Friday, July 29, 2011

Nadia Oh – ‘Taking Over The Dancefloor’ (Single Review)

Probably the most controversial entry on the 2011 Popjustice £20 Music Prize shortlist, it’s also one of the more interesting picks on a list that’s about 50/50 on sentimental vs. experimental. Nadia Oh is a protégée of producer Space Cowboy, who produced or co-wrote several early Lady Gaga tracks including the great “Christmas Tree.” This is the lead single off her second album, Colours, which is probably why it’s been renamed from its original title, “Kate Middleton,” although the name remains in the song and lends a nice social commentary aspect to the mechanical proclamations of “Take your money/ We gon’ take your money/ Throw your wallets in the sky.”
Nadia Oh Kate Middleton

While dubstep is currently working its way into American pop, this track plays with a much newer subgenre of dance music called Moombahton, characteristics of which include chopped electronic vocals, 108 BPM tempo, and creative and new percussion elements. Accordingly, Oh comes off like M.I.A.’s hotter, less obnoxious little sister, and she’s really just taking the robotic/bionic theme Christina Aguilera, Robyn and Britney Spears have been playing with up a level and being more direct about it, and if that isn’t so 2011 I don’t know what is. It's pretty in-your-face, which I like (I tend to listen to this whenever I'm feeling rebellious and/or particularly annoyed with the human race). The video, a riff on the so-bad-it's-good-or-is-it 1995 clip for Los Del Rio's "Macarena," is only a minute and a half long, because that's all it needs to be to get the point across. The actual track runs six minutes and change, which is precisely the amount of time it takes to pound someone into submission. Seriously. Try it.

“Taking Over the Dancefloor” is the kind of track one either loves from the get-go (as I did, I’m surprised to say), hates until having a sudden epiphany after the eleventh play, or finds instantly obnoxious and never listens to it again. If a song is a popular radio staple, the last reaction can often be reversed over time, but then again so could the first; in this case, they might as well have stuck with calling it "Kate Middleton" for how accurate the new title has been (it hasn’t exactly taken over anything). But, as Popjustice rightly points out, she rhymes “Moombahton” and “Don Julio Patron” with “Middleton,” which is pretty fantastic.

“Taking Over the Dancefloor (Kate Middleton)”
Nadia Oh
Colours (iTunes)
(2011, Tiger Traxx) 

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