Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Jason Derulo – If I’m Lucky

It’s October, so it must be time for SPOOKY JASON DERULO…


Edward Okulicz: This moves and does have the funk, but it has to do a lot of work after the weird mixing of Derulo’s voice on the verses, like he’s a disembodied head, or a ghost. Hmm, this does have the word “graveyard” in its lyrics, and Halloween is coming up, but those parts seem a little hammy, even for Derulo, who usually excels at overacting.

Hannah Jocelyn: Jason Derulo found his niche by being weird, but this song is weird only in how bitter and sad it is. Even by 2017 standards, the “happy place” lines sound morbid — this girl’s tainted where he would otherwise mentally escape. That’s nothing compared to the chorus, which takes the whole “we’ll meet again in the next life” concept and distilled it until the line is “flipside of the graveyard.” What the song needs is an “I Took a Pill in Ibiza”-style remix that wrings the emotion out; as much as I love Mattman and Robin’s production normally, there are so many strange things going on that I wish the flat production complemented the lyrics.

Scott Mildenhall: The compelling thing about Jason Derulo is that things almost only ever work out for him in fantasy. When he’s not making funny noises about women’s bodies, his lyrics often don’t commit to success or even reality. There’s always that catch of modality: “if” and “would” and “could,” with often slim-to-no chance of resolution, and that only makes him feel more strongly. He is a master of longing, and yet again he’s found a new angle — existentially escalating and reinventing his wish to be taken to the other side in the vain hope of fulfilment. The conflict is audible and all-pervasive. The refusal to go hard on his delivery of the title makes room for a strong sense of bittersweet resignation, but is it resignation? Slightly more comfortable than self-flagellating with his selfishness, can Jason Derulo ever really give up?

Ashley John: The immense confidence required to posit that a man will haunt me in death after fucking it up in this life is a whole new layer of sad boy heartbreak. Considering most Jason Derulo singles released after 2010 get Swalla-ed by the void, it’s not an empty threat.  

Jonathan Bradley: As we drift away from peak-trop house, the dancehall intimations of “If I’m Lucky” are a welcome detour for the pop landscape. That they are only intimations might be because the producers, Mattman and Robin, are a Swedish duo, not Caribbean. Derulo’s vocal draws from Latin sources, however: a rather familiar touchstone after the summer of “Despacito.” His is also a rather wan effort at insinuative romance, with none of the purpose or clarity of sharper efforts like “Want to Want Me” or “Cheyenne.”

Alfred Soto: Hungry for a hit, Jason Derulo excises guest verses and returns to simple electrofunk — simplistic if I’m feeling sinister, for “If I’m lucky I need ya” is another one of his wtf hooks. I wouldn’t mind hearing it on the radio, but “Cheyenne” and “Want to Want Me” it ain’t.

Tim de Reuse: Derulo sounds confidently eerie at times, whispering and jabbing and making allusions to the afterlife. When he’s acting like the story he’s telling is a campfire ghost story, he’s suspenseful and engaging; when he’s not, he’s just whatever.

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