Although I, for one, would cheerfully nominate this track for the hotly contested title of
Most Annoying Hook Of 2011, I must nonetheless admit, through gritted teeth, that
there’s some great production going on here. The first thing that really stands out for
me is the kick‑drum programming, which goes well beyond the call of duty in terms of
providing variation from section to section, and as such is worth some study. (Even if you
have to low‑pass filter everything else to make the process bearable!)
start, although this is ostensibly a straight‑ahead, four‑to‑the‑floor groove, the
only eight‑bar sections that actually feature their full complement of 32 hits are the
opening, the two final choruses, and the outro. In addition, there are six whole sections
without any kick at all — more than a third of the total running time, in fact.
Elsewhere, different sections drop different numbers of beats for fills at the ends of
four‑ and/or eight‑bar sections, ranging from a single beat (as happens three times
during the synth riff sections of 0:59 and 2:17) to two whole bars at the end of the
second rap at 1:40. And the cherry on top is the last rap verse, where the kick breaks
into a completely new pattern for four bars at 2:39, before the beginning of the
kick‑less build‑up into the final choruses. I’m not trying to imply that any of this
is exactly rocket science, but it’s good clean fun and that still counts for something.
The kick sound itself is pretty good too, with a better combination of fundamental,
pitched harmonics, and razor‑sharp click than I’ve heard in the charts for a little
while — weightier than Jennifer Lopez’s ‘On The Floor’, for instance, and pointier
than Martin Solveig’s ‘Hello’.
There’s a selection of nice arrangement
tricks tucked away in there, not least (remaining on the subject of the kick for the
moment) the one‑beat backing drop at the start of the final choruses at 3:16, which is a
quality piece of ear‑candy, and well suited to a track like this that only starts its
vocal hook on the second beat of the bar. Effects stunts are many and varied, but my
favourites are the abrupt reverb cuts into “shake that” at 0:59 and (predictably
enough) after “now stop” at 2:37. The variable reverb levels on the synth riff are
entertaining too, providing more reverb on the last note of every two‑bar pattern and a
nice wash‑out transition into the final rap verse from about 2:29.
I’m going to go listen to ‘The Chicken Song’ for half an hour to get that hook out
of my head...
--------------------Recording Secrets for the Small Studio
Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio