Ahhh, Enrique’s back, Spain’s favourite international crooner of huge ballads such as ‘Hero’ as well as upbeat club bangers, ‘Bailamos’, had returned to regain his place at the top of the charts. It’s odd that, us Briton’s seem to have a soft spot for the man. So on his return to the UK mainstream, he should bring back some Spanish spice and all-important variety to the otherwise bland charts, shouldn’t he?
Not that that matters, anything he touches seems to turn into gold – he sang a song where the beat was the recorded sample of a Ping Pong game. Now that’s using your noggin! It went to #3 in the UK and just goes to show musique concréte isn’t dead.
So, after teaming up with RedOne for ‘Greatest Hits’ single ‘Takin’ Back My Love’ (featuring Ciara), he’s back with the Swedish-Moroccan hit-maker once again in the hope that ‘I Like It’ will serve as yet another hit it the bag, whilst interpolating Lionel Richie’s 1983 hit ‘All Night Long (All Night)’.
Well, upon it’s first hearing, the song it unmistakeably RedOne, with lots of name-checking and elements of Cascada’s sound in the synth-chord department. Then an absolute juggernaut of a beat drops, creating the not so much the suspense of say… ‘Poker Face’, but an instant ‘Listen to me now!’ kind of vibe with what must surely be one of RedOne’s most furious productions. Unfortunately, because the beat is so loud and prominent, when it gets removed for the verse (nothing too out of the ordinary) you can actually hear how bare the song is without it. It doesn’t help that our good friend auto-tune makes an unwelcome visit either.
You see, auto-tune is an odd thing – you only need to take a glance at Cheryl Cole/Tweedy’s single ‘Parachute’ to see this. It’s riddled with auto-tune, but it’s easily her best song yet, because you can’t obviously hear it, so it doesn’t detract from the listenable quality of the song. Whereas listen to ‘Fight For This Love’ and she sounds auto-tuned to within an inch of her life, and this does detract from the listenable quality. So auto-tune can be a good thing, but when used wrongly or over-used it can be a bad thing – it’s like alcohol. Yummy, but too much and you’ll be kissing the floor.
‘I Like It’ features the kind of auto-tune that detracts from the listenable factor. Why is this? It’s probably because Enrique’s never used it before, and also because he’s way up there near the top of the list of artists who need it about a much as shot to the head. His accent mixes very badly with it and he ends up sounding like a geriatric version Kermit the Frog.
But on the plus side, the auto-tune let’s up a little for the chorus, which can be described as ‘bangin”, ‘sick’, and ‘well good’, purely because it really is, there’s no other way about it. Slightly generic in terms of structure but Enrique manages to sprinkle his own oriental flair on to it like the pop veteran he is, to create a perfect club track that will go down a storm this summer.
And of course then there’s Pitbull, a man who likes appear on everyone’s record lately. Well, his rap may be pointless, but there’s something about his accent and how it works with Enrique’s similar intoning that makes it oddly relevant, and it doesn’t appear to kill the momentum of the song either, so I’m fan of Pitbull’s appearance on this one because the two Spaniards work together rather than just call each other’s names out like they’ve lost one another at Heathrow Airport.
Despite all this, I’m not a fan of the wannabe ‘All Night Long’ video (the Alexandra one this time), which is rather boring even if Enrique bends the laws of gravity with the help of a sofa.
What Enrique’s done here, is roped on RedOne, Pitbull, and auto-tune when really he could’ve done this song by himself and still made it work. It swagger-jack’s both All Night Long’s (Lionel Richie’s and Alexandra Burke’s), but that aside, this will do nicely as a comeback for Enrique, and will no doubt sound great blasted out of a stereo on a hot summer’s day.
WHICH IS WHAT MUSIC IS ALL ABOUT RIGHT NOW, ISN’T IT?
Yes it is.
Rating: 4.0 STARS
Download: June 28, 2010. (OUT NOW)
Featured Album: ‘Euphoria’