Monday, July 20th, 2009

Mario ft. Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett – Break Up

Who knows what women want? Not this lot…


Tom Ewing: “Why would you wanna break up?” BECAUSE YOU SOUND LIKE A CREEPY ROBOT STOP IT. This is good though, it’s like Mario has taken his lady on a make-or-break dinner date but every time he’s almost about to start wooing her he can’t help turning conversation onto The Question. “Hey, let’s not talk about that stuff, we can just have a great night, except oh yeah by the way how come you’ve fallen out of love with me?” And then he’s got his friends Gucci and Sean sitting ‘discreetly’ a few tables away ready to jump in and hassle her further! What’s a girl to do? (Dump him.)

Alfred Soto: She wants to break up because you guys protest too damn much.

Martin Kavka: A master class in the sorry state of men in contemporary R&B. Mario explicitly states that he knows that he’s a terrible boyfriend, and he knows that his material gifts can’t atone for his emotional weaknesses. Nevertheless, he’s shocked — shocked! — that his woman wants to break up with him. What does he have to offer her to get her to stay? Abstract and empty professions of love, abstract and empty promises, and his cock. That last item is empty too. Mario is frighteningly unaware that everything it does can be automated. Well, almost everything. I hope he stops by a sperm bank before he gets out of our cultural life.

Briony Edwards: I quite like the concept behind this song – that is, it’s the men singing about being harshly dropped and how much it sucks, rather than the woman (even though the men do admit to some pretty shady behaviour during the course of the song, which, y’know, means they deserve everything they get, and makes the constant asking of the question “why would you want to break up?” kind of redundant). The underlying loop sounds like it has been laid down by a small child on a Fisher Price keyboard, and it works surprisingly well with the other elements of the song.

Jordan Sargent: Everything on this song is so mismatched that I wonder if there wasn’t some sort of wheel spun to pick the beat, vocals and rap verses with no regard given to how they might sound on the same song. Bangladesh’s beat reached its half-life on “Diva” and here it almost seems like a cruel joke, like it was given to Sean Garrett as a challenge for him to write melodies that would be even remotely appropriate for its tuneless pummel. I would be inclined to even give credence to that theory if it wasn’t for the fact that Bangladesh has a song-writing credit as well, which, if he thought that anything good could come of this beat, makes me wonder how he ever wrote a hit in his life.

Martin Skidmore: I’ll always have a fondness for Garrett, who wrote this, for writing ‘Goodies’, but this is kind of flat and restrained, needing something inspired to life it. The Bangladesh production is interesting (though I didn’t like the repeated snare beats), with an unusual vocal arrangement that almost seems like a modern doowop, except not really, but none of the voices do anything exciting, none of them taking it on and taking off, including Gucci’s too diffident and missable rap.

Al Shipley: The greatest challenge the Singles Jukebox has presented me with the past few months has been the constant need to find new ways to say “This sounds exactly like ‘A Milli’, and everyone involved should be shot for treating that song as a workable formula for making hits, instead of the singular novelty it was.” This one’s especially egregious, since they attempt to graft a melody, and Sean Garrett’s always unappealing voice, onto the usual Bangladesh cut-and-paste.

Chuck Eddy: No wonder she dumped their sorry asses — they can’t make up minds about anything. Like, the direction of the song, for instance. And whether they like Gucci. Even Gucci doesn’t like Gucci by the end! Plus, he compares girls to buses! I bet it was hell getting them to decide on which Netflix to watch. Also, who the fuck is Louie?

Spencer Ackerman: Imagine if “A Milli” decided to throw a treacly and plaintive guitar line over the beat. A platoon of three singers and rappers can’t figure out the very obvious reasons why their girlfriends are finished with them. Also, among the more distressing cultural aspects of 2009 has been the fiction that Gucci Mane is remotely an interesting rapper.

Michaelangelo Matos: Thinks “draping you in Gucci” (hopefully not Mane, but who the hell knows) is reason enough not to call it off, the surest sign that, yeah, other priorities are in order.

Andrew Unterberger: Sean Garrett keeps things respectably busy on the chorus (which sounds structurally identical to his hook to Ludacris’s “What Dem Girls Like,” incidentally), and Gucci Mane’s presence is actually pleasantly welcome. But c’mon, Mario? In the year 2009? I think we were all hoping that we’d seen the last of the Chris Rock-lookalike when “Let Me Love You” stayed on the top of the charts for EIGHT FUCKING WEEKS back in 2005. He hasn’t gotten any more interesting, and I don’t want to give the dude any more encouragement, really.

Matt Cibula: A bit of innovation here, Mario has the chops and doesn’t really NEED the Autotune, but he throws it in anyway. Gucci Mane defines “phoning it in” here, rocking like 7 bars or something. Despite some fun a capella stuff, I’m not over-impressed.

