Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP – We No Speak Americano

Sort of an eight years later Las Ketchup.

Tom: You’re temporarily Canadian, so you probably won’t have heard this yet – and I want to know what your virgin ears think of it.

It hit number one at the end of July in pretty much every major European chart – and it’s so completely unlike anything that normally reaches the top of the charts that I’m a bit stunned. No vocal over the top. No boy band singing. Not even a “feat. Kayne West” added to boost sales.

Just a sample from the 1950s and a fantastic beat – together making a song that’s going to be played in every club on this continent for the rest of the summer.

It does go on a bit though – the radio edit’s only 2:10 long, which could explain the popularity.

Tim: You’re right, I hadn’t heard of this, and my first thought is ‘wow’; I’m not sure in what way that’s meant. Either wow that that tune got so huge, or wow that it’s just so weird. As an outsider, I’m guessing it’s sort of an eight years later Las Ketchup, and musically I find it ever so slightly reminiscent of Stereo Love.

The video seems weird, given the title, although the internet tells me that the line of the chorus actually translates as ‘you’re acting all American’ – the video is therefore a simple racist stereotype of America from way back, which is… all fine?

Verdict: huh.

Tom: The video’s weird enough in itself, but stranger still it’s promoted by All Around The World. They’re the team behind Clubland and all the associated artists – but they have nothing to do with the record itself, which is released off an indie Australian label.

Tim: Also, a worry: is it every teen kid’s ringtone of choice?

Tom: I have yet to hear it as a ringtone, but I suspect it won’t be long.

Robyn – Hang With Me

Okay, so Robyn’s new single hit the internet a few weeks back, and to be honest it’s not much better than her last one.

Okay, so Robyn’s new single hit the internet a few weeks back; it’s out August 16th in Sweden and will gradually be released around the world over the following month or so, arriving in the UK on 5th September. Anyway, it’s called Hang With Me, and to be honest it’s not much better than her last one (although a decent remix helps a bit). That is: it’s typical Robyn, and it’s like all her others* – a vaguely good dance track that just gets bored halfway through and doesn’t go anywhere else.

*I should state that I haven’t actually listened to ‘all her others’: just this and her three Top 10 UK hits. I’ve decided that’s enough, though.

You’re right about her songs not going anywhere. Even the video for this one seems like the effort just isn’t there. Yes, you’ve got a fancy camera and yes, you can make even the British motorway system look atmospheric, but there’s got to be something more there.

Speaking about her last single, “Dancing on my Own”, I thought it needed more oomph, and I’ve found a remix that provides it. I have a tendency to improvise my own backing vocal line during the final chorus. Try it. It’s fun.

Agree that it adds a quite-needed ‘something’ to the song; however, it still suffers from the same two problems as the original:

  • the post-bridge bit goes on way too long – in my view, the original could quite easily finish at 3:35-ish and be better for it, and this one should finish at 3:37 with some sort of explosion, although it could perhaps push it to 4:10
  • main problem: there’s absolutely nothing to distinguish between before and after the bridge, which is Just Not On when it comes to this sort of music. As you suggest, backing singers would be perfect. We should write and offer our services for her next track.

To be honest I’m not sure why we felt let down by either of these in particular. They’re all like this.

You’re right. I’ve just listened to a few of the other Dancing On My Own remixes, and they all suffer the same problem: there’s just not enough song there. There’s only one vocal line, with the exception of occasional echoes; it needs a second one added – even just a few “whoa, oh, ohs” – after the bridge.

Lessons from Darin’s producer required, I feel.

Katy Perry – California Gurls

Do not make the mistake of listening to this. It’s a military-grade tactical nuclear earworm. I listened once, mainly for the video if I’m honest, and three days later the chorus is still occasionally with me.

Do not make the mistake of listening to this. It’s a military-grade tactical nuclear earworm. I listened once, mainly for the video if I’m honest, and three days later the chorus is still occasionally with me.

I hate you. I know perfectly well (and you know I know, which makes it even worse) that the only reason you told me that is because you want me to hear it; that I shall now want to listen to it, and thus be infected with aforementioned earworm as you are.

I could, of course, try to stay well away from it, but, as we both know, that would practically kill me, because even if I don’t listen to it now I will be trying to get to sleep tonight thinking ‘what was it about the song tom said i shouldn’t listen to, i really want to know’ … … ‘oh, probably nothing, just forget it and go to sleep’ … … ‘seriously, it was probably nothing, if you listen to it you’ll just give him exactly what he wants’ … … ‘oh, i’ll just turn my laptop on quickly, won’t take long, won’t be a problem, and then i can get some peace of mind’

Then, of course, I do turn my laptop on, hear it, and it is a problem, peace of mind is thrown out of the window and you get exactly what you wanted in the first place, except it’s even worse because it’s now going round in my head as I try to sleep.

As a Xanatos Gambit, it is impressive, and I salute you for it; as a way to treat a friend in real life it is pure evil, and I detest you for it.

Technically, it’d be Reverse Psychology rather than a Xanatos Gambit, but honestly, you’re giving me way too many evil points there.

Hanson – Thinking ‘Bout Somethin’

So this is Hanson. All grown up. With a new album. And a video which is basically the Ray Charles bit from the Blues Brothers. With Weird Al on tambourine.

…I have no idea.

So this is Hanson. All grown up. With a new album. And a video which is basically the Ray Charles bit from the Blues Brothers. With Weird Al on tambourine.

…I have no idea.

Every chorus feels like it could be the last chorus. This can be a good thing, but here it leaves me hoping that the current one is the last one.

Weird Al spanking himself with an instrument is something that should never ever have been filmed. The ‘you wanna play my guitar?’ ‘hell yeah jesus, come to me’ ‘well alright then – see if you can catch it’ that occurs 3 minutes in is horrendous. The glasses make the pianist look blind. Impressive if it were true; otherwise it’s just bloody stupid. And finally, self-applauding as a crowd never looks good. People really should know that by now.

You’ve never seen the Blues Brothers doing Twist It, have you?

Okay, so now it makes a bit more sense, although only based on the premise that reproducing a Blues Brothers scene makes sense, which is debatable to say the least. I believe most of my points still stand – although somehow the black guy can pull off the glasses, unlike the Hanson guy. It should also be mentioned that the dancing of the two guys in black makes Jedward look good.

“The black guy” is Ray Goddamn Charles.

Yes, that is his middle name.