Friday, October 1st, 2010

Marsha Ambrosius – I Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player)

Still, here’s one half of Floetry, which forgives a multitude of sins. Hopefully…


Al Shipley: Ambrosius, previously best known as the ‘songstress’ from Floetry (not to be confused with the ‘floacist’ from Floetry, mind you), has been singing hooks on every Interscope rap album for so damn long that it’s kind of a relief that she’s finally launching a proper solo career. Shame that the song squanders its great title by repeating it to death in the verses and the chorus.

John Seroff: Feels like Marsha’s been working on a solo album since 2005; she’s been out of the spotlight for long enough that I didn’t even recognize this as her work for a listen or two. “Cheats” deserves a hearty welcome back; it’s sassy, clever, catchy, tongue-twistingly barbed and that awesome amalgam of delicate and steel-ribbed that Ambrosius does so well is still on display. The production is maybe a little thin but overall a worthy addition to any breakup mix.

Martin Skidmore: Musically this is smooth enough, heading towards a pop-R&B ballad style, and the lyrics are bright enough, but the delivery isn’t up to the job. She sort of raps parts of it, with no real flow, and other parts are sung in a would-be R&B diva style, but without any real gift for that – it sounds far too strained. The overall effect irritated me.

Chuck Eddy: This is admittely a fairly clever take on jealousy and revenge despite her precious over-inflections, and it slides into a sweet melody before chorus lines (one great hook, repeated a few times). But before she accuses her ex of not knowing the difference between a touchdown and a lay-up, she might just want to doublecheck the difference between the NFL and NBA herself. Also having trouble processing her Viagra taunt; as far as I can tell, she didn’t mind when the sex was good. And if she’s gonna conflate unrelated sports, why not throw in a “hey batter batter” to go with all her piled-up “bitter”s and “better”s?

Alex Ostroff: Promising title, but not much follow through. For someone who proclaims, “I may sound bitter – I’m a little bitter,” Marsha has precious little bile or bite. Chewing out your cheating ex requires Beyoncé’s righteous fury, Winehouse’s acerbic wit, or Miranda Lambert’s deliciously campy sass; Marsha barely manages regretful resignation.

Mark Sinker: Self-involved isn’t she? He’s well out of it: even during the good times she was mostly trying to find over-elaborate similes for how good it was (or just singing to herself). Turns good round the three minute mark, when the multitracked voices drift off into reverie of desafinado: she’s with the right person now…

Pete Baran: Comes across like a Randy Crawford ballad until Marsha opens with that audaciously specific wish. And then walks a tightrope between a female empowerment torch song and a novelty hit. There are a lot of lyrical risks taken here — the “bitter bitter” couplet works a lot better than I would expect, and it convinces as a hurt but angry track. It’s a few stages along the grief cycle from Kelis’s “Caught Out There”, which it pairs nicely with. In the end, it drips with genuinely cathartic revenge leavened with the humour inherent in the title which makes it a success in a pretty small field.

One Response to “Marsha Ambrosius – I Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player)”

  1. I just think it’s odd how the only thing she can remember about the relationship is this quasi-hook that the “sex [was] so good.” Which she doesn’t even sound wistful about, it sounds like a joyful appraisal in the present tense. Usually break-up songs sentimentalize the terminated relationship, rather than simply focusing on the (so) good sex.