Monday, November 4th, 2013

Ben Pearce – What I Might Do

Would he look more or less silly with the Disclosure face?


Scott Mildenhall: A winning formula: bluesy manvocal, with all implications of “authenticity” (though the sample is actually from 2003, surprisingly) over minimal house. Granted, it wouldn’t be a chart hit without the shop window of a shop’s shop window, but you don’t see “Ooh-Wakka-Doo-Wakka-Day waltzing back into the top 10, so this and another belated hit-in-waiting must have something going for them. It’s intense, claustrophobic, and when you actually pay attention to the lyrics, more than a bit discomforting, but perhaps most importantly it’s catchy without eschewing subtlety, inviting and working best with repeat listens.

Iain Mew: The beat is like a much less snappy “Need U (100%)”. Its lack of personality is countered by the cut-and-paste rambling of the vocal samples, but the queasy combination of easy-going vibe and offhand threats is not an improvement.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: “What I Might Do” is at its most effective when turning Anthony Hamilton’s casually rasping “Cornbread, Fish & Collard Greens” into rhythmic grunts over parping and clacking. The original’s lazy sexual allure becomes a series of brittle jabs, which fascinates for a minute, maybe two. After that, Pearce simply doesn’t move anywhere with Hamilton’s voice or his own inspiration.

Alfred Soto: The cut-ups irritate more than incite any motion vaguely kinetic.

Rebecca A. Gowns: I’m wondering if most of the magic is coming from Anthony Hamilton’s vocals. (The sampled song is a million times more fun to me, but I’ll always pick a good funk/soul song over almost any other style.) I’ll say this for Ben Pearce — he did some clever surgery by taking the lyrics out of the feel-good groove and into an anxious minimalist beat. Suddenly, the words are colder and more foreboding; you’re walking home from the club with someone you realize is a total stranger. Lust and paranoia combined! What a rush.

David Lee: That throbbing, deep bassline hums with the heat of bodies drenched in late night dancefloor sweat, pumping the song full of potential energy. Too bad it lingers at the precipice where the potential plummets into the kinetic, too in love with its atmospherics to push the plot forward.

Patrick St. Michel: A nice bit of late-night house, but everything is so subtle I just want to listen to the Anthony Hamilton original.

Brad Shoup: Can’t get with this. I really do aspire to hear each entry in a trend-run as a brand-new object, but I’m just so tired of these deep-house R&B rinses. Pitching Cassie down implies something different than doing the same to Anthony Hamilton. The evergreen, voidy “Me & U” translated so well to a fizzy mix that added an actual U. “What I Might Do” turns Hamilton into late-period Gil Scott-Heron. The stretched-out Southern celebration of its source material becomes stasis: Hamilton can barely peek out of the first verse. He just hovers, a menacing presence in someone’s unconscious conjuring.

Katherine St Asaph: Even the most charitable critical stance would cast the sample as cultural tourism that gets less and less comfortable the more you think about it. And even that hypothetical charitable person would probably find plenty of other, better house tracks — released now, released then — to listen to instead.

Josh Langhoff: This would make an expert segue between two real songs.

Reader average: [7.5] (2 votes)

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4 Responses to “Ben Pearce – What I Might Do”

  1. Brad said what I was trying to but copped out in last-minute editing.

  2. yea further listenings bring mine down to a 4 or 5

  3. My original score was a 6 but it grew on me :>

  4. is that robyn i see in the video?