Single Review: Willow – ’21st Century Girl’

Did you know that dear little Willow was born in the year 2000? Yes, she was. She was indeed. I guess you could say this makes her a girl of the 21st Century. I guess this is what her new song is about.

Those of you still not convinced – and let’s be honest, it’s the minority of you – about Willow’s confidence as a performing artist will be converted with this release, most definitely. “Give me an inch/I promise I’ll take a mile”, she boasts on the first line, diving straight into her (or, more accurately, her chief song-writer’s) bag of quick-witted quips about her “swagga”. She continues to pilfer elements of Ke$ha, including her sprechgesang, or “speak-singing” techniques. I say techniques, but neither Ke$ha nor Willow display much technical ability when doing it, however one always seems to get away with it – it’s not the latter.

‘Whip My Hair’ always did strike me as a car crash production mixed with heavily auto-tuned vocals from someone who needs a few stars knocked out of her head. It’s success however, was predictable, but not rational. And now Willow’s label, Roc Nation, are latching onto the new release technique of ‘On Air, On Sale’, meaning the song is available as soon as it hits the radio.

’21st Century Girl’, sees no stopping the now 10-year old, American starlet as she continues to plague the world with her ego. The lyrics have improved, in the sense that they don’t make one burst into involuntary laughter at the sheer audacity of statements like “I whip my hair back and forth”, which, by now, must have it’s own cult following of joke-makers. The music however, still leaves a lot to be desired as the majority comprises of basic, computerised samples, a flatulent bassline, and noises you’d expect to come of a space station in a cheap sci-fi B-movie.

That’s not to say it isn’t catchy, because this song has a huge chorus hook not to be sniffed at, dripping in naïve fearlessness and soaked in even more auto-tune. A few ad libs towards the end suggest Willow does in fact have a good voice, but ther amount of auto-tune she uses on her vocals suggests she’s not as daring and as confident as her song lyrics make out.

Here’s the video: In short: Old woman squeals, Willow pops up out of sand, Willow runs, Willow’s friends run, city builds itself, bit of street dancing.

2:07… Fakest guitar strum ever.

’21st Century Girl’ sees almost no improvement on Willow’s first chart outing: it has the same plastic production, no instrumental hooks, it even shared the same theme – her ego. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is not a good thing to be obsessively vocal about out any age, let alone ten years old.

Rating: 2.0 STARS

Download: March 7, 2011 (OUT NOW)

Featured Album: TBA

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