After their hit collaboration on the track Living, the Dutch producer and Too Close singer reunite on a single which swaps the usual fanfare for comfortable indie sincerity.
If there’s one thing that’ll motivate you to do something, then it’s the rousing vocals of Alex Clare. On a stripped-back dance hit, the soulful musician gives advice such as “it’s not how you get knocked down, it’s how you get back up” to make the point that failure is key “if you want to be a winner”.
The lyricism in the chorus of this summer single is cliché and too reminiscent of songs which have come before. Whether it’s the opening of the pre-chorus channelling the party banger Tubthumping by Chumbawamba, or “go hard or go home” somehow inducing flashbacks to will.i.am’s crazy electro-rap T.H.E. (The Hardest Ever), Learn to Lose doesn’t add much in terms of songwriting to the over-populated motivational music scene.
Away from the basic but catchy hook delivered with soul by Clare, writers Nathaniel Ledwidge and Rhys Lewis create an interesting narrative across the two verses and the bridge – moving from feelings of hesitation to care-free and then reflection. It’s a rising and falling arc replicated in Bakermat’s production, the first verse restrained to the looped guitar melody which runs throughout the track. The second verse is branded with the DJ’s traditional liveliness with a jumpy drum rhythm, and then we are faced with a familiar, limited bridge before the song’s vibrant conclusion.
There’s a sense that Learn to Lose was intended to be a punchy and inspiring track about losing and success, but with the instrumentals and production trumping the mediocre lyrics, it instead passes as a laid-back summer hit for casual listening.
Learn to Lose by Bakermat (feat. Alex Clare) is available to stream and download now.