Derulo feels and boyband feels…
Peter Ryan: Fisher’s delivery is still too nervy-musical-theater-kid, and “Lookin’ Like That” definitely forces him into an awkward nasal range for too much of the song, but underneath the histrionics there’s a sturdy-breathy quality to his timbre that shines through better when the arrangement gives him a little space. There’s a lot of sonic frippery trash-compacted into the chorus here, but it has good bones — lithe bassline, horn bursts, multiple cowbell breaks. I’m won over a bit more with each listen, and a good round of edits would probably push it into irrefutable bop territory.
Crystal Leww: Jordan Fisher is the best case for the influence of Jason Derulo. His EP is packed front to back with solid, template pop. “Lookin’ Like That” could have been a Derulo single, and probably with the Derulo name, would have been huge, but Jordan Fisher is still rising and already great at doing something very similar. I dig this.
Juana Giaimo: In a year in which Zayn has been on the radio all the time, “Lookin’ Like That” will inevitably be overlooked. Jordan Fisher’s voice isn’t as affected as Zayn’s and he even tries to be playful, encouraged by the light beat and and brass — or maybe it’s just a brass-sounding synth? However, he has too much energy — his eager raspiness, the verse lines starting with a falsetto, the abrupt post-chorus hook — that seems to be out of his control.
Alfred Soto: The Jason Derulo of “Want You to Want Me” inspired descendants. Cross Wayne Casey horns and you’ve got an electropopper that might soundtrack a young man’s quest to gel his hair just so on a Saturday night.
Cassy Gress: “Lookin’ Like That” sounds like a late-era N’Sync song, but performed with way more machismo than any of them ever mustered. That’s not really a compliment; Jordan Fisher sounds a bit like he’s being smothered by his own muscles, and that makes me wince at those falsetto C’s in the verses.
Edward Okulicz: It’s got the funk, in the same way 5ive did, or.. maybe DNCE currently does. Which is to say not especially, and the “lookin’ like lookin’ like lookin’ like” hook of the chorus feels awkwardly underwritten. Yet Fisher’s so eager to please and putting in enough effort to power a low-wattage boy band that I’m really quite charmed.
Anthony Easton: Boy band 90s revival, made with a kind of soul breakdown — its market driven aesthetics are seamless, and it’s not a bad time.
Rebecca A. Gowns: When I was in 7th grade, a boy who had a crush on me gave me a 98 Degrees CD. It had a scratched out bargain bin sticker on the front of it, the jewel case slightly cracked. I took it home and listened to it skeptically. I’ve never liked boy bands and never gave the slightest indication that I’d like a present like that. Still, a gift is a gift, and I gave it a chance. I had to admit that it had a certain charm. Sure, it was not at all my style, but as I read the album booklet, I ruminated on the fact that these guys had worked very hard on this project and they made these bland pop songs for SOMEone to enjoy. That person is not… gonna be me. But points given, as always, for the effort; for the sheer fact that somebody somewhere is trying to make a thing, even though I find it vapid and recycled.