Tuesday, August 6th, 2019

Pabllo Vittar ft. Charli XCX – Flash Pose

Does a flash mob seem too extreme for you? Try a flash pose and get all the social media content you need without learning choreography!


Leah Isobel: Junk food pop isn’t necessarily bad pop, but it needs some semblance of structure to work. This is just five hooks awkwardly shoved together. Here’s one point for each.

Will Adams: A disjointed mess, not just with its varied sections — the title hook that stops just short of Todrick-level pandering; the rather nice Euro-pop breakdown; suddenly getting all klangy on Charli’s verse — but lyrically as well. Pabllo Vittar delivers a snotty comment about someone crowding out her solo picture, and immediately after Charli XCX asks you to “get in my picture.” Which is it? It’s sadly unsurprising given this is seemingly Vittar’s attempt at an English-language crossover; throwing darts at the wall to see what sticks.

Wayne Weizhen Zhang: On Drag Race, a fun running gag is RuPaul joking about how drag queens don’t actually need musical talent in order to make music. And he’s largely right: aside from a select few (Adore Delano, Trixie Mattel), most queens releasing music can’t really sing, but bops are born because of conceptual ridiculousness (“Anus“; “Brown Cow Stunning“), willingness to be shameless (Willam once said, “If you got a check, I got a talent”) and frankly, queer fans’ overzealousness at picking up whatever queens put down. Anyways, here’s basically another track in that mold: more fun than it has any right to be given Pabllo Vittar’s barely passable voice, but too campy to not enjoy despite at points sounding dangerously close to “#Selfie.” The highlight, of course, is Charli’s rapped verse: effortless sexy coolness, sealed off with a kiss. I’m waiting for a version with just her which would probably be a [9], but for now, this is a 

Hannah Jocelyn: Yes, this is what Drag Race sounds like to those of us who do not watch it. But I do enjoy a good chorus, if not quite arrhythmic spoken-word segments.

Lauren Gilbert: We didn’t like “#SELFIE” five years ago, and this isn’t much better.

Katherine St Asaph: What if you removed all the contempt from “Selfie” and replaced it with an AlunaGeorge verse? There still wouldn’t be much there, but what is there would be tolerable.

Iain Mew: I’ve recently found that if I watch too much young kids’ TV, half of the voiceovers start to sound incredibly sarcastic, possibly as a mental defence mechanism against that level of unfiltered positivity. Some related illusion occurs with Pabllo’s spoken bits in “Flash Pose:” sarcasm so out of place in the song it goes back round to sounding genuine again, still leaving a bit of a disruptive mess. “Flash Pose” is still enjoyable thanks to Vittar’s work elsewhere with the elastic pre-chorus (shout out Aluna Francis) and a Charli verse which is pretty much on autopilot but trails enough glitter and sound effects to get away with it.

William John: As heavy-handed as being drenched by a bucket of amyl nitrite, but nonetheless hard to deny. Shout-out to co-writer Aluna Francis, who is presumably partly responsible for the exquisite house gloss of the pre-chorus.

Andy Hutchins: Pabllo’s voice is too perfect for ’90s house to belong to a kid born in 1994. Nostalgia addict Charli could have used some tips; instead of going full bore, she refuses to put her heels into the track, contributing a mumbly second verse that works as anchor, not ballast.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I think the most upsetting thing about this is how the repeated spoken word bits are copy/pasted, sucking the life out of a song that should feel spontaneous and thrilling. The pleasantries provided by the AlunaGeorge parts reveal how unexciting the rest of the song is despite the flashy production.

Vikram Joseph: This would pass by unobtrusively in a club, and Charli XCX phones in a passable cameo, but I still can’t see this as anything other than just another identikit disco-house track screaming “queer representation!” while simply purveying the sort of slick, self-consciously sassy, brazenly capitalist, homogenised image of queer nightlife that’s become increasingly pervasive in the post-RuPaul era.

Reader average: [8] (1 vote)

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

12 Responses to “Pabllo Vittar ft. Charli XCX – Flash Pose”

  1. I’m sad I didn’t get my blurb in on time, but I am appreciating the weariness of everyone’s blurbs. I think I basically wrote about how this is the powdered sugar grocery store doughnut equivalent of a lively queer song — aka not vital at all.

