Friday, July 17th, 2009

Mr Hudson ft. Kanye West – Supernova

Finally flying off into NASA…


Anthony Easton: Some things should just be a v. simple piano ballad with no effects. This is one of them.

Hillary Brown: How long before autotune merges completely with dance? Am reminded again that “ft.” does not equal “by.”

Chuck Eddy: C’mon, is it honestly necessary to ponder every dreary stinking four minutes Kanye exhales on here? What does this make, seven in two months? And this one’s the most drab yet. Evidently the title is an Oasis not Liz Phair reference. Yuck.

Michaelangelo Matos: “He’s got his trust fund saved/Ain’t a worry in his head”–talk about targeting your audience to the letter (sweater).

Jordan Sargent: Ever the petulant child, Kanye has apparently decided to buy himself a real life Chris Martin Chia Pet. In doing so he’s made it possible for himself to indulge his most Coldplayian fantasies, the ones that even he wouldn’t try and pass off onto rap and R&B radio. Thing is, “Supernova” is a pretty great slice of post-Coldplay arena-rock, and if the real things are gonna be playing around with afropop guitar chords and wind chimes for the next few years, I’ll gladly accept these two as replacements.

Anthony Miccio: The perfect follow-up to 808s: having resolved robo-Kanye’s “cribs vs. kids” dilemma, he and OneConstitutionalMonarchy are now free to chastise a girl who would leave him for a vaguely detailed world of hollow materialism. Will she realize West’s penis is an astronomical event? Does Mr. Hudson get to reveal an identity of his own to America? Find out next time!

Erika Villani: It’s like the mirror image of “Paranoid:” Mr Hudson and Kanye are still the douchebag boyfriend who believes he’s the best thing that ever happened to you, but where “Paranoid” is halting and claustrophobic, “Supernova” is shimmering and uplifting. Where “Paranoid” insults you and gets defensive and tries to shut down the conversation, “Supernova” goes all Gatsby vulnerable, telling you how lonely, how wrong it is out on that sunny lawn with a glass of warm champagne in your hand. Where “Paranoid” would like you to feel so shitty and worthless that you don’t think you can leave, “Supernova” spends its last 50 seconds or so holding a bouquet of roses and inviting you to live in one of those scenes where the lovers’ eyes meet across a glittering street and they begin pushing through the crowd toward each other. And to be honest, where I don’t know why I even went out with “Paranoid” in the first place, I know I will probably fall for “Supernova” again and again.

Ian Mathers: There’s an interesting, perhaps unintentional, nuance to the lines “They got it all / They’ve got all the things I thought I wanted / But I can’t afford / To fake any more” — the angst in much of “Supernova” is as much financial as it is emotional, even when Kanye is singing. “He’s got his trust fund saved / Not a worry in his head / He’s not you or me” is nearly as resentful as the presumably less wealthy Mr. Hudson is. Between that and the yearning lift of the chorus, “Supernova” has the outlines of a good, interesting song. All that’s keeping it from greatness is the fact that Kanye can’t seem to let go of the fucking AutoTune — and then he prevents the better sounding (although probably still studio-fiddled) Mr. Hudson from singing the chorus! This would have been much better without the profile-raising guest, sadly.

Alex Ostroff: Hudson’s verses are 808s redux — mourning the emptiness of material things and the loss of a relationship — without any of Kanye’s wit. Kanye’s guest verse somehow has even less of Kanye’s wit. Not a whit of this matters, because the verses are simply placeholders between choruses. And what a chorus! The octave jumps that accompany “I feel like taking off / let me be your supernova” are exhiliarating. Just one question: what’s so romantic about a dying star that destroys everything in proximity when it explodes?

Cecily Nowell-Smith: It’s sort of astonishing. All this emo, all this anglophilia, all this autotune, all have led us here: to something that sounds almost but not exactly like a hitherto unheard Jacques Lu Cont remix of a hitherto unknown Killers song. Mr Hudson all sincerity and crisp enunciation, Mr West’s sad robot voice training leftover heartbreak tunes to new bougie stories, all that’s missing is a huge sentimental synth hook. Even without, there’s something heart-stopped-in-throat about this sort of epic housey alt-rock, always promising a greater more satisfying sadness. The steady stamp of the beat and the simple stadium strings far away in the mix, the way Hudson’s voice strains and swoops to that first “and I feel“, and of course the chantalong coda, “I’ve got soul but I’m not a–” wait, wrong song.

2 Responses to “Mr Hudson ft. Kanye West – Supernova”

  1. “real life Chris Martin chia pet”: bravo.

  2. It’s a shame that Kanye doesn’t realize that he accidentally bought a Draco Malfoy chia pet.