The Singles Jukebox
The Least Foul-Mouthed Parts



this week, Swedish hip-hop demands respect, George Strait goes cruising for prescription drugs, Louise Attaque are not women but Saving Jane sort of are, Shayne Ward's follow-up single in 'average score over 2.00' shocker, and That Italian Rapper Guy With The Hair That That One Guy Used To Be All "Wow, He = The Shit" About, he's back. We begin, though, with Jose Gonzalez, who I saw live and I swear he WAS REALLY GOOD. Honest!


Jose Gonzalez - Crosses
[3.33]

Koen Sebregts: Acoustic strumming? Check. Spooky/dreamy vocals? Check. Cool song by The Knife? Unfortunately, no. Boring song by Gonzalez. Coloured balls decide to sit this one out.
[2]

John Seroff: Gonzalez is the anti-James Blunt: underhyped, underproduced, and understated. Jose's restrained guitar work and his oddly gentle, nasal vocals are effortlessly evocative and plenty radio-friendly. Like Leslie Feist, whose work Gonzalez's resembles in spirit if not in sound, Jose's music is ethereal, quizzical, and challenging: a lovely blend of classical, folk, and punk. “Crosses” has the same timeless quality as much of Gonzalez's catalog; it's hard to believe that it isn't already a standard. Soon enough, it likely will be.
[8]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: I rather liked his "Heartbeats" cover—liked it in a lukewarm, non-committal way, which rather suited how he treated the song. It was perversely appealing to hear something you'd only known as catharsis turned into wallpaper burble. But the same trick can't work on one of his own songs, especially when it's forgettable as this, and that folksy mush-mouth he chooses to sing in blurs the lyrics into a fuzzy nothing. On the other hand, this is under three minutes long, which can only be encouraged.
[4]

Jessica Popper: He should stick to cover versions. We don't want people thinking all Swedes are this dull.
[3]


Shayne Ward - No Promises
[3.57]

Martin Skidmore: A #1 borne solely out of winning one of these huge TV talent-search shows followed by a quick fade to the background is starting to look like a pattern. I think the problem is that they go for a middle-aged audience that buys a new album or two a year, and not for the pop audience that worked for Will Young or Girls Aloud. This is a bland and old-sounding record from a singer with a fair amount of class, and I can't see it rescuing matters for Shayne: cabaret and Xmas appearances on the album chart beckon.
[3]

Edward Oculicz: Kind of like halfway between Mark Owen and Robbie Williams with none of the effortless charisma of the former, but none of the punchability of the latter. Rather pretty, and if it's insubstantial, it's delivered with a great deal of care and the vocal performance is genuine and felt. I actually really like the juxtaposition of power-ballad-verse drums and tasteful ballad strings. As far as bashed-out-in-five-minutes ballad efforts for reality TV contestants go, this is near the top of the pile. A genuinely good pop song.
[8]

Peter Parrish: This chap has issues. He starts off innocently enough, suggesting that the time spent with his special girl is, in general, pretty good. Even when they’re doing the washing up, he’s “in heaven.” That’s still potentially cute, I suppose. Alas, just around the corner it becomes clear that he “don’t want to let go, girl.” As well as setting off the stalker-and-slasher alarm, this would surely be massively impractical for day to day living. It gets worse though—he has rapid and disturbing mood swings. “No promises,” you see; it could be over tomorrow, so don’t get too attached. But hang on, what’s this? Now he’s desperate to “die in your arms.” Even a slow-building piano and strings combo can’t mask the fact that Shayne Ward is evidently a psychopath.
[2]

Patrick McNally: The type of bland and over-autotuned pablum that you kick onto the market when you’re expecting Steve Brookstein-style diminishing financial returns rather than Girls Aloud or Will Young longevity. One good point: it would have been much worse if they had released either of the b-sides as the main track as they’re “Unchained Melody” and “A Million Love Songs.”
[1]


QF ft. DJ Chuckie - Kan Niet van Die Sletten Houwe
[4.00]

