Monday, October 30th, 2017

Hardy Caprio ft. One Acen – Unsigned

We begin the week with dessert…


Julian Baldsing: The words that come to mind when listening to “Unsigned” are the same sort of descriptors your non-mutual crushes use when they very politely try to turn you down without grinding your sense of self-worth into the dirt. Nice! Cool! Pretty! Most of “Unsigned” is that particular brand of unremarkable that’s more inoffensive than it is uninteresting. Its production is the best thing about it — delicate and (at first) quite arresting, but there’s just not enough going on to make a lasting impression.

Iain Mew: From the ice cream chimes to both of their tones, it’s one of the sweeter realisations of this kind of sound. Telling someone you’re into them via talking about all the other girls you’re considering dropping is a really tall order to make sound sweet though.

Anjy Ou: I get that the UK is having a sort of locally grown afro-pop/afro-hip-hop renaissance, but there’s been a new version of this song on the Nigerian airwaves every month for the past 4 or 5 years. Add in the lyrics asking me to audition to be the side-piece to dudes who can’t tell me one thing that genuinely makes them a catch, and I can’t be bothered to hit replay.

Alfred Soto: Using an ice cream van melody dooms your song, to my ears, and the mumble-mumble sex-rap offers nothing we haven’t heard,

Jonathan Bradley: The reformed cad confession on the hook is unconvincing, but the R&B flow One Acen uses to deliver it reveals his real intention. On first impression a rather cold song, the ice cream truck tinkle ends up less eerie — as such chimes are wont to be in the hands of more grime-oriented artists — but instead summery. Caprio’s blunter tones help dispel the conconction’s eventual trend towards sickliness.

Ryo Miyauchi: The sunny bells and One Acen’s smooth talk convince the primary mode of “Unsigned” is soft-boy pop rather than the player rap Hardy Caprio tries hard to make it be. The latter’s break into song, serenading about “be my rider, be my baby, be my company,” fits more genuinely as it fades away his tough-guy facade of dialing side chicks.

Edward Okulicz: Ah, even on a track as determined to shoot itself in the foot — best typified by ruining its tinkling opening by reminding the listener of ice cream vans — it can at least lean on UK hip-hop’s underrated weapon, the “oo” vowel sound, which elevates any couplet it’s in. Can’t make it any more than waffle overall, though.

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