Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Nabiha – Never Played the Bass

We finish off Scandinaviday with a Dane…


Brad Shoup: This sounds like a pop-reggae interpolation of “Abracadabra,” but it took her going full patois on the middle eight for me to pick up on the reggae part. The “Teardops” borrow isn’t much — I missed it the first however many times — but I’ll always award points for getting intertextual, especially for referencing Womack & Womack’s para-house masterpiece. But in honor of the subject matter, a joke! Q: What do you call the beautiful woman on the bassist’s arm? A: A tattoo.

Alfred Soto: She quotes Womack & Womack’s “Teardrops” – clever! Her insouciance does the rest. 

Anthony Easton: Disco lasers, three snap vocals, reaching the edge of contempt; pretty fantastic banger. (I have this thought of “Never Played the Bass” as a rock song where all those riot grrrls played the bass, instead of a dance track where bass becomes code for ass shaking — there is a Venn diagram of sexuality in those two different ideas of that one word.)

Iain Mew: The final emphasis of the chorus is all about calling out the lies of this supposed bass player sneaking into aftershows and buying drinks, but the rest of the song is about how Nabiha is happy to put up with that. It’s very odd. Still, never mind the bass, this is all about the brass, a marauding blare which is strong enough to power the song past the muddle.

John Seroff: Joyous, dubby and playful, “Never Played the Bass” is a mash of strident horns, thumping bass, ska guitar licks, Sia-style vocals and an overheating drum machine. It sounds a mess in theory but in practice it’s a Pousse-Café shooter; each component stands alone and equal, effortlessly mixing in the tasting.

Edward Okulicz: A good time if not quite a riot, its mash-up of brass and bass and touches of ska is politely eclectic and amenably hooky.

Michaela Drapes: Ten years ago, with a hot remix? Sure, I could see this being a contender. But it’s just musty and dated now.

Jonathan Bogart: While in theory this would all be very much the kind of thing I love — disco! island rhythms! soul singers with big afros! — the actual result is fatally polite.

4 Responses to “Nabiha – Never Played the Bass”

  1. a pop-reggae interpolation of “Abracadabra”

  2. I was going to cite “Abracadabra” too but I cheated and read the drafts first.

  3. “Abracadabra”? One of my most favorite songs of all time? How did I not hear that? I’ll need to listen again.

  4. So glad other folks heard it.