Love is a Demon on Wheels: Harrison Lipton's "Speedracer"
Updated: Mar 1
Photo by Genevieve Andrews, via Notorious Noise
Go, Speed Racer, go! It’s a demon on wheels, chasing after someone, but this ain’t your dad’s Saturday morning cartoons. Harrison Lipton’s latest single, “Speedracer,” reinvents the story of the ol’ white lightning, the real nitty gritty of the Speed Racer. It’s a fast, slow, heavy, flowing ballad of an R&B lullaby ripped straight out of a club speaker. Lipton’s shiny new track tells the story of love’s ups, downs, turns, and most importantly, it's heroes and villains.
“Speedracer” recounts and re-illustrates the trodden path that is a love story- not the cheery kind, the real kind. It’s not a fairy tale, it’s real life, it’s give, it’s take, it’s lies, it’s truths, it’s time, it’s decisions and consequences- and at the end of it all, the question is asked “is it all worth it?” All this brought to you by Lipton’s impeccable vocal production and grounded lyricism, and featuring incredible guest verses from Hadji Gaviota and Ivy Sole, this track paints the perfect mural of a love gone right, wrong, up, down, through smiles, and through frowns.
This track is also beautifully put together. The lead vocals are layered and sandwiched, but not too heavy or loud, with a little bit of feathery-ness sprinkles in, spread over a simple yet intoxicating, kick-heavy drum beat, with strong and bouncy bass lines and that sweet, sweet synth giving the song that Cinderella sugar coating. The production is what makes this song so absolutely jarring, it just sucks you into the plot and puts you smack in the driver seat with this familiar, freezing, burning feeling in the back of your throat.
Since its release on July 1st, “Speedracer” has become a frequent addition to my morning queue. The thing about love songs is that they’re just like sad songs, and oftentimes are sad songs. Everyone’s been sad about someone, losing someone, fearing losing someone, and that’s a pretty simple thing to write about. That’s how we get the Ed Sheeran’s and Charlie Puth’s and Shawn Mendes’ of the world (no, I will never stop the Sheeran slander), it's a feeling everyone can relate to. But what separates Lipton and “Speedracer” from the rest of the pack is where our story takes place and how it’s told. The Sheeran M.O. is the Disney story- “Thinking Out Loud,” “The A Team,” “Castle on the Hill”- glittery, polished, easily marketable. Lipton is honest, you’re in the moment, there’s no looking back or reflecting, there’s no “I grew up like this and because of that we were like this,” you’re in the middle of the moment with him throughout the whole verse, making the mistakes, reconciling, learning, maybe even making the same mistakes again. It’s fast, it’s scary, it’s on unfamiliar terrain, with the only familiarity being the four wheels that brought you here. You are the Speed Racer.
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