SINGLE REVIEW: Karmin – “Acapella” (+ Lyrics)

Harmonizing for another hit.

Harmonizing for another hit.

Boston’s sultans of swag pop, the male-female duo Karmin, brought an edge to the music world through their creative YouTube covers of rap songs (and others) and eventual original music, like 2011’s “Crash Your Party” and 2012’s “Brokenhearted” and “Hello”. Each received mainstream radio airplay, with “Brokenhearted” becoming the breakout hit of the bunch, going as high as #16 on the Hot 100. Their Hello EP also charted in the top 20 on the album chart. Over the holidays, the twosome of Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan recorded a version of “Sleigh Ride”, which was offered as a free download through a sponsorship through the store Coach, but that was the last of any new music we heard from them. Now, the duo signed to Epic Records have produced an epic single titled “Acapella”, which has now been serviced to radio.

“Acapella” is largely different from the single material on Hello in that it relies heavily on the vocal and a lot of bass and drum loops, whereas some of their former stuff freely used guitar and synthesizer. The barely there arrangement takes a little getting used to, but you’ll be more focused on the lyrics than anything else. Like their hit “Hello”, the song features Heidemann rapping in the verses and singing the chorus/middle eight, with Noonan sharing a few lines in the second verse. Hey, at least it’s not reduced to a “Cheerio!” this time around, but I would like to see him more prominently featured on the rest of the album. (By the way, the only parts of this song that are actually acapella are the introduction (vocal and beatboxing), the ending line of the chorus (vocal only) and the middle eight (vocal only).)

Heidemann, in her Nicki Minaj-lite style, takes to the mic and wraps her way around name-checking two childhood fairytales, a toothpaste brand, a recent Justin Timberlake single and a popular Italian restaurant chain, among other references that fall seamlessly into place. It’s a cute song and a relatable to a teen audience at the same time, especially those who feel compelled to break off their relationship. Plus, they sound like they’re having fun. It’s a little bit silly, but it’s enjoyable, especially when Heidemann goes into her “falsett-uh“. Four out of five rooster impressionists would agree she does her call well. Possibly the only aspect of the song that gets a little bit annoying is the slowed-down vocal effect throughout the song, which is trying too hard to recreate Yello‘s “Oh Yeah”. I mean, this isn’t Nick Noonan’s Day Off, hello! Or, maybe it is. This song moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to listen to individual component, you could miss it.

With many acts taking a retro direction when it comes to single releases, this should at least stand out for skewing way more in the modern realm. It’s equal parts commercial and risky given the nature of it, but Karmin isn’t exactly known for playing it safe. As for now, I’m predicting a top 20 peak at CHR radio for it, with a quick fall after it peaks later this summer. It’s polarizing enough, and hopefully, there will even better second single to come, but I’m satisfied with the results here. I’m always good with a hometown act succeeding, so please guys, don’t leave us brokencharted tonight (or over the next few nights, weeks, months… you know what I mean.)

Let me know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

Listen to the premiere of Karmin‘s “Acapella”.

“ACAPELLA”

[Chorus]
Used to be your baby, used to be your lady
Thought you were the perfect lover
All the harmony went falling out of key, so
Now you gotta find another
Now you’re talking crazy saying that you made me
Like I was your Cinderella
You and me are through, though, watch me hit it solo
I’mma do it acapella (x2)

[Verse 1]
Once upon a time, I met the perfect guy
He had that Colgate smile, he had that suit and tie
Mama always said get a rich boyfriend
You don’t gotta love ‘em, girl, you can pretend
You bet, I totes believed her, yeah, every word she said
Thought he was gluten-free, but all that I got was bread
Mama always said nice guys finish last
Beat ‘em at his own game, honey, take the cash

[Pre-Chorus]
Ooh, and what a lucky girl you will be
But no, he didn’t do jack for me
I want a bean with a beanstalk
And if the magic ain’t right, time to walk

[Chorus]
Used