Saturday, January 26, 2008

#5 Enrique Iglesias, "Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)"

Do you know what it feels like
Loving someone who's in a rush to throw you away
Do you know what it feels like
To be the last one to know the lock on the door is changed

For one brief shining moment (well, several, I guess, technically), Enrique Iglesias was all I ever wanted in a popstar. Music video that never failed to make me laugh--probably my favorite of the year, in fact. A real sense of humor, especially about himself. Performances that (theoretically, since I've never seen him live) I loved (Pong!). A two episode role in How I Met Your Mother. And, most importantly, a fantastic song.

"Do You Know (The Ping Pong Song)" sits somewhat uneasily near the top of a year end list; it's the sort of song that would feel more at home tucked safely around, say, the 30-50 range. It's sort of unassuming and it doesn't, at first, second, or even thirtieth listen, seem to have that certain spark, the thing that makes you return over and over again to songs like "Be With You," "Escape," "Don't Turn Off The Lights," or "Break Me Shake Me" (well, that one just should be famous enough to be on that list). Every time the thought of moving it down the list even crept into my mind, though, something would pop in my head: my favorite lyrics of the year (see above). The melody that accompanies them. The ping pong sound effect (not part of the original concept of the song). The little rat-a-tat percussion sound. That ever so cute music being mixed with trademark Enrique "I'm so vulnerable" lyrics and the fact that that mix makes the song both more fun and more poignant (somehow, the mix of specific details and clichés is perfect). And wouldn't it be fantastic to sing along to en masse (if I'd actually had that experience, that might have been enough to push this song to #1)? In the end, "Do You Know" was one of the year's most pleasant surprises, and any song that can re-awaken your interest in the artist and prompt a whole new appreciation for and investigation into their past work while simultaneously providing something for you to enjoy in the present has to be doing something right.

Fact: "Do You Know" was co-written by Sean Garrett (Britney's "Toy Soldier," Usher's "Yeah!", among others)

Fact: Enrique has a new single, "Dónde están corazón," coming out to promote his Spanish language greatest hits, due out in March. ÚS-wise, Wikipedia, if it can be believed, says that he's filmed a video for "Push" and the song will be released with the how-many-times-can-its-name-crop-up Step Up 2 soundtrack.

Also worth a listen: Ring My Bells, one of the greatest opening tracks for an album this year, in that it is a fantastic album opener. It's a different sound for Enrique, atmospheric and attention-grabbing in a haunting way and--well, very appropriate for the Calvin Klein perfume commercial it was in. Major kudos to Savan Kotecha, Kristian Lundin, and Enrique for creating one of the most interesting-sounding songs of the year.

Find it on: Insomniac

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