By Eric Brown, Courier Music Editor
The Courier received a free review copy of Esmee’s single, and other promotional materials, as well.
In the modern age of technology the Internet has altered many aspects of daily life, so it is not surprising that the music business has changed dramatically. For the past few years artists have been taking advantage of promotions on social networking websites such as MySpace and Facebook to expand their audience and exhibit themselves to record company executives who are eager to find the radio stars of tomorrow. The undeniably talented Esmee Denters is one the few musicians who have emerged from the sea of mediocre Internet hopefuls to acquire a chance in the legitimate music world.
The twenty-year-old Dutch singer gained notoriety when she began posting videos of herself singing pop songs to YouTube about three years ago. Twenty-one million views later she attained the title of “No. 1 Most Subscribed To Musician” in YouTube history. Her fame among the YouTube community garnered the attention and praise of popstar turned record executive Justin Timberlake and within a short amount of time Esmee was working on her debut album, with Timberlake in the producer’s chair.
A sampling Esmee’s music is displayed on a promotional disc the Courier received, which features Esmee’s lead single “Outta Here” as well as two variations, an acoustic track and an electronic remix. Hopefully the inclusion of the two alternate versions of “Outta Here” was deliberate, and not a last minute addition, because they carry this selection of Esmee’s music. In fact, the album version of “Outta Here” is a dull and homogenous sounding pop “hit” that puts Timberlake’s proven production skills to shame. With an overbearing drum beat and obnoxious synthesizer lines the foundation of the track is flawed from the start. Once Timberlake adds corny backing vocals and unnecessary Auto-Tune effects to Esmee’s already exceptional voice, “Outta Here” become yet another forgettable and unoriginal song.
The electronic remix (titled “Richard Vission Solmatic Remix”) is barely recognizable from its original predecessor. At times this version, almost twice the length of the album take, tends to drag due to redundancy but if listened to considering the track’s target setting (presumably a club atmosphere where most of the occupants will be under the influence of one substance or another) one can understand that it is a good effort.
The acoustic take of “Outta Here” is the highlight of Esmee’s sampler. After the removal of all of Timberlake’s aforementioned negative influences, the listener is left with an acoustic guitar and Esmee’s voice, the same tools that brought her YouTube fame in the first place. After acknowledging the musical excellence and talent behind the track very little can be said, but listeners are left assured that Esmee does in fact have potential and skill—she now needs to step out of Timberlake’s shadow if she wants to find true success.