The ultimate task for any artist, new or established, is to make a song that transcends time; a song that can incorporates a bit of every musical genre that has gone past in the last 50 years-or-so, so to introduce a modern, refreshing sound vibe into the charts for the young ones, but something the elderly can tap their toes too at your local Bingo hall. One particularly easy (Okay, let’s be honest: it’s practically cheating) way of doing this is to include a recent sample, á la Madonna’s ‘Hung Up’, combining 21st Century beats with a refrain from ABBA’s ‘Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)’. For a more ‘Now’ example, just look towards Professor Green, who’s sampled INXS’s ‘Need You Tonight’ and The S.O.S. Band’s ‘Just Be Good To Me’ in two of his two releases so far. But for those artists who prefer to tackle this gargantuan task the hard way, well, they deserve a medal.
Eliza Doolittle is a new artist, who could very easily just nick a sample from a classic 80’s song but no, she’s been smart about it, and sampled a 1930’s, World War One march song that soldiers would sing when they were being sent back to Blighty (bit of ‘of the time’ slang there for you). By doing this, she’s clearly put more thought into where she get’s her samples from, she could’ve easily picked something like Coldplay’s ‘Talk’, who’s riff is screaming out to be used in some kind of dance-pop update (I would say Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’, but David Guetta pretty much did that with ‘When Love Takes Over’, he just put the riff in reverse), but no, Eliza has chosen this because A) Hardly anyone but 80-90 year old War Veterans would recognise it, B) Because its very catchy, and C) it adds another dimension of time to proceedings.
The production, typically 50’s dance-hall influenced, and in the same vein of Paloma Faith’s ‘Upside Down’, is predictably cheerful, very catchy, with a 40’s style ‘doo-wop’ to it, and plenty of flatulent brass and tambourines.
You can’t help but smile when you hear it. BELIEVE ME I’VE TRIED.
Moving on, there are also signs that she doesn’t completely live in the past – “When I Google I always get depressed”, and God-forbid she SWEARS! Only bang-up-to-date songs with bad-ass attitudes like Lady G’s ‘Paparazzi’, or Plan B’s ‘Stay Too Long’ should be allowed to say “shit”, but not innocent little Eliza with ‘Pack Up’’! But you see, Eliza Doolittle is clearly a girl of a certain candour. In her début ‘Skinny Genes’, she can be quoted as saying “I really don’t like your skinny jeans/So please take them off for me/So we can do this properly”. So maybe it’s not so much of a surprise then… Thankfully, she uses this candour only to help her appeal to the younger market; to come of as an edgy, quirky teenager who will also appeal to adults with her musical style. Very clever I think you’ll agree. Besides, she is quirky… she climbs out of a suitcase in the video.
She’s even added in some contemporary dance moves from a guy with a broom. How exciting!
Obviously, no song can be perfect, I even complained at B.o.B. and Hayley’s ‘Airplanes’ because it was too short for such an amazing song, and this song has a part to it that might as well feature Pitbull. There’s a certain section, which show Eliza’s feeling free as a bird, lending reason to why she’s just repeating “Tweet tweet tweet” somewhat irritatingly, and it kills the momentum of the song. Never-the-less, if you over look that, and concentrate more of Eliza and George Asaf (the ripe old voice in the chorus) this song is a very enjoyable, summery tune that’s sure to only boost Eliza’s profile.
So, a medal for her for combining 30’s, 40’s and 50’s element into one song, topped off with lyrics that are very now.
End note: Did you know 4Music haven’t seemed to have picked on the fact this song has the word “shit” it in? I guess that’s why they haven’t edited it out for TV airplay. *Counts the days until they realise*
Rating: 4.0 STARS
Download: July 5, 2010 (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Eliza Doolittle’