Friday, July 10th, 2009

Paperboys – Lonesome Traveller

They’ve collaborated with Madcon in the past. There’s a shock, eh?…


Fergal O’Reilly: Admittedly I always say this, but this song sounds like if Rednex remixed Fei Long’s stage music from Super Street Fighter II and got some Norwegian guys to rap over it.

Hillary Brown: So apparently, if you were wondering if Bubba Sparxxx’s second album was a hit anywhere, it was, and that place was Norway. This is just waiting for placement in a Tarantino movie, yes?

Anthony Easton: An artist has to earn their samples, understand why they exist in the first place, and what would change in another context. Morricone earned his reworking of cowboy music by making a new kind of western mythos, for example, and Tarantino earned his use of Morricone by his profound interest in the formal language of filmed narrative. The Paperboys try to merge the cowboy, the Morricone, and, by absence, the Tarantino, but for no particular purpose, and so the samples sort of sit there in the middle as an inert lump, with medicore lyrical skills and a kind of adeptness in delivery tripping over the silliness of it all. Maybe this is just Rednex 2.0, but they got the source text much better then these guys do.

Peter Parrish: Is the combination of banjos, Norwegian rapping, choral backing vocals and Ennio Morricone a good thing, or a bad thing? That’s the kind of high-pressure call we sometimes have to make here at the Jukebox. Banjos are the sound of the devil plucking his bottom hairs, but Morricone is reliably superb. I’m indifferent to Norwegian rap but enjoy overblown backing vox. What to do? Honestly, this score is purely for the ambition behind the project, because I never want to hear it again.

Anthony Miccio: Wow, speed rapping, harmonica, disco beats, banjos, massed choirs – I’ll be shocked if this doesn’t get at least one 10. It certainly satisfies all the requirements of a country-rap novelty with spirited aplomb, but like with New Boyz, I wish Paperboys did more than justice – however exemplary – to the archetype. Not that this wouldn’t have Timbaland doing backflips in his overalls by the final verse.

Alex Ostroff: The golden standard for this stuff is Bubba and Timbo’s Deliverance. It ain’t that – hell, it’s not even SoCalled’s klezmer/country/rap hybrid You Are Never Alone. But at least it’s not Cowboy Troy. Flows switch back and forth, the main theme jumps from harmonica to trumpet to fiddle, and the choir mourns the sorrows of the open road. Plus, without Wikipedia, I never would have known they were Scandinavian. Inauthentic sure, but a decent fascimile nonetheless.

Jonathan Bradley: Paperboys bite Eminem’s “Without Me” flow — not that he’s doing much with it these days — and airdrop it in to an washed-out sing-song chorus and a novelty sample. So: Slim Shady with no personality or residual talent. Or, if you prefer, the Scandinavian Cowboy Troy.

Martin Skidmore: This is perhaps the lamest rapping I have heard in a long while, at least outside the WWE, but the absurd combination of linedancing music and big choral-classical vocals and general stupidity makes me smile. Think “Swamp Thing” crossed with “Holiday Rap” and you are… well, still nowhere near, really. I suspect I will have had enough of it VERY soon, but for now I am quite enjoying it.

Chuck Eddy: If you miss this train they’re on, you will know that they are gone, lawd they’re 500 miles away from home. Then it really goes folk revival on us (by which I mean early ’60s, New Christy Minstrels era). Everlast would be proud.

Additional Scores

Michaelangelo Matos: [5]
Alfred Soto: [5]

6 Responses to “Paperboys – Lonesome Traveller”

  1. Sub-Urban Dance Squad.

  2. I swear to God, when I heard this, the first thing I thought of was Komar and Melamid’s “The Most Unwanted Music”:

  3. Peter Parrish: Wrong on banjos. Wrong for this country.

  4. lol I am SHOCKED to be the only one really feeling this

  5. Banjos, more like banNOS. Err .. yeah.

    They even have ‘ban’ in their name. It’s like they want to be put out of their misery and removed from society.

  6. I’m with Skidmore – it’s kind of dumb and the rapping sucks but I like it anyway.