Single Review: Pearl Jam “Love Boat Captain”

Love Boat Captain
Album: Riot Act
Year: 2003

Eddie Vedder believes if more people were compassionate, the world would be a positive place in the purposeful “Love Boat Captain.”

Vedder mumbles along to imploring guitars. The days have begun to blend together, with each day being the same as the one before it. He comments that people instantly feel love but it soon becomes uncertain and agonizing. It can be manipulative and hopeless as people remain mute to other people’s needs. (“Is this just another day,… this god forgotten place?/First comes love, then comes pain. Let the games begin,/Questions rise and answers fall,… insurmountable.”)

As he’s on the metaphorical boat, which symbolizes a place away from the negativity going on around him, he repeats the Beatles’ famous refrain: “all you need is love.” He instructs the captain of the boat to an untainted land. (“Love boat captain/Take the reigns and steer us towards the clear,… here./It’s already been sung, but it can’t be said enough/All you need is love.”)

Natural disasters occur, people self-destruct and then pretend their past didn’t exist. He chides people for being cynical. He adds that once they are able to love themselves, things won’t be as overwhelming. (“Is this just another phase? Earthquakes making waves/Trying to shake the cancer off? Stupid human beings/Once you hold the hand of love,.. it’s all surmountable.”)

He asks his girlfriend to hug him and to be his only reality. His girlfriend is all he has. He’s insignificant in regards to the world. He’s just another person, slugging his way through life. The only religion he has faith in is love. (“Hold me, and make it the truth/That when all is lost there will be you/Cause to the universe I don’t mean a thing/And there’s just one word I still believe/
And it’s…”)

In the second verse, he has become accustomed to his unhappiness. He saw on the news two years ago that nine people had died. He thinks if he had known them, what would they have been like? What were their goals? He wonders if people tire of living and would wish they had only been alive for a couple years less. (“It’s an art to live with pain,… mix the light into grey/Lost 9 friends we’ll never know,.. 2 years ago today/And if our lives became too long, would it add to our regret?”)

He notes that teenagers only think of what’s going on today rather than the big picture. Senior citizens aren’t valued or listened to in society. Life can bring much fear but it won’t go away. It’s always there. (“And the young, they can lose hope cause they can’t see beyond today/The wisdom that the old can’t give away/Hey/Constant recoil/Sometimes life/Don’t leave you alone.”)

The pre-chorus is sung again. (“hold me and make it the truth….love, love, love, love.”)

The chorus ends the single, with Vedder repeating the word “love.”

The introspective “Love Boat Captain” takes awhile to get started. At first, his beliefs seem to be naive. However, as Vedder describes his emotions in better detail the single picks up. The metaphor is imaginative but underdeveloped. The retro pop culture reference (“Love Boat”) suggests that life was easier living on the water and being in a self-contained world.

Standard

Single Review: Black Eyed Peas “Don’t Phunk With My Heart”

Don’t Phunk With My Heart
Album: Monkey Buisness
Year: 2005

Will.i.am reassures Fergie he’s faithful. However, she thinks once he sleeps with her, he’s gone in the xeroxed beats of “Don’t Phunk With My Heart.”

Ceremonious strings and drums start the single. Fergie then sings the chorus with Hindi vocals.(“no no, no, no, don’t phunk with my heart (yeah)/No, no, no, no, don’t phunk with my heart.”)

Hard-hitting drums follow with the Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam sample, “I Wonder If I Take You Home” underneath it.

After the chorus is sung once “no, no, no, no don’t phunk with my heart,”) Fergie sings a striking version of the sample’s chorus. (“I wonder if I take you home/Would you still be in love, baby (in love, baby)/I wonder if I take you home/Would you still be in love, baby (in love, baby”)

Once Will.i.am dryly raps, the vigor evaporates. He tells Fergie that he’s dedicated to her and deep down she knows it. She got his attention right away. A pistol gunshot is then heard (to go with the word.) He’s in love with her and says he’s not leaving her. She has him for life. (“Girl, you know you got me, got me/With your pistol shot me, shot me/And I’m here helplessly/In love and nothing can stop me./You can’t stop me cause once I start it/
Can’t return me cause once you bought it/I’m coming baby, don’t got it (don’t make me wait)/
So let’s be about it.”)

In the second verse, he says he’s not using her for sex. He likes her brain and thinks she’s a special girl. He would like a serious relationship with her. He’s someone she can rely on. (“Baby, have some trustin’, trustin’/When I come in lustin’, lustin’/Cause I bring you that comfort/
I ain’t only here cause I want ya body/I want your mind too/Interestin’s what I find you/
And I’m interested in the long haul/Come on girl (yee-haw.”)

