometimes there’s just more of it. SOUNDS LIKE SUMMMMMERRR.
Why does everything feel so rushed with this music? This shit just hits you over the head immediately. Give me a little time Marshemello!
Let me orient myself in this world of bubblegum EDM. I don’t like this song. This song samples someone saying “This feels good right here,” then it DROPS. It does not feel good.
“Take It Back”
So every one of these songs is basically the same. I don’t say that in any like “[artist’s] music all sounds the same!” way. These songs are actually all the fucking same.
You got your fun little synth riff and then you go through a couple measures, then it gets a little softer, then it gets REAL BIG. Then that just happens all over again. Every time.
Acoustic piano! That’s different. Oh, and there it goes. The drop of this song is actually kind of ok, I like the fact that it doesn’t sound like it’s trying to be friendly and nice.
DJs and producers should definitely not be allowed to name their songs “Bounce” though. Again, the drop of this song is cool, I wish he’d go all the way with the more dirty Dutch kind of sounds.
Ah, that’s fucking annoying. Why does it sound like this? Too much going on, way too much going on. Jesus Christ, not more. Why does this song keep adding layers?
Ok and now they’re falling away and we’re building again… and the drop… yep. Oof. I don’t know if I can make it guys.
No one can listen to this for fun.
“Want U 2”
Didn’t realize a new song started, my bad. Gotta start this one over. More of those synths. Then we add some annoying sampled voice thing and a snare and then BOOM SLAP YOU IN THE FACE. Oh, that little drop is kinda fun.
I’m nodding my head. No, take me back to that part! That was kinda hot. No, not the fucking voice. Ugh. At least we know the fun part will come back… There it is!
A lot going on here immediately. As always, I guess. This is the most generic music I think I’ve ever heard, which is a pretty impressive quality in and of itself.
That synth is kind of groovy, I think I’m losing my mind. Marshmello has not ONCE deviated from his pattern. There hasn’t been one tangential bridge or breakdown.
“Keep it Mello”
Ayy, keep it mellooooooo brah. ‘Cause his name is Marshmello. We have a feature on this song. Maybe some vocals? Yep, vocals. Rap! Omar LinX is rapping. The verse and the music do not work together very well.
“Yeah I like to keep it Mello” LinX says as we get the chorus of him saying he drinks and smokes to “Keep it Mello.” I guess this is different, someone is singing/rapping.
So that’s cool. It’s the last song on the album so we’ll be moving on to Marshmello’s collection of singles.
I wonder why he spelled color that way. Is this dude British? I’d be surprised by that, his shit screams American pop music. I don’t enjoy this song.
This song started very trance and I hoped it would stay that way. It didn’t. Ah, so bouncy. Why does he use that wind blowing sound before every drop?
Every time there’s a kind of enjoyable moment, Marshmello rushes us to the next sonic event. I wish he’d give his music a little more time and space.
Sounds kind of like 2010 Swedish House Mafia. Oh, we’re building up to THAT DROP BABY! Hm. Nah.
“Freal Love” ft. Far East Movement, Chanyeol, Tinashe
I’m interested to see how he makes these features work. This is kind of a good poppy EDM song. I’m not overwhelmed. This isn’t bad!
I mean, I wouldn’t be like, “I really need to hear that ‘Freal Love’ song,” but I do see why people would enjoy this song.
“Ritual” (ft. Wrabel)
I feel like Marshmello tones down his whole shtick when he has features.
Like, this bubblegum pop EDM thing isn’t terrible when he isn’t doing a million things at once and has a good vocalist featured. Ok, this drop is wholly unnecessary. This dude has a good voice though.
“Chasing Colors” ft. Noah Cryus
He didn’t spell colors with the ‘u’ this time. Makes you think. He does too much of the squeaky voice thing.
“Twinbow” ft. Slushii
This song seems a little more lowkey. Surely that means… yep there it is. Oh my god, this can’t be real. THAT WAS SO MUCH.
Shit sounds like if you combined the Teletubbies theme song with Skrillex. It’s bad.
“Mask Off” (Remix)
This dude remixed “Mask Off”, changed nothing about the music, and added a trip-hop drop in the middle. It’s terrible.
Starting to lose it over here. This one has more of that Alvin and the Chipmunks thing going on. Wholly unenjoyable.
“Silence” ft. Khalid
I’ve heard this song before. I remember being like “oh that’s gonna be a hit.” It has more than 400 million streams on Spotify.
Khalid has a hell of a voice man, I appreciate Marshmello letting him do his thing. Even the drop is more understated than most of Marshmello’s other stuff.
This is a solid song. Khalid is a star.
“You & Me”
Holy shit, is that him singing!??! Pop punk! Ok, nah the squeaky EDM synths and pop punk voice do not work together. It’s cool that he’s singing though.
Feels like he wanted to do something different with this one but ended up just making the same song as 93% of his catalog just with a little guitar and singing in late 2000s emo-renaissance style.
“Wolves” ft. Selena Gomez
This song begins with a contemplative guitar and Selena Gomez singing listlessly. Over 275 million streams. I just don’t get it.
I will say that Marshmello gets good vocals out of artists he works with. So there’s that.
“Danger” ft. Migos
Didn’t know he had a song with Migos. Marshmello is doing a trap beat. I don’t think this song needed to happen.
“Spotlight” ft. Lil Peep
Aw man, RIP Peep. This song makes me sad. Dude could sing a damn chorus. That is all I will say about this song.
I have now listened to all of Marshmello. I have more questions than answers.