“New one off Norway’s finest purveyors of electropop.”
Tim: New one off Norway’s finest purveyors of electropop; have a listen, etc.
Tom: Well, that’s a great and promising verse hampered by an unmemorable chorus.
Tim: Now, I like a good lyric video as much as the next guy, but sometimes I’m worried I read too much into them.
Tom: Oh no. Not again.
Tim: For example, this here is entirely standard – words coming and going as they should do, no typos or anything, all should be fine. Except. Except. What’s happening with the silhouettes, please. Because there are four people who make up Donkeyboy – Cato (vocals and guitar), Kent (vocals & synth), Peter (guitar, acting vocals) and Thomas (drums) – and here we’ve also one non-credited vocalist, Linnea, who also featured on their biggest hit, Ambitions, and is presumably the full colour one who shows up briefly.
SO WHAT DOES THE FADING MEAN? We have at most four silhouettes there at any one time, and why do they come and go? What is happening? Who do they represent? What does it signify? What does it mean? WHAT DOES ANYTHING MEAN?
Tom: It means the animator played about with the ‘opacity’ tool a bit, Tim.
Tim: The follow up to Kaleidoscope, and unlike that one we’ve a lyric video now that doesn’t chop out the audio randomly. Hooray!
Tim: There’s room for improvement, we’re told, and we might be feeling down, but it’ll be good, because we’ve got Donkeyboy to look after us. And I think that’s a lovely sentiment for a song.
Tom: You’re not wrong. A lovely sentiment, three minutes long, and a generally nice song. Can Britain send this to Eurovision instead? It wouldn’t win, but at least it wouldn’t be an embarrassment.
Tim: Well, they’re Norwegian, so they probably wouldn’t be up for it. Fairly brief, with an abrupt start and ending, but that does at least stop it being too repetitive – it’s on its way there as it is, although I think that’s the one criticism I’ve got of it. Other than that, I think this is really rather nice.
Tom: Yes — it’s not going to light up a playlist or storm the charts, I suspect, but you picked the right word there. Nice.
“Discount Phil Collins going into the first chorus”
Tim: With advance warning that the video has one of those irritating bits where the song cuts out for no reason: here’s the first one off Donkeyboy in aaaaaages!
Tom: The Discount Phil Collins going into the first chorus works surprisingly well—
Tim: I’m sorry, WHAT? I…I don’t even know how to respond that.
Tom: —although I’m really not sure about the choice of synth patch that follows. The composition’s good, I’m just not sure about the production. And as for that video cutout…
Tim: It’s a bit unfortunate, really, because with the exact placement of it at the end of the final chorus, all it really does is draw attention to the fact that there’s thirty seconds of largely instrumental stuff that isn’t strictly necessary. Those thirty seconds are good, though, as indeed is pretty much all of the rest of the song – in fact, listening to the song rather than watching the video, I absolutely love this.
Tom: There are moments of absolute genius in here — the start of the pre-chorus — but I’m not convinced about all of it.
Tim: See, I am. It’s Donkeyboy doing what they do at their very very best, and that’s good.
Tim: Donkeyboy – consistently unusual and frequently enjoyable, but DAMMIT what is this chorus?
Tim: Because it sounds so familiar that I almost think it must be a sample of something, but right now it’s just not coming to me.
Tom: I’ve got no idea, but it’s bloody dreadful. “Oo-aa-eh”? Really? You’re not the bloody Teletubbies. If they’ve ripped it off someone, they chose poorly.
Tim: Annoyingly, that’s actively harming my enjoyment of this track, because I disagree with you, and really like it – standard vocals for them (any sort of good/great/comparison to normal ones just wouldn’t really work), great production underneath, but all throughout it I’m just thinking “GOD, what’s that?”
Tom: “Donkeyboy never disappoint”, writes an anonymous reader.
Tom: To be fair, beyond the fact that Joe McElderry covered one of their songs, I don’t know anything about Donkeyboy, so disappointing me’d be difficult.
Tim: I pretty much can confirm what our reader says – their releases are considerably more killer than filler, and this just serves to further demonstrate that.
Tom: The song’s catchy, I suppose, and the video is… well, the video is certainly a thing.
Tim: Yeah – Attack of the Giant Unstoppable Spraypaints isn’t a film I thought I’d be watching today. The music, though, I think is great, and very enjoyable.
Tom: I can’t pick out anything objectively bad about this song; I’d even say it’s a single rather than an album track. But equally, I can’t see it reaching the top of the charts — it’s one for folks who like this sort of gently calming, uplifting, pop.
“We’ve had our share of videos showing off London recently, haven’t we?”
Tim: The latest single from Donkeyboy, the band who is to Joe McElderry what The Zutons are to Amy Winehouse.
Tom: Oh. Oh, wow. That’s… simultaneously very true and very harsh.
Tom: We’ve had our share of videos showing off London recently, haven’t we? Generally in blurry slow motion, but still. Also, who uses payphones any more?
Tim: Off the top of my head: Maroon 5, and, erm, well, these guys, I guess. Now, I like this track a lot.
Tom: Really? It seems like the kind of thing you’d dismiss.
Tim: You think?
Tom: That odd, disconnected intro keeps returning like a bad smell, and the female hook leaves me cold. Yes, the final chorus isn’t all that bad, but then there’s one last “om” sound to pull you out of the magic. What on earth do you like?
Tim: Actually, pretty much everything about it. A lot of somewhat disparate parts, but all, well, hmm. Here’s the thing: I’ve listened to this about six times now whilst writing this review, and I can’t really put into words what it is that I like so much about it. It just, works, really. Really, really well. And I want to keep listening to it. So, I will.
Tim: This has been around a few weeks now, but it’s only just here because, well, I’ve only just started liking it.
Tom: Well, I took to it straight away – it’s got a bit of Röyksopp about it, and that’s generally a good thing.
Tim: I’m not sure why it took a while for me to get on with it – the overly synthesised vocals, probably, and while they still grate a bit the rest of it more or less much makes up for them. The underlying musicy stuff is pretty good – nice tune, decent dancey beat, if that’s your sort of thing, which it should be and all that – and while it’s not quite as good as Ambitions, it’s more than a match for their other bit hit Sometimes (which was only kept off the top spot in Norway’s charts by, um, Ambitions).
Tom: Look, I just have one problem with this song, and it’s an awkward one. I hate to agree with YouTube comments, but it really doesn’t sound like he’s singing “eagle”. Or even “ego”. Or whatever it’s meant to be. It sounds – and at this point I’m required by dint of social awkwardness to lower my voice to a whisper – a bit racist.
Tim: You know, I didn’t hear that at all, until you pointed it out, at least. Still sounds alright to me, though. As for the video, well, that’s just a load and a half of WTFery, but it’s also jolly good fun so let’s go with it.