Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

Rosalía – Milionària

Fucking high score streaks, man…


Julian Axelrod: Until now Rosalía has been a pop star in the amorphous, abstract sense, the same way Ansel Elgort is a “DJ” or a “movie star.” It’s not that she hasn’t been making pop music, or she’s not enormously popular. But her stylistic vision and breadth has been so singular and exciting that it seems silly to talk about her in the same terms as, say, Ansel Elgort. But “Millionària” is a warning: Rosalía is going to be a major pop star, and she’ll nail it just like she nails everything else. This is not just her most pop-minded song to date, but one of her best. The beat jolts and skitters like discount fireworks, and her Catalan incantations are as much a stylistic triumph as a cultural one. And while I’ve dreaded her inevitable foray into English-language waters, “Fucking money man!” is a perfectly universal sentiment. Just got fired? “Fucking money man!” Just got paid? “Fucking money man!” Just participated in a series of challenges on a fake game show before belting your heart out in a ring of burning money? “Fucking money man!” This is a Dream Team-level crossover, so let’s savor it before Rosalía starts showing up on Kygo tracks.

Thomas Inskeep: It’s fascinating how in less than a year Rosalía has gone from critically-lauded flamenco revisionalist to international pop star. Better yet, she’s gone it on her terms, with her music (and that of her collaborator El Guincho!). And best of all, she’s still weird. You can hear the flamenco in this, but it also sounds completely up-to-date 2019, and it bangs.

Alfred Soto: The pitter-pattering percussion and the “fuckin’ money, man” refrain add up to a song of considerable jouissance, helped immensely by its brevity.

Will Adams: For once, the track’s brevity actually works for me. When you’ve got a catchphrase as indelible as “FUCKING MONEY, MAN!”, you want to avoid running into the ground. Instead, Rosalia uses her two minutes to escape to a fantasy land where the sky rains bills, all before its B-side “Dio$ No$ Libre Del Dinero” wakes us from the dream.

Kylo Nocom: “Milionària” is somehow both a track too reliant upon its project’s context to have purpose alone and a song that could easily dispose of its attached B-side. The “Fucking Money Man” single functions with two sides of the same coin: one song a parodic two minutes of wealth worship, the other a brief and art-ier downtempo cut meant to decry the former’s unhealthy relationships with money. “Milionària” is thus wholly insincere, a fun outing musically rich in El Guincho’s psychedelic synth textures and interesting vocal melodies but sorely lacking in the emoting that Rosalía has shown to be best with. Is a grating hook of an auto-tuned “fucking money man” really the best usage of her vocals? What’s the point of embracing the same luxury you’ve endorsed in the past few singles then clumsily rebuking these attitudes in the following interlude-length B-side? Would it be too much to ask for my hit-making to be a little bit less apologetic?

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: The lyrics are slight, an almost childish wealth fantasy of hundred-dollar bills and expensive cars. Rosalía’s skill is in using her melodies and production choices to reveal additional depths to them. With her ambivalent, frenetic rumba beat, she begins to capture the pace and desperation of greed. But (as always) it’s her melody that wins the day, at times yearning and hopeful in its high notes, then crashing down onto the rare amelodic, English-language phrase: “Fucking Money Man.”

Joshua Minsoo Kim: With “Aute Cuture” and now this, Rosalía’s proving herself to be adept at making pop music that presents itself as little more than a short, repetitive vignette. As with the previous single, everything here is in sync, and the song’s delightfully cyclical nature is a testament to the topline’s effectiveness. El Guincho’s wheezing synth is fun, but more clever is how the palmas sound like a schoolyard hand clap game. It all feeds into the underlying message of how pursuing money above all else is foolish. In this first half of the “Fucking Money Man” two-tracker, Rosalía gleefully wants that “fucking money, man,” but it isn’t until the second half that we see the message turn into something dire: “fucking money, man.”

Reader average: [6.4] (5 votes)

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