Peter Parrish: In the future when everything is made of silver and real food has been replaced with tiny pellets which would insult a gerbil, old-school chocolate treats will change hands amongst the privileged classes for exorbitant prices. Items such as Cadbury’s Curly Wurly will require the protection of torturously complex security systems, lest they be pilfered by opportunistic thieves who dwell in the smog-smothered underworld. Should the brown gold be stolen, these systems will launch a series of whistles, bleeps, and whoops accompanied by a deadpan robot informing the owner that “Curly-Wurly’s left the house. Curly-Wurly’s left the house.” This song provides an early prototype.
[2]

Koen Sebregts: That's right, "can't love those sluts." And the chorus is actually among the least foul-mouthed parts of the lyrics, which are so extremely sexist and misogynist they can't be taken even slightly seriously. Which is good, because that way you can enjoy the line "hardcore beats with a glass of beer" with a wide grin on your face. The deadpan delivery of all this filth is the icing on the cake: Chuckie sounds as if he's had a very long and boring day, and is running down his grocery list. The problem? The joke kind of wears thin after about six or seven plays, and I've no idea how this must sound if you don't understand a word he's saying.
[7]

Jonathan Bradley: With a title too long for a track this boring, “Kan Niet van Die Sletten Houwe” contains a generic synth loop that is perhaps bassy enough to nod my head to if I was completely off my face, but even then, it would only last 16 bars tops before getting stale. One loop isn’t a song.
[2]

Ian Mathers: On the one hand, it is kind of entertaining the way Chuckie throws in the odd English phrase (mostly “hardcore beats” or “bitch”) during their extremely deadpan monologue. On the other, once the novelty value wears off, you're left with a bunch of sounds that haven't been heard since the late 90s, when trance was big. The relentlessly stiff “Kan Niet van Die Sletten Houwe” doubtless has some use on the dancefloor, but for home listening it is hopeless.
[4]


Dr. Krapula - La Fuerza del Amor
[4.50]

Martin Skidmore: Top name. Quiet accordion, then into a ska-punk number with some goons yelling and guitars chugging, and some Latin American touches. If you have been laying awake at nights praying for a Colombian version of Bad Manners, this is the band for you. I suspect this is a small constituency, but it made me bounce a bit in my chair.
[5]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: There's something coals-to-Newcastle about this: if Colombian ska has to happen, you rather wish it would add up to more than Rancid with an accordion.
[4]

Patrick McNally: They’re called Dr Krapula. They play rousing yob-ska. With accordion. They’re what kids on Colombian youth football teams would consider punk. You don’t need to know more than that.
[1]

Peter Parrish: Is he a terrible doctor who drinks blood, or a rubbish vampire with a degree from a respected Spanish university? Cruelly, rather than answering these extremely important questions, “La Fuerza del Amor” just introduces more by beginning with a little sub-Godfather melody. Right, so he’s a Mafia vampire? Any pretence of narrative coherence simply collapses altogether when the knees-up rhythm and football chanting kicks in, though. Apparently the hapless Krapula once champed on the neck of an Italian legend during a vital match and is now being forced by the Mob to act as a crooked team doctor in an effort to return the World Cup to the Azzurri. Obviously such a convoluted plot deserves high marks.
[8]


Louise Attaque - Depuis Toujours
[4.50]

Jonathan Bradley: This must be what people who hate indie rock hear while I’m enjoying the latest Pitchfork “Best New Music” record (Band of Horses for me at the moment). The whole thing sounds like it could be interesting, except the focus of the track is clearly the vocals, which I don’t understand a word of. It seems unfair to mark a track down for my linguistic inadequacies, but, hey, if you understand French and think these lyrics are the shit, add a few points to my score. As it is, I don’t think the song is that wonderful, considering the slightly too-clean instrumentation and the somewhat pedestrian vocal melody.
[5]

