Review- “Packs a punch, but doesn’t quite hit the mark.”
- This bop has real potential, but lacks lyrical impact and originality. Whilst there are moments of power and authenticity, the overall product feels fake and somewhat over-manufactured.
- The revamp definitely improved this song- the boosted bass helped to fill some of the emptier moments, and the stronger beat countered some of the issues with pacing in the original number. However, the structure still feels somewhat messy and chaotic, albeit fun and catchy. The introduction is strong- Michael’s powerful vocals over those powerful chords is a good segue into the first verse, and catches our attention from the start. It goes downhill from here for me, unfortunately. The speak-singing is a personal turn off, and the laughs sound a little jarring in such an upbeat peppy number. They don’t sound like authentic laughs of someone having fun (like in Je Me Casse) but rather a snooty, aloof giggle that’s quite off putting.
- The sung sections are definitely stronger, showing off Michael’s impressive pipes, although this brings us onto a divisive point: the lyrics. As a queer woman, it feels insensitive to comment on which of the lyrics feel genuine or performative, yet it is obvious that the song is trying to model itself as a RuPaul runway number (somewhat confirmed by the staging choices), which has some fun lyrics but they all feel very self-serving and there’s no real impact on me as a listener.
- That said, this is a pop-song, and the lyrics are often secondary to the beat and the catchiness, and here, the song does well. There are a few too many pauses before the chorus, held slightly too long for the song’s pacing to work, but the drop is sexy and catchy. The flute overlay adds much needed interest, however for me, the flute is too thin a sound over such a strong bass drop- brass may have been a more impactful choice of instrument here. But I love the bass in the chorus, and my favourite moment of the song is the instrumental break with the Middle Eastern sound- it feels fun, authentic and powerful, and I just wish the whole song could maintain the same vibe.
- The song’s key problem is that it only partially delivers: the vocals are strong but there’s no goosebumps moment, the lyrics are fun and playful but cheap and low-impact, and the instrumental manages to complement the vocals well, but just isn’t strong enough to stand on its own feet. It comes together nicely, but doesn’t break any new ground or take us anywhere massively musically exciting, and the lyrics cheapen the song somewhat. Nonetheless, the instrumental is fun, and the song gets everybody dancing when the beat drops. It needed work to reach its full potential e.g. using the ethnic instruments earlier in the number, but it remains a fun, cheeky little bop.
Photo credit: KAN
Song 38. Switzerland- Boys Do Cry
Song 39. Malta- I Am What I Am
Song 40. Bulgaria- Intention