Monday, September 14th, 2020

Jason Derulo – Take You Dancing

Yes, Jason, we’d all love to go dancing…


Thomas Inskeep: This inexplicably popular, smug C-list-at-best singer has never made a good record, and this one, which features the appalling lyric “I bet you taste expensive,” is no fucking exception.

Oliver Maier: One of the most flagrant bids for TikTok success since that other Jason Derulo single that came out this year and almost totally forgettable bar the stuff it cribs from “Attention” and “La La La.” I’m not losing sleep over it. Roasting a Jason Derulo song for being asinine is like roasting the sky for being blue.

Katie Gill: I just can’t hate Jason Derulo. In between his incredible earnestness for Cats, the fact that he just makes the damn song over and over again, his unashamed horniness, his lyrics that toe the line between good taste and tackiness, and “Ja-soooooon Derulo”, the man is practically laughable and a walking cliché. And yet, I cannot help but love this unapologetically terrible song that will mostly be remembered by people googling that “ta-ta-ta-ta” bit. (Is it a sample I forgot? Who’s singing it?) This song is just “Talk Dirty,” complete with obnoxious hook, but Derulo decided to take the tackiness down a few levels. Anyway, this song may be trash but it is MY TRASH which is why I cannot give it the [4] it so rightfully deserves.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Jason Derulo makes pop songs that sound like hornier variations on the ersatz pop songs they put in family movies. This one is an especially mediocre addition to the catalog– it constantly approaches cleverness but can’t seem to achieve it.

Alfred Soto: It’s hard to think this horny nerd fascinated me half a decade ago, yet here he is, slathering his falsetto over a song about an activity I would not recommend in fall 2020, even should your state move to Stage Two re-opening. The far more interesting verses have a Europop lilt that redeems the incoherencies which I won’t deign to call gaucheries. 

Katherine St Asaph: Jason Derulo began his career trying to become the new Usher — the bridge to this, with its Auto-Tuned hummingbird falsetto, suggests he’s still trying — but has actually become the new Flo Rida: a consistent maker of affable hits with almost no musical persona. What “Take You Dancing” lacks in subtlety — Derulo ad-libs an “if you know what I mean,” for those who didn’t guess it just from the title — it has in blatant rip-offs: a little “Attention,” a little “Kokomo.” Also more than a little Europop, which isn’t surprising, given Teemu Brunila’s history producing various Finnish pop artists. (I suspect, but haven’t found proof, that the da-da-da-da hook comes from one of his songs; cowriter Sarah Solovay sounds sounds nothing like that. As you can tell this is one of those songs where the writers’ other work is far more interesting.) Where it succeeds, it’s despite Jason.

Scott Mildenhall: Like a number of Derulo’s previous hits, this is a masterclass in making a little go a long way. Once you know what he means, he has little more to say, but the way in which he says it — endless inflections, gratuitous falsetto and vocal asides — and the way in which it’s adorned — the punchiness, the litheness, the somehow appropriate drama — reliably elevate it. It’s the kind of dynamism that he has so often pulled off, and which you might hope for with one third of Studio Killers on board.

Brad Shoup: For a pure popster, he’s sung over some real good, tactile bass lines. His vocal slinks while the track dubs, stranding string hits in space. It struts but just in place.

Reader average: [3] (1 vote)

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