“Slide,” released at the end of February, seems too dreamy and smooth for a late winter single. Listening to this track, I was reminded of late night car rides in the cooled summer evening of mid July. And also of the insistent need for winter to just end already so I can somehow jump forward to that moment when everything is calm and fun.
But then again…that same yearning for what I can’t have quite yet is much what this song is about. The theme and lyrics are nothing new to pop music: a yearning for wealth and luxury, a glorification of “the good life.” But instead of living it, this song emphasizes more what is not yet in reach but still tangible. A daydream to get us through the work week, imagining ourselves at that party or with those people, being the person we want to be. But not quite yet…
This song is like a daydream musically as well. The simplicity and almost empty quality of the piano with a spacious and light reverb seems to not ground us fully, creating a sound that seems a bit distant and pulling, more like floating than standing. Combined with the distorted voice of Frank Ocean and a high but consistent whine, the intro plays like a sleepy hypnotization, slowly moving us further away from reality. And once we’ve been lulled into a sated state, the heavy beat, the claps, and the groove of the bass ground us in our daydream, capturing us. It’s hard not to bob your head once it begins.
My favorite part of this single though is the inclusion of Frank Ocean and two thirds of Migos, Quavo and Offset, and how their voices bring the everything together in a satisfying and coherent way. Though I may not necessarily think the lyrics are anything to write home about in terms of meaning, there is something about the word choices and their differing cadences which perfectly fit the definition of what I would call “slide.” There’s a calmness and almost drowsiness to their words that reinforces the dreaminess of the single overall, carrying us through it like slowly rolling ocean waves.