Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Luke James ft. Rick Ross – Options

Beyonce’s favorite R&B singer garners diminishing returns


Megan Harrington: Ignore Rick Ross and forgive whatever Faustian deal brought about his appearance. Focus instead on Luke James and his ode to divorce. He sings about violence, running, a daughter, and with each new twist a new set of options. He presents them in the present tense — options they have, options they share — but as more details creep in from the edges of the frame, it’s clear that they don’t have options. There isn’t even a “they” to speak of; James has fled. His voice confirms this: memories are delivered with tender pliability, but that word, “options,” is a crisp snap. It’s damp, dark, and sinewy even in its density. 

Katherine St Asaph: A triumph of slow-build style over substance; also, a test of one’s ability to tune out Rick Ross.

Brad Shoup: Just grim stuff, like “Holy Grail”, but instead of fame he’s singing about a Manic-Depressive Dream Girl. The piano flutters about, looking for a place to land while James simpers and Rick Ross can’t even be bothered. “On to the next sentence”? Fuck outta here.

Will Adams: The tightly wound piano chords in the intro unfurl into something more heartfelt. “This lyric is a miracle,” sings James, as if pouring this out is painful for him. But it’s justified; he performs with the anxiety of someone who’s been given the mic for the first time in ever, which makes “Options” the dramatic tale that not even Rick Ross’ lukewarm verse could hinder.

Thomas Inskeep: What is he going on about? James is an alright singer, but this song makes no goddamn sense, and Rick Ross just gets in the way. And “this lyric is” most definitely not “a miracle.”

Josh Love: Beyond the fact that dude’s a third-rate Frank Ocean or that Rick Ross’ dumb incongruous ass can’t even make an appearance on a song with somber subject matter without a prefatory “Maybach Music” drop, there’s the bigger issue of James’ super-helpful empathetic advice that “Maybe taking life is not an option.” Somebody send the Haver Currins to this douche’s house.

Crystal Leww: Luke James possesses the amazing ability of making a song with such generic lyrics that they could be generic sound so specific and so painful. His voice just sounds like honesty. James repeats the same lines again and again, but each time those lines are delivered differently. “Options” totally immerses, so much that I found myself needing to lie down and catch my breath and take a couple of Advil. Rick Ross is terrible, but even he can’t ruin any part that doesn’t involve him.

Alfred Soto: The dude playing the moist and overwrought still point of sensitivity is its novelty, and I suppose we should be grateful, right? I can’t figure out if Ross is playing the guy from whom women should flee. Certainly artists looking for more involved cameos should.

Anthony Easton: I think this could be safely divided into two or three songs: the ballad, and the more hip hop-oriented back end. The ballad itself is quite lovely, but nothing unusual, and the rapping has skill but not a lot of flavour. The advantage of splitting into two is that the blandness isn’t compounded. 

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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One Response to “Luke James ft. Rick Ross – Options”

  1. who are you people?