Jessica Popper: You would think that someone named Louise would be a girl, but apparently not (unless it's a girl with a deep voice). I have actually been quite appreciative of the French music scene recently, favouring Najoua Belyzel, Amine (a man who sounds like a woman, incidentally) and Kate Ryan, although she's Belgian, but this is not likely to be joining them in my list of reasons French music isn't totally useless. Listening to French being spoken, or in this case sung, is always a pleasurable experience, but this just seemed to go on a bit and certainly not anywhere interesting. Not very exciting at all.
[4]

Hillary Brown: Cross-cultural influences are all well and awesome, but it’s also nice to hear a country do what it does well. Louise Attaque goes more for the cross-generational, mixing Jacques Brel-type half-spoken vocals with contemporary layered percussion. It’s a lovely production that lets all elements do their thing.
[6]

Martin Skidmore: This is French singer-songwriter stuff, so my inability to understand most of the words is a bit of a drawback when reviewing, but most likely a blessing the rest of the time, since I suspect youthful sixth-form sincerity a la Blunt & co. This guy has quite a sweet voice when he bothers to sing a tune, which isn't often enough (mostly the word "toujours" really), but it's hard to work up much interest really.
[4]


George Strait - The Seashores of Old Mexico
[4.50]

Mike Barthel: Recedes so far into the distance with its perfunctory chord changes and string part that I find myself constantly thinking of the far more interesting "All I Know About Mexico," which engaged with the new, trashy Mexico, rather than gazing into the misty past. A song like this was inevitable going to head for the horizon, but couldn't it have started in close-up?
[2]

Hillary Brown: The day I can resist a country waltz will be the day they stuff me in the crematory. One that uses steel guitar and strings and pickin’ and road-trip romance is unstoppable. Makes me want to drink a beer with a lime in it at 9 a.m.
[8]

Koen Sebregts: I knew after five seconds this wasn't going to be my type of music, so I concentrated on the words instead. Sorry to say I lost track of the many mishaps of this friendly fugitive after about 10 seconds. And how old is Mexico, anyway? Not much older than New Mexico, I'm sure. Concentrated on the rhythm next, turned out to be a waltz (about the only dance rhythm I recognise). Yes, that was fun.
[3]

Edward Oculicz: A very nuanced vocal performance and an agreeably jaunty guitar, but the little touches, particularly the slide guitar, seem to come in at inappropriate moments, which detract from the narrative, which isn't particularly strong, damaged as it is by dodgy Mexican vocab thrown around in a remarkably higgledy-piggledy fashion. A nice arrangement, though.
[5]


Saving Jane - The Girl Next Door
[4.67]

Mike Barthel: Yesterday we went to the super-orthodox bakery where my girlfriend's mom prefers the Passover Matzos, and afterwards we talked about how the Lubuvichers have decided, arbitrarily it seemed to us, that they should pretend it's always 16th-century Poland. Why not, say, America in 1994? Well, if they ever did decide to make that shift, Saving Jane would undoubtedly become liturgical music, sounding as it does like the kind of major label bandwagon jumper's grunge-ballad single that would spend an interminable few months on modern rock radio back in the day, all angst and organs. The video even has a girl who looks like Lisa Loeb drop-kicking a popular girl! But much as I like the diffuse, unacknowledged 90's revival currently in progress, age does not improve crappy grunge ballads; it just makes the girls who sing them look like Jessica Simpson, apparently.
[3]

Hillary Brown: Boringness in terms of what is actually going on musically and lyrically, but flavored with enough Big Star to rise (a tiny bit) above complete mediocrity.
[5]

John Seroff: Pop/country Junior High weltschmertz for emo girls from Indiana, “Girl Next Door” is neither fish nor fowl. You can't dance to it; it's not a feel-good hit, and you can't make out to it on the band bus. Instead, it functions as a solitary anthem, designed for repeat play behind closed doors by overwrought anti-Lohan’s determined to wallow in Indigo Girl-y, feel-bad angst. Luckily for the parentals, “Girl Next Door” is unobtrusive, reasonably clever and light on the bass, so they won't have to suffer along with their daughters.
[6]

