Single Review: Eliza Doolittle – ‘Skinny Genes’

After achieving moderate success, then very big success, then absolutely no success at all, you’d think Eliza would take a leaf out of her own book and pack up her troubles and move to album number two. Unfortunately though, she’s only gone and released a rescue single in the form of ‘Skinny Genes’, which incidentally was also her first single, which peaked at #22 upon original release.

It doesn’t say much for her album though, does it? Having actually released only three singles – ‘Skinny Genes’, ‘Pack Up’ and ‘Rollerblades’ – from an album which boasts thirteen tracks (nineteen on the Deluxe edition), she’s basically saying – “I’ve only got three commercial songs that you may or may not like on this here album, and considering a can’t choose a new single amongst the ten/sixteen other tracks, I’ll re-release my first one”.

Now, the re-release of ‘Skinny Genes’ also comes with a shiny new video, to oust the whiff of cheapness about re-releases. But other than that, the song is still the same cheeky little pop ditty Eliza seems to be making a name for herself with. It’s the kind of song that’s meant to be all offensive, but is about as offensive as a glass of water. I use that analogy in more ways than just a symbolising the song’s impact – it’s also because the song itself is reasonably dull and plain in comparison to something like ‘Pack Up’. Not that you should expect more from Eliza though, but when you look at the lyrics and discover – putting it bluntly – that she is singing about a man who she cannot stand, however, she loves his semen and the many expert ways in which he gives her his semen, you do think something more could’ve been done with the delivery and production.

When listening to the song, you’ll find no surprises production-wise – there’s that typical percussion loop, the laid back piano twinkle, and a gimmicky whistle to add some vitality amongst Eliza’s seemingly bored vocals which, on the plus side, do convince considering the context of the song and the main reason she’s a little miffed is because someone’s got her goat. Although, it would be nice to hear her above the rest of the song because it times she just seems swallowed up by it all, which is quite an achievement seeing as for the most part, the whole song sounds like it could be the soundtrack to an elderly couple with arthritic knees walking across a sandy beach; it just sounds so pedestrian and bored you could lose interest very easily. For example – at 1:23, Eliza says – “Show me what you got underneath”, but it has to be the most un-interested that that line has ever been spoken in the history of slightly controversial pop music.

One of the biggest issues with this song, is one of the issues that people like Marina & The Diamonds or Ellie Goulding faces – you really can’t warm to the song without warming to Eliza first. For some, it’s easy to overlook the constantly cheery persona she gives off – even when she’s being offensive or crude, she comes across as sweet as a six year old who’s just made her first batch of gingerbread men with her mum, but for others, like myself at times – and ‘Skinny Genes’ is one of those times – you just wish a little more attitude had been injected into the song. That’s what makes people like Ke$ha or, more relevantly, Paloma Faith standout amongst an array of personality vacuums – the fact they have a certain bravado or sassiness about them.

Here’s the video: it’s innuendo o’clock!

2:03… What a brilliant light switch!

‘Skinny Genes’ is probably the most inoffensive song of the year, and it was released twice? I say “most inoffensive”, and on that, you could easily throw back an Olly Murs song but at least Mr. Murs wasn’t trying to be sleazy and/or sultry whilst warbling along. ‘Skinny Genes’ has the sort of lyrics that would appear childish to stroppy teenager in the middle of a hormonal outburst and a sedated musical production that would most likely accompany a silent comedy sketch than a “Come on, boy”-type of song.

Rating: 2.5 STARS

Download: December 27, 2010 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: ‘Eliza Doolittle’

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