“Linger” is the fourth single to stem from Guy Sebastian’s eighth studio album, Madness. By this time, you’d normally expect an artist to have run out of stellar tracks, and we are often left with mediocre album fillers. Not so is the case with Sebastian’s “Linger,” because in this soulful and rhythmic ballad featuring Lupe Fiasco, we are given all the perks of the first drop from an album rich in vocal, lyrical and melodic content.
On first hearing “Linger,” you will be taken by the heavy use of synth and back beat. The sound propels you into a warm and intimate world, and Sebastian’s vocals introduce us to a story about the moments we are pulled between seductive feelings, and the long term consequences of such actions.
Moving into the chorus, Sebastian effortlessly goes into his falsetto. His evocative tones mixed with the instrumental seem to give a sound to the simultaneous struggle and pleasure of the lyrics. The refrain when Sebastian repeats, “Let this linger on, and on,” balances his vocals so we are given a layered melody, and there is a magnetic element that creates this lingering moment within you. The quality of the production becomes even more evident as Sebastian sings, “And I squeeze, I squeeze as hard as I can. Hoping I will get some blood out of this stone,” and synth is meticulously placed to heighten the emotion and build to the extravagant chorus.
Breaking down into Lupe Fiasco’s rap, the dynamics of the song increase and the partnership between both artists enables you to visualise the situation in more color. Lupe’s ability to condense a story into simple and powerful words shines in “Linger,” and as he says, “Each release is just a lease that repeats the last one,” the danger and allure of the decision to ‘linger’ is epitomised.
Lupe Fiasco and Sebastian found global success with their single, “Battle Scars,” and their partnership in “Linger” is just as good this time around. The velvet vocals of Sebastian create a beautiful and mesmerising track that take you to a different place, and the excellent production quality mixed with Lupe’s talent makes this one of Sebastian’s strongest singles to date.