Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Magic! – Rude

The Jukebox continues its noble quest to try to like Australian (well, Canadian) pop…

Jer Fairall: “You guys up for some reggae tonight?”

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: Lovely school dance stuff, like Streetlight Manifesto but without the Operation Ivy obsession — these guys must worship at the altar of Bruno Mars if the vocal delivery and dorky loverboy/skeezy dude say anything. The pop nous, too.

Josh Langhoff: “I know that you’re an old-fashioned man.” Try again, son. “Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?” You mean like that Culture CD you borrowed a year ago? “Don’t you know I’m human too?” Your crowning achievement. I mean, you’re coming here on a Saturday morning. Don’t ask questions if you can’t handle the answers, especially on my one day of the week to sleep in. Now please, give me back my suit.

Alfred Soto: Finally — we meet a band for whom “Underneath It All” is their “Police and Thieves.”

Brad Shoup: I mean, the “Hey Mister” lyric video would have been just as dire. The first five seconds are the Police, and the rest is Sting writing a kiddie album. No points deducted for writing a pop-reggae song with both “rude” and “boy” in absurd new contexts; it’s just really amusing.

Mallory O’Donnell: You’re right, the Police would have sucked a lot more if they’d sounded like Maroon 5.

Anthony Easton: The steel drums are almost as effective as the way he bends the word “rude” to sound like “cruel” or “crude” or “rule.”

Iain Mew: “Rude” is a masterclass in including the minimum of details yet still making clear how much of an asshole its protagonist is. Dude pegs the dad as old-fashioned, but he’s the one asking “can I have your daughter for the rest of my life?” and generally treating her as a possession to be argued over. He also, and note the choice of words, reacts to “no means no” with passive-aggressive whining. Yet the triumphant air to the thin reggae come “I’m gonna marry her anyway” says that Magic! assumes us to be on his side. Now that’s rude.

Will Adams: Hey dude, ever thought about what she wants?

Scott Mildenhall: Maybe “Unsolicited Overprotection” would be a better title. Perhaps the narrator really is a ne’er do well — he’s daring to evoke Travie McCoy, so maybe — but it’s not like he actually needs permission from her father to get married, or needs that marriage to prove his love. Whether she’s actually interested is another matter. Maybe no one bothered to consult her; maybe she was just too bored to answer.

Katherine St Asaph: As usual, this is charming or horrifying depending on whether you assume the girl loves him. Pop-reggae is innocuous by design and not a confounding variable.

Jonathan Bradley: Australian exceptionalism: while the rest of the world plunged into economic misery, we Down Under cruised through all but unharmed. The country is currently in its 23rd year of uninterrupted economic growth, an oasis of blithe prosperity amidst global stagnation. The financial disjuncture has resulted in a cultural one, too: reminiscent, perhaps, of fin de siècle USA, where social anxieties replaced economic ones and the national outlook drifted through a state of torpid detachment. Such times demand such sounds, and “Rude” is a hit almost exclusively Australian, albeit one that had to be manufactured by Canadians in Los Angeles before it could loll round the top of our charts. Its presence elsewhere is all but non-existent. Weightless, frictionless, deracinated reggae revival is the hit sound Australian social torpor demanded, the sonic summation of a polity whose only demand is for a political alternative it cannot enunciate, whose recurrent nightmares of turbulent menaces like bikies and boat people settle over society like the fug of a forty degree day, and which is deathly afraid that it stands unknowingly at a precipice, ready to tip over the cusp of good fortune at any moment. Something this empty, as with chill-out in the late ’90s, and as with our continuing fascination with the sculpted earthiness of roots music, is reassuring to a people that can’t remember whether we need reassurance at all.

Patrick St. Michel: Can not take any part of this seriously.

Reader average: [1.81] (16 votes)

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5 Responses to “Magic! – Rude”

  1. Jonathon, as someone sitting in this 40 degree heat, you absolutely nailed it.


  3. sound is straight up “clueless” soundtrack

  4. Sound is straight-up clueless.

  5. I hadn’t heard this out “in the wild” before, but then last night I went downstairs to my complex’s gym for a bit and some cockface was blasting this loudly while he was on the treadmill. GET ONE a) TASTE, and b) EARPHONES. It was a traumatic experience. I couldn’t even drown out the repeated plays with my own earphones.