The cringeworthy “yee-haw!” is topped by sound of horse galloping and Will.i.am telling it to “come on!” It’s as a bad as coleslaw stuck in the sun for a few hours.

After the pre-chorus (“I wonder if you take me home…”) and chorus, the third verse begins. He says their relationship is not unstable. He then compares them to R&B’s Sid and Nancy – Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston. He’s not himself lately, he’s crazy in love. He’s foolish. He can’t do this. It’s far too soon for Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” references. (“Girl, you had me, once you kissed me/My love for you is not iffy/I always want you with me/I’ll play Bobby and you’ll play Whitney/If you smoke, I’ll smoke too/That’s how much I’m in love with you/Crazy is what crazy do/Crazy in love, I’m a crazy fool.”)

Will.i.am then pretends to be like Nelly by southerning up his words. He asks why she’s uptight. He loves her for who she is but yet Fergie thinks he’s messing around. (“Why are you so insecure/When you got passion and love her/You always claimin’ I’m a cheater/Think I’d up and go leave ya/For another señorita/You forgot that I need ya/You must’ve caught amnesia/
That’s why you don’t believe.”)

He then puts on a pseudo-detached DJ voice and says “uh, yeah check it out.”) He then tells her he’s whipped. (“Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing, baby/Cause you know you got me by a string, baby/Don’t you worry ‘bout a thing, baby/Cause you know you got me by a string, baby.”)

An early 90s dance beat follows (which might be a Prodigy sample.) He compliments her, saying he’s fulfilled. He rather be with her than ogle other women. She’s his true love. (“Baby girl, you make me feel/You know you make me feel so real/I love you more than sex appeal/
(Cause you’re) That-tha, that tha, that-tha, that girl” The phrase “that girl” is repeated five times.

Then, the two phrases (“don’t phunk with my heart,” “that girl”) overlap twice.

The pre-chorus is then followed by “don’t you worry ’bout a thing baby…’cause you know you got me by a string, baby.” The ceremonious strings return for a dramatic finish.

The Black Eyed Peas reimagining of “I Wonder If I Take You Home” instrumentation is brilliant. The 2005 version of the freestyle single is transformed into a funk jam. Fergie stands out, having her best vocal moment with the Black Eyed Peas. However, Will.i.am’s tedious raps and sound effects drain the fun from the single with a single syllable.

Standard

Single Review: S Club 7 “Say Goodbye”

Say Goodbye
Album: Best
Year: 2003

Jo, Rachel, Hannah, Tina, Jon, and Bradley bid farwell to their fans in the soggy “Say Goodbye.”

Lonesome strings start the single which Jo “oh yeah’s” over. She asks if people will remember their television show and music videos. She wonders if they will be thought as a fun, spontaneous band. Then, Jon tells the fans that it had to end eventually and everyone is going their seperate ways. (“In the years to come/Will you think about these moments that we shared/In years to come/Are you gonna think it over/And how we lived each day with no regrets/Nothing lasts forever though we want it to/The road ahead holds different dreams for me and you.”)

In the chorus, she says goodbyes are tough but necessary. Jo says she’ll miss the fans and reassures them. (“Sometimes goodbye, though it hurts in your heart/is the only way for destiny/
Sometimes goodbye, though it hurts/is the only way now for you and me/Though it’s the hardest thing to say/I’ll miss your love in every way/So say goodbye/But don’t you cry/Cos true love never dies.”)

Next, Rachel says they may regret a fight they had with someone within the group.
Tina says they might run into each other in the pouring rain. Bradley adds that it’s fate for them to be split up. However, he would opt to stay together. (“In a year from now/Maybe there’ll be thing we’ll wish we’d never said/In a year from now/Maybe we’ll see each other/Standing on the same street corner though it rains/Each and every end is always written in the stars/If only I could stop the world/I’d make this last.”)

In the bridge, Jo says they will remain close friends and be there for each other. (“And when you need my arms to run into/I’ll come for you/Nothing will ever change the way I feel.”)

The appoproiate “Say Goodbye” covers all the PR bases: the split wasn’t something they wanted to happen, they’ll be BFF forever, they wish they hadn’t fought, etc. Unfortunately, it’s a calculated farewell to maintain a positive image of the band.

Standard

Single Review: Natasha Bedingfield “These Words”

These Words
Album: Unwritten
Year: 2005

Natasha Bedingfield has difficulty writing a love song in the jumbled “These Words.”