Joe Macare: More US teen TV drama montage music! I feel like I say that all the time here, but apparently there's a lot of it about. Saving Jane's website describes "The Girl Next Door" as a "defiant female anthem." The defiance is unconvincing, it may be "female" but any hint of feminism seems highly disingenuous, and it's far too workmanlike to be considered an anthem.
[5]


Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean - Hips Don't Lie
[5.17]

Jessica Popper: I haven't really thought much of any of the singles Shakira has released from either of her Oral Fixation albums so far, but I'm very pleased to say that despite the presence of rent-a-rapper Wyclef Jean, this is really good. Let's just hope Shakira's career doesn't go the way of past Wyclef collaborators Brian Harvey and Sarah Connor.
[8]

Mike Barthel: There are songs that express tragedy, and songs that are tragedies. The way this takes a really interesting contrapuntal horn part that could've been a great, classically-informed piece of pop and turns it into gloopy tejano makes you weep. Also, when will people realize that "feat. Wyclef Jean" is like saying "feat. someone stabbing you repeatedly in the throat"?
[2]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: And, of course, after my wittering on last week about the greatness of some random Shakiralike, we get a single from the woman herself this week, and it's shit. I'm blaming that on Wyclef Jean, though: he always brings the light relief, and that's the last thing this needs. His presence alone, and all the things in it which should by rights be maximal—the reggaeton beat, the pealing cornet sample, the clapping-chanting breakdown, even that blare of a voice—become muted, restrained, like little novelty flourishes, when they should be the song's bloody beating heart.
[3]

Martin Skidmore: It pinches a good chunk of its tune from "Independent Women," but I like the hint of South American dancing, and the rich overtones and trembles and bounce and power in Shakira's fine voice. Wyclef doesn't really help, and there is too much of him, as is generally the case—I seem to manage to write reviews without someone inserting "one time" or shouting my name at the end of every clause, why can’t he?
[6]


The Radio Dept. - The Worst Taste in Music
[5.60]

Jonathan Bradley: This beat seems too anachronistically ‘90s to be anything but ironic, but the rest of the track casts doubt on that assumption with its fuzzy, melancholic distance. That I’m feeling kindly toward the Radio Dept. playing coy and hard to get like this, coupled with Massive Attack’s better than expected showing last week, leaves me wondering whether it is too early to start thinking about a trip-hop revival. OK, sure, the whole genre sends shivers down the spine just thinking about it now, but at its peak, there seemed endless possibility in spy soundtracks and icy cool. Maybe if Portishead gets around to releasing its new record I’ll once again be able to rejoice in sonic mystery and not-quite banging beats.
[6]

Koen Sebregts: Indie snob alert: I *loved* The Radio Dept's first three (or so) EPs, and their 2003-album Lesser Matters. Mary Chain-type noise carpets, cheap drum machine, drowsy vocals: what's not to love? More recently, the band have given up on the random noise bursts and concentrate on pretty-pretty melodies instead. Not that they're particularly bad at them, mind, but you know: when you take the peanuts out of a Snickers, what you're left with is just any old Mars bar.
[7]

Ian Mathers: If this single is any indication, The Radio Dept. have retreated from the immaculate storms of the Why Won't You Talk About It EP, but this more synthesized, M83/Diefenbach approach suits the band well. It's still carefully observed, sweeping rock music, it's just got a friendlier sheen to it this time. These guys deserve at least as much exposure as their post-shoegaze brethren Mew, and the fact that they now sound like the first rock band capable of signing to Morr Music may just get them there.
[8]

Martin Skidmore: They really are begging for insults with a title like that. Pulse-beat electronic rhythms behind diffident male indie vocals (so I guess this is synth-die, in the unlikely event that that term is catching on), plus some polite guitars and piano. This sort of stuff can be breathtakingly lovely, but is more often teeth-grindingly wimpy, and this is at least three quarters in the latter camp. If it had a tune it would help.
[2]


