Sky Ferreira or Inna: Which 'One' is 'Amazing'?
In music, sadness and dancing seem to go together like peanut butter and marmalade: a combination which shouldn't really work, but serves to do nothing but bring out the best in both elements.
Electropop has always known this, which is why so many of its best songs are also the most heartbreaking. And yer silly holiday dance pop has the sadness running through it like the lettering in a stick of rock. Inna and Sky Ferreira know it too, AND their two songs also compliment each other rather nicely.
So it is for THIS REASON ALONE - and not because there seem to be too many noteworthy songs around at the moment - that we shall examine their respective worthinesses together. OK? NOT because of space.
(Here's Inna's video. It's wavy.)
Inna's song sounds like a hit because it already is a hit. Over on mainland Europe they can't get enough of her holiday dance pop, in much the same way that some people can't get enough of Basshunter. Over here, we're probably a little more likely to spot the flaws in her language than collapse in a frothing heap at her feet. But that's the British for you.
You don't even have to go on holiday to feel it, either. One swish of those baked hissy synths, a strum of that guitar, and you can smell the sun cream and chlorine. And it is always nice when yer happy sunshiney dance music remembers that its job is bring the melancholy. Even when singing a song about how astonishing someone looks, Inna makes it sound like she's turning it all on herself, as if their good looks are the only light she can see by, and without them, the entire world is all solid darkness.
Which might not seem like an obviously holiday-friendly thought, until you're waiting at the airport to come home and you realise you're going to have to sleep on a metal bench because your flight is delayed. It'll make perfect sense then.
(Here's Sky Ferreira's video. It's bulbous.)
The funny thing is, while we scoff and sneer at Inna for singing "the speed of the sound", there's another song around which also brings the mournful, also rests on a bed of sad robotics, and takes just as many liberties with the English language - not least because it keeps sticking on key syllables - and yet it will not be the subject of any schoolmarmish disapproval.
This is because Sky Ferreira is clearly an eccentric. And we all know how much the British love an eccentric. So when she stops her melodies halfway through, to repeat "one-one-one-one" or "up-up-up-up", this is perfectly fine. She's singing into a lightbulb after all, we KNOW how this works.
Inna, by trying to make a song which will appeal to as many people as possible, at a time when they are most receptive to that kind of a thing, has merely created a straw donkey of a song. Something you can use to remember the holiday sunshine.
Meanwhile the girl with the blank, robotty voice and the quirky production tick, and the line in her chorus where it sounds like she's singing "hey Hugh Grant", and the chuntering Lego synths, has made a thing which needs to be puzzled out, and that's always a more satisfying experience. Especially in a nation which considers mindless dancing to be, well, a little vulgar.
Dancing AND reading, that's the way to do it!
Unreality Shout says: "There's something really quite soothing about Inna's voice on this track."
Pop From The Block says: "'One' is actually one of a kind. It's dense, robotic, with a dreamlike feel, but it has depth."