Track by Track: ‘Nemesis’

Felix Kalvesmaki, Commentary editor

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“Nemesis” is the newest EP by Bridgit Mendler, better known for her earlier work with Disney Channel and subsequent projects. As much as I really wanted to give this collection a glowing review because it shows massive potential, it feels inconsistent and incomplete. But let’s take it track by track.

“Atlantis” – The distorted, crackling debut single off of “Nemesis” is easily the best on the track list. We start off with a mellow and casual introductory vocal before diving into a more chatty style of singing for the rest of the verse. Throwing a foggy double-vocal onto the main chorus contrasting Mendler’s voice and a deepened echo, “Atlantis” will immediately catch an ear. The submerged effects of the production — the crackling bass and humming synth, layered over percussion that almost sounds like a serene waterfall — along with a clever lyricist behind it, solidify a mesmerizing, hypnotic opening track.

“Library” – Where this EP slips just a little is “Library,” the second track. It’s a fun track, but a bit dizzyingly slow after “Atlantis.” The opening acoustic guitar could make your head swim following the first song, and it gets better after the beat picks up, but it’s still quite a departure that drags the consistency down. And the musical style of classic rock bass and floating electric keys isn’t the only divergence. The lyrical content is easy on the ears, but it’s bright, sugary, almost to the point of distaste. Library is cute, but that’s about it.

“Do You Miss Me At All” – Track three brings the EP back to its inception, the smooth ‘90s R&B, with its whistling synths and cracking drums, bringing back the darker attitude served by “Atlantis.” This is a song with more bravado than the last, and it works for Mendler’s new branding and apparent musical goals. The lyrics, written about an ex she seemingly can’t get off her mind, are perfectly longing for the jazzy but melancholy sound of the song. Not to mention, during the last chorus, the instrumentation drops off nearly completely and leaves Mendler singing unaccompanied, allowing anyone with ears to understand just how much power her voice packs.

“Snap My Fingers” – This track is probably the most disappointing. The instrumental doesn’t do much other than loop for the entire song, and she says the word “whip” 39 times, without exaggeration. It simply gets a little annoying after awhile. It’s a fun track if you don’t think about it. If you do? I’m sorry.

VERDICT: There was a sense of maturity in “Atlantis” and “Do You Miss Me At All” that the other two tracks couldn’t carry. It’s obvious effort was made to create a cohesive group of songs, but it fell a little flat. However, Mendler is still an impressive artist with a lot of creativity, and she isn’t one to shrug off.

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