DMX - We in Here
[5.60]

Ian Mathers: He may have 20 million records sold and six #1 records, but DMX's bravado seems a lot less impressive than, say, T.I.'s, who he may or may not be taking an oblique shot at here. I'm guessing that's because DMX has missed (or doesn't care about) the shift from his brand of barking intensity to a more laid-back menace, from everyone, T.I. to E-40 to Dipset to even Ghostface (he can get worked up, but not at all like DMX). Both “We in Here” and “What You Know” threaten to bury the listener, but the more effortless threat carries a lot more weight—it may have sounded like DMX was trying too hard even at his commercial peak, but his layoff has only enhanced the impression. Nice horns, though.
[6]

Patrick McNally: I’ve never understood why Swizz Beatz would want to advertise in his name that his music is a rip-off, and, whilst not wanting to sound like some Campaign for Real Hip-Hop member from 2000, I’ve never understood the appeal of his beats either. “We in Here” is non-stop, constantly fanfaring keyboards, trying to pump up… well, not a lot really, just some cheeseburger beats and rhymes. Generic Club Banger Pt. 996.
[2]

Joe Macare: DMX has always been someone who could do one thing exceptionally well, but only one thing—in his case, stop-start bursts of growling—making you wonder how often he could pull that off before you got bored. "We in Here" is one of those hip-hop tracks you have to turn up to a certain volume before it makes sense, before you realise how much is going on, before you can hear the dynamics and figure out how every bit of noise, however familiar (gunfire, sirens, signature Swizz Beats synths), is arranged exactly where it needs to be. All in all, it would be easy to miss that this is a great track: this is why you have to pay attention.
[8]

Jonathan Bradley: “It’s time to bring the East Coast back!” Well… not quite. Swizz Beats is in top form here, replicating his magnificence on T.I.’s “Bring It Out,” but this time sounding like Just Blaze. I mean—fuckin’ Just Blaze! You know this is hot shit. DMX, though, does nothing particularly interesting, and even with a beat this blistering he lacks the lyricism or charisma to make “We in Here” a truly successful comeback. But, hey, sometimes this sort of thing takes a while to grow on me. (Speaking of which, could I formally retract my lukewarm response to the E-40 track from a few weeks back? Excellent.)
[6]


Veronica Maggio - Dumpa Mig
[5.80]

Hillary Brown: Perhaps a Swedish imitation of Shakira, in which the hip-shaking is nicely imitated, or of Astor Piazzolla with girly vocals added, but it’s a bit like this Thai restaurant I frequent, which is great once you figure out that the owners are actually Chinese and that, therefore, it’s better to order the pu-pu platter than the pad thai—i.e., maybe Sweden should hop up and down or do coordinated routines instead of this.
[5]

Ian Mathers: Although this sounds like it's about to bust out into standard dance-pop, it remains teasingly low-key throughout, which led to me ignoring it the first few times. Eventually, though, it’s more subtle charms won me over, and the coyness of the song is as much a part of its appeal as Maggio's voice. Think Anna Ternheim using electronics instead of an acoustic guitar and you get the idea; quietly enchanting.
[8]

Edward Oculicz: This is as light as air, it might float away completely if it weren't for the nagging, yet understated guitar motifs. Veronica's singing is delicate and sweet, but also deceptively strong, and fits just so with the music; the guitar, the whooshing noises, and that alarmingly pretty melody too.
[8]

Joe Macare: Too polite to succeed as good pop, but not quite fragile enough to be anything else interesting. Not all wallflowers have hidden depths, you know.
[5]


Caparezza - La Mia Parte Intollerante
[5.80]

Koen Sebregts: Mad. First there's the Italian Eminem, then some dreadful balladeer in the chorus, and it all ends with some emo scream-singing and a Simple Minds/latter-day James coda. None of these parts is particularly appealing, however. You have to admire the eclecticism, I suppose, but I'll do my admiring from afar, thank you. By the way, is this some kind of strong Italian dialect? Mononucleosi and Francisco di Assisi were about the only things I recognised.
[5]

