Adriane Pontecorvo: After last year’s beautiful, tormented single “Keep Your Name”, David Longstreth gives us a more uplifting cut from the Dirty Projectors album on its way later this month. Upbeat as it is, there’s nothing easy listening about “Cool Your Heart”, much to Longstreth’s credit. The production on this track shows painstaking attention to detail, each tropical beat and horn blast placed with care and consideration to balance out shining keys and the vocalists. D∆WN sounds as smooth and rich as she ever has, and Longstreth brings his ever-sincere emotion to the table. It’s that genius percussion break right in the middle that keeps things moving, though, completing a memorable frenzy. [9/10]
Andrew Paschal: This track is either totally brilliant or an overstuffed disaster. Or it may be a little of both. On his previous single “Up in Hudson” David Longstreth told us that he had been listening to Kanye West, and it shows with the ambition and/or hubris of “Cool Your Heart”. Featuring tropical-glitch production and Dawn Richard’s sumptuous vocals, at times their duet feels like two songs sewn loosely into one. All the scrambled electronics are a bit belabored, coming across less as innovation and more as a lack of better ideas. That is a shame, as there are some fine-tuned melodies here that deserve to be the primary focus. In places, though, this unexpected collaboration is the stuff of genius. [7/10]
Chris Ingalls: The complex instrumental machinery creates a wonderfully skittish vibe, and the vocals ground the song and make it a bit more accessible—not that accessibility is a requirement for Dirty Projectors. DAWN is a great collaborator for these guys. What could have been a cold, soulless exercise in misanthropy turns into a lovely, quirky pop single. [8/10]
Mike Schiller: On one hand, “Cool Your Heart” is immediately accessible in a way that Dirty Projectors don’t manage very often. On the other hand, vocalist David Longstreth, who wrote the song with Solange, is completely outdone by his guest. I don’t know anything about D∆WN, but she owns the song in a way that makes you wish the other guy wasn’t around. The sequence at the end where the beat picks up is fun, but it’s too little too late to turn the song into anything but a jumping off point to looking into what else D∆WN has to offer. [5/10]
Steve Horowitz: From the sound of crickets to the sound of crickets, the song takes one from the chirping in one’s head to what it feels like to be overwhelmed by one’s neurons. The music purposely chills and shifts grooves to suggest one can never be totally in control—especially in the presence of someone special. The music achieves its modest aims in a pleasant enough manner. It’s cool all right, but it could use a little more heart. [7/10]
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.