A++ would buy all the product placements in this video.
Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: “Baby, what would you like to hear?” Temi Dollface begins “Pata Pata” with a dialogue where there has been none — emotional stasis is the topic here, necessary endings are planned, problems are divulged. It’s the standard I’m-done-with-this-scrub pop narrative. Dollface is aware that you’ve heard this tale before. One gets the feeling that the artist’s also asking how you, the listener, would like this story to be framed. Would you like it with some humour? There she is, batting eyelashes and deciding it would be too insincere to claim that she ever loved the dope. Some relief? The verses’ mouth-music backing vocals ease towards a future-azonto shuffle designed for speaker devastation. Some metatextuality? “Pata Pata” touches on relationship dramas by Rose Royce and George Benson during the verses, revisits Kelis’s Neptunian odysseys in a spacey middle-eight and turns a Yoruban sample of the title into a Greek chorus. Some heart, maybe? By the climax, Dollface has allowed the frustration to bubble over. She pushes her voice with gusto into each corners of the track, switching between English and Nigerian patois as the emotion flows out. Would you like all of that in approximately four minutes? Done and done. “Baby, what would you like to hear?” What else could you possibly want?
Iain Mew: Temi’s is a massively assured and flexible performance, sounding equally commanding over the wide menu of fizzy electro and soul that “Pata Pata” offers. The moment that won me over completely, though, is “we can go on pretending like baby it’s alright”, sweet enough to show she’s tempted to do so but rolling seamlessly into mocking the very idea.
Alfred Soto: Indelible hook with the precision of a piston engine, but placed against the underwritten verses it carries an awful lot of weight. And it’s four minutes long.
Cédric Le Merrer: With a glum marching band beat like a slowed down “Countdown,” this would have made much more sense of this title than Beyonce’s giddy mess does. Temi Dollface starts on the brink of disaster, asking the tough questions, and ends things when they have nowhere else to go. She’s a brilliant singer, staying on top of a potentially overwelming beat with great poise, just like she’s navigating the end of the relationship she’s singing about.
Anthony Easton: I love how the part where “it’s alright” pitches up or down, like a wave, depending on where the rest of the production is. The siren bit is equally interesting. It’s almost manic in places. The rest of it, you know we’ve heard this, and we know what it says, so it’s kind of middle-of-the-road — but it has potential.
Edward Okulicz: With a bassline that’s halfway between electro fanfare and the air rapidly leaving a deflating balloon, “Pata Pata” grabs the ear from the first beat. Temi Dollface’s performance is a thing of wonder too — ironic boredom wedded to one killer hook after the other. The middle-eight gets weird and funky — less a breakdown than a breakout — and the chant of “pata pata” is novel to Anglophone ears while being simple enough to earworm. This is original and creative pop of the kind we need a lot more of in the world.
Brad Shoup: The bass flaps like hope deflated. It’s not a sound I can tolerate in large stretches, but the “we can go on pretending” hook — which won’t be leaving my head ’til the weekend — provides the inflection point. I like this: it gallops.