  2. did anyone complaining about the “queer vitality” or whatever bother to take a look at the non-english work from pabllo? my guess is that here she had to rely on other people writing for a drag queen, and in brazil… well, she relies on people writing from the biggest pop star in the country right now.

  3. to be fair charli also writes for the biggest pop stars in the country

  4. as far as aluna’s chorus, I don’t know who it was written for but it sure sounds like it came directly off an alunageorge song

  5. I meant that more like “who they’re writing for” than “who is writing”. This is pretty lightweight stuff, it sounds like they’re writing the kind of song they imagine a drag queen would sing, and unfortunately the biggest reference today is RuPaul and the Drag Race girls.

  6. The “queer representation” comments just bothered me because that’s never really been what Pabllo is about, and it’s also not what she’s about here either. Also, I don’t know what Aluna wrote but I would guess it’s the “we can work this out” bit because it’s the best part of the song and has nothing to do with selfies. And I really don’t think she’s being sarcastic in the spoken word bit, to me it just sounds like she’s struggling with the language.

  7. that’s kind of what I was getting at — I’m 90% sure that Aluna Francis’s part, at least, was supposed to be on an AlunaGeorge song but wasn’t (probably since there haven’t been any AlunaGeorge songs released in a while) — the melody “I’m about” in particular, once I realized who wrote it, I can’t not hear in her voice

  8. This is such fabolous track. I’m sad you guys had it wrong

  9. @Luca: if I had time to submit my blurb, I would have pointed out that I think it was a strategic move to appeal to the RuPaul crowd because of the style of this single, which makes this track being flat even worse. (I also think almost everyone in the post pointed that out as well? Or at least insinuated it.) Even Vittar said that this single sounds extremely different from their earlier music, and so I’m annoyed that RuPaulisms is pretty much the sonic shortcut for “queer representation” rn.

  10. Iris, I get where you’re coming from, but I just don’t think that’s quite true. For starters, in the world of pop music these RuPaulisms are still very niche, their audience has virtually no reach outside Drag Race fans. Also, if you google “queer representation” the first results won’t be related to Drag Race at all, it’ll be actual pop stars like Troye Sivan, Olly Alexander, Hayley Kyoko and Kim Petras, and none of them are doing anything remotely like this. So I just don’t see how this could have been anyone’s goal in making this song. As I said, I think this has way more to do with the idea of making “drag queen music” than screaming “queer representation”, and I don’t even think it was opportunistic.

  11. Thanks for sharing, some good points and I see what you are saying! I did do some research and found out that Pabllo is inspired by RuPaul, is a Drag Race superfan, and that’s why she started doing drag, so maybe I was a bit too cynical.

    “As one of the world’s biggest drag artists, you’d think a little show called RuPaul’s Drag Race would be snapping up the opportunity to get Pabllo on board; there’s been plenty of rumours that she’ll appear as a guest judge, after all. We ask if she’s ever been contacted by producers, but surprisingly she hasn’t. “Please Ru, contact me!” she laughs. “I’m a super fan. Drag Race was the reason I started doing drag. So I owe it to Ru. I’ll say it again: Call me Ru!””


    After reading through your comments, I do think it’s possible that she and Charli XCX just thought this was a fun dance track that people would enjoy, and if you’re a RuPaul superfan, might as well put in your inspirations?

  12. This is as by-the-numbers and anonymous as drag music could get, really – Leah’s simplistic blurb is the most spot-on because the song is just that: simplistic. I would add that Charli’s verse drips with an attitude I wish the whole song had, though.

    Listening to this was especially disappointing for me, considering Pabllo’s unprecedented, groundbreaking status here in Brazil, and the fact that most of his music is actually clever in its genre-hopping and just as fun as anything in the Top 40; and the fact that it’s a collaboration with Charli after all, an exciting artist who couldn’t be better suited for Pabllo’s English-language debut.

    But we get a song that makes Manila Luzon’s output sound inspired. Oh well.