Edward Oculicz: If Street Fighter II had had an Italian guy in it, this would have been his stage music. Absolutely ridiculous in every way—namechecking Bela Lugosi, mentioning gay pride, featuring a calm, meditative chorus that is completely incongruous when placed alongside the shouty mutation that closes the song, not to mention the rapid-fire incomprehensibility of the verses.
[10]

Mike Barthel: Furthering the mystery of why so much European rap sounds like Eminem, the interesting parts here are undoubtedly the breakdowns, which come right where the chorus should go, except they're slow and sound like "London Bridge" and so you'd expect them to be one of those two-bar ironic breaks, but they just keep going. It sounds like an entirely different song, but by placing it where they do it works as an illustrative counterpoint to the title line: "I find my intolerant part very interesting." When the break comes at the end of the song, it goes on long enough to turn aggressive, but then returns to placidity, and these shifts put up against the lyrical subject make the whole thing come off like an Italian version of John Rocker riding the 7 train. In other words, interesting, but not very good.
[4]

John Seroff: Is that supposed to be Dante Dre on the beats? Caparezza's got legit (if oddly derivative) flow, but I get a strong sense that the lyrics are what buoy this track up. I'm at a bit of a loss to translate on the fly and more's the pity; without a plotline this is interesting but not very catchy, a riddle that you never get the answer for.
[6]


Noyau Dur - Viens
[6.40]

Koen Sebregts: I've no idea whether this is supposed to be a call to arms—let's riot on the streets of St Denis—or simply a call to party on those same streets. As I don't speak French, it could be either: hectic raps, and beats that sound like locking-and-loading guns. The "Viens!" of the chorus even sounds like a vocal gunshot. But maybe that's just through my PC speakers. Exhilarating track, either way, and my pick of the bunch this week.
[8]

Ian Mathers: A French rap collective that actually sounds good? That's not TTC? Will wonders never cease? Unlike some of their European contemporaries, Noyeau Dur don't just sound like they're ripping off the backing tracks US rappers have given up on; the heavily synthesized, charging production of “Viens” actually sounds modern, albeit more shiny and danceable than current US hip-hop. The rapping sounds fine too, especially on the chorus, although the only translation I can find gives us lines like “From here I feel that you research a sexy environment” which (while obviously awesome) clearly are not giving us a feel for Noyau Dur's intended wordplay.
[7]

Mike Barthel: It pains me to say this, but sometimes even handclaps can't make a song good.
[1]

Edward Oculicz: A winning combination if ever there were one; danceable beats and a fierce delivery, except when it's seemingly a pace behind the beat, when it sounds laid-back and fierce at the same time. And it's in French, and one of Noyau has a silly voice, and did I mention that it was really, really danceable?
[9]


Snook - Snook, Svett och Tårar
[7.29]

John Seroff: The Swedish chefs of Snook have whipped up something pretty special here; equal parts Herb Alpert horns and J Dilla bassline. Throw in a completely unsingable chorus (with the exception of a stray "so fuck you," the lyrics are blissfully unknowable), an always-essential clap-track and a weekend's worth of joy and you've got happy-time marching music that leaps twelve hours of time zones in a single bound. Ecstatic and sweet, it's the underground hip hop hit of the spring; get on th' bandwagon now!
[9]

Jonathan Bradley: Madness wasn’t that great, but for an England distant from Jamaican music, their limey-ska went down a treat. I imagine the situation is pretty similar with Sweden’s Snook, whose Scandinavian take on Outkast’s “The Whole World” is enjoyable enough, even if it does lack in originality or substance. Maybe somewhere in Sweden there’s some genuinely hot rap, but everything I’ve heard as yet seems far too nice. Nevertheless, those horns are pretty sweet.
[5]

