Lalah Hathaway ft. Pharrell Williams ‘Surrender’ Song Review

What a bucket of fun this track is! I expected a quick little review on a track that I had no expectations for but wow, I’m blown away! This song is definitely the best motown throwback we’ve had all year! I found myself tapping my foot, tapping my fingers, heck I even started bobbing my head; that never happens! Pharrell has proven again that he is one of the best producers working today and I mean that. If it weren’t for him, we’d have no Maggie Rogers and no Daft Punk comeback; I practically owe the dude my life at the moment! He’s killing it on each track he’s involved in and I hope he keeps this good form up.

Production wise the song is practically perfect. The instrumentation sounds raw and natural, the vocals powerful and pronounced; the whole song just oozed this professional fluidity. Nothing sounded generated or input, everything sounded live and almost lounge like. It really took me back to the 60’s and for a track to do that, is quite incredible. I know the song is made for a movie, but as a standalone track it more than holds its own; Pharrell you’ve hit big on this collaboration.

The musicality of the song is pretty basic admittedly, but there is a lot of fun stuff being thrown about. I loved the little brass progression, I loved the vocal harmonies and I loved the odd drum beat; all the track is missing is a great bass line which I think would of improved it’s low end tenfold. The only thing holding the song back is it’s thin texture; like I mentioned, the lack of bass is noticeable and the mid ground can get a little shaky too. I’m so thankful that we finally got a proper bridge! At last, a pop song with a proper bridge! It changed things up at the exact right time and added a new dimension to the track which increased it’s technical value. The bridge wound up being my favourite part because it offers a really satisfying change from the intense chorus. The claps get a little repetitive after a while but then that’s signature motown stuff so I wouldn’t dare replace that.

The vocal performance by Lalah Hathaway is fantastic too. She really injects this retro feel into the track and she has the style down to a tee. She hit some cracking notes in the chorus and each word felt believable and real; I connected with each and every lyric. Her diction on every word is great too, allowing me to make out all phrases first time; it makes a difference knowing the lyrics from first listen. I’d be very surprised if Lalah doesn’t appear on another big track soon, she has such talent.

So overall I really had a good time with this song. Lyrically it connected with me despite a subject matter that didn’t relate to me and the performance/delivery of the lyrics hit me hard. That’s what I want from a motown track. I definitely recommend this one, it’s one of the best tracks I’ve heard all day and a really good song to round off the final working hour with.

7/10 – One of the best pop tracks to come out this fortnight.


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