Tuesday, June 12th, 2018

Shakka ft. AlunaGeorge – Man Down

Not a Rihanna cover…


Ramzi Awn: Deceptively effortless, “Man Down” sounds like it could go on forever. Shakka and AlunaGeorge deliver playful vocals that keep the production light on its feet and full of earworms.

Nortey Dowuona: Lurching, clinking synths are pulsing with pulpy, soft drums and slight, slithering bass as Aluna skips effortlessly over it while Shakka’s head pokes out of the ice, dully humming about getting in a new relationship.

Crystal Leww: Dating in a major metropolitan city in 2018 if you’re down for a good time but not down for commitment. Honestly, it doesn’t feel quite as fun as this sounds, but who am I to blame Shakka and Aluna for pretending?

Ryo Miyauchi: Men who’s not down for that commitment stuff sure like to sing over the prettiest dance beats. Shakka knew who to call: Jae5, whose twinkling toy-box bop more famously graced J Hus’s great odes to his family. And while Shakka got a competent sense of melody, he sounds like J Hus’s lesser peers chasing cheap thrills. If anything, his shallowness only makes Aluna’s performance stronger as she sets the ground rules against tiring bullshit.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Goes down easy, much like many other Jae5 productions, but the performances here need a bit more grit to make sense of the lyrical content. Hearing Shakka declare “It was all good for the East End girl, West End boy” in the final verse makes me feel like I’ve missed out on much of the story. Though, maybe that cheeky interpolation proves that I’m approaching this all a bit too seriously? Even then, the vocal melodies just feel too smooth for their own good, making “Man Down” as enjoyable as it is nondescript. It doesn’t help that the most memorable line here is “she would only text when she horny.”

Iain Mew: Caught in a macho bind, Shakka and the chiming track can’t help but make this relationship sound charming to him even as he’s calling up the lads to make out that it’s a life-ending burden. I don’t know how much the ambiguity is the point, but the song at least also gives her a voice, even if it doesn’t clear much up, and I’m inclined towards a little generosity for anything with a reference flip that makes me smile like “East End girl, West End boy” here.

Alfred Soto: It plumbs similar depths of caddishness as Daryl Hall and John Oates’ “Family Man” without the hysteria, which is interesting for a while. The lulling beat suggests nothing is at stake.

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One Response to “Shakka ft. AlunaGeorge – Man Down”


    Who knew Aluna was a #Crufts devotee

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