At the tender age of 18, Dutch DJ and producer Martin Garrix really seems to be going places. With his highly successful big room track Animals released in 2013, Garrix gained attention in Europe’s electro house scene. Don’t Look Down showcases Garrix’s exploration of different electro genres as he moves towards a more pop-friendly sound. The track is an evident attempt to break into the worldwide market as he collaborates with veteran American singer/songwriter Usher.
The track has a real pump up sound as it plays with suspense and build-ups. The bare beginning with the interaction between the guitar riff and synth melody works to build momentum and interest. Once Usher’s vocals enter it becomes a match made in heaven. His knack for falsetto rises completely illuminates this track. The initial rhyming and repetitive hooks draw you in. Though the lyrics are a little cliché, one can imagine this track finding a great home in the club scene.
Eventually as the bridge kicks in, again we see this play with anticipation as the beat mimics a ticking clock that is a nice touch. Once it reaches the climactic point there is a really pleasant rain-drop sounding melody, but it just doesn’t make you want to go crazy (and that’s what a track like this should do). The track works with all these elements of anticipation, however when the climax does finally come there is no real punch.
As the track goes on it all seems like a bit of deja vu. There are no real changes besides a few rhythmic alterations. As there is lack lustre diversity in melody and lyrics, the piece begins to feel repetitive. Without that real climactic burst, the track simply becomes a stagnant electro pop attempt that really doesn’t amount to anything. If only Garrix used the same creativity within this track as he did with Animals.