Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

Bruno Martini ft. IZA and Timbaland – Bend the Knee

But will we?


Juana Giaimo: I’d even listen to IZA collaborating with Major Lazer before this empty track that sucks out and erases all of her charisma.

Alfred Soto: The Brazilian producer assembles a serviceable pop dance track for IZA’s vocals and Timbaland’s Auto-Tuned interjections. No one involved gets unduly bothered.

Katherine St Asaph: Never kicks out of medium gear, nor quite lives up to Iza’s branding as “the Brazilian Beyoncé,” but manages a solid medium-gear groove, or maybe a Brazilian Sasha Fierce album track.

Thomas Inskeep: Martini is apparently a Brazilian Mark Ronson (ca. 2009), who makes pop potluck records; this one features vocalist IZA belting out a quasi-disco banger, with Timbaland, inexplicably, tossing in interjections like an Auto-Tuned DJ Khaled. It all adds up to… not a lot. It doesn’t bang, but kinda grooves, stand-still, while IZA longs for a better song and Timbo cashes a check.

Leonel Manzanares de la Rosa: A tight, spacious — and spacey — groove, taken to the next level by IZA’s uncanny sense of rhythm and sultry tone. It might have needed a little less Timbaland ad-libbing. 

Edward Okulicz: Kept hearing the chorus as “better than the knee.” Kept correcting myself. Kept listening and enjoying it. Timbaland’s bits need to go, mind you, but otherwise this is standard VORP DJ pop-lite with a slightly-above-VORP performance from IZA.

Scott Mildenhall: The beginning of the “Bend the Knee” video, with Timbaland smirkingly visualising his gibberish intro, is its clear highlight: a moment of surrealist fun unmatched by anything that follows. The verse lyrics are impressively pointed for a production that nevertheless seems to have had “fun” as its guiding principle, but the whimper of a chorus shows that up as amounting to no more than glitter glued to cardboard, leaving it all sounding like the theme to an awkwardly titled gameshow.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Perfectly generic disco-revival-revival lifted by IZA’s soulful, evocative vocal performance and Timbaland’s welcome cameo and diminished by the fact that the hook can’t help but remind me of the weird parts of Game of Thrones.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: Despite a lack of alignment on IZA and Timbaland’s vibes, a soft disco song with strong hooks never hurt anybody. 

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3 Responses to “Bruno Martini ft. IZA and Timbaland – Bend the Knee”

  1. IZA must be the fourth or fifth “Brazilian Beyoncé” we’ve had. Gaby Amarantos and Ludmilla come to mind, Ludmilla even went by MC Beyoncé at the time of her first hit. I also distinctively remember hearing about a “Brazilian Beyoncé” as far back as 2009, but I don’t remember who. Valeska maybe? I think ever since the late 00’s she remains the platonic ideal of what a popstar should be. Before that it was Britney, though we also had the “Brazilian Spice Girls” a bit late.

    This song is boring, though.

  2. Luca, that makes me think that Brazil is maybe the only country of Latin America that aspires to have a popstar that is known around the whole globe. That’s really interesting and I wonder why that happened.

  3. I don’t think the “Brazilian Beyoncé” thing like this, actually. It’s more like “here is our second rate, local version of the original”, which is a step down from the rich history of Brazilian music. I think there may be something like that in other countries too. But now that you say that, I think even now the story of Carmen Miranda making it as a Hollywood A-lister has it’s power. Xuxa definitely tried doing something like this, and Anitta is currently trying too. It’s a shame, because Brazilian music is at it’s strongest when it stands on it’s own, and not when it’s held in comparison to America, and that’s probably true for every other country too.

    I suppose to actually give a through answer one would have to look at the whole history of the Brazilian relationship to imperialism and national identity, from being “the country of the future” to the best ever at soccer, while at one point having an actual Emperor, going through two very nationalistic dictatorships and recently electing Bolsonaro.
    …that ended up a very depressing answer. Sorry, lol

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