When I first heard that Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, and Lana Del Rey all performed on a song together, I was filled with anticipation for whatever it would be. Although I wouldn’t describe myself as a superfan of any of these artists, I recognize that they are all talented artists.
However, when “Don’t Call Me Angel” came out on September 13, it failed to leave much of an impression on me. The song is part of the soundtrack for the upcoming Charlie’s Angels reboot coming out November 15. Judging from the quality of the song and the music video, I do not have high expectations for the movie.
Considering that the artists involved all have different styles of music, I expected them to find an interesting way of blending their styles. However, their individual parts of the song are isolated from each other, making the song feel disjointed. Rey does her typical sultry crooning, Grande’s parts are near unintelligible, and Cyrus just sounds angry for some reason. The loop of the hyper-fast electric piano over an uninspired pop drum beat leaves a lot to be desired and is somewhat headache-inducing.
My main problem with the music video is how disjointed it feels. The premise is that each singer has a different distinct style, but the effect is that the video lacks any cohesion. The perfect example of this comes about a minute and thirty seconds in when the video cuts between scenes of Ariana Grande singing in some beautiful mansion and Miley beating up some dude in a boxer’s ring. And then it just cuts to a split second of Lana sitting in front of a computer with her feet on the desk just chilling. The striking difference in tones of each of their parts made the video confusing to watch. Additionally, some of the effects were poorly done, especially for a music video from 2019.
I find the content of the song boring and considering the song is just meant as a promotion for this movie, it doesn’t matter what it says. The lyrics are all about being a strong, independent woman because that’s the theme of the movie. Looking at it from that aspect, it seems pointless to criticize it on a deeper level.
What I have learned from this song is that I should lower my expectations when it comes to music collabs of big artists. My reaction to this song is similar to my reactions to Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie’s collab on “ME!” which was a mediocre, motivational pop song. I have the same problem with both songs in that both feature extremely popular and talented artists, but the product is mediocre.