New Music Friday; Set It Off Single: “Skeleton”

This week, Set it Off surprised fans by randomly announcing the release of their newest single: “Skeleton.” There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this release as it is the first non-acoustic selection since 2020- other than a few collaboration instances. With the ever-changing music industry, questions came to mind about which direction Set it Off would take their sound- let’s dive in to see what they’re bringing to the table.

The beginning of the selection resonates in a more Alternative-Pop vibe by featuring the chorus right from the beginning. This presents a catchy melody for the audience to hear with an homage to the “Upside Down” era from the band right from the jump. This is varied slightly through the verse as the percussion part begins to pick up and follow a tradition rock pattern.

I will say, I enjoy the feel the chorus presents as the orchestration emphasizes a much groovier rhythm that accents differing moments in the percussion and the bass part. This allows the lyrics to be rather emphatic in certain spots. The orchestration, here, resonates with less going on. There is a clear contrast of the verse and chorus in this way because it feels as if half of the instrumentation has dropped out, but really, they are just switching their approach.

This dichotomy of approaches takes a second to settle into, but it does get your toe tapping, which makes the listener want to continue listening to hear how the song will develop.

Following the second chorus, the band immediately grinds into the instrumentation and merges into an accelerated instrumental interlude that provides a moment for the instrumentals to be over-the-top for a second before finding their home in their verse-style for the selection. We hear this same format happen after this instance EXCEPT after the next interlude, Set it Off moves into a HUGE rapped verse.

Yes, you heard that correctly, the entire approach and feel to the song switches abruptly to give the audience this Hip-Hop styled backbeat in the Alternative style with fast moving rapped lyrics. As the rap develops, the band begins to build intensity towards the end to merge back into a heightened mixture of both styles presented in the chorus and the verses. Eventually, with the style of the chorus, we get a half-time moment to shine along with the heightened instrumentation throughout the final chorus to bring the song to a close.

In general, there is a lot going on throughout this song- some parts I like and others I am not so sure about. I do enjoy the groove and approach to the chorus. The verses of the song (at first) feel a bit generic to me; however, when they are extrapolated with the instrumental interludes, I sense the potential there. The inclusion of the rapped verse is something that also reigns true to the “Upside Down” era, reminding me of “Hypnotized” in some regards. And, following this inclusion, the song just digs into the different musical nuances to have a strong finish. This paired with the beginning, however, has me torn on whether I like everything together or if I feel like these should be two separate songs.

I would rate the song higher if the entire song modeled the second half of the selection, but I am happy to see Set it Off back in general.

I am giving this song a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

*”Skeleton” was released on October 29th, 2021 through Fearless Records

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