And apparently this one isn’t just a leak but is definitely-definitely-definitely a single. They’ve been playing it on radio and everything…
John Seroff: Good god, is this really the SIXTH cut Big Boi has dropped off his upcoming Chinese Democracy album? Just kidding; I might be happier if dude just kept dropping a gem every three months forever after. I’m not sure you can make any money that way but I would be overjoyed to have a regular IV drip of music this good. And who the hell goosed Scott Storch? This is funkier than anything he’s done by a power of ten.
Alfred Soto: I’ve loved every song leaked from Boi’s oft-delayed solo album. This one disappointed me. Despite a fabulous opening and his husky motormouth in peak form, the web of allusions and samples — verbal and musical — and the assured sheen of the production edges too close to Graduation-era Kanye for my taste. Big Boi can shake his own Polaroid picture without someone else’s fingers. Docked a notch for heartlessness.
Al Shipley: After a series of singles and leaks that downplayed the sound Big Boi’s most comfortable rapping over, or downplayed his rapping itself in favor of showcasing guests, it’s refreshing to hear him hit the target so squarely with a proper solo cut.
Martin Skidmore: I don’t care for the late parts using autotune, but otherwise this is very good. Dancey beats and deep vocals going “buhbuhbuh”, beautifully placed guitar chords, and of course Big Boi’s high-speed rapping. Released maybe a month or two early for what could have been a lovely summer jam, but despite the cold, I am enjoying it plenty right now.
Mallory O’Donnell: When everybody else is running to autotune, it takes a true outlaw to whip out some talkbox on ’em. Likewise the production here, which references dorky, ball-court electro instead of its hip, shimmery cousin. But somehow it all boils down to a sick club track. I don’t get it, but I like it.
Pete Baran: On a close listen there is quite a lot going on in “Shutterbugg”, but I’m not by nature a close listener, so all I initially got was a smooth funk number with some half decent rap on it. It’s a mood piece more than a track, but BB does know how to do an incessantly lolloping rap over its fair few gear changes. All of that is in battle with the bullfrog bassline though, and I am not sure that the bassline isn’t the winner here. One for the (frog) lovers.
Michaelangelo Matos: Electro that whaps rather than stomps, which in this case is a very welcome change: it fits Big Boi’s nimble flow, and feels more genuinely ’80s than the tiresome 3D variants that have become the norm post-BEP.
Edward Okulicz: The verses to this are at least an 8 or 9, a giddy whirlwind of breakneck rhymes and and the molested frog chorus electro production is downright brilliant. Such colour too – sound effects, riffs and squelches make it jump out of the speakers. But well enough hasn’t been left alone, rather than riding that all the way to the end following the brilliant (and spontaneous sounding) “Back To Life” swipe, there’s a needless talkbox bit which neuters Big Boi’s charisma; the last 40 seconds feel like a pointless derailment.
Alex Macpherson: The electronic gobble of the Quik-esque beat hits you first, no messing around, a Pacman devouring all before it; in the second verse, guitar strums stroll up the scale before doing a twirl, casually taking you right to the ceiling before the rollercoaster drop down. Seriously, Scott Storch made this? An audacious, momentary Soul II Soul nod blindsides you — out of nowhere but feeling totally right, it’s an object lesson in how the interpolation of another song can be one of the best cards that pop music can play. Big Boi rides it all with relish, running through his back story just so we can understand why we’re celebrating — and how great a phrase is “cut a rug,” anyway? Needs to be used more. “Shutterbugg” deserves to be the soundtrack to everyone’s summer, and it’ll definitely be the song of mine.
Kat Stevens: Scott Storch’s production is fantastic: rich and colourful and life-giving like a roasted vegetable salad drenched in posh olive oil. A big old salad that you’re eating outside on a bench in the sunshine for once, instead of the usual packet of Taio Crisps eaten while hunched over your desk miserably hitting refresh until 2pm. Right now, it feels good to be outside. Big Boi acts as the pasta base, giving the mixture substance but not really adding nor detracting from the taste. You won’t be hungry for biscuits until at least half 4. Maybe you’ll even go for a walk once you’re done with the salad? The spreadsheet can wait.