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Lose Control

by Meduza
feat. Becky Hill & Goodboys

The moment I heard this track, I was struck by a strong sense of déjà vu, because its vocal hook is more than a little reminiscent of the one in Meduza’s previous hit 'Piece Of Your Heart'. Same tempo. Same syncopated rhythmic contour. Same phrase structure. Same alternation between three-note legato line and staccato panting vocal tick. Admittedly, the whole thing’s been moved from Bb minor to C minor and shifted two beats earlier in the bar, but that does little to disguise the creative bankruptcy of trying to chart 90 percent of the same hook twice. What makes it even worse is that they didn’t even copy the best idea from ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ — that genius little bit of ‘out-take’ speech!

Depressing as this is, it does raise intriguing questions. Firstly, what does it say about Meduza? From where I’m standing, it shouts “We’re one-hit wonders, and we know it!", because typecasting yourself like this seems counterproductive for anyone with a long-term career in mind. Then again, The Ink Spots made a successful career out of repeating roughly the same song, and the producers (or their besuited colleagues) may figure that’ll work here too. I wonder, given that Meduza have demonstrated the commercial value of the sincerest form of self-flattery, whether we’ll soon be treated to several quasi-Xeroxed versions of every new EDM hit, as a matter of course. The idea of multiple remixes is a well-established norm, but we could be entering an age where ‘rehooked’ versions are no less commonplace. Ah, how my heart leaps for joy at the thought of mainstream artists further milking the music-buying public’s purse at the expense of less well-marketed independent musicians! (Perhaps that’d give me carte blanche to fill this column with recycled bits of critique; maybe I shouldn’t complain too loudly!)

Another perplexing question is that of copyright, because had a different producer been responsible for this song, I imagine Meduza would have had good grounds to sue. So what if Meduza had licensed those two songs with different companies: might they have had to sue themselves? And what if Marshmello now released a new song with a hook equally similar — perhaps moving to E minor and starting that phrase/rhythm contour on the second beat of the bar, say? Which song’s copyright would Meduza then claim had been infringed? I need to lie down…