Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Armin Van Buuren ft. Nadia Ali – Feels So Good

Note: The Singles Jukebox supports the concept of monogamy. Honest. I think.


Brad Shoup: A throwback slice of understated illicitness. Low-key organ work meshes nicely with Ali’s momentum-gathering delivery, and the lonesome guitar pings are a nice touch. Kind of the conflicted female complement to Enrique’s recent output.

Michaela Drapes: The anchor of the little post-punk guitar bits makes up for the annoying trance-y tropes that Van Buuren can’t help but preserve. But Nadia Ali’s the real star of this show, cooing and vamping and demurring up and down the lyric with ease. She and Van Buuren are an ideal pair, really — her lushness is more than enough enough to make up for any shortcomings that may drift through the production now and then.

Katherine St Asaph: The crisp beat and flicks of guitars could come from (unfair comparison alert) a LoneLady song, but where Julie would strut and flinch, Nadia lets her voice go gummy with excess sugar. Pretty enough, but you’d have to slough off four layers of gloss and cliche to find the people beneath and eight to realize they’re talking about adultery. Screw morality; if this feels so good, it should sound it.

Edward Okulicz: I’m not sure I buy either Van Buuren’s production or Nadia’s vocals as being able to convincingly convey bliss tempered by guilt as well as either have done unabashed joy in the past but there are flashes where it works here. I love the pensive guitar, wasted as it is above pat beast. I love the singing, though I don’t buy the lyrics. I love the pre-chorus, but I wish the chorus had more power. I accept the whole product despite its faults.

Jer Fairall: The beat is a cool itchy throb, the backing synths are spookily noirish and Nadia Ali plays the Other Woman with an appropriate mixture of sultriness and vulnerability.  Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend” has upped the ante for this particular narrative, though, so I’m afraid I now demand a depth that goes somewhere beyond “the sex is great.”

Jonathan Bradley: Trance can do so much with so little, to the extent that a memorable riff or an aching vocal can make an entire song. When the melody falls short or the hook is unapparent, however, proceedings quickly descend from amazing to anodyne. “Feels So Good” features a guitar line that could have been rejected from an xx single, a singer singing words that are undoubtedly words, and apart from that, it’s… well, it’s a trance song.

Mallory O’Donnell: The problem with trance and trance-pop isn’t the mindless ebullience, the enormous breakdowns (largely absent here) or the inexplicable worldwide following. The problem is that every sonic reference point was etched into stone megaliths by Dutch druids five thousand years ago and there’s not a crack in the facade any wider than a saint’s whisper.

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