Track Review: Cruel // ROE

If Paramore were to have a lovechild with Radiohead, but it is raised by Green Day, the chances are it would be singer-songwriter ROE. Laying endearing lyrics over a hard-hitting pop-punk sound, the Irish artist is hitting all the right notes…and we don’t just mean in her melodies. At only 18 years, ROE performed on the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury, she then went on to a worldwide tour supporting Snow Patrol in the UK, and her music has been used in several reality shows from ITV’s The Only Way is Essex to Netflix’s Terrace House.

With a loyal following, ROE’s reputation for powerful but tender songs is turning heads across the globe. The latest addition to her discography is the single ‘Cruel’.



Following her EP Things We Don’t Talk About, ROE is showcasing her versatility as an artist with ‘Cruel’. Adopting a heavier approach to the tracks on Things We Don’t Talk About, ‘Cruel’ takes the best of pop-punk, grunge and pop-rock. Upbeat and boisterous, ROE shakes you awake with her dynamic guitar-driven melody. Toe-tapping and grin-inducing, ‘Cruel’ will have you jumping about from the first chord. Yet, despite the bushy-tailed ambience of what could be a frenzied song, the sincerity in her vocals makes it far more genuine.

Known for engaging and relevant lyricism, ROE pours her heart out in ‘Cruel’. Once again drawing from personal experiences, the intimate narrative takes you on a journey of introspection and empowerment. Recorded in a single day producer Rocky O’Reilly, there appears to be an innocence in the emotion and arrangements. As I mentioned, ‘Cruel’ is showcasing ROE’s versatility as an artist but it is also illustrating her innovativeness. Described as being “a new era for the young songwriter with a new look, sound and fresh approach”, it is clear that there is far more than a pretty face to this singer.

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