Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Jeremih – Birthday Sex

It’s not even in a box…


Tom Ewing: It’s the thought that counts, I suppose.

Martin Skidmore: Does he deprive her every other day? Anyway, any sense of seductiveness is badly undermined by the use of autotune. Harmless, but it sounds like a b-side to me.

Ian Mathers: “We switchin’ positions, you feelin’ surrounded” – maybe I just don’t understand “Birthday Sex,” but that sounds neither sexy nor fun. Neither does this song. And that’s before the MMA-as-sex metaphor later on.

Hillary Brown: It’d be a 7 if not for Jeremih seeming like he’s going to provide his girl with birthday sex and hours of passion, whether she likes it or not, which isn’t necessarily an appealing prospect. Maybe she just wants a nice dinner and night out or a simple foot massage. I like hearing “G spot” sung with enthusiasm, but this sounds exhausting!

Michaelangelo Matos: A friend described this to me as “the perfect follow-up to J. Holiday’s ‘Bed,'” and while I find that song’s shamelessness admirable, it’s never been a particular favorite. This, on the other hand, is not only shameless — never more so than on that crazy, infernal “I-I-I”/”ah-ah-ah” hook — it’s constructed with enough ingenuity that I could see it sounding better and better with time. We’ll see.

Alex Macpherson: “Birthday Sex” takes so many cues from “Bed” that I assumed that LOS Da Maestro was also responsible for it – turns out it’s some unknown called Mick Schultz – but no matter when the result is this good. From the minute it leads off with a freestyle nod in the opening synth line, “Birthday Sex” is riveting. It’s an intensely carnal trip which is both intimate and otherworldly – you could lose yourself in that oscillating lead vocal melody and the ebb and flow of the disembodied, abstract backing croons. Meanwhile, the finely judged use of space raises the tension – and temperature – ever higher as aqueous beats drip and roll like sweat down your back. Even a line as explicit as “tell me where you want your gift” comes off as more sensual than sleazy in these surroundings. Spellbinding.

Briony Edwards: Is this meant to be a joke song? I can’t quite tell. It’s nowhere near humorous enough, it’s in some sort of bad-news limbo.

Frank Kogan: I assume this song is in earnest, but current R&B being what it is, and my not knowing anything about this guy, I honestly can’t say for sure. “You kiss me so sweetly, tastes just like Hershey’s/Just tell me how you want your gift, girl.” (From, “CLAIM: In response to a question from host Bob Eubanks about the ‘most unusual place you’ve ever made whoopee,’ a female Newlywed Game contestant responded, ‘That would be up the butt, Bob.’ STATUS: True.”) A third choice between parody and earnestness is the self-aware self-mockery that David Moore told me last year he hears in Lloyd (and which I’m doubtful of). In any event, it’s pretty.

Dave Moore: I think I need a new music box — when I wind this one up it just plays a retarded The-Dream knock-off.

Edward Okulicz: I really enjoy how twinkly and organic this sounds – the beat especially – and how it makes it easier to see it as a stream-of-consciousness combination of joke-erotica and pop hooks.

David Raposa: You can keep your winding music box intro, the extended wrestling metaphor (or is that Ultimate Fighting lol), the “improv between your legs” bit (which I hope she kept the receipt for), the bare-backed house tour, and most of this Ne-Yo (most definitely not Ne-Yo) woo pitch. Just give me the ridiculous haunted-house ooh-ooh that inexplicably pops up in the chorus. And maybe some of that Moet.

9 Responses to “Jeremih – Birthday Sex”

  1. was gonna give this a 10 but couldn’t get my blurb in on time. an instant classic imo, reminiscent of the-dream in so many ways (right on down to the boxing metaphor) but the chorus reminds me of so many classic radio r&b tracks that it just feels like a luminary song right from the jump

  2. I was literally about to post, “Jordan Sargent WHERE IS YOUR REVIEW”. My blurb was a bit ~serious~ but it’s obv a funny song too – weirdly I get a Dream vibe in theory but not while actually listening, it’s more a song I can imagine Lloyd or Usher doing – not as self-consciously ambitious as The-Dream maybe, it’s a bit of a quiet storm, and I suspect it’ll end up as a 10 for me too. Also, I spent ages trying to remember the right word for the vocal oscillation on “I-I-I” and still can’t :(

  3. Man, I almost completely forgot about Lloyd.

  4. I really liked this for the first minute or two and then I got really bored. :(

  5. Would have given this high marks myself. I’ve been walking around with “I-I-I-I-I-I” stuck in my head all day.

  6. I think she’d have been better off with a bunch of flowers from the all-night garage. What a cheapskate!

  7. This seems way too OTT to be actual quiet storm. “Quiet strum,” maybe?

    I also don’t remember saying that about Lloyd, but I believe it — here’s that convo (which was mostly about Karina Pasian — what happened to her, he asks being too lazy to google?):

    Frank: I’m halfway through the Lloyd, and I must say that even though I’m barely paying attention to the lyrics, they’re still getting in my way; the whole thing seems immediately ripe for parody, by a latter-day Chef or someone (e.g., right now he’s singing, “First we go to dinner, then we hit the movies, now we back at my crib, hop in the jacuzzi, I’m kissin’ on your stomach, feelin’ on your booty, I wanna have a party all over your body. I wanna freak you, I wanna freak you, I wanna freak you, I wanna have a party all over your body”). There’s nothing nearly as gorgeous as “You,” though “I Can Change Your Life” and “Lose Your Love” are pretty.

    Me: I think Lloyd is somewhat self-aware when it comes to his stupid lyrics (given he starts the album with “Sex Education”!). I think R. Kelly (and hell, maybe Chef) pretty well fucked up the assumed earnestness of seduction tracks…

    For the record I don’t really remember the Lloyd album either. The music here is sorta pretty but not sexy at all, and doesn’t pull off the have-yr(-birthday)-cake (sorry) indulgence that Dream does in the huge nerd getting you off anyway department. It might just be that I don’t think R. Kelly blatancy isn’t usually a good look, and that I think Jeremih is a bad singer.

  8. Er, quiet sturm as in sturm und drang. There’s a lot in this song that is weirdly painful, so much effort being exerted at effortlessness. I kind of like it conceptually, but it’s really a drag.

  9. OK, this coincidence was a little weird. I guess I should join Twitter or something.