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N-Dubz - 'Wouldn't You'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:55 UK time, Sunday, 7 June 2009

N-DubzIn my mind, every time N-Dubz get together to make a new song, they work in a very different way to other artists. For starters, all of the music is prepared beforehand, possibly with the band's involvement, possibly not (this is my imaginary version, remember, I could have Dave Grohl writing all of their music if I like). Anyway, the dramatic strings have been scored and recorded, the plinky synth stabs all sequenced, and the little vocal samples woven into the finished backing track. Then the band arrive.

At this point, someone sits them down, much like a film director would do, and tells them what their motivation is for the song. In this case, Tulisa is a hot lady who is in love with a boy, who is being played by Dappy (let's gloss over the real-life family connection between them, they're acting). Fazer's job is to represent lovestruck male youth in a more general sense, and to back up some of the points Dappy will go on to make about raising a family.

Then they're ushered into a vocal booth and told to improvise the whole thing. Three, two, one...GO!

(Here's the video. And the award for Least Convincing Grease-Monkey goes to...)

Naturally, Dappy starts with his trademark "nah nah nai", so that's the first few seconds sorted. This gives them time to get into character, and then we're off. Tulisa and Dappy take turns in bickering their way through the story, much like a real couple would do. They get a lot of practise in real life, so this part comes easily:

Dappy: "Everyone around me keeps on saying that I must be blind."
Tulisa: "Well they do have a point..."
Dappy: "SHUT UP!"

Soon they're reconciled, and Fazer takes over for the bit where they're lost in the moment and hugging. It's like a Mike Leigh film set to music, only a lot less gritty. And they're self aware enough for Dappy to rap about his girl putting his hat on and teasing his "nah nah nai", which is amazing on literally two levels.

And then with a shout of "cut!" from the director person, their work is done, and they go off into the night, arguing about something ridiculous. The brilliant wee scamps...

Four starsDownload: Out now
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

J Mensah says: "There are better songs on their album 'Uncle B' just waiting to become singles "
Singles Jukebox says: "Yet again N-Dubz make a frustratingly almost-good record."
Stuck Records says: "Without Tinchy helping them along N-Dubz appear to struggle."


  • Comment number 1.

    What?! This is so typical of a BBC music review. Make the song sound ridiculous (which it is) for 95% of the review, then at the end write something like, 'but it is the kind of uselessness i love' and then slap it with 4 stars.

    It just seems like its been done too many times in these reviews. I would put the song at 2 or maybe 3 starts, only for being hilarious. It's not 'catchy' enough for more.

    Look out for the running on the spot dance near the end of the video though, its priceless.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yeah to be honest, it's crap review! You didn't really talk about the song at all but the review sounded like a big joke! That's pretty funny but for someone who hasn't heard the song, they're not gonna have a clue why you ngave it 4 stars.

    I agree with flatknees, I'd give it 3 stars simply cos it's a sexy, mid-tempo R&B song that goes a tiny bit rave at the end but this song is by no means amazing! 3 stars for a listenable song!

  • Comment number 3.

    what a crap review as ususal!! and no dappy aint with tulisa In the video.. theyre both with other people if you actually had a look at the video. When they sing to each other like you said theyre talking about the people theyre with not each other lol. Umm why did you give the song a bad review then give it 4 stars :S weird!!

  • Comment number 4.

    Fraser - are you just going to take that from these amateurs? The whole of ChartBlog's watching...

    You know what else I heard? I heard that Nosheen told Flatknees in double maths that she was gonna batter you behind the science block at lunchtime.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yeah well, I won't be there. So ner!

    I'm meeting my 'alter-ego' JimCig in the deepest recesses of my subconscious for a game of Dark Twister. All the circles are black, and gouging is allowed.

    Nosh, Flat...I love N-Dubz, BECAUSE they are ridiculous. Who says ridiculous is bad?

