Regardless of how limitless the scope of pop music has grown over recent times, its defining core aspects will always remain true and apparent in the best modern examples that this genre has in store. When it comes down to it, all it takes is a convincingly memorable performance that grips a wide variety of listeners in via a track’s addictive and returnable nature to make a pop song that works as it should.
Infusing it with those modern stylistics, however, is where this contemporary age shines brightest. And with that being said, no two acts have proven to take the baseline standards of pop and have elevated them as effectively in full than CMTEN and Riley The Musician — two acts who come from differing backgrounds with equally-distinct styles to their name, but without question the exact same mindset when it comes to communicating these aforementioned concepts.
Their shared outlook shines so brightly on their latest collaborative effort in “ALONE,” a single that stands for so much despite being one of the most baseline examples of how to make modern online-centric pop music work as best as it can. These two use all the passionate and learned energy in their bodies to craft together a brief, yet impactful experience that not only proves these previously-mentioned ideas, but at the same time, an experience that stands out as a simply blissful pop offering by itself.
Both acts here are given the utmost spotlight over an instrumental that does a fantastic job of staying out of their way despite sounding so emphatic. Its arpeggiated riffs and distorted low-ends, while boisterous, are mixed in such an artful manner — letting both of our performers do what they do best on the mic throughout the song’s entirety.
CMTEN’s chorus is among the most effective hooks heard yet this year; it finds itself contrasted with the overall rhythm that the instrumental presents, utilizing this slightly off-kiltered pairing to its advantage based on just how bouncy and energetic the entire portion is. The precise stutters latent throughout also help to compound this approach to its highest level, creating a maddeningly gripping experience in itself once it comes and goes in full.
Riley The Musician takes up the entire middle portion of the track, and they fill out this time with a performance fitting for the unreachable talent they foster on their own. Their far more lively delivery contrasts beautifully with CMTEN’s reserved demeanor, matching Riley’s passionately infatuated lyrical themes that they present. As their verse moves forward, they introduce new flow after new flow in a moment’s notice, altogether making for a passage that could never fail to pique a single listener’s interest throughout its entirety.
That notion could honestly extend to this entire song as a whole; this is one of the most tried and true examples of contemporary alternative-leaning pop music that one could possibly come across thus far this year. And a claim like that could only result from a track by any one of the best acts in this lane today. Fitting then that these two fit that mold so perfectly, and now they have a song to prove it without a single doubt in mind.