Ian Mathers: This is bracingly weird, especially from the normally bland Mario. There’s that insistent little keyboard melody looping endlessly in the background, studio tricks used to make vocals sound lush instead of robotic, stark drum machine, even the fact that one of the guests is a singer. Songs like this usually half-ass their hypocrisy and don’t work as a result — when Mario straight up admits “I know I keep cheating but I WUV U, come back!” without trying to sugar coat it, it works a lot better. He coos “why would you wanna break up?” so seductively that for half a second she might forget all that shit, but sooner or later she’s gone.

Anthony Miccio: I originally misread this as being by Maino, and it wasn’t until writing my blurb that I realized this oddly ingratiating mess of Una Baines keybs, sterile snap snares and vapid non-rhymes was YET ANOTHER Mario single about women treating him like shit despite his cash and alleged prowess. What kind of R&B idol makes his theme “women don’t want to have sex with me and I can’t figure out why” for seven years running?

17 Responses to “Mario ft. Gucci Mane & Sean Garrett – Break Up”

  1. I can’t believe I gave this song it’s highest mark.

    And Chuck, assuming you’re not being sarcastic: Louis Vuitton.

  2. The greatest challenge the Singles Jukebox has presented me with the past few months has been the constant need to find new ways to say “This sounds exactly like ‘A Milli’, and everyone involved should be shot for treating that song as a workable formula”


  3. I can’t really figure out what other Mario singles fit into Miccio’s perceived “women treat me like shit” theme of his career — “Let Me Love You”? “Crying Out For Me”? “Just A Friend 2002”?

  4. Mario’s entire singles discography according to wikipedia –

    “Just A Friend 2002” – girl why won’t you date me
    “Braid My Hair” – come on, date me
    “C’mon” – I know you want to, come on, date me
    “Let Me Love You” – pllleeease, why won’t you date me
    “How Could You” – OMG YOU’RE FUCKING HIM????
    “Here I Go Again” – You don’t appreciate me, but I still want you…
    “Boom” – come on girl, dance with me, you know you want to
    “How Do I Breathe” – oh god, why won’t you come back to me…
    “Crying Out For Me” – girl, take me out of the friend box already! please!
    “Music For Love” – Did I mention I’m a musician? Sex me already
    “Break Up” – Girl, why you wanna leave me when I’m loving you? I’m LOVING YOU!

  5. Seriously, when he’s not pleading with a girl to take him out of the friend box, he’s wondering why she’s leaving him. At best there are a few pleas for affection that don’t outright say she’s rejecting him.

  6. Even the titles can be split into “pleas,” “self-pity” and “music themed flop third single.” And meanwhile Usher’s singing about how too many women want his dick, Omarion’s on about the pros (“Girlfriend”) and cons (“Ice Box”) of long-term girlfriends, and Chris Brown is (or, possibly, was) beaming with the knowledge that she thinks he’s cuuuuuuute (“excuse me miss,” “with you,” etc). Compared to his peers, Mario is one needy, pathetic dude on wax.

  7. I think Anthony just definitively proved that Mario is the new Keith Sweat.

  8. They’ve even got the same kind of reedy voice!

  9. “i got a rep that make police jet/ known to get a priest sweat/ i never beg for pussy like keith sweat”

  10. Your blatant misinterpretation of “Braid My Hair” offends me.

  11. Wow, R&B acts sure do like singing about romantic dysfunction, huh? And how about those country songs about trucks?

  12. Pretty sure there have been more country hits about romantic dysfunction than trucks lately, fwiw.

  13. Wow, R&B acts sure do like singing about romantic dysfunction, huh?

    Yeah, though as I pointed out, most R&B guys today don’t have the market down on romantic failure like Mario. (Keith Sweat duly acknowledged). Not sure why you’re so offended that I’m daring to suggest Mario has a relatively pathetic persona in his singles.

  14. Not offended, just amused by how staunchly you’re defending a shaky thesis that doesn’t hold up to close inspection nearly as well as you seem to think it does.

  15. if you’re honestly trying to show how Mario doesn’t have a comparatively pathetic persona compared to his peers, maybe you could do more than say “you misrepresented one of eleven singles” and “r&b stars are always talking about getting cheated on and being trapped in the friend box, just like country stars always talk about trucks.”

  16. I was joking about you misrepresenting only one of them because it would take more time and energy that I’m willing to expend to explain how you misrepresented most of them.

  17. It’s ENTERTAINMENT! And WE THE PEOPLE make this type of MUSIC, rap, R&B, country, etc., successful! ARTIST and WRITERS only GIVE US what we want and what sells. Who cares if it doesn’t make sense or if it’s vulgar, or without any integrity. If WE THE PEOPLE didn’t buy it…they wouldn’t make it!