Mariah didn’t get him a hit – will old Scowly McSneer do any better?…
Jordan Sargent: Just paying my monthly fan club membership fee.
Chuck Eddy: The Police did a better “Walking On The Moon” (just like Bobbie Gentry did a better “Fancy” and the Angry Samoans did a better “Right Side Of My Brain [I Mean Mind]”), but The-Dream gets some genuine low-gravity green cheese into this one’s sound, I admit it. Still stumped by everybody’s total love affair with the album — sub-Ne-Yo falsetto, “interesting” production doo-dads, lyrics more irritating than compelling, alleged concept as much a chore to follow along with as any other concept album — but this one’s a lunar beaut until Kanye comes in. Which, ill-advisedly, brings things back down to earth.
Alfred Soto: Like Love vs Money itself, this track’s power waned after several plays. The most annoying element: the dinky organ line that coats the thing like slime. Kanye’s just-okay rap is indicative.
Anthony Miccio: Oh, Sheila! Think of Love Vs. Money as an Amnesiac-like companion to Love/Hate rather than a disappointingly familiar follow-up, and it’s easier to appreciate peaks like this for the effusive retro-futurist bubblegum they are. Bumped a notch to encourage Kanye’s abandonment of autotune.
Martin Skidmore: I like the guest verse from Kanye on this: the weak bleepy backing (is this supposed to sound SFish?) and the thin vocals from The-Dream need a bit of energy injected, and Kanye gives it a touch of momentum, albeit briefly. I can imagine this working well with a punchy vocal – Beyonce, say – but it does sound a little limp as it is.
Ian Mathers: Kanye is only ever insufferable, it just comes down to whether or not he’s likeably insufferable. Here he’s not, and The-Dream’s milquetoast little voice isn’t the best match for the bright stabs of the production during the chorus. The result is a little underwhelming and kind of a mish-mash, but still not half bad.
Hillary Brown: Yes, it’s too long, and maybe it’s too early Michael Jackson, but don’t we all want the magic of “Rock with You” back? I know I do, and this version is totally untainted by later grossness, apart from Kanye dissing books as a concept a few days ago.
Martin Kavka: In the song — perhaps a great lost Thriller b-side — a man praises a woman for unnamed skills. The video, on the other hand, portrays a mincing man with perfectly sculpted eyebrows who appears to be a refugee from some intergalactic leather bar. (Note to Hype Williams: when Mariah Carey is better at butching a guy up than you are, it’s time to rethink your career.) This is sooooo much gayer than anything Ne-Yo’s ever released, and sooooo much better as a result.
Michaelangelo Matos: I don’t normally use the word “charming” to describe -Dream’s own work: he’s so determined to out-Kelly R. that he seems pushy. But this track, for all its space-age affect, has the kind of airtight lightness that reminds me of an earlier R&B gigolo archetype: the Time, though in this case Morris would have had to let Jerome do a guest rap.
Dave Moore: The-Dream’s chintzy space-age MJ moves have an oddly by-numbers feel (but hey, I still like Dream-by-numbers), until one of those patented majestic up-the-scale multitracks (a Dream fingerprint since at least “Shawty Is the Shit”) leads into the best Kanye verse I’ve heard all year. Which isn’t saying much, but it’s also saying a lot, you know?
Chris Boeckmann: What’s the point of walking on the moon when Terius can take us to Vulcan?