Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Busy Signal – Text Message

Remember how adults tried to teach us kids that POS meant Parent Over Shoulder?


Thomas Inskeep: If you’re gonna make a record about texting, make it as clever as this one. I credit both the subtly soca-influenced, stripped-down synthetic riddim and Busy Signal’s own effortless charisma.

Alfred Soto: The breathy staccato complements the spare beat. I wanted more of both and less of the sound effects, which irritated me in 1996 when Prince plugged AOL on “My Computer.”

Iain Mew: My last couple of phones have been Samsung, and the first thing I’ve done on starting them up is to work out how to change the text notification away from that fucking whistle. Managing to turn this jaunty nightmare into an adequate beat is a great achievement, as is the sheer number of modern communication scenarios Busy Signal squeezes in. That just doesn’t leave much room for anything else, the song overwhelmed by gimmicks like someone trying to get something done ambushed by notification flashes. 

David Sheffieck: I’m generally interested in songs that repurpose everyday sounds, and this makes good use of iMessage and WhatsApp, even if I can’t escape the feeling that it’s partially because I should be reaching for my pocket each time the sample happens. Problem is, that beat’s tied to the “Selfie” of 2015.

Will Adams: Somehow more clumsy with the incessant Internet and texting slang than KYLE’s “Just a Picture.” But then there’s the “Rude” quote, which made me laugh for sheer “honestly, seriously?!” value, so there’s a few points there at least.

Katherine St Asaph: Twitchy minutes in which nothing happens, much like waiting for a text. (Except that noise, on my phone, comes from a DM notification. Even better!) Minus a point for spelling out acronyms like an already-obsolete AOL manual, plus a point for unexpected “Rude.” The rehabilitation of Magic! STARTS HERE.

Maxwell Cavaseno: Nothing prepared me for Actual Dancehall artist Busy Signal to pervert “Rude” into getting nudes. Nothing prepared me for the glory that is hearing *KMT* in a song. Nothing prepared me for the obvious brilliance that would be hearing a song based out of that annoying text signal whistle, the same way I once had a coronary when I first heard YG’s “AIM ME.”. You don’t prepare yourself for something so technologically or culturally omnivorous, which totally depends on moments of the here and now that turn a bomb of a hit like this into a time bomb. In about 15 years, someone is going to hear this song and be entirely oblivious to what any of this means. Savor it while you can.

Ramzi Awn: That whistle alone is enough to drive a sane man crazy. “Push and Shove” is one of the best songs of the decade, so no doubt, this is a disappointment.

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