Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on>"/>
Nice Hits! is a Reverb column that unironically dissects, reviews, and appreciates the best songs of the current Top 40. It is unsnobbishly premised on the logic that just because a lot of the music on the radio is crap doesn't mean all the music on the radio is crap.
Current chart position: #5 on the UK Singles Chart, uncharted in the US--so far. I've called out a couple of songs by British pop singers that hadn't made much of a splash at the time of my writing and are now bona fide hits--Ellie Goulding's "Lights" is currently #7 on iTunes, and Cher Lloyd's "Want U Back" is right behind at #12--and I'm hoping the same will be true of "Call My Name."
The team: "Call My Name" was written and produced by Calvin Harris, the Scottish DJ and songwriter who's found huge amounts of US mainstream success in the past year with his number one smash collaboration with Rihanna, "We Found Love," and, more recently his own singles "Feel So Close" and "Let's Go," featuring Ne-Yo. Later this month, Harris will be releasing another single from his eponymous third album, "We'll Be Coming Back," which features the UK rapper Example.
Breakdown: "Call My Name" is unsurprisingly getting a lot of comparisons to "We Found Love," and some similarities are definitely there--the stiff, glassy beats; the rushing tempo; the way the verses take a backseat to the hooky, repetitive chorus. But there are also enough differences in "Call My Name" to earn it some separate attention and acclaim apart from "We Found Love." The tones of the two songs are almost opposite: "Call My Name" is certainly the more aggressive track of the two, that much is obvious by the strange, ominous-sounding minute-long instrumental opening. "We Found Love" is a sweet love song; "Call My Name" rings with frustration and almost bitterness. Cole compares her love to "an endless circle of poison arrow to my heart," and the stomping chorus asks, "How'd you think I feel when you call my name?/You got me confused by the way I change." It may also be a love song, but of an entirely different nature--the lyrics are demanding and insistent in a way that matches the whirlwind tempo.
All pop fans love a game-changing song in their favorite artists' career, and "Call My Name" represents a big departure for Cole. At 29, she's already had a full career as a member of the wildly successful girl group Girls Aloud, then a solo artist, a fashion icon, and an X-Factor judge. She went through a much-publicized divorce from a cheating husband. "Call My Name" sounds nothing like Cole's more sugary solo hits "Promise This" and "Fight For This Love." The contentious attitude of the song is like a signal from Cole that she's still in the game. And its accompanying video is one of the best dance clips I've seen in a while. The sexy, fierce image she puts off in the video coupled with the clamorous, steel-edged song sounds like a victory cry for Cole.