The best track of 2013 gets everything “Blurred Lines” got wrong right

Last Tuesday this popped up on OFWGKTA’s youtube, stop and listen to it before going any further.

I’ve been listening to it nonstop since last week, it’s permeated nearly every waking moment of my life. And in a year that’s had its share of dazzling pop tracks it’s left everything else in its wake. Particularly song of the summer/rape anthem/clickbait generating device Blurred Lines. In many ways Dontcha’s a stern rebuttal to Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.’s hit; both share a soulful throwback sound and both see their singer coming on to a woman at a club. Yet where Thicke commands, makes attempts to domesticate and generally lays it on a bit too…thick to the point of PUA sketchiness before pulling back and leaving it up to his quarry, Syd tha Kid exhales come-ons in airy tweets asking for her counterpart’s affection and a relationship. It’d be touching if it weren’t so damn sexy. And that’s the key difference between the two tracks, Blurred Lines’ sexualized bounceĀ (lifted from Marvin Gaye in dubious circumstances) sounds like someone getting to second base in the opening bars then dryhumps its way through the next 4 minutes and change without actually being sexy. “Dontcha” is a legit slow jam thanks to Syd’s vocals and the production her and the rest of The Internet lay down. It’s perhaps the strongest production I’ve heard yet from the OF collective who too often go for goofy assonant sounds below their level as a production crew. Odd Future’s sound and indeed formation at least concerning The Internet’s Matt Martians hooking up with the group owe a huge debt to Pharrell and Chad Hugo, but in this case the student has eclipsed the master.

Even the minimalist video serves as a rejoinder to Thicke’s use of women as props, the video’s warm white balance slathering on an extra layer of dirty old man. Suited up sleaze meet Syd kitted out in socks, jeans and a white tee, carabiner key chain hanging off her belt loop all casual cool as if she dropped in from touring with OF to go in on the video in one take. Where Thicke and friends ham it up like Benny Hill, Syd simply sings like she’s in the studio; where one makes you listen to the single by virtue of cultural ubiquity, The Internet invite you into their world and have you counting down the days until the full length Feel Good drops.

Advertisements