Cecily Nowell-Smith: The hook in this is pure sunshine: horns and handclaps and dudes squeaking at the top of their falsetto ranges, all showtune and lazy summer afternoon. It doesn't exactly sound Swedish, more... international? Maybe it's just the selection that turns up in this jukebox, but one of the more interesting things coming out of it is that a lot of non-Anglophone hip-hop seems to have less in common with the US mainstream than it does with other non-Anglophone scenes. Somehow—collective unconscious? secret canon of influences?—Snook and RIP SLYME and Saian Supa Crew and who knows who else are all tapping into the same sound. There's a laid-back simplicity, very little clutter around the sample; a similar vocal style, a lot of deep-voiced trying-to-sound-hard, highly rhythmic; and the backing tracks very straightforward, not really aiming for new sounds and textures, a backbone of retro stylings and pop-nostalgia. It’s that same unfussed summer jam feel that you get in Ma$e's "Welcome Back" and Twista's "Sunshine," but even more so. Plus, you know, it's all in foreign.
[8]

Patrick McNally: The breezy, relaxed horn fanfare at the start of this track sounds like some thing Belle and Sebastian would use for one of their sixties easy pastiches, “Legal Man” perhaps. So does the rest of the track, except for the vox, which are Euro-cadenced pop-rap! This is the kind of trick that whilst initially baffling should get old quickly—amazingly it doesn’t.
[8]


Kelis - Bossy
[8.00]

Joe Macare: Me and Mrs. (Nasir) Jones: we got a thing going on. Albeit one that she doesn't know about yet. Words cannot really express how much I appreciate Kelis, and in how many ways: musical, platonic aesthetic, decidedly non-platonic aesthetic... Kelis has often confused critics who want to believe that her unique idiosyncrasies are a challenge to mainstream hip-hop/R&B culture, and then get disappointed when she seems to fit in so well with that mainstream. The truth is, she reveals what was already there, how diverse and wide-ranging the mainstream already was. "Bossy" takes the form of a retrospective of her career to date, and could easily have been titled "Why I Am So Great" (lyrics), or "Who Needs The Neptunes Anyway?" (beat). You won't hear any argument from me.
[10]

Jessica Popper: This reminds me a lot of TLC's final album, 3D, which I actually really liked, but I don't think if this had been one of the tracks that it would have got much attention from me or anyone else. The chorus is catchy, just like “Milkshake,” but I don't think this is going to be all over the radio like “Milkshake” and “Trick Me” were a couple of years ago. However, I'm hardly the expert on matters of R&B and I'm quite happy for Kelis to prove me wrong.
[6]

John Seroff: This is why people drop six figures on Pharrell for a song; when you go the Xerox route, you get what you pay for. Producer X on this cut (Swizz Beatz? Scott Storch?) mistakes a waltz metronome and a meandering harpsichord for a hook and the results are predictably mixed. The oom-pah-pah of this carousel is lean and striking but somewhat flimsy, enough so that it's unlikely to spin through August. Kelis' braggadocio and Too $hort's grandpa raps hold up their end just fine but the beat is so shallow that it's as barely there as barely there gets. “Bossy” is a cherry coke to Milkshake's indulgent bravado; just as tasty but with less to savor. I only wish Kelis had taken the time to put a scoop or two of ice cream in this pop; it's in imminent danger of going flat.
[7]

Jonathan Bradley: Check Kelis’s blog: “My first song is called “bossy” and all my friends even hubby says I should put in parenthesis (no she really is) probly true yeah it is but its cause I'm right usually and its just easier to delegate rather then wait around to hve to say how it should be anyway.” Quite apart from the VH1-level thrills I’m getting at this insight into Nas and Kelis’s private conversations, note that Kelis says that she’s usually right. Sometimes the best reviewer of a track is the artist herself. Kelis is back with an 808. She’s the chick that raised the stakes. What else do you need to know? How about we ask Too $hort: “(She’s) a boss bitch.”
[9]


Check out the Singles Jukebox podcast to hear some of the tracks talked about here.


By: Stylus Staff
Published on: 2006-04-11
Comments (1)
 

 
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