Random Jam of the Week 013

Avinash, uncharacteristically, delves into electronic dance music

 As much as I generally disregard the charts and their inhabitants, I have to give props to this number from across the Atlantic. The second single from Naughty Boy’s upcoming Hotel Cabana knocked Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” off the number one UK spot in May and is currently sandwiched between Pharrell features — under Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and above “Get Lucky.” The Brits must just have better taste in music than us Americans. Maybe I’ll go full music snob. “Sorry, I haven’t heard the new Selena Gomez. I only listen to UK Top 40.”

I’d call it intelligent dance music, but I’ve already wandered a bit close to douchebaggery in this RJOTW. Also, IDM is already a genre and not what I’m referring to. So let’s call it music with thoughtful production and lyrics that won’t make you dumber. Basically, you don’t need molly and/or six vodka Red Bulls to groove to this. Producer Naughty Boy knows how to put together jams. And as he’s showed on Disclosure’s “Latch,” Sam Smith, despite his ridiculously generic name, is a blessing to electronic dance music and pop music in general. He’s got great vocal range and undeniable soul. Most importantly, he sports a quite fashionable sea slug on his head.

“La” in multiple iterations is one of the most commonly used lyrical phrases, but Sam Smith’s la’s are more than just wordless syllables carrying a tune. “La La La” is about drowning out things you don’t want to hear. In the first verse, Smith rejects venomous preaching, religious or otherwise. In the second, he refuses to get broken up with. (Somebody listened to Mario Winans’s masterpiece, “I Don’t Wanna Know”). The song’s chorus brilliantly appropriates a childish gesture, as Smith belts out “I’m covering my ears like a kid. When your words mean nothing, I go la la la la.” Don’t you wish you could solve all your problems like that?


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