Tumid drum machines, keyboards, and record scratching begin the single. Bedingfield adlibs “these words of mine, ah ah ah.” She says she’s a musician and it’s her identity. She decided to play with the chords D-E-F to create a song. It’s her responsibility to make the song, not anyone else’s. But she can’t concentrate. Her mind is drawing a blank on ideas and she could use some advice. (“Threw some chords together/The combination D-E-F/Is who I am, is what I do/No one’s gonna lay it down for you/Try to focus my attention/But I feel so A-D-D/I need some help, some inspiration/(But it’s not coming easily)/Whoah oh”)

In the pre-chorus, she aims to write something memorable which will be played on the radio long after she has faded into obscurity. Her trash can is filled with looseleaf paper with rejected song lyrics. (“Trying to find the magic/Trying to write a classic/Don’t you know, don’t you know, don’t you know?/Waste-bin full of paper/Clever rhymes, see you later.”)

In the chorus, she says her lyrics come from the heart. She decides to just say it: “I love you.” It’s the only way she knows how. (“These words are my own/From my heart flow/I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you/There’s no other way;/To better say/I love you, I love you.”)

To get some inspiration, she dug out some poetry books and read classic poems. She then opted to sample Lord Byron, Shelly, and Keats alongside a modern rap beat. However, it’s still not helping her. She can’t go the recording studio without having a song. However, her new romance has put pressure on her to write the perfect love song. (“Read some Byron, Shelly and Keats/Recited it over a hip-hop beat/I’m having trouble saying what I mean/With dead poets and drum machines/I know I had some studio time booked/But I couldn’t find a killer hook/Now you’ve gone & raised the bar right up/Nothing I write is ever good enough.”)

In the bridge, she says she’s not to going use an elaborate gestures and metaphors to describe her feelings. She’s only going to say what she feels. (“I’m getting off my stage/The curtains pull away/No hyperbole to hide behind/My naked soul exposes/Whoah.. oh.. oh.. oh.. Whoah.. oh..”)

The chorus ends the single. However, Bedingfield adds if it’s all right if she only says “I love you” and not anything else. (“I love you/I love you…I love you, is that okay?”)

The dishevelled “These Words” is more about writing a single than it’s actual topic. Important information is omitted (who is the song about? why is she singing to it him?) Meanwhile unnecessary details (being the recording studio, not being able to write an imaginative hook.) are kept in. “These Words” should’ve gone into the trash can like the other songs she tried to write.

Standard

Single Review: Michael Jackson “One More Chance”

One More Chance
Album: Number Ones
Year: 2003

Michael Jackson pleads for the public’s…er, his girlfriend’s forgiveness in the unconvincing “One More Chance.”

Atoning strings praise and bow as Jackson “uh huh alright’s.”

He says to his girl….Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! (I can’t even type the word with a straight face.)
Anyway, he says it’s gonna be a person and he needs to have fame in order to survive.. He adds he’s crying all the time and has have the public’s attention again. He tells his friend, Chris Tucker, to pass along the his apology. (“This time gonna do my best to make it right/Can’t go on without you by my side/Hold on/Shelter come and rescue me out of this storm/And out of this cold I need someone/Oh why oh why why why/If you see her/tell her this from me/All I need is.”)

He wants another chance to gain back the public’s trust. (“One more chance at love/One more chance at love/(One more)/One more chance at love/One more chance at love/
(See)/(One more)/One more chance at love…(Alright)/One more chance at love.”)

He’s been looking to his fans to give him his self-worth. Through them, he will discover the meaning of life..and stuff. He has a big, gray rain cloud over his head due to his pain of not being as beloved post-HIStory. (“Searching for that one who is going to make me whole/Help me make these mysteries unfold/Hold on/Lightning about to strike in rain only on me/Hurt so bad sometimes it’s hard to breathe/Oh why why/If you see her/Tell her this from me/All I need is.”)

He would do anything to have the same level of fame he had during the “Thriller” era. He will hold press conferences, smear a little boy, and fake sickness. Fame is as necessary as water. (“And I would walk around this world to find her/And I don’t care what it takes no/Why/
I’d sail the seven seas to be near her/And if you happen to see her/See tell her this from me.”)

The phrase “one more chance” with adlibs is repeated an astounding 20 times. It’s an all-time record.

“So,” as you sit and read my blog, thinking “why is Dusk so biting tonight?” I can’t believe Jackson in a romantic relationship with a woman or even an adult man, for that matter. I also believe “One More Chance” is Jackson trying to gain sympathy after the scatching and telling Bashir documentary. Unfortunately, his persona eclipses the music circa 1993. In turn, his behavior is fair game.

