Single Review: Jet “Are You Gonna Be My Girl”

Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Album: Get Born
Year: 2003

Nic Cester chats up a pretty girl in the snappy “Are You Gonna Be My Girl.”

Attentive cymbals and guitar start the single. Cester clears his throat as the two instruments and drums create a roguish, rowdy tone. The guitar has a canny riff which is followed by Cester’s hearty “ow!”

Cester meets a girl and flirts with her. He asks her to hang out with him for the day. She’s beautiful and he wants to date her. She offers to pay for lunch but he tells her to forget it. He’s going to treat her to a fantastic afternoon. (“So 1, 2, 3, take my hand and come with me/because you look so fine/and I really wanna make you mine/I say you look so fine/that I really wanna make you mine/Oh, 4,5,6 c’mon and get your kicks/now you don’t need that money/when you look like that, do ya honey.”) The instruments burst with excitement after the pauses between the verse.

The drums pound for extra emphasis as he describes what he likes about her: her black boots which show only her knees, her silky brown mane and her tough-but-vulnearable demeanor. (“Big black boots/long brown hair/she’s so sweet/with her get back stare.”)

He sees her staying at his place, watching television and making out on the couch. However, she’s already has a boyfriend. They didn’t have a long conversation. But before she leaves, he wants a chance and asks for a date. (“Well I could see/you home with me/but you were with another man, yea!/I know we/ain’t got much to say/before I let you get away, yea!/I said, are you gonna be my girl?”) When he asks his question, Cester is low-key and serious.

The song repeats from the first verse, pre-chorus (“big black boots…with that get back stare.”), and chorus.

Handclaps and the guitar, playing its part of the melody jump again. The bass and drums get involved to accompany Cester’s adlibs of “ooh!” and “yea!”

After the chorus, people give the band deserved applause. The hyper single remains urgent from the instant it starts until he and the girl part. He’s determined to get the date in the few minutes he has. Whether or not he succeeds is not the point (as Jet realized), it’s the encounter itself which is important. Focused and realistic, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” concentrates on the attraction and impulse of love at first sight.

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