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Jay-Z ft. Mr Hudson - 'Young Forever'

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Fraser McAlpine | 17:52 UK time, Monday, 18 January 2010


Do you like waffle? Waffle with plenty of super-sugary syrup? Waffle and syrup and a great big vanillary dollop on the top? You DO? This is great news!

And you're not alone. Lots of people love waffle. In fact, it would be fair to say that someone, somewhere is enjoying a waffly treat right NOW.

Me, I'm not so keen, and I think that's because it's hard to get the mixture just right. Either the waffle is too stodgy, or the syrup is too thick and cloying, or the vanilla is so overpowering, the other stuff might as well not be there.

*switches off clever food metaphor machine* OK, so this song...

(Here's the video. It thinks it's a movie, CAN YOU TELL??)

I get that this is a deliberately anthemic song, and therefore needs to be slow enough for audiences to sing en masse. For the same reason, there can't be anything too spiky or surprising, otherwise you lose the people who don't know all the words. It needs to be slow and lumbering and simple, and that is exactly what it is.

The best bit, for me, is Jay's first verse, where he's effectively describing what his idea of Heaven is. Not a heavenly day, you understand, but actual, real, capital-H Heaven. This comes after a quite slow start, in which Mr Hudson does that Sting thing again (better than in his N-Dubz contribution, it must be said), and before a long second half, where there's a second verse which does nothing to enhance the impact of the first and the chorus comes around a few more times.

In a gig environment - as seen in the video - the chorus thing is a cue for everyone to have a good old sing-song, and as such, cannot be argued with. If, on the other hand, you're not at a gig, or you're not really in the mood for it, it can grate a little.

So, there are times when my experience of this song is as follows: I hear it, I don't like it, I like it, I go off it, I hate it.

But it's not all bad news in my little world. Why, only today I discovered that a lot of people on the internet believe the correct spelling of 'psychedelia' is 'spychedelia'. Not a world-shaking discovery, you may think, but the image of a hippy James Bond is quite appealing, don't you think?

Three starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: January 11th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    Don't like this song much On To The Next One and Off That would both be better singles, this song is just so slow. Its so slow that Jay Z doesn't seem to be able to rap to it, he doesn't know if he should go slow or fast so he just does both.

  • Comment number 2.

    I have to disagree. This is one of my favourite songs at the minute and Mr Hudson is really good on the track.

    As is Jay Z.

    The lyrics are nice and I love how it just goes round and round.
    The video is amazing too. And a little fact here for you: A friend of a friend is in the video.

    Anyways, I'm a little bit of a fanboy so my contributions to this blog will be bias.

    I really hope that On To The Next One is his next single. The video is really good, really dark. Although, everyone I've showed it too has loved the video but hated the song so...

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


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