Single Review: Milk & Sugar vs. Vaya Con Dios – ‘Hey (Nah Neh Nah)’

Nowadays, you don’t need to constantly travel across Continental Europe or tune in to Hungarian radio or be addicted to Eurovision or something like that, to know the typical sound of a bubblegum pop discotheque tune from the European cousins. Last year’s summer smash from Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina, ‘Stereo Love’, and the repetitive and over-played ‘We No Speak Americano’ (known now to many as just “that BA BA AMERICANO song”) saw to that. INNA’s done a good job and providing a more dance-influenced, Romanian edge to European music in the UK but she’s not be that successful. So a lot of the time, there seems to be a very obvious… “formula”, if you like, when it comes to the successful Europop in our homeland.

Cue ‘Hey (Nah Neh Nah)’ from German dance/house duo, the bizarrely named, Milk & Sugar. It’s a remix of the Belgian group Vaya Con Dios’ song, ‘Nah Neh Nah’. The original borrowed heavily from traditional Belgian musical influences with the guitar riffs and, once Milk & Sugar have added a dancier beat, a bouncier bassline, and shovelled in the word “Hey” countless times at seemingly random intervals, the end product presented before us is ‘Hey (Nah Neh Nah)’.

Of all the song’s I’ve reviewed, or even all the songs I’ve ever heard, this has to be one of the most peculiar and unapologetically eccentric songs so far – the structure is near-on impossible to follow. Even when you listen to the slower original… actually, I say “slower original” but actually this remix has two, yes – two – tempos, a faster section, which then switches to the same tempo as the original, before returning to dance tempo once more. If you imagine the original version’s structure as ABABABCBB, Milk & Sugar have unashamedly torn that apart and done something so alien in concept the song’s original structure pretty much unrecognisable.

If you could follow all that, it’s also rather odd that only very few lyrics from the original are actually used in this remix. The same lines are re-triggered over and over again and with a few drop-outs and whooshing synth crescendos. Milk & Sugar could very well be onto one of the first massive summer hits of 2011.

And naturally, as with most Europop, it’s feverishly catchy. The quirky disco bounce of the backing is perfectly matched with Vaya’s often hilariously and seemingly improvised “neh nah neh nah”-ing and the verging-on-camp chorus of respondents that remarkably make this song less irritating than ‘We No Speak Americano’ and more sing-along than ‘Stereo Love’. However, the novelty will wear off once played by radios and music channels everywhere, so enjoy it whilst you can (see Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ for the ugly alternative).

Here’s the video: It’s a right royal LOL-fest.

I can’t help but laugh – this song is even more fun with the video!

So there you have it. Will it be the first real summer smash of 2011? Who knows? Will it make you dance? Check. Will it make you laugh? Oh yes. Will it sound even funnier when you’re drunk? Most likely. It seems that whilst Milk & Sugar have taken a fairly traditional Belgian pop song and turned it into a remixed club-ready piece of Europop, they’ve managed to skip over the same formula of many other Europop hits which may, in the short-term, mean that it won’t do so well chart-wise, but it’ll be an underground hit for sure – just look at Martin Solveig’s ‘Hello’, which was floating around at the bottom end of the chart (#150-#200) three weeks before people began to realise it existed.

‘Hey (Nah Neh Nah)’, whilst not perfect, and whilst it will most likely grate on you once you’ve heard it one too many times, is a smash in waiting for our UK charts which have, more recently than ever before, been dominated by American-influenced music.

Rating: 4.0 STARS

Download: April 10, 2011 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: N/A

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