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Iyaz - 'Solo'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:26 UK time, Thursday, 27 May 2010


There now follows a diary of musical experience, based on personal reactions to a pop song over time:

Early Thoughts
Oh come on! This is just as bad as Sean Kingston! The music has no weight to it. It's all whisper-soft and cheap and brittle. It's like lift music, or a home keyboard's demo button, or something. AND they've nicked the chorus off Janet Jackson, so the strongest melodic hook in the entire song comes from an older song which was better produced and better sung in the first place.

OK, granted, not everyone is going to remember this, and of the people that DO, only a small percentage are going to care. I'm probably only using it as a stick to beat Iyaz with because the song as a whole hasn't sparked much of a reaction. But this makes me IRRATIONALLY ANGRY, and therefore I feel JUSTIFIED and VENGEFUL.

Don't panic, it'll pass...

(Here's the video. It's tropical, as you'd expect.)

After Some Time And Further Listens
Well, it's not like 'Again' is the worst song in the world to pinch a melody from, is it? And which of us is so content with our own company that we'd argue with the sentiment of the chorus? "I don't want to walk this Earth if I gotta do it solo" is something we've all felt, right? So, OK, they can have that.

And this Iyaz fella...he's a pretty cool young fella, isn't he? I'm sure underneath all the layers of plastinating vocoderpolish there's a good voice struggling to be heard. And if Jason 'Jason Derulo' Derulo can make it big by putting together impressive harmonic displays and then pouring a thick layer of aural perspex over the top (hello JR Rotem!), why can't Iyaz?

I'm right about the music though.

Final Conclusions
People sometimes honk on about 'the test of time' as if this is an actual test you can perform that will definitely, scientifically prove the worth of something. It's not. And even if it was, the fact that people like this song now - and they do - means it's succeeding on its own terms. Anything else is a bonus.

I would've probably recorded it very differently, but then I daresay if our relative situations were reversed, Iyaz would've written a different review, and nobody would've wanted to watch the video. So, y'know...whaddyagonnado? *shrugs*

Three starsDownload: Out now
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Neon Limelight says: "Sadness never looks so...relaxing."

Idolator says: "If he wants to establish a genuinely unique identity, he needs to venture beyond sounding like a carbon-copy Sean Kingston."

Common Sense Media says: "Iyaz relies too heavily on the harmonies of this previous hit to carry the single."


  • Comment number 1.

    Oh please! Iyaz just get lost!

    This song's intro sounds like a demo from one of Mariah Carey's attempts at another Christmas hit. It's just awful.

    And lord knows what he raps in some weird Carribean accent at the beginning, then there's that rediculi (yes, that's plural) 'Baluga Heights'...

    Music is dire, really dire. I could've written that, but I never would've recorded it, because I know it's crap. It's 4 bars of notes and chord repeated over and over again with spitzy drum clap that could only make will.i.am green with envy, and a stupidly over-used hi-hat played in semi-quaver time. How very annoying.

    And the chorus harmonies sound that same a 'Replay's. That was crap too.
    But of course it will chart, becasue Radio 1 are playing it and because girls love him.

    S'Alright for some isn't it?

    1 star.

  • Comment number 2.

    It's the huge , catchy , vocal melody that carries this song , and will deem it infectious to many a listener .
    The song is draped in Summer sunshine , and radio will love it , as much as Peter Crouch loved doing that "robot dance " after scoring a hat trick against Jamaica , a couple of years back .
    Pete has said that he will only do the dance again , if he scores the winning goal in the World Cup Final , so let's hope we see that Arctic Monkey's inspired dance again soon !

    Anyway , back to the song , and it has fantastic commercial prowess , and is heading for the top 10 .

    No doubt , many who are not in the songs target audience , or do not find it inspiring , will like it about as much , as Ashley Cole liked reading yesterdays mail .


  • Comment number 3.

    This song's already in the Top 10, spirit: on downloads alone it stands at #3.

    I knew I heard that hook somewhere, not only can I continue to lament this rediculous production, it now seems we can call it a rip-off... of none other than Janet Jackson's 'Again'.


  • Comment number 4.

    -5 stars. It sucks.

  • Comment number 5.

    3 words:
    Credit Crunch Akon

    Sounds just like his other one, replay is it?
    Don't have much to say about it, it's too awful to comment on.

    1 Star

  • Comment number 6.

    i love that song its a legand!!!!

  • Comment number 7.

    There goes spirit with the topicall metaphors again...the mans a machine...

  • Comment number 8.

    Spirit, what do you think about the lack of an official World Cup song this year?

  • Comment number 9.

    Sakira's singing this year World Cup song isn't she? 'Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)' I believe it's called.

    Haven't heard it yet but it'll probably get a review in the not-too-distant future.

  • Comment number 10.

    Yeah after the number 1 successes of Back Home , World in Motion and Three Lions , is there gonna be a song that grips the Nation over the coming weeks , in the height of World Cup Football Fever ?

    Thranjax , I am so glad the song you put together called :

    Going Out in the Quarter Finals after losing on Penalties , was rightly put in the bin by the Official World Cup Song Panel !

  • Comment number 11.

    I agree Spirit, my usual spot on song writing ability abandoned me in the construction of that one. For today, my song is called "We can win (even if we don't score any goals and they all score own goals for our benefit)".

  • Comment number 12.

    Hmmm... LOL Anyone seen the new Muller Corner Advert?

    Odd request but it really does mean something - the piano backing at the beginning is the same as on this track...

    So wait... that's Janet Jackson and MULLER CORNERS he's ripped off!! :O

    This must not stand.

  • Comment number 13.

    S O L O? sorry what? i'm sure that was in ridin' solo iyaz? i'll forgive you, i love this song.

  • Comment number 14.

    Both 'Ridin' Solo' by Jason Derulo and 'Solo' by Iyaz, resort to spelling out the word 'S.O.L.O.', in almost exactly the same vocal melodies as each other... both of which have of course been auto-tuned.


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