    There's a fine tradition of preposterousness in pop music, stretching from Little Richard through to Queen and on to Dizzee Rascal and now N-Dubz, and it's ALWAYS better than drab, worthy, boring old 'proper' songs. You read the review wrong, sorry...

  • Comment number 6.

    I never really get the whole 'you didn't say what it sounds like' comments; yes he has, he's said it sounded like a couple having an argument and that that is

    Reviews would be very boring if they went like this-
    First there's a tinkly bit and a touch of synth; the tinkly bit's a tad naff and I don't think much of the synth if I'm honest.
    Then someone does a bit of singing.
    Then theres a bit of chorus, which is quite good.
    Then there's a bit of a breakdown and a dude plays a guitar solo.
    Then it ends.

    [NB: I am making that bit up, not talking about the N-Dubz song]

    That doesn't give you much idea of how the song sounds and would be so boring we'd all cry if every review looked like that; Frasers describing the sense and the nature of the song, which is the most important bit in trying to desribe it, surely?

  • Comment number 7.

    Oh dear; ignore my fail at constructing sentences there, I got up very early this morning.

  • Comment number 8.

    'lol' curtainJerker, lets not get out of hand.

    Hazelchartblog, you are being a bit pedantic, of course a review should not look like that. Neither I nor Enigma said a review should be so overly precise, despite it being an exaggeration. Yes, the sense and nature of the song is what I want from a review, I personally did not get that from it.

    Thank you for answering Fraser, it was decent of you. My main criticism was the format of the review. As i pointed out, it happens so often in these reviews where there is a long story followed by one line at the end that has little to do with what has already been written. It just seems like there is a template or something.

    Also, please think about comparing N-dubz to Queen or Dizzee Rascal. Please.

  • Comment number 9.

    But, even if other ChartBlog reviews do work like that - and we can argue over the difference between a template and a style of writing until the cows come home - this one doesn't.

    It only works like that if you think I'm sneering at N-Dubz from the first paragraph on, and I'm not. I love 'em.

    I don't even understand why I can't compare their preposterousness to that of Queen or Dizzee Rascal. It just sounds like you're saying that because you like Queen and Dizzee, and you don't like N-Dubz.

    If so, that's fine, but that's YOUR slant that makes the review read strangely, not mine.

    Sorry, I realise this reads quite tetchily. Don't want to go on and on...


  • Comment number 10.

    *sticks her nose in*

    I have to say, I think it's a pretty good review. It's a chartblog, so, yeah, it kinda of rambles, but it 'kinda rambles' whilst still talking about the song.
    Although I have been reading the blog for a while (2 years or so?), so I think you pick up more on the tone once you know more about the reviewer's tastes.

  • Comment number 11.

    Hey I agree with what Flatknees said!

    Btw, Fraser I actually find your reviews really funny and most of the most of them are actually good reviews!

    But some of them (such as this one) only talk about the song without explaining it's good or bad points!

    This review was like a long joke and not a review at all!

  • Comment number 12.

    haha fraser HOW DARE YOU insult my devotion to n-dubz!?! I do like them, for being -jokes-, as it were. 'Ouch' regularly graces my speakers and is requested whatever nightclub I'm at.

    I don't think they can be compared to Dizzee or Queen because the aforementioned artists have made a big impact on music as we know it (who actually listened to garage before Dizzee?), whereas N-dubz are a joke, but a funny joke.

    Anyway, enough from me on this.

  • Comment number 13.

    CurtainJerker im not an amateur!!

  • Comment number 14.

    Who actually listened to garage before Dizzee?!

    I got two words for ya, pal:

    Artful Dodger.


  • Comment number 15.

    Let's face facts, if Fraser had to critically discuss and analyse the music and lyrics of most new pop offerings he would go insane and be confined in Arkpop Asylum within days. A sideways and tongue in cheek approach is the only way to guarantee his mental stability..

    Unless the worst has already happened of course, we have no idea where he is writing from.


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