Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Rita Ora ft. Tinie Tempah – R.I.P.

Also in the running for the “Weirdest Place to Suddenly Hear Nneka” award…


Brad Shoup: I like the murking metaphor. We get so much “she ain’t do you like me” that it’s nice to get a song that assumes the switch will be made. The chorus screams for dubstep, but the similarly-maligned pop-metal stringwork will do. It’s determinedly plodding and a melodic seesaw; the insistence suits it, though. But where are my priorities? Congrats to Tinie Tempah! Your couplet “I’ll make you call me ‘daddy’/Even though you ain’t my daughter” is frontrunning for worst of the year!

Alfred Soto: In pop music self-empowerment sounds best when the beats do the affirming, and on that front “R.I.P.” is a middling success: de rigeur sawtooth synths and canned percussion. The trouble here is Tempah’s rap interferes with Ora’s, to use today’s psychoanalytic cliche, “actualization.” Thanks to him, she reduces herself to an incoherent blur; I don’t know what she’s trying to be. Imagine No More Drama-era Mary J. Blige in 2001 ceding a portion of a song to Master P. 

Iain Mew: Rita shows some vocal potential (love her reading of “Mental pictures/No cameras please”) but the song is a total mess of disparate unconnected elements. Commandeering Chase and Status’ Nneka remix is no problem in itself as it’s a great track, but, well, there’s no attempt to do anything with it other than say “Listen! What a great track!”. Tinie adds nothing besides ensuring that “R.I.P.” will date even faster by referencing already long dead book chain Borders. I look forward to him riffing off Gamestation in 2015.

Anthony Easton: I cannot quite figure out the plot of this song: has Ms. Ora become a) a whole new woman, abandoned her old life, including a lover played by Tinie, or b) confident enough to be her own person and welcome back Tinie, but only on her own terms? And if it is b, what exactly would those terms be?

Michaela Drapes: Lightweight piffle, the very walking definition of ephemeral. Except for “get in my flying sawwwwwser” delivered in a hilariously bad mock-Brooklynese-via-Hackney accent, everything is forgettable. Especially Rita Ora’s mushy, unremarkable singing that continues to decline with each successive single.

Jonathan Bogart: Last time we compared her to Brandy, Ms. Dynamite, Sian Evans, Christina Milian, and Rihanna. Unfortunately but no doubt inevitably, now she only sounds like the biggest name on that list.

Katherine St Asaph: Rita Ora is essentially the replacement Rihanna part Roc Nation stocked in case the original broke down or collaborated with Chris Brown, which you shouldn’t think about too hard. This is her U.K. single, meaning Chase & Status liven it up more than our guys would, but it’s still a standard urban-pop factory extrusion. The New Yorker had a feature recently on those, mentioning how Ester Dean (who wishes she was the replacement Rihanna) took songwriting inspiration from magazine slogans, bits of ads and other pop-language ephemera. This means there’s a chance “R.I.P.” was literally inspired by a trending hashtag. Pop in 2012!

2 Responses to “Rita Ora ft. Tinie Tempah – R.I.P.”

  1. Srsly though, that New Yorker piece was unfortunate.

  2. I liked it quite a bit. We should all form a songwriting collective.