Going into this track I really didn’t expect much. MAGIC! are one of those types of groups who just float on by, shamefully being remembered for a track that fans cite as their worst song; trust me I know the feeling with Alien Ant Farm. Unfortunately I only know one song by this group, and yes it is that worst song… Rude. That song sucked in my opinion for multiple reasons not least including the terrible lyrics and the lazy reggae beat; but I didn’t hate it. It was a clear commercial gem and a clever business orientated track for this group to produce… I can’t hate on good business. So with that in mind and such little experience with the group’s repertoire, I have to say I went into this track with a clean slate. With this all in mind, what did I think?
It was pretty good, I actually somewhat enjoyed it! Sure it was an ultimate cheese fest from start to finish, but there were a lot of great ideas being thrown around here. Instrumentally I thought the track excelled further than what I expected too, really rising above any expectations for a pop track. Let me take you deeper however, point by point, analysing why I actually enjoyed this track.
Production wise the track was tampered in the most minimal of ways. Sure there was a little noise-gating, some vocal touch up work and and some mastering done, but nothing glaringly obvious draped over the track. I loved this approach because there is nothing I can’t stand more than an over-produced acoustic ballad. The guitar sounded crisp and pure, the cello hearty yet delicate, the percussion soft and the harmonies rich with clarity and ambience. Great stuff really.
Onto the musicality of the track, I felt the song was a solid effort again. The guitar transitional work had some really tasty decorative licks and the vocal melodies were competently thought out. The finger-picking chord progression also worked well on this track to add this rustic timbre to the mix; I enjoyed it a lot. The vocals were simplistic and held back, which I actually preferred since the song suited a subdued approach rather than an over-dramatic, crooning marathon. Structurally the song was pretty safe never stepping outside of the regular pop-track boundaries, but I think this allowed for the perfect run-time length and for each section to be fully explored.
Lyrically the song was mighty cheesy with some pretty lame phrases from section to section, but they weren’t so bad that I can really criticise them all too much. To me the lyrics were just a function to allow the syllabic nature of the melody to flow appropriately. Don’t get me wrong, the song would of been elevated multiple times higher with some more intelligent phrasing, but it didn’t hurt too much to just listen to what we were given.
7/10 – A surprisingly strong contribution from a group that I perhaps under-estimated.