Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

David Guetta ft. Ne-Yo & Akon – Play Hard

We worked as hard with our zings as Guetta worked on this song.


Scott Mildenhall: At first it feels like the Alice Deejay sample is better – wait for it – left alone, not least as it’s already been successfully appropriated by a Bluetooth legend, and hearing it in précis form only creates a desire to listen to the original. It’s one of the most joyous riffs in history and hard to go wrong with, yet “Play Hard” almost manages to; Akon being brought out of storage just to suck all of the fun out of it. Thankfully Ne-Yo is there to save the day though, his thrilling “Hey! Said a hustler’s work is never through” just about making the whole undeavour worthwhile.

Alfred Soto: Where are we? When are we? Ne-Yo, don’t you think you’re better off alone?

Patrick St. Michel: Look, if you are going to borrow liberally from one of the best electronic songs of the ’90s, you best bring something might. David Guetta simply taking a recognizable synth line and hoping that’s enough to cover for his otherwise boring work. Ne-Yo and Akon get totally wasted.This one is way better left alone (har har).

Katherine St Asaph: “We haven’t seen the Alice Deejay or DJ Otzi for this scene yet, but it can’t be far off.” —VICE. “Cool idea!” –David Guetta.

Daisy Le Merrer: I’m having a really hard time believing anyone really worked hard on this. Someone please tell those guys that their ghostwriters, their ghostproducers, hell, their whole ghost entourage has really been phoning it in lately.

Crystal Leww: This sounds exactly like what David Guetta is supposed to represent. It is dumb and loud and fun and takes a riff from another dumb and loud electronic song but who even cares? Are you jumping yet?

Mallory O’Donnell: David Guetta had a respectable career delivering sub-moronic party anthems for European clowns long before he decided to utilize heavily-medicated R&B sangers to appease the American variety. “Play Hard,” (a title positively reeking with market potential) might be his most clownish effort to date–you can almost visualize the giant rotating ice cream cone. Like most music for children, it will probably fare quite well in the current climate.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Three Short Stories on “Play Hard”: 1. Akon took a break from wearing his favourite white suit on his Mediterranean island to look in his attic. Amongst cobwebs and a safe containing T-Pain’s real voice, he found what he came for: a box marked “SPARE GUETTA VERSES.” He smiled. He would be back to his day before he knew it. 2. David could not bring himself to sleep on the airplane. He flicked through his iPod, restless, revisiting old favourites: pop-locking Los Angeleno electro, 90s Dutch Eurodance, songs with slithers of the “Think” break, even some dubstep-style robot buzzing. Not only did it relax him, it inspired him. He could share his dance music loves with the world, creating a collage of– Halfway through this very thought, he fell into slumber, his idea destined to be half-remembered and half-heartedly executed upon waking. The music played on, like it always did around David. 3. Ne-Yo looked at his Rolodex: Guetta wants me over some old Eurostuff. Frenchie wants me over old RZA. Huh. He smiled ruefully and shook his head. This industry – trapped in the Nineties, he wondered as he started his vocal warmups. Well, let’s go make this Nineties money.

Brad Shoup: Give Ne-Yo and Akon credit: they play up the work. Guetta allows himself a little fun around the shortcut sample, tossing in a smidge of electro and some shuffle. But still, this is the Rich Kids of Instagram anthem.

Will Adams: What is Guetta trying to do here? Let’s look closer. First, there’s the sample of a song that already had its revival five years ago. Second, there’s the tunelessness in spite of that sample. Third, there’s the lazy hook that carries a message so belabored it might as well be bleeped from radio edits. Fourth, there’s Akon. Ah, I see! David Guetta is telegraphing defeat. The tragedy is that it’s one of the few times he’s ever had anything to say.

Alex Ostroff: The joy of a great sample for me is the moment of realization that occurs after hours — nay, months — spent listening to a song, convinced that I probably recognize part of it from somewhere, obscured temporarily by its clever new context, but just uncertain enough that I’m willing to believe I might have imagined the entire thing. “DAMN!” I marvel, “How did I not place that before?” or “I can’t believe this is that” (Which is why “Good Life” was more interesting than “Stronger“) Clearly I’m not always opposed to lazy dance rips of older hits but the most creative Guetta gets with this beat is a vague half-shuffle and the only person with half a pulse is Ne-Yo.

David Lee: To paraphrase Lupe Fiasco: Ne-Yo mediocre, Akon bad, David Guetta worse.

Edward Okulicz: Original idea? No. Creative use of unoriginal idea? No. Enjoyable execution of uncreative, unoriginal idea? No, no, no. Guests aside, this not only literally sounds as if a ten-year-old could have made it, it also sounds like that ten-year-old would have had more sense. If you’ll excuse the breaking of our fourth wall: Guetta’s going on our “artists we will try to ignore whenever possible, even if he is still having top ten hits” list after this one.

Reader average: [5.5] (6 votes)

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4 Responses to “David Guetta ft. Ne-Yo & Akon – Play Hard”

  1. Yes everyone, but HEY! Said a hustler’s work is never through!

    (Daniel’s blurb is brilliant.)

  2. Crystal got it right!



    Alice Deejay is from 2000-and-old. Happy that Guetta brought it back for the 2003 babies in this world.

  3. At least he went out with quite the video.

  4. I appreciate the gratuitous featuring of botas picudas.