The authentic sound of a corporate retreat to Cancun…
Katherine St Asaph: More joy-by-numbers, perfect for a) pretending you want to be dragged to the bar tonight; b) playing name-that-artist parlor games with Jason Derulo and Iyaz; c) hopping around aimlessly while the party guests trickle out; d) plotting the demise of the writer responsible for “wearing all my favorite brands”.
Erick Bieritz: Is the multi-talented singer-songwriter the new pop/R&B business model? It’s great to see artists getting their Carole King on and going from writing to performing, and Cruz does it admirably with one of the least-wooden anglicized club tracks in recent memory. Cruz is selling it outside the studio as well, Diddy-style, with an album that shares a name with his brand (presumably among those brands-brands-brands he’s wearing). The interesting thing is that the songwriter striking out on his own recalls The-Dream more than anything, and Cruz apparently just missed out on releasing The-Dream’s “Umbrella” before Rihanna scooped it up.
Michaelangelo Matos: He still sounds a little like Adam Levine, no bad thing in itself. Unfortunately, he also shows about as much imagination, personality, and artistry as a fire hydrant. Produced by Dr. Luke and Benny Blanco, which figures.
Martin Skidmore: Dr Luke and Benny Bianco resort to some very old house moves on this, and the autotuning sucks most of the character from Taio’s voice, which I generally like. The stiffly old-fashioned synth chords bug me, and the “ey-oh”s remind me far too much of the Teletubbies. I kind of want to like him, but too much in this puts me off.
Doug Robertson: As party tunes go, it’ll have you putting your hands in the air, but more because you feel obliged to, rather than because you just don‘t care.
John Seroff: Even by club standards of vapidity, “Dynamite” is particularly empty; lyrically and musically, I’ve heard better dozens of times (and dozens of times better) in the past year. It’s not stoopid or even stupid; it’s just lazy. Dancing to this would be a tremendous chore.
Jonathan Bogart: Swear to God this thing will outlive us all. Future generations digging through the rubble of the twenty-first century, trying to make sense of what the history books call the Obama Era, will unearth this glowing ember and listen to it and go, “Oh. Okay. Now it all makes sense.” In the meantime, though, it’s just another frictionless pop song, dominating playlists and drivetime without ever having made anyone feel anything.