Photo: Courtesy of Domino Records via Bandcamp

Dan Deacon – “Fell Into the Ocean” (Singles Going Steady)

On "Fell Into the Ocean", Baltimore electropop producer Dan Deacon teaches us that you can make anything a fortune cookie if you try hard enough.

Mike Schiller: This is one of those songs that seem better in theory than in practice. Over a peaceful, burbling electronic backdrop, Deacon drops motivational slogans and encouraging words to an audience who could probably stand to hear some positivity right now. It builds in all the right ways, and one can only imagine that Deacon is probably coming from a very personal place here. But it sadly comes off as a little pat, a little too easy to be effective as an anthem of self-rediscovery or empowerment. Bonus points for the highly entertaining video, though, in which Deacon teaches us that you can make anything a fortune cookie if you try hard enough. [6/10]

Ian Rushbury: This is the most cryptic self-help video I have ever seen. At one point, Dan Deacon finds the meaning of life written on a card in a big sandwich. It may be deep and meaningful, or more likely, Deacon is having a little bit of fun with us. The music sounds a lot like your favorite synthpop single from 1982 crossed with “Teenage Dirtbag”. I have no idea what the song or the video means, but I guess that’s not the point. Cute. Really cute. [6/10]

Mick Jacobs: Deacon does an excellent job conjuring a slow submerge, his voice slightly muffled as if coming at you from beneath the surface. It goes a little too long, and the accompanying “burn briiiight’s” are a little too annoying for my taste. Even so, this track possesses that heart of gold everyone knows and loves from the Baltimore musician. [6/10]

Mike Elliott: ELO-type power pop with an airy War on Drugs vibe. [6/10]

Peter Griffiths: Dan Deacon’s definitely got it, and has done for some time. However, this is produced like it was recorded out of a pair of Beats and then had the gain turned up to the max. It’s unpleasant to listen to, though I get the point. [6/10]

SCORE: 6.00