Standard

Single Review: Mya “Fallen”

Fallen
Album: Moodring
Year: 2004

Mya’s new relationship blossoms into love in the dreamy “Fallen.”

Summery guitars and record scratching open the single. Over floating strings, Mya adlibs “oh, yeah, huh oh.”

She has found a guy who fills a void inside her. He’s as necessary to her as breathing. When she hugs him, her problems fade. She’s in love with him and wants to tell everyone she knows about it. She met him by chance. (“You complete me/Like air and water boy/I need thee
And when I’m in your arms I feel free/Fallen/My heads up in the clouds in love/I’m proud/To you say it loud/Like an accident it happend/Out of nowhere/It just happend/And I ain’t mad at all/Because I’ve.”)

In the chorus, she says she’s fallen on the floor and can’t get up! The emergency: spontaneous swooning She turns off her Life Alert products and continues to relish her emotions. (“Fallen/Head over heels/I’ve fallen/In love with you/I’ve fallen/And I can’t get up
Don’t wanna get up/Because of love (Because of love)/Fallen…because of love.”)

She knows she has a keeper. For the time being, she’s dealing with his annoying habits and trying to get a commitment out of him. (“Baby/To let you get away is crazy (Let you get away)/
so I’m doing what it takes/To make you pledge your love to me/You see cause I’m tryna be your lady/For ever and ever baby/The picture wouldn’t be the same/If you weren’t standing next to me/Can’t you see I’m fallen.”)

They are compatible and she notes she’s not using him to show off to her friends. She knows he wouldn’t abuse or harm her in anyway. He puts up with her quirks which she appreciates. He’s the highlight of her day. (“You complement me/Not an accesory/You’re necessary/
You never could speak bad words against me/Your bear with me/Security/Are you here with me/Your my happiness/My joy (Joy)/And all because of you boy/I look forward to the time
I spend with you/Whatever it is we do.”)

In the sensual bridge, Mya whispers to him, telling him to touch, hold, kiss and love her. (“Touch me (Touch me)/Hold me (Hold me)/Love me (Love me)/Kiss me/In love with you
Talk to me (Talk to me)/Caress me (Oh)/Play with me/Don’t wanna get up/Explore me/
You’re my everything.”

The chorus is sung four times to end the single.

Mya finally experiences adult love in the passionate “Fallen.” She has evolved from a bitter teenager singing about multiple failed romances to realizing what love really should be. However, it does falter. The lyrics “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” evoke laughter due to the 80s commercial. While it makes sense in context of the song, the phrase is associated with Life Alert and the funny old lady who fell onto the floor.

Standard

Single Review: Paulina Rubio “The One You Love”

The One You Love
Album: Border Girl
Year: 2002

Paulina Rubio wishes to be a confidante and cheerleader to her crush in the doting “The One You Love.”)

Not-too-exotic drums are strummed to begin the single. Rubio says she will be there to celebrate or comfort him in two redundant metaphors. If he needs someone talk to, she offers to listen day or night. She comments they have a lot in common and will be compatible. She won’t be a bitter person and drag him down. She’ll support him. (“when you’re on top of the world/Or it’s got you down/When you’re flying through the air/Or you’re crashing to the ground/When you’re searching for the light/And it’s nowhere to be found/Just phone me baby/And I know we’ll be the same/The air won’t tie you down/I won’t ever be the broken wings/That keep you off the ground/But when you start to see/I will be the sound/Just let me baby.”)

She wants to be his girlfriend. She wants to complete his life and be the girl he has been looking for. She’s willing to do whatever it takes for him to be hers. (“I only wanna be the one you love/I only wanna be the one you want/Come and get me baby/Let me loose inside your soul/I only wanna be your every need/I wanna be the girl in all your dreams/I’ll do anything to be/The one you love.”)

She tells him he can talk to her about any subject, including his darkest secrets. She won’t judge. She compliments him on his good looks. She adds she wants to reveal everything about herself to him. She’ll be an open book. (“Baby you can tell me everything/The secrets of your heart/If you could look inside of me/You’d see how beautiful you are/I wanna show you everything/Each and every part of me is yours/Just take it baby.”)

The guitar soars and whirls in the bridge. Rubio says she wants to be the girl who wants to get to know emotionally and physically. (“Let me be the lover/You want to uncover/Let me be the one you love.”) After some pushy guitars, Rubio’s become fuzzy as she exclaims “hey baby.”

The chorus is repeated four times to end the single.

The cozy “The One You Love” finds the Latin-American Paulina Rubio aiming to break into the United States. While she has a grasp of English language, her material needs to have a flair to it. “The One You Love” is a pleasant but ordinary listen.

Standard