Friday, February 1st, 2013

Alexis Jordan ft. J. Cole – Acid Rain

And now, take two…


Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Hey, here’s J. Cole having a try at aforementioned vuvuzela-stripper arena mess! He wrestles with the beat,trying all sorts of stop-start flows that make his motivational lyrics appear inspiring and sneaking in explicit Nas references. Bless his heart for actually putting in an effort even if it doesn’t connect the way he blatantly wishes it would. Jordan rhymes “acid rain” and “hurricane” and saps those words of any dramatic emotion whatsoever, a dubious achievement but an achievement nonetheless. Someone fire the Bingo Players from a cannon and into the sun for this instrumental’s existence, cheers.

Ian Mathers: No need for a double take; yes, the opening samples the same track as “Get Up (Rattle).” It’s hard to say which one uses it more successfully, since it’s not around for as much as the track this time (instead of being the whole track), and “Acid Rain” gets a lot better once Jordan starts singing and the production changes. Then again, I absolutely adore “Happiness” and I might be in the minority around here on that. I don’t always go for belted choruses, but it works wonderfully here, so wonderfully that even the dorkier backing track they bring in for J. Cole’s kind of pointless verses can’t drag the score down too much. 

Sabina Tang: Certainly this attempts to both enliven and deepen the original. J. Cole brings far more energy to his rap than Far East Movement, and Alexis Jordan has a pleasant belt, but I’m allergic to that commercial-radio Euro-house sound; the whooshing synth stabs whisper to me, “A bog-standard shite [3], and no more…” Out of the lot, I much prefer plain old “Rattle.”

Alfred Soto: Yet another wannabe gets Guettatized, with J. Cole becoming the Eve of male rappers: rarely dull and often innocuous.

Brad Shoup: Cole drops more specifics in his verses than FM has in their entire career, probably. His segments make good on Bingo Players’ feints toward fun, but Jordan’s in an entirely different song entirely, possibly rejected by Rihanna.

Katherine St Asaph: Alexis Jordan is more than competent as a singer — she proves it so hard, as does J. Cole with speed — but she has no business singing about making herself invisible at this point in her career, or about acid rain at any point. The lyrics site I’m going by claims the chorus goes “crowd of torts,” which can’t be much sillier.

Patrick St. Michel: Remember that time when Alexis Jordan swiped that annoying beat from Bingo Players, the one Far East Movement flailed all over? Remember how she turned it into something compelling by putting a big ol’ dramatic chorus right in the center of the music, and didn’t spend much time with the elastic synths? Well, if you don’t, listen to it because Jordan completely trumps the original (and the Far-East-Movement-featuring version) with “Acid Rain,” even if J. Cole is inessential here.

Will Adams: A complete failure. It’s so desperate for your attention that it will throw on as many mismatched pop trends as possible without any effort to justify them. It begins with the requisite house signifier, found in Bingo Players’ weak duck sauce of a beat. Enter J. Cole, who spews some mumbo jumbo that barely acknowledges whatever “narrative” might be here. Then Alexis Jordan slinks through the verses, sounding just as bloodless as the song they rip off, “S&M.” Then there’s yet another overblown Sia chorus, whose title metaphor reaches for the evocative but is ultimately meaningless. When you throw everything at the wall and not a single thing sticks, it’s no longer embarrassing — it’s tragic.

Iain Mew: Alexis Jordan’s sections sound like lazy fillers from a rap focused song and J. Cole’s bits sound like tossed off guest raps there for name value only — they’re both the sponge in the cake. The sample is the plate it’s on, giving it somewhere to sit but adding nothing to the taste. Special mention to the line “Now we rack shows up in London, wondering how they even heard of me” — yeah, popular American music never makes its way here.

Scott Mildenhall: One of the things (or, let’s be honest, the only thing) that works in the Far East Movement’s favour with the “Rattle” instrumental is simply that it sounds funny. When J. Cole starts banging on about how amazing is he is over the top of it it doesn’t make nearly as much sense, and nor does it when cut back and forth between the piano used here for most of Alexis’ bits, which, in turn, have nothing to do with whatever it actually is Cole was paid to Skype in. In effect “Acid Rain” is a fight between about four different songs; none of them win.

Reader average: [5.25] (4 votes)

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