They’ve sort of had a number one; how will they fare without the Stryderman’s help?…
Andrew Unterberger: A silly little thug-love song with male-female back-and-forth that alternately laughs at itself and takes itself far too seriously? Uh, yes please. When will the American public realize that when they make Ja Rule and Ashanti feel so self-conscious about putting their giddy pop-romances on record, these are the types of gems they’re missing out on?
Matt Cibula: Hilarious parody novelty tune that perfectly encapsulates all that is — wait, what? This is really them? Oh. Um. Well, it’s no “Ouch”.
Martin Skidmore: I can’t get terribly excited about this: an act that would like to be the British Black Eyed Peas. I like the occasional ragga hints in the rapping, which is reasonably bright and nimble, and the odd moment of Middle Eastern wailing, and the music gets a bit excitable in a dancey way as it goes along, but the end result seems listenable but uninteresting.
Alfred Soto: N-Dubz deliver their bling-by-numbers raps energetically, but the real story is the Middle Eastern cadence of the synth strings, which threatens to turn the wannabe Tricky Stewart production into a freestyle number. She may not want his money, but she does want his beats.
Hillary Brown: All the pieces of this song aren’t necessarily incompatible in theory, but they turn out to be so in reality.
David Raposa: This would be miles better if this spent more time exploiting the playful “they’re saying I must be blind / well they do have a point / SHUT UP” back-and-forth sass that takes up about 10 seconds of the song — it happens right before the chorus; burp and you’ll miss it! Hell, I’d be more forgiving if (as other have suggested) they used the house beat that closes out the song throughout the entire thing, instead of the pensive tichy-tichy drum machine they employ up to that point. Instead, N-Dubz sticks with the moody string flourishes and the moody wordless singing and the moody tichy-tich while trying to pitch the same old wrong-side-of-the-street love story between ride-or-die would-be-divas and woefully outclassed lyric spitters. With lens flare. Lots and lots of lens flare.
Tom Ewing: I sort of love the way the backchat interrupts the song so much, to the point that the chorus almost completely dissolves into wrangling. But it also makes an already overstuffed song even busier: no room for that and the middle-eastern sample and the pet shop boy chords AND the string arrangement. And so yet again N-Dubz make a frustratingly almost-good record.
Chuck Eddy: Hard to remember what this song sounds like, even while it’s actually playing. But the pointless rapper guy sure looks grimey in the video, I’ll give him that — mud on his face, big disgrace, somebody better put him back into his place. Instead of telling the superfluous singer girl to “shut up,” though, it would be considerably more entertaining if he requested that she do the Helen Keller and talk with her hips.
Michaelangelo Matos: In the annals of quiet-storm Eurodisco lump-in-throat moments, “You’re so intelligent with such a high IQ/So if I ever have a baby I’d love it to be with you” isn’t quite on par with Real McCoy’s “Sleeping with an Angel” (grunting male: “She makes me feel so good/I didn’t know I could“), but it’s close.
Ian Mathers: The weird thing is, if you just read the lyrics they’re mostly pretty straightforward: pledges of relatively eternal devotion, self-aggrandizement for the purposes of romantic conquest, the normal uncertainties and negotiations of a tentative relationship. But the way N-Dubz splinters the chorus among the verses makes the whole thing a lot more complicated and interesting. No one party is the most dominant or more secure one, and where any of the three are coming from isn’t totally clear. It’s enough for an extra point, anyway.