Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's All Bad: "Hollaback Girl" (Remixes) Is Just Awful

The Good: Catchy tune
The Bad: Poor use of medium, Video does not play on all players, Remixes are lame.
The Basics: An insipid pop single, “Hollaback Girl” features two remixes (and a video), none of which are good.

A few years back, I gave Gwen Stefani's works a chance. I would not say that I have been regretting it ever since, but the experience in no way wowed me. I've pretty much come around to Brian Griffin's (Family Guy) view that “I'm not sure what a ‘Hollaback Girl’ is,” but I'd be happy to see Gwen Stefani's musical career come to an end. At least if she keeps coming out with songs like “Hollaback Girl.” The “remix” album is little more than a c.d. single and it is a poor one at that.

With three tracks and a music video, “Hollaback Girl” (Remixes) includes the song which was co-written by Gwen Stefani from the album Love, Angel, Music, Baby with two remixes and a music video. The song is sung by Stefani with heavy backing vocals. She does not play any of the musical instruments for the song, nor was she involved in the production of any of the mixes of the song.

Musically, “Hollaback Girl" is little more than a pop-music cheerleader anthem with a heavy percussion beat and a swaying overproduced keyboard/synth track. The instrumental accompaniment actually does have a recognizable theme to it, even if it is simplistic and does sound mostly like a cheerleader cheer. The percussion is heavier than most pop songs, which is probably why this is marginally considered a "hip-hop" track, when it otherwise bears little resemblance to one.

The remix single features the album cut of "Hollaback Girl" and "Diplo's Hollatronic Remix" and an instrumental remix of "Hollaback Girl" in addition to the music video for "Hollaback Girl" in Quicktime format. As one might expect, the instrumental remix removes the vocal performance by Gwen Stefani and is otherwise identical to the song played during the video and album version.

This leads us to the drastically shorter "Diplo's Hollatronic Remix" which is only 2:17 long, as opposed to the full 3:20 of the other tracks. This remix removes most of the song and focuses on the main cheer "A few times I've been around that track / So it's not just gonna happen like that / Because I ain't no hollaback girl" without the filler of the other lines. The bass is turned up and the synths create a hypnotic, repetitive vibe that is just awful.

As for the video, when I could get it to play, it was nothing special. In addition to Stefani and her Harajuku Girls riding around in a car and throwing food around at a dollar store, there are cheerleaders doing a routine. There is no narrative and it doesn't actually explain what the song is at all.

As a result, the single for "Hollaback Girl" is a pretty phenomenal waste of money. The song is catchy, but the c.d. is a poor use of the medium and it hardly makes the initial song any better.

For other works featuring Gwen Stefani or similar artists, please be sure to check out:
"Cool" (single)
Tragic Kingdom - No Doubt
21 - Adele


For other music reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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