Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Sean Kingston – Fire Burning

He’s back. You can stop holding your breath now…


Martin Skidmore: A jolly enough reggae-electro party number with plenty of autotune and pretty vacuous lyrics (yes, even by party banger standards). Still quite fun, even if the heavy bass electro noises makes it feels a bit overweight in places.

Edward Okulicz: Completely brain-dead but unstoppably infectious, this is probably a complete dancefloor massacre – the synth bass throbs are catchier than anything out of Sean’s mouth, and probably more intelligent to boot. Not dancing seems churlish.

Erick Bieritz: The klutzy stadium electronica that cheeses up the chorus comes courtesy of Lady Gaga hatchet man RedOne. Moroccan origins aside, he’s a product of the Swedish school, with Joey Tempest as a mentor and the A*Teens in his Rolodex. Consequently, “Burning Fire” can only be interpreted as another covert attempt by the Swedes to recapture the American music mainstream. Surely Akon’s “Take a Chance On Me ‘09” will be omnipresent by Christmastime…

Hillary Brown: Sean Kingston’s kind of like the Kenan Thompson of the R&B world: round, less threatening, and on the rise. Thompson’s been great on this past year’s SNL, and Kingston has yet to produce a track I don’t at least sort of like.

Alex Macpherson: It’s not as if I had any sort of attachment to or expectations for Sean Kingston – do purveyors of brilliant one-hit wonders no longer understand that their place is to quietly vanish afterwards until the inevitable I Love 2007 nostalgia programme? – but really, RedOne is turning into a fucking pox on pop.

Martin Kavka: RedOne’s galloping production — really, the beat in the verses is an equine soundalike — makes this somewhat enjoyable. But there’s a lazy middle eight and the complete inanity of the lyric: “Somebody call 911/Shawty fire burning on the dancefloor/I gotta cool her down” … WITH MY HOSE/PHALLUS blah blah blah yawn.

Ian Mathers: Is anyone else really sick of the “she’s so hot I want to spend money on her” trope? Aside from the implicit tarring of all females as at best shallow (and at worst, prostitutes), it shows a real lack of imagination and game on the part of the male. Said lack of imagination unfortunately permeates the entirety of “Fire Burning,” which doesn’t even have the decency to be entertainingly bad.

Doug Robertson: Previously Sean came across as someone so saccharine and sweet that he was legally required to have red stickers slapped all over his singles by the food standards authority, but here he’s taken sandpaper to his polished stylings and he’s sounding all the better for it, coming up with something that should get the ladies dancing around their handbags, rather than being sick into them. He’s still the sort of boy you could take home to your mother, but at least now she won’t be disappointed by how wet your choice is.

Rodney J. Greene: While he avoids singing anything as horrifying as “Suicidal, suicidal,” Kingston still possesses what must be damn near my least favorite voice in pop. The clubbed-up production has nothing to do with the weak-in-here doodoo wap of “Beautiful Girls”, but is almost as chintzy.

Dave Moore: As someone who thought “Take You There” was one of the best singles of last year, I’m (apparently) prepared to give Sean Kingston a lot of slack. I think I appreciate the way he finds your jugular and pounces without a second thought. But here his insistence on pounding in the easy synth and vocal hook manages to cross the line — the horse is dead, Sean.

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