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Artist: Jay Sean (feat. Lil Wayne)
Conklin: My favorite thing about Jay Sean is that in his Wikipedia entry he’s referred to as “the first British-Asian singer to sign with an American label,” as if he’ll one day be looked at in the same light as Sandra Day O’Connor or Jackie Robinson. My least favorite thing about Jay Sean is this song, which is sort of the quintessential R&B song of 2009, at least in that it’s tinny as all hell, there’s a whole bunch of auto-tune, it expresses only one thought throughout its entire three and a half minutes, and, most importantly, it features a guest spot from Weezy, which is so dialed-in it’s ridiculous. Someone should do a study evaluating the staying power of pop singers relative to the quality of Lil Wayne’s guest verse on their singles.
Dougherty: This song, especially the video of Sean and his dancers throwing around weird little orbs of light, is basically a rehash of “Forever,” that last huge hit Chris Brown had before he did that other song about beating the crap out of Rihanna and being the worst dude on the planet. Oh wait, my bad, that wasn’t a song... that was real fucking life. I understand the need to do a rush job on whatever beefy dude who can sort of dance to occupy the Chris Brown market share, but can’t it be done without imitating him so exactly? Next thing you know, Jay Sean will be on TV pimping Fruit Stripe, Keri Hilson will be in stitches, and “Down” will be the soundtrack to some viral video of people dancing through a childbirth. Please don’t let history repeat itself, America.
Title: She Wolf
Conklin: This song is ok, I guess. I don’t know what it’s about, and I can’t really understand any of the words, but there’s one part where Shakira goes “a-oooooh!” like Warren Zevon, and it is very enjoyable. The rest of it, though… I’m just not sure. Truthfully? The only time I’ve ever heard it was just a few minutes ago, and I was distracted by the video, during which Shakira dances around in a cage and seems to be saying over and over again, “Oh, look at me, these are some of the super weird things I would do with my body if we were to have sex.”
Dougherty:There was a trend piece about vampires in the Times a couple months ago, which must mean we’re now years deep into supposedly caring about them (if a national fixation on Robert Pattinson’s bone structure and Anna Paquin’s half-nakedness really constitutes an interest in vampires, that is). Apparently, though, no one told Shakira, who in this song is so undersexed that she skips vampire altogether and turns into a she wolf, so hard that she uses the word “lycanthropy,” which werewolves presumably do all the time. I hope her next single is a response to the hipster beer belly article, because seriously, somebody needs to shut that thing down.