Honestly, what can you say about a song that’s a huge hit on the one hand and an enormous failure on the other, especially when it comes to artistry. In the field of music that is: music and lyrics.
Let’s begin with the words.
OK, these types of tracks (or, as Black Eyed Peas themselves call this particular piece: ‘club jams’) may not be recorded with the notion of the future listener being an audiophile wanting to hear every single instrument performing an unforgettable solo while a mature and witty singer-songwriter tells you why he/she feels bad/good and what’s up with his/her (a friend’s) life. But being able to write puns and rhymes as abysmal as “Get up off my genitals / I stay on that pinnacle / Kill you up my lyricals, / Call me verbal criminal.” certainly adds up to a song being one of the worst in history. At least a hopeful ray of self-irony is hinted in the last line of this “verse”. (Anyone noticed how similar this word’s pronunciation is to the word “worse”? Especially in this case…)
But I don’t want to rant about the lyrical content and how the music’s not to my taste because someone could actually like the instrumental. And Jeff Tweedy has found a more clever way to get back at their so-called songwriting. Let’s be positive and turn our gaze towards the good things about ‘Don’t Stop The Party’!
Erm, theres only one, at least for me.
The only good thing about this song is the breakdown. Why? Oh yeah, first, because it – besides a singing woman – has simple held-out chords which could not be that bad. They are great, in fact! Why? It’s easy to be good, when sounding like Faithless’s ‘Insomnia’. (While that song is practically immortal for being one of the most sophisticated floorfillers with great lyrics penned by the zen Buddha of electronic music Maxi Jazz, it should be mentioned that the track was recorded and released in 1995, so not just ‘Insomnia’, but also its elements are 16 years old. Pretty strange for a group who consider themselves pioneers in their style and genre.) Then an even more awkward staccato comes with the oh-so-sought-after vocoder part and…AND an actual instrument, or at least a sample thereof but it may be real as well: a groovy-funky bass riff. Wow.
The video does not bring us much better things to enjoy either: it’s practically impossible to distinguish whether what we see on the screen is one of the many ‘shaken asses’ throughout the video or one of the band members doing ‘crazy shit’ on tour. (Like throwing a huge piece of sponge or a mattress onto the roof of a neighbouring house – wow, so that’s what musicians do enjoying their freedom!) And there’s all kinds of champagne and alcohol and dancing and posing with George Lucas (Darth Vader himself must’ve mind tricked him into appearing at what seems to be a Black Eyed Peas DJ-set) among other, just as mediocre things. Contrasted with the favelas and poorer districts of Rio de Janeiro. And that’s the most irritating part of it all: American hotshots pouring money out the window daring to show the other side at the same time.
‘Marvelous’. Video below. (Viewers discretion advised)