Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad: David Dallas ‘Pay Off’

Great Sounds Great; Bad Sounds Bad is a column which sees a panel of writers for The Corner review a range of local singles and grade them out of 10. Check out the song below, read through their opinions and let us know in the comments section your own thoughts and what you’d like us to review next time around

[YouTube / iTunes]

[Grade: 6.6]

Matthew Plunkett: When considering the future apocalypse there is no need for undue solemnity. With our landscape reduced to concrete carcass office blocks, fire bombed dairy farms and piles of useless shiny discs surely it will be David Dallas who will save us all. He will walk among the desolation in a cajoling mood reminding us of our limitless potential and our astonishing abilities. His ageless smile will ease our anxieties about loss of phone and upcoming horse lessons and his startlingly fresh white sneaker and sweatshirt combo won’t be showy and will appear apparently label free. He leads by charming example and we should rest easy that he will be there for us when we need him. Bearing that in mind when we listen we must be prepared for leniency. So although this tune may not be his best – the subject feels minor and the beats don’t sting and rumble like they might – it really does not matter. He is David Dallas and like him – we have faith and are prepared to wait. [7]

Eden Bradfield: Feels like 2006 all over again, from the video to the vocal effects and the sampling. More endearing is when Mr. Dallas comes out with “looking at my home, looking at my face” and the song is given some kind of honesty, some humanity. That saves the song a little. [4]

Luke Jacobs: Dallas wastes no time getting into the song going straight into a strong vocal line. The production is great. You feel his ambition and his lyrical ability matches the delivery. You want him to win, you want him to make it and I think that feeling comes about from the honesty in the song. Despite doing this for a long time, this feels like he still has so much more to give and that is exciting. [8]

Maddie Collier: I have a lot of time for David Dallas but this track just feels almost-there to me. The aerobicsy beat from Forty One sets an underwhelming tone from the outset and from here it drags into a half-assed, flatly delivered pep talk chorus. The track gains ground from the start of Dallas’ first verse, where he fires off a smooth succession of tessellating couplets in an endearingly thick New Zilnd accent. This is the point where my heart rate elevates and I get legitimately excited about this guy: his flow is slick, syllables are carefully slotted and spaced, and it all just clicks. Then comes a lazier second verse and a few repeats of that dragging chorus and I’m flatlining again.

David Dallas is all simmering potential; always seemingly just one song away from something I can really get behind. I’m not even sure he’d disagree: the whole tone of this track is warm-up-lap, like it’s designed primarily to get Dallas hyped up about himself and what’s coming up next. “Take a peek / I ain’t even at my peak yet”, he spits. Well, agreed. And I’m really looking forward to what it sounds like when he gets there. [5]

Tim Herbert: This song has a fantastic sample that is used well. It’s fantastically produced and extremely listenable…but… it seems D. Dallas likes to make tracks about how he’s the underdog and no one thinks he can make it and he’s just gonna keep doing what he’s doing. The thing is – he’s good. Very good. With all his hard work he’s had over 50,000 downloads of The Rose Tint and that really is a fantastic hip-hop album. I just wonder how many songs he can write about how hard he’s working at making it. Keep up the output of good music and we’ll know you’re working hard and you won’t have to sing about it. [7]

Danielle Street: The use of ‘Rhythm is a Dancer’ sample is bona fide genius. If you want to earn some cold hard for making rap songs, throwing in a sound-bite that people can’t help but get stuck in their head is the perfect recipe. On top of that, I’m always down for some straight-up rapping into the camera action, golden era steez. [6]

Laura Vincent: David Dallas has quite a few excellently quotable I’m-gonna-make-it-big tracks, this one living up to his reliable high standard. Great juxtaposition of assuredly laid-back chorus and rapid-fire verse delivery, and beautiful use of that tiny slice of Snap’s ‘Rhythm Is A Dancer’. I don’t know if it’s just my rural upbringing but there’s something kind of awesomely audacious about a local act sampling such a huge international hit like that. [9]

One Comment

  1. stephen says:

    @Maddie “pep talk chorus” love it!

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