Review: Clean Bandit feat. Louisa Johnson – ‘Tears’


Clean Bandit delivers another great track, even if female vocalist Louisa Johnson is pretty average.

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Clean Bandit are possibly one of the most alternative bands of recent years. Though they have been classified as ‘pop,’ that ‘pop’ is a unique blend of well-rhythmed electronica and the classical tones of violins and cellos, setting them aside from pretty much any other artists on the scene right now.

‘Tears,’ their latest, features 2016 X Factor winner Louisa Johnson following in the prestigious footsteps of female vocalists including Sharna Bass and Jess Glynne. It’s certainly an explosive post-X Factor debut for her and perhaps the biggest of any winner in recent years, but unfortunately she is no Glynne. Though pleasant, her vocals can only be described as extremely average, with no sign of any unique quality to them. Where Glynne has somewhat of an earthy tone to her voice, Johnson could easily be swapped for many other decent female singers and the listener wouldn’t even notice.

Despite this, ‘Tears’ is still an extremely strong single, purely for its stellar composure. Once again, Clean Bandit manages to be eclectic in balancing many genres to create a masterpiece. The electronic dance vibe is consistent throughout the entire record, but the addition of the bright, excitable violin at the chorus adds an extra zing as the cherry on top of an already impressive composition. The song’s upbeat, keep-carrying-on message is uplifting whilst remaining relatable to anyone who has experienced a painful breakup.

Some may note that ‘Tears’ clearly follows the formula seen with Clean Bandit’s biggest hit ‘Rather Be,’ as both feature emerging female talent and could even sound quite similar to the unassuming ear. However, this is less of a reason to condemn and more to praise ‘Tears.’ The band has found what works for them, what their audience likes, and have run with it to produce another great record.

‘Tears’ is out now via Atlantic Records.


About Author

Editor of The Edge 2017-18. Culture Editor before that. Sporadic writer for the Wessex Scene, DJ on Surge, known photobomber of SUSUtv's videos. Bad habits include Netflix, not doing my work and drinking too much tea.

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