RedOne feat. Enrique Iglesias, R. City, Serayah & Shaggy – Don’t You Need Somebody

“A full basketball team”

Tom: Wait, what? He’s got first billing, not just out a shoutout?

Tim: Indeed – despite being quite possibly second only to Max Martin in terms of people who are Big In Pop but mostly staying behind the scenes, he has for this track stuck himself right on the front, along with quite the supporting cast, and…well, have a listen.

Tim: So let’s start with the obligatory introductions, which I particularly like as we meet RedOne, Enrique, R. City and Seraya by name or initials, and Shaggy as “Mister Lover”.

Tom: Which, oddly, probably makes him the most famous in there. Enrique, despite his worldwide following, still needs both names. Shaggy doesn’t even need his one.

Tim: We’ve got lyrics that immediately go start talking about you-know-what, and then we’ve got a line about “mouth to mouth without speaking” which is fine, because obviously it refers to vigorous kissing, but it’s hardly as though medical mouth to mouth typically involves in depth conversation.

Tom: Trying to talk while you’re making out with someone is basically a recipe for disaster anyway. Or for breaking into laughter, depending on the relationship.

Tim: But anyway: lyrics are all about doing it, and let’s be honest that’s hardly surprising. What is surprising, though, given the line up, is that’s it’s actually a fairly decent and listenable song. I think it’s the sheer variety creating by having a full basketball team in it – bit like Band Aid really, in that if one act ever gets a bit annoying, you know it won’t be long until they’re binned off in favour of someone else.

Tom: It looks like RedOne got the credit because it really is his song: he assembled the group and produced it. This is a song with just featured artists, and that’s fine.

Tim: Yep, and so unlikely as I may have thought originally: I like this.

Enrique Iglesias feat. Pitbull & The WAV.S – I Like How It Feels

That’s a smiley song if ever there was one.

Tim: There is a proper video of this, but it’s a six-minute palaver of faffery with no real added benefit.

Tom: There’s an innuendo in that last sentence somewhere, I’m sure.

Tim: No, I’ve given up on innuendo. Instead, I’ve started inserting the occasional vaguely rude word in the middle of sentences at random.

Tom: This should be fun.

Tom: Well, that’s a smiley song if ever there was one.

Tim: Isn’t it? Chirpy. Upbeat. Happy. Whistly. A repetitive PENIS message. Some surprisingly not particularly annoying rapping. I’m feeling good. You’re feeling good. Life is, basically, good. Feeling down? Stop it. You BREASTS shouldn’t.

Tom: Subtle.

Tim: This is a song with a message, and it conveys it nicely. Love it.

Tom: It sounds like a World Cup song, doesn’t it? With the crowd chanting in the background and everything. Could use a bit more tempo or a bit more bass, I reckon – after two minutes, I thought it was ready to end – but it’s nice enough.

Tim: As it happens, it sort of reminds me of another song, more in the general FORNICATION mood than the tune.

Tom: “Fornication”? Really? Anyway, what’s this other song?

Tim: That song is the equally chirpy, upbeat, happy and whistly You’re My Mate. Blimey, that’s ten years old now.

Tom: And Pitbull does look just a bit like Richard Fairbrass. (whistles) Taxi!

Enrique Iglesias feat. Ludacris – Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You)

This is an incredibly creepy song.

Tom: There are some songs that hide their meanings in cryptic metaphor; there are some that take a direct approach. This is one of the latter.

Tim: It is a bit, isn’t it?

Tom: I admire quite how direct he is, but let’s be honest: if he wasn’t Enrique Iglesias, this would be an incredibly creepy song.

Tim: That sentence should be reworded: ‘let’s be honest: this is an incredibly creepy song.’

Tom: The trouble is that, while it’s fairly listenable to start with, even a rap bridge from Ludacris can’t really justify its four-minute length. Once the shock value wears off, that synth backing really starts to grate – and there’s no build either. The first chorus is just as energetic as the last, and it ends on a whimper rather than (hurr) a bang.

Tim: It’s not that listenable, though – it’s the autotune, and it really turns me off, I mean, why? We all know he can sing the right notes, he doesn’t need autotuning – is there a point to it other than to make him sound like a robot?

Tom: That’s the style these days. Doesn’t matter if you can sing or not: you’ve got to sound a bit like Cher. The radio edit is of course a bit toned town – to “Lovin’ You” – and without that bit of swearing the whole song seems to fade into nothing. Pity.

Tim: Hmm. I remember when Enrique was a nice person, singing nicely about being a hero, and kissing away the pain. Now’s he’s been sucked in by hip-hop and turned into a dick.