Sunday, March 31, 2013

Music March: I Cry vs. Feel This Moment

Previously on the SDP, I reviewed a song by, one of our best and brightest rap stars, I said in sarcasm mode. Now I'm taking on two more at once.
"I Cry"
  • Artist: Flo Rida
  • Album: Wild Ones
  • Release: 18 September 2012
  • Label: Atlantic, Poe Boy (Warner)
  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap, Dance
  • Writers: Scott Cutler, Jeff Hull, Brenda Russell ("Piano In The Dark"); Bingo Players ("Cry (Just A Little)"); Flo Rida, The Futuristics, soFly & Nius
  • Producers: The Futuristics, soFLY & Nius

"Feel This Moment"
  • Artist: Pitbull featuring Christina Aguilera
  • Album: Global Warming
  • Release: 4 February 2013
  • Label: RCA, Mr. 305, Polo Grounds (Sony)
  • Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap, Dance
  • Writers: a-ha ("Take On Me"); Christina Aguilera, Nasri Atweh, DJ Buddha, Adam Messinger, Pitbull, Sir Nolan
  • Producers: Nasri Atweh, DJ Buddha, Adam Messinger, Sir Nolan

The Chorus:

For its chorus, "I Cry" uses a sample from "Piano In The Dark", a 1988 R&B hit by Brenda Russell, and one of my favourite songs from the '80s (although I have a lot of favourite songs from the '80s ^_^). Actually, the version used here is from "Cry (Just A Little)", a 2011 EDM song by Bingo Players in which the only words were taken from the chorus. Don't you just hate when that happens? I've heard "One Night in Bangkok" and "Party All The Time" butchered in a similar fashion. Anyway, back to "I Cry". The sample has been sped pitched up from the original, overlaid with a dance beat and, for "I Cry", Flo Rida singing along with the words off and on.

All in all, it's a lazy execution, so let's see what "Feel This Moment" brings to the table. The chorus was actually written for this song, and sung by Christina Aguilera. The melody is a rather simple one, only two measures long with one a down-shifted copy of the other, so no matter how much X-tina sings the heck out of it, it gets old fast. And besides, the lyrics don't give me much to work with:
One day when the light is glowing
I'll be in my castle golden
But until the gates are open
I just wanna feel this moment
...Not sure what to make of that. True, It's obvious that this is a song about indulging in the current festivities to the fullest. But I don't know about you, but I'd equate "light is glowing" and "in my castle golden" as good things. So why would she want to delay those experiences? Maybe there are some formalities she's trying to stave off...? But then the bridge starts up: a remake (not a sample) of the famous synth riff from a-ha's "Take On Me", and it is just glorious. The sharp, simple melody is laid over a driving beat and its power just flows through you. It's like something out of Dance Dance Revolution -- you know, from before they started licencing Train and Justin Bieber. (I'll get to that later.) In fact, I kinda wish that could be the whole song. Better yet, they should've just done a straight cover of "Take On Me" in that fashion.

The winner: "Feel This Moment"

The Verses:
The first verse of "I Cry" opens up with Flo Rida declaring:
I know you wanna get behind the wheel
But only one rider
A line he copied from his last hit, "Whistle", which in turn was taken from the name of his last album, Only One Flo. I see his laziness wasn't limited to the chorus. And yet...
No fear, I've got fans in Okinawa
My heart's in Japan, quake losers and survivors
Norway, know you didn't get my flowers
No way to say it better, but the killer was a coward
Heard about the news, whole day went sour
I would question the point of bringing up these sad events I would also question the timeliness of these references; both events occurred at least a year before the Wild Ones album came out (3 July 2012), but who knows how long this song was in the oven... So, is there any other reason you cry? It certainly can't be all the champagne and Bugattis you own. Give me your best shot.
Thirty years, you'd have thought these emotions vanish
Try to live, try to figure how my sister vanish
Wait a minute, so your sister disappeared under mysterious circumstances? Very interesting; I would like to hear more. Oh wait, we don't, because that's the end of the verses. Just the middle eight and that's it in terms of new words. So let's move on to the other song. The first verse of "Feel This Moment" opens up with Pitbull declaring:
Reporting live
From the tallest building in Tokyo
I take it this is Pit's attempt at being topically relevant. More than likely he's referring to the Tokyo Skytree, a tower which opened in May 2012. Coincidentally, this is also the only line I could remember at first, the "Something Something Leonard Bernstein" line, if you will. Of course, it's not like there's any true introspection going on -- this is Pitbull we're talking about peoples. I mean, at least "I Cry" is trying to be deep. Pitbull seems perfectly content to adhere to the status quo -- and it's a status quo I've been tired of for years. Add to that his perpetually annoying verbal tic of laughing at his own jokes -- sometimes not even after any punchlines at all. Of course, you've already heard me whine about that. For example, he does it at these lines:
She read books
Especially about red rooms and tie-ups
I got it hooked
'Cause she seen me in a suit with the red tie tied up
We get it, you're rich and you like to have sex. And you're a businessman.
I'm far from cheap
I break down companies with all my peeps
Time is money
Only difference is I own it
Dude, we just came off a recession, now's not the time to flaunt your status in the 1%. Seriously, are ya gonna bring up anything in your life that was less than perfect? Actually... yes. In the second verse, he gives us:
I've lost a lot, and learned a lot
But I'm still undefeated like Zula [???]
I would interpret that as a reference to his former label TVT Records going out of business, but that doesn't quite work out, because it's not like Pitbull himself founded that label. So... no. You're gonna have to try harder to get some empathy out of us. Which he doesn't do. Shouldn't have been surprised. You win this round, Flo Rida, but pretty much by default.

The winner: "I Cry"

"I Cry":
Lyrics: 3 '80s samples out of 5
Music: 3 '80s samples out of 5
Performance: 2 '80s samples out of 5
The Call: 3 '80s samples out of 5 (C)

"Feel This Moment":
Lyrics: 1 '80s samples out of 5
Music: 4 '80s samples out of 5
Performance: 2 '80s samples of 5
The Call: 2 '80s samples out of 5 (D)

Well, that wraps it up for Music March, and I'm sorry I only managed three articles. Between this and my videos (I only managed one SDP episode in March, not counting the 007 reviews), I didn't have much time to devote my attention to one thing in particular. Plus, I was away on vacation this past week, where I managed to get less work done (read: none) than I expected. So, I think I'll come back to this concept with a Music May, for the only other month which starts with the letter "M". Until then, this is IchigoRyu.

You are the resistance.

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