Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Mario ft. Nicki Minaj – Somebody Else

Peak Unimpressed Nicki Minaj, right here.


Patrick St. Michel: A bit too ambitious for its own good – like, what’s the point of the chilly electronic stabs that pop up at times? And a total waste of Nicki Minaj. Still, that snippet of 21st Century’s “Remember The Rain” sounds really good. I just wish they simplified “Somebody Else” down to that.

Edward Okulicz: I love what’s been done with the sample here — adding those big stabby beats behind each word gives the sadness a little violence and it’s very clever indeed. Better than that, it renders the relative wetness of Mario’s vocal performance here rather touching. I find the way the track fizzles out after a good (if not scene-stealing) Nicki verse to be a touch unsatisfying though.

Alfred Soto: With drums booming like John Bonham and Minaj boom-badooming, Mario has his back against the wall, but he delivers an aggrieved lyric on his end, despite leaning hard on the Auto Tune.

Iain Mew: Maybe all breakup songs should provide both sides of the story? “Somebody Else” takes on a whole new life when it emerges that Nicki Minaj is there to contest rather than co-sign. It’s not even a stellar verse by her standards, but “You dead now/Sign of the cross on your head and your chest now” makes sense of both the carefully handwaved gaps in Mario’s narrative and the gothic excess of the production.

Brad Shoup: Mario seems to enjoy the challenge of unifying disparate production approaches. Here, they’re swapped and switched like three-card monte, and no matter what’s chosen, it proves more compelling than Mario himself.

Anthony Easton: I like that the percussion has a rock and roll energy, all reworkings of kick drums and snares. The Minaj verse is tight, and in her pattern, better than the male star who is supposed to lead the track. But, all of that said, it is mostly meh.

John Seroff: In the polarizing wake of Yeezus (Bound” aside), it’s difficult to remember when pre-808 Kanye regularly released sample heavy, soul-soaked greatness without faux gravitas or over-the-top contrivance. The same can’t be said for Polow da Don, who has dropped at least one deathless track more or less every year for the past decade. 2013’s winner is “Somebody Else,” a song so packed with stuttery, chugging drive and dreamy bubblegum concerto sweep that it can’t be torpedoed by Chris Brown or improved by Frank Ocean. Mario capably fills the part the way a runway model displays haute couture; he’s an A+ coat hanger. 

Reader average: [7.5] (4 votes)

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