In case you’re wondering about the picture, it’s cos Turk was the only TV doctor we could think of who was definitely a surgeon…
Ian Mathers: I blame Lil’ Wayne for this.
Martin Kavka: If you sing “my love’s like anesthesia,” you are not like a surgeon. You are like an anesthesiologist. If you sing “I’ma make your body better when we get in the right position,” you are not like a surgeon. You are like a chiropractor. And if you sing “you need a physical one more time,” you still are not like a surgeon. You are like a general practitioner.
Alex Macpherson: Yet another curious single choice from Ciara: a strange, lurching, tuneless Tricky/The-Dream production whose power is dependent on surrendering oneself to its array of immiscible textures. A cavernous, acidic bassline is the oil to the water of some monomaniacal strings and Ciara’s own coos, croons, purrs and pouts; the result is uncomfortable, but interestingly so. But Jesus Christ, woman, release goddamn “Echo” and “High Price” already.
Michaelangelo Matos: Those siren-like synths that come in on top of the foundation are super-Moroder/Summer, aren’t they? Like something off Bad Girls, maybe. “My ears will be your stethoscope” — oh really? “I appreciate your recovery time/But you need a physical one more time” — you know, that doesn’t seem all that contradictory.
Martin Skidmore: Another The-Dream/Tricky production, and it’s a tense and gripping slow number. This asks a lot of a limited singer, but she delivers very well indeed, floating and gulping over the slightly sinister synth washes, with some really gorgeous harmonies on some lines. A compelling and creepily lovely single.
Alex Ostroff: Gorgeously sludgey and lethargic, recalling “Promise”, the highlight of Ci’s last album. That said, there are so many great bangers on the overlooked Fantasy Ride that “Surgeon”‘s release as a single is baffling, besides the fact that it’s the one track from the album that didn’t leak pre-release.
Alfred Soto: Another Ciara track with slo-mo rhythm and precisely developed metaphors (she actually uses “tactician” in the chorus). She pitches her voice at an odd angle, though, exposing the blah melody. This track gets her to the waiting room; she should have called ahead for an appointment.
Chuck Eddy: Unimaginative if potentially fun nurse-porn metaphors recited with hee-hawing mannerisms so detached in their feigned soulfuless they come off downright painful. Graceful disco string parts negated by all-thumbs-clumsy rhyming of “patient” with “patient”; reliably cute concept (see: Dolls/Diddley “Pills,” Carol Douglas “Doctor’s Orders,” etc.) and swiping of Weird Al Yankovic title wrecked by apparently being too dumb to notice that they’re comedy.
Fergal O’Reilly: This creaks somewhat under the strain of its overextended sex-as-hospital-administration metaphor, and comparing your love to anaesthesia is possibly unwise. That said, the beatific melody of the chorus harmony makes for a great contrast with the ominous synth bass. As tortured sex metaphors go, it’s better than “Candy Shop” but worse than “GIRL! I’M! READY! TO! TOSS! YOUR! SALAD!”.
Anthony Miccio: Even if memories of “Weird” Al weren’t bringing the roffles, I’m not sure I could take this song seriously. R. Kelly (pre-autotune) got away with metaphor-killing because he could sing the phone book with conviction (or more appropriately, sing about being the sex operator, go ahead and phone me, I’ll connect you to “ben dover” or “heywood jablomey”). Ciara is nowhere as commanding a singer (she’s no match for those foghorn keybs on the chorus), leaving me more embarrassed (“my love’s like anesthesia”?) than impressed by her daring.