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now, i'm not one who refuses to agree with MTV, but seriously, is umbrella really as good as pitchfork says!? maybe i'm missing something, but my ears can't detect even the slightest hint of talent in that song. what do you guys think?
just noticed that i spelled it wrong... sorry
I disliked that song since I first heard it, and I've heard it many (way too many) times since. It might be a little catchy, but that's about all there is to it. I'd say there are about a thousand better songs released this year. At least.
I'll stick up for it, and for Ms. Rhianna (and not simply on the grounds that I happen to find her very attractive). I may not be the best to do so, cause I've only really heard it a few times.
The best way I can defend it is to imagine if this song had been performed by, god forbid, Mariah Carey. The melody in the chorus is simple, albeit catchy. She would have slowed it down, turned it into a bombastic statement of her eternal love. (And as proof of that love, she would have melisma'd the damn thing to death.) We know that plenty of other performers would have done the same. (The song was originally offered to Mary J. Blige, who is wildly unpredictable on that front (leaving aside that she is also often wildly out of tune). She can give us raging psychodrama (poorly and tiresomely), or she can throw down a kick-ass party anthem (see the second greatest song to be titled "Family Affair.")
Rhianna -- and her producer "Tricky" Stewart (no, not the Tricky who actually produced a full album masterpiece in Maxinquaye) -- don't try to make too much of this chorus. She sings with full throat, and the right mixture of sweetness and attitude... just the type who can and would hold that umbrella up above you when its (figuratively) raining. Letting her attitude and personality sell the catchy chorus, rather than vocal pyrotechnics, is a simple enough concept to grasp, but how many performers have forgotten that?
The "ella, ella, ella, eh, eh, eh" hook is sure to divide opinion, but I have not yet tired of it. This is probably reading way too much into it, but it serves as a staccatto punctuation mark on a very long-lined chorus. (What I mean by that is the melodic movement of the chorus stretches over numerous bars.)
Okay, now that I've spent much more time analyzing the song than I have spent actually listening to it, you can feel free to reject my defense of it as nonsense.
I would advice against listening to it more often, as I think you'll get tired of it very quick. On a sort of related note, have you seen her forehead? It's gigantic!
Yes, Neo, I've noticed it, and am a bit ashamed to admit that I refer to her as a hydrocephalic as a result.
Yeah, I've seen her for head.Disappointing.
From a brainless, pop point of view, it's a great song. It really depends on your ability to sink.
I can sink pretty well, and so can Pitchfork. We're so bored of "being wise and serious critics" (though I only do it as a hobby myself) that sometimes we turn the other way around, and try to find the joys that are joyless to the people going the other way.
Sometimes we exaggerate and overrate things that we shouldn't.
But "Umbrella" is still a great brainless pop song.
And EdAmes, I sure hope your post was innocent and there was no pun in it.
Ed, you did it again. Hilarious!
Sinder, did you notice the missing 'e'?
good brainless pop? is there a such thing? how can something be both brainless and good? the closest example i can think of is 50 cent's in da club. sure, the lyrics are bad, brainless even, but the production isn't. the production is both interesting and effective, and anything that can be called interesting can't be called brainless. as for rihanna? in 10 years, will any respectable musician listen to her? i can't see it. to me, that song is just so forgetable. the production? boring. the vocals? boring...
i feel a bit bad saying this... if pitchfork ranks it so high then there must be something good to it. for the life of me though, i can't see it.
Okay. I listented to it again. I was too kind to the song. It's all about the chorus which is catchy but not as great as I made it out to be. There have been better pop songs of its ilk.
As for her forehead: all I can say is I wasn't concentrating on her forehead.
Yeah, Henrik, that was the whole point.
Moeboid, I meant brainless as "brainless", by which I mean that not much care appears to have gone into the song, at least when someone Wise & Critical like you and my former self is involved, but that it possesses a depth in spite of that, an Involuntary Depth. Like blues music, for example, which is not much except for its primal, pure qualities.
This makes it exist in its very own universe, separate from the proverbial Good Music, but with others of its ilk.
So yeah, if you're going to go Wise & Critical on Umbrella, it's just bad. And there's nothing to it; it's just empty.
Therefore, recalibrate your perspective. Slow down, follow the voice (just the voice, not the lyrics), like it was something you chose to be hypnotized by, and melt it in the synths; the beat is just decoration, useful as long as you can't see the dance.
Musically, you'll discover an anachronistic Middle Eastern electronic voodoo ritual from another world, where gods and ancestors and laws are summoned in their stone temples not for guidance, but so they can be admonished, cast down and rendered useless, but in a sweet way.
Whose simple message is that you are alone in life, at least but for your favored friend, who will stick with you, whereas all laws, and gods, and peers exist to you just for themselves, and the default receivers of most affections, which is to say most lovers, will be confused shadows that will just come and go, taking what they want and then that's it. There's just this one person to rely on all the time, which makes it liberating to not count on your other shields, because you have what you need, already.
Well, I hope I made at least someone laugh.
sorry, i simply stopped reading it
well at least she's hot
Schwah's post is very good, although I disagree about Mary J. Blige. There is a big difference between singing out of tune (which I can't recall ever hearing her do, although maybe she does live, I don't know) and making use of "blue notes" (which she does all the time).