Photo: Alexandra Gavillet

The Range – “Five Four” (Singles Going Steady)

A fresh, sizzling entry in the grime genre, "Five Four" is a dark, gloomy track that's a mesmerizing ride.

Chris Ingalls: A fresh, sizzling entry in the grime genre, “Five Four” is a dark, gloomy track that takes a little while to find its footing, but once it gets going, it’s a mesmerizing ride. I just wish it were a bit longer. Fierce, fluid rhyming, with creepy piano stabs meshing nicely with the irrepressible beats. [7/10]

Pryor Stroud: In “FourFiveSeconds”, both Rihanna and Kanye are protagonists completely out of patience, with nerves-fried and frustrations calcified along their shoulders. Yet while they both threaten a breakdown of thrashing limbs and obliterated inhibitions, the track itself begs to differ: the melody swells with an unshakeable surety that the weekend is coming and will arrive no matter the costs. Rhianna’s voice is rattled at times, but ultimately it’s expectant, confident that relief is en route. There’s no real sense of vitality being suppressed and crammed into a cage that can barely hold it, and the halting countdown that gives the track its title never really commences — no danger of implosion, no catastrophe of spirits breaking before your eyes. However, “Five Four”, the latest release from the Range, seizes these sensations of knuckle-baring exasperation and weariness that “FourFiveSeconds” only suggests and focalizes them. Its title tells the truth; the clock starts ticking down toward zero and, with it, the fuse starts to burn: this is a paranoiac, piano-peppered hip-hop soundscape that’s precipitously suspended right before a fulminating apocalypse inside your skull, that total ear-to-ear blowout you experience once you’ve lost all tolerance for the reality around you and the only thing left to do is lash out. [7/10]

Emmanuel Elone: This is an example of good music that thinks its great. The empty, ethereal has some powerful drums and piano notes in the back while the Range raps in spoken word. Lyrically, the song’s about the tragedy of a person who chases fame. He’s not the only one to delve into that issue (Macklemore’s new song “Light Tunnels” comes to mind), nor is the instrumental as grand and epic as the Range might like it to be. “Five Four” is not a bad song, but it’s also not as profound and enthralling as the Range probably thought it would be. [5/10]

Chad Miller: Impressive performance by Hinton. The track has power, but it loses a bit of steam when it starts repeating lines and music instead of switching things up. [7/10]

SCORE: 6.50