Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

SHONTELLAKON – Stuck With Each Other

Yes, technically it’s Shontelle ft. Akon, but compressing the names of uninspiring artistic pairings to come up with imaginary enemies for Godzilla is fun…


Tom Ewing: I really like Shontelle’s voice: as on “T-Shirt”, she has a way of giving corny sentiments just the right weight. She’s not trying to make them something bigger than they are, so she just sounds honest. Unfortunately, this isn’t a Shontelle record: Akon is on it, bellowing and honking like a lunatic Shontelle found under a bridge. I guess he gives the title a little more poignancy.

Alex Macpherson: The oddly perky pizzicato strings can’t disguise the weariness at the heart of “Stuck With Each Other”. Despite a couple of bet-hedging, out-of-place declarations of devotion, this song is resigned to its grey fate. “Might as well face it,” Shontelle mopes, and her sighs are those of someone giving up and accepting that their lot in life is to trudge through a loveless marriage (apt, then, that Akon is the featured guest). Shontelle is capable of a far more interesting line in quotidian mopery – check out “Cold Cold Summer” – but “Stuck With Each Other” evokes what it describes all too well.

Hazel Robinson: For someone who always puts an instantly recognisable (whether you like it or not) stamp on records he features on, Akon fails to stop this sounding almost exactly like “T-Shirt”, which in turn sounded almost exactly like “With You”, both of which were lovely but not wildly exciting, so this is… the blandest duet of fated/us-against-the-world love ever created?

Al Shipley: Akon has his own tired production formula, so it’s a little odd to hear him brazenly jack Stargate’s sound with the strumming guitars and “Irreplaceable” drums. Still, it’s a little more pleasant than the shrill uptempo club songs he’s been doing lately, so I’ll give him credit for a change of pace – any change of pace.

David Raposa: Shontelle & Akon might be the ones in front of the microphones and the cameras, but the name of songwriter & co-producer Diane Warren should be front and center on this middle-of-the-road turd (if Akon did anything besides stand behind Warren to earn his co-production credit, I’d be stunned). Aside from fleeting moments in their respective verses where they show a little of themselves, “Stuck With Each Other” is just another ho-hum bleached ballad executed in a ruthlessly professional fashion. The fact that the narrative is another one of those spite-your-face hurts-so-good love-the-one-you’re-with deals, the type that doesn’t bother convincing anyone that there’s any reason for either of the clueless dopes in this lyric to stick around besides a broken watch and good old L-U-V, is just another brick in the wall of this ornerous glue factory.

Dave Moore: As summer jams go, this is certainly summery, but it isn’t much of a jam. I appreciate Akon quietly hanging out in the back, and Shontelle’s not a bad sub-Rihanna, but this is still pretty disappointing. For a better fake Rihanna and a bonus fake Akon, try Priscilla Renea’s now pretty much unreleasable “Emergency Room” instead.

Michaelangelo Matos: It’s almost unfair to review this from the comfort of my living room rather than the comfort of someone else’s car (I don’t drive), going down the road with the radio up on a beautiful summer day — that’s clearly what this was engineered made for, and where it will sound best. But even then it wouldn’t be more than a 6; under other circumstances it’s just pallid, not memorable enough to do anything other than pass the time.

Additional Scores

Mike Atkinson: [4]
Hillary Brown: [5]
Ian Mathers: [5]
Edward Okulicz: [4]
Martin Skidmore: [4]

8 Responses to “SHONTELLAKON – Stuck With Each Other”

  1. Sheesh, what a hackfest! Diane Warren is nothing if not versatile, and there’s little to indicate her compositional hand at work (other than the usual stultifying lack of inspiration, originality or passion – but that’s a given). Meanwhile, Akon is no slouch when it comes to whacking the Autotune up to 11 and hitching a ride on the “ft” bus – but beyond that, he’s as functionally useless as ever. (What, and you were seriously expecting rapport?) This is the bastard child of “Hate That I Love You”, intoned by a bored girl and a robot on autopilot, whose utter indifference to each other is mirrored by both lyric and performance.

  2. Ah, the name makes more sense pronounced shon-TELL-a-kon. Thx for the Godzilla context.

  3. For once I’m glad he left out my blurb – it was basically about how much seeing “THE LEGEND OF SHONTELLAKON” in the schedule every day make me giggle.

  4. It’s only Raposa’s – not wholly unjustified – sloshing of the haterade that stops this getting a really damning controversy score! Even as is it must be high on the charts.

  5. Sorry, low! low on the charts!

  6. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the electrolytes.

  7. Also, fwiw, it took me way too long to figure out what SHONTELLAKON stood for.

  8. VERY low on the charts, as it happens: its performance to date is 91-72-95-95.