Joseph Pagano - Take Me - Stereo Stickman

Joseph Pagano Take Me


Some wonderfully nostalgic synth voices, reminiscent of New Life-era Depeche Mode/Yazoo, along with big, buzzing metronomic bass parts and the whole then being overlayed with reverb-drenched vocals make Take Me a fun and energetic song to review.

With vocals that sound like MGMT may have taken some time out from their Oracular Spectacular sessions to do a guest spot (and taking the opportunity to go utterly manic!), the episodic arrangement picks out a truly colourful journey. The vocals are used as more of a texture than a distinct presence, articulating a psychedelic and possibly hedonistic sensibility as they encourage us to get lost in the music: ‘Take me / Take me / Medicate Me’.

The usual tropes of EDM are present and correct, with builds and drops, but there is also some classic-seeming arrangement and construction behind the rush of energy and enthusiastically-unhinged vocal exclamations: ‘Let go and let me go and let me go and shake it!’.

The rhythm is carefully programmed – layered to add flavour and heft so that there’s proper dynamic development throughout. And the choice of bell sounds and chimes (which are so tremendously 80s you can almost smell the hair gel) have some portamento applied to them courtesy of some judicious use of the pitchwheel.

Repeat listens reveal a thoughtful episodic structure lashed together with a chugging 80s heart, which allows modern yet dramatic vocals to flutter and shimmer high above. It’s fun, and also comes across as strangely sincere in its unabashed openness and primary-colour aesthetic.

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Chris Porter


As well as writing about music, Chris Porter is a songwriter, singer, producer & vocal coach. He has written for all manner of international artists, including Dagny, Dzeko, and hit the No.1 spot with Thailand’s Singto Numchok. His music has had thousands of placements on film, TV & radio all around the globe.

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