Monday, April 16th, 2018

Yemi Alade – Bum Bum

Moderately bootylicious!


Andy Hutchins: You can clock Yemi as someone who has grown up listening to Beyoncé even before the name-check, but “Bum Bum” pulls from everywhere — “La Di Da Di,” the early-2000s boomlet of dancehall-influenced steel drum-heavy, Caribbean-tinged American pop, dancehall itself, and other Afrobeat — and is better for it, rather than watered-down by it. The four-syllable pronunciation of “cal-EEP-EE-so” is worth a point or two on its own; the fun that seeps through everywhere is genuine glee.

Tim de Reuse: Alade’s delivery is a stretchy delight, as always, but the rest of the song gives her absolutely nothing to bounce off of; the four-note bassline and tinny orchestral hits are charming for the first thirty seconds and dull when you realize they’re the entire song. For the most part, Alade does her best to work around it and salvage a few nice lines, but the perplexing croak she switches to in the chorus is just about awful enough to counteract those efforts.

Rebecca A. Gowns: This song has a lot of joyous energy, but it runs out of steam; Yemi Alade is not to blame, but perhaps I’m feeling fatigued by the tinny beat. I wish the song had as much variation as the color and patterns featured in the music video, which is a real treat to watch.

Micha Cavaseno: Polite but bubbily post-dancehall afrobeats tracks that feel more designed to play with you than to rough you up. Yemi Alade’s presence here is more charm than conviction, but it still relies on the pleasant ease to sell itself across.

Katherine St Asaph: As bum-bum-shakeworthy as advertised, but also kind of lightweight as a single.

Will Adams: Starts off with a groove that’s certainly worthy of bum-shaking, but unfortunately those cheap orchestra stabs keep piping up through the whole thing.

Jonathan Bradley: The stings add flair to a syncopated beat with more than enough energy in its polyrhythmic wiggle to get the eponymous body part waggling. It is enough for Alade to simply be hanging out with a groove with like this, but as much as she arcs and drapes her voice about the track, at no point does she appear concerned with taking the spotlight. That’s no worry; the night is long and there will be more songs to dance to.

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