Track of the Day: 'Outside the Lines (Data Romance Remix)'

Past TracksSmokey Robotic made today's song; Data Romance tweaked it. I can't give you much information about Smokey Robotic, because they're one of those groups where every member goes by a stage name and the official band biography is a cutesy creation myth. ("The story goes that a woman walked in who was so shockingly beautiful, and somehow dangerous, that the bartender stuttered when he poured her a shot." Etc.) For what it's worth, I can tell you that Data Romance is a guy-and-girl production team from Vancouver, and that they do a nice job of turning Smokey Robotic's original track, a peppy rave-up, into something darker and more conflicted.

Smokey's version of "Outside the Lines" isn't bad, per se, but it doesn't have much more than one dimension: it's a song about going out and having a good time, and it's set to a bouncy, major-key dance beat. These elements aren't exactly in tension. Data Romance swaps out this music for a seething, New-Wave synth line and a snare mixed so low it barely registers. Somehow, this has the curious effect of making the singer sound like he doesn't actually want to hit the club tonight.

You can hear it on the opening lines--"Call on my brother, tell him pick me up and let's ride / It's Friday night, I'm twitching, I can't stay inside." The guy sounds glum, ambivalent, almost resigned to a night out; it's as though he knows the only thing worse than going out is staying in with himself. Suddenly this is a much more interesting song. Smokey Robotic's vision of uncomplicated fun has something to recommend it, but Data Romance's blend of desire and agitation feels closer to real life.


new track button.png
Presented by

Alex Eichler is a reporter at The Huffington Post and a former staff writer at The Atlantic Wire.

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis. The only problem? He has to prove it works.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

Video

The Pentagon's $1.5 Trillion Mistake

The F-35 fighter jet was supposed to do everything. Instead, it can barely do anything.

More in Entertainment

Just In