Friday, May 11th, 2018

Christina Aguilera ft. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz – Accelerate

The Sundfor song was our #1 of 2015, so this had a lot to live up to.


Julian Axelrod: Two months ago, an Xtina comeback single with Ty Dolla $ign and 2 Chainz over a Kanye beat probably seemed like a surefire home run. (Or at least a double.) Recent events will probably resign this to the dustbin of pop history, but it’s hard to imagine a song this audaciously weird becoming a huge hit anyway. Christina and an exceptionally raspy Ty toss hooks and ad-libs back and forth like they’re juggling live hand grenades; the song’s called “Accelerate,” but they sound like they’ve been up for three days straight. To be fair, it probably took that long to wrestle this cyborg salsa beat into submission — just ask 2 Chainz, who drops a gold brick verse in the mix like a boulder tossed into a shimmering digital lake. The song is a delightfully weird misfire that succeeds despite itself, like a banger dredged up from the uncanny valley. It could become a huge hit in ten years, if anyone remembers it past next month.

Iain Mew: The vocalists working with this disintegrating shell of a song is a compelling spectacle, the musical equivalent of Fernando Alonso driving on wheel rims. They bump along the wall a bit, but incomprehensibly stay going in the right direction.

Will Adams: This was a lot more exciting in the first fifteen seconds, where it really did seem like Christina had sampled the Susanne Sundfør song of the same name. Still, the knee-jerk designation of “FLOP!” is annoying and borne of little more than received wisdom and stan fealty. The problem isn’t Xtina — she adapts to the slinkiness quite well — it’s that there’s barely a song here.

Alfred Soto: I would’ve sat through a Susanne Sundfør cover with this same crew and so would you.

Katherine St Asaph: There is a pattern now: legacy pop stars, from Justin to Taylor to Beyonce (a leap up in quality), making their lead singles so fucking weird, as if safe radio bait were lesser B-lister stuff — or, realistically, the stuff of their second single after the first fails dramatically. “Accelerate” is Christina Aguilera doing outrun (great) and Christina Aguilera rapping (surprisingly OK), and I’d totally believe that Kanye took cues from the Susanne Sundfør track. (God help whatever recommendation forces brought his YouTube sidebar from that to, uh, the intellectual dark web.) What “Accelerate” isn’t: something with a hook, or a place to accelerate to. It almost feels like a demo, the work-for-hire version of “I’ma fix Wolves.”

Ryo Miyauchi: I hear some Pablo in the voice-as-sample approach of Ty Dolla Sign, My Name Is My Name in the woodblock clanks, and my, has it really been since Graduation that Kanye record had a summery, disco-pop synth like this one here? But all in all, it’s Kanye’s focus in refinement that sticks out in this slapdash noise-funk, especially after seeing him ignore sonic coherence in his records since maybe Yeezus. Christina isn’t the muse for this though; she deserves a more flattering spotlight, not an experiment.

Hannah Jocelyn: Ty Dolla Sign is normally good at choruses, from my experience. His vocal fry here is somehow worse than Snow Patrol’s and Khalid’s. There’s an interesting, possibly great in there but it’s undone by Mike Dean and Kanye’s consistent sloppiness in this part of the decade. (The worst offender is the intro; the song is much better if you imagine it starts at 0:15, though the flaws are still apparent.)  The synth work here feels thrown together with stock synths hours before the deadline, and the section transitions aren’t experimental, they’re just lazy. How Dean and Ye were even involved in something as grandiose and fussy as “All Of The Lights” is beyond me. Also, Aguilera’s whole thing is that she’s a belter – “Accelerate” could work with someone else, but her presence on the song is unnecessary, as is 2 Chainz, as is Ty Dolla $ign’s even. There’s just no reason for any of this to come together like it did, despite the very few parts that actually work.

Alex Clifton: 2 Chainz mentioning a stock market crash in a sex song is not sexy. Hearing Christina Aguilera give a misguided Beyoncé impression is not sexy. Ty Dolla $ign’s weak, hoarse call-and-response is not sexy. A song shouldn’t make me duplicate Chrissy Teigen’s grimace for four minutes straight.

Edward Okulicz: The extent to which this suggests acceleration begins and ends with its resemblance to engine sound effects from a bad 1980s home computer conversion of an arcade racer. Actually kind of compelling in that all those involved are trying so hard over something that doesn’t even sound half finished, because desperation can frequently fuel great pop, and Christina Aguilera can always be relied on to sound like she wants it — whether it is a hit, your love, your approval, or your very asshole on a platter. But someone should have written a song over this hollowed-out carnage.

Reader average: [5] (6 votes)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

One Response to “Christina Aguilera ft. Ty Dolla $ign & 2 Chainz – Accelerate”

  1. Passed out last night and couldn’t write a blurb for this but this is an easy 7+ for me. It’s the most TLOP-esque thing since TLOP (though obviously the Kanye + a lot of people credit list helped me realize that). I like how this is as crudely stitched-together as a lot of TLOP songs. I like how it sounds like a karaoke-inspired demo cut. I like how it never actually goes anywhere “satisfying”. Like TLOP, it’s a self-contained Instagram feed where everything is scrolled past and/or liked instantaneously, simultaneously providing listeners with a sense of tedium/malaise and its own moments of brief relief/release (for me, the pre-chorus).