Tim: So Alexandra Burke’s bringing out her new single in two and a half weeks, and the video’s so ridiculously gay it’s quite likely this song’ll be the new Torchwood theme.
Tim: The music starts off entirely cack, with a trademark Alexandra moment of self-doubt having everybody else’s name shouted out first*, but then the chorus lands and you feel you should be in Hawaii surrounded by coconuts and pineapples, and it’s rather catchy. The rest of the song improves as a whole, and I think it’s a good’un.
But dear lord, the video… It’s just…I really don’t know. I have absolutely no clue what logical thought process could possibly have led to this as an idea for a music video. It’s not bad, yet nor is it good, and it sure as hell isn’t average. On your standard scale of quality, it seems to defy placement.
Tom: Haha. This is terrible. I mean, there’s nothing particularly bad about it musically, but it sounds like someone took the backing of Agadoo, jazzed it up a bit, and then got Ranking Roger to do a bit of Jamaican sort-of-rap at the start like in mostly-forgotten mid-90s Pato Banton hit Bubblin’ Hot.
Also, as soon as you realise the lyrics are one giant sexual metaphor, the whole song makes sense:
“Oh, here I go, drip droppin’ way down low
You’re ’bout to miss
Winding to this
Don’t make me start without you”
Er, anyone under 12 probably shouldn’t read that last paragraph. Not that they’ll understand it anyway. Actually, let me rephrase: don’t let your parents read that last paragraph, it’ll just be awkward.
Tim: I hadn’t actually looked at the lyrics, and I’m a little disturbed. Not by them, but by you and your choice of lyrics to display the metaphor. You could have had
Body like a weapon that’ll make you go boom
Get like a drum I’ll make you go…boom
or, even more so,
You’re the only one and I’m all on my back
The only one I want on my back
— but no. You chose drip droppin’ way down low. Seriously, man, what’s the matter with you?
Tom: Because all the others are generic, all the others sound like the vague comments made in every other song. There’s no other explanation for that particular verse though – I even checked Urban Dictionary, and the only definition it gave was a visit from Aunt Flo, which frankly turns the song down an entirely different route.
Once you start looking, there’s even more evidence: her hand gesture at 1:51, for example. The only conclusion I can draw is this: Alexandra Burke’s “Start Without You” is the first truly mainstream song about female masturbation since “I Touch Myself”.
Tim: Also from the lyrics comes a massive annoyance that I hadn’t previously noticed, although it’s not just in this song because I’ve had it for quite some time: when the sod did ‘I’m going to’ become ‘Imma’? It’s the most ridiculous contraction since, well, ever. In fact, it’s not even a contraction when you compare it to ‘I’ll’. Utter crap. I blame Kanye West.
Tom: I’m sorry, are you from the past? First, the Black Eyed Peas released a single called ‘Imma Be‘ in May last year – although the cover of that was a picture of a bee, so well done there. Imma is now so common that even I use it on occasion, and (like everyone else on the internet) I’m a middle-class white guy. I tend to use ‘immana’ more, but it’s steadily creeping in.
Tim: I know it’s been around for a while, but it’s one thing that really really gets me, because I just don’t see how it makes sense. Although I did feel incredibly old when writing it, so I’ll accept you have a point.
Tom: One final comment: is Laza Morgan the guy off Mysterious Girl? Because the opening sounds remarkably similar now I think about it.
Tim: Wikipedia tells me the Mysterious Girl guy was called Bubbler Ranx, so no, although we still have the sublime Ant & Seb to link Alexandra and that song.