Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Brandy & Monica – It All Belongs to Me

It’s surname-free Thursday! If we worked on weekends that could’ve had some alliteration…


W.B. Swygart: He thought he could get away with leaving his Facebook account logged in on your computer. But he was wrong.

Brad Shoup: This really is a true sequel. With “The Boy Is Mine,” the boy in question sounded like a waste. Now we know he is. I wonder, though: what was the best-case outcome from bankrolling your partner’s lifestyle? I suppose it’s a question of no real importance, not when the track sounds like a Beatles reunion single with Ringo on typewriter. 

Anthony Easton: Using nostalgia to revive a dying or already dead career isn’t a terrible strategy, and this is an excellent example. It sounds like it’s coming straight from the apex of their careers — with a few modernizing influences (MacBook rhyming with Facebook) — and it’s a lovely track with some great studio effects, but I was never fully enamored with “The Boy is Mine,” and 14 years after the fact, it’s shopworn.

Iain Mew: I like the way that the song introduces itself. There’s a certain kind of end of the night, curtain coming down, sway to it. There’s no dramatic tension or excitement beyond that, though, and the fact that it rhymes “MacBook” and “Facebook” only further highlights its lack of edge or relevance.

John Seroff: Brandy and Monica’s inability to get along with others continues to our benefit in this more rancorous rendition of “Tyrone”. Neither M nor B sound as if they’ve lost a step in the past two decades; only the points of reference (the books of Mac and Face, respectively) have updated. The slightly disjointed and sublimated melody has something in common with Queen, but less twinkly and more military. My only complaint is that it’s all a bit indulgent, sprawling too long to maintain a proper sense of sustained righteousness.

Alfred Soto: Because I missed these late nineties hitmakers the first time, I paid attention. They didn’t. Forget the boring piano vamp, enervated percussion, and electronic screech undergirding their vocals – these people actually rhyme “MacBook” and “Facebook”!

Zach Lyon: This doesn’t bring me back to 1998, but it does bring me back to, I dunno, maybe 2005, back when it was easy for me to ignore the concepts of “performance” and “lyrics” and “concept” when they only served to stain an immaculate production job. What can I say? I love the pretty sounds.

Alex Ostroff: Duets are tricky. Too often, stars’ vocals don’t meld well together, pull the song in opposite directions or fail to engage with each others’ performances. Brandy’s voice is one of my favourites in R&B — a little bit raspy, a little bit throaty, constantly hinting at emotions choked back or words unsaid — and hearing her sing new material for the first time in four years is a pleasure. That it’s being sung with Monica, with whom she still has effortless chemistry, should be cause for celebration. Unfortunately, the martial drumbeat muffles their emotions more than it drives them forward, and they sound significantly less engaged fighting over shit than they did when battling over the boy.

Jer Fairall: A nice, smooth production that was the very definition of radio friendly before the squeaks and wobbles of dubstep took over the pop, but let’s face it; any relationship that can be so easily reduced to material possessions probably wasn’t worth a damn anyway.

Michaela Drapes: I knew there was a reason I wasn’t opening the endless stream of press releases in my inbox about this track; why mess with perfection? This is, if possible, the exact opposite of the cutting, brutal, and terse “The Boy is Mine” — it’s sloppy, melismatic (ugh), and boring. The worst sin of all, really.

Katherine St Asaph: The “Boy” is mined.

3 Responses to “Brandy & Monica – It All Belongs to Me”

  1. The Beatles, sure. Queen, maybe. Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself”, definitely.

  2. Right you are.

  3. I try to think of pleasant things.