Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Who are you when I'm gone?

I've already written about a few of these songs on Twitter, but I still feel a need to cover them in a (slightly) more expansive way. This is the first of such songs.

Sixteen-year-old eventual fourth place finisher Allison Iraheta was one of my three favorite contestants on the past season of American Idol, so I was thrilled when she received a major label deal. If we needed further evidence of the fact that her label was willing to invest some money in her, her debut single, "Friday I'll Be Over U," is by Max Martin. Maybe not LOADS of money--there's something that feels a little second tier about this buzzy pop-rock track, though whether that comes from something inherent to the song or from Allison's voice (I'm hoping it's not the latter; even if someone else could bring more power to the chorus--and I don't know that anyone could--I don't think they could totally sell the verses) I'm not sure--but no Max Martin song is going to come cheap.

"Friday I'll Be Over U" positions Allison somewhere between Kelly Clarkson/Pink and Disney's stars (the verses flirt with youth-oriented cheeky mall pop-punk here while the bridge and chorus just go for straight on powerful pop-rock a la "My Life Would Suck Without You" with more guts), which theoretically makes sense as a marketing objective, targeting both mainstream radio play and younger fans. In practice, I'm not sure it'll work; the result is enjoyable, full of little moments worthy of praise (the opening lines of the chorus, the guitar solo and Allison's "oh"s before the final chorus) and easily winning repeat plays from me, but not the 100 percent knockout I was hoping for. I don't want to overstate my disappointment, but the song sometimes feels like it runs a little too close to assembly line. Sometimes--most of the time--I'm lost in the fun anger of Allison's brush-off...and other times I'm left feeling like "Friday I'll Be Over U" is a Max Martin knockoff made by an experienced, capable songwriter who just doesn't have the gift for taking a song past "serviceable."

For now, though, I'm hooked, just with a few worries about lasting value. It's better than "Party in the USA," at any rate.

Allison Iraheta's debut single "Friday I'll Be Over U" isn't available for purchase yet, but expect it to hit American iTunes and other digital retailers fairly soon.


John said...

I like it, but it would have been a great compliment to her if they hadn't buried her vocals in so much production. Am I just crotchety, or what?

Poster Girl said...

They have, haven't they? After a few more days of listening I can agree with that--it doesn't fully sound like Allison...she's been made to sound a little more anonymous.

Damian said...

Now I can say I have 2nd Max Martin's song released this year that I really like. 1st one was "2 All My Girls". Max disappoints me but I'm still waiting for his bombs. By the way PG don't you check Swedish Idol this year? I've fallen in love with it, it has so many amazing artists. In 2008 Anna was the only artist that I was keen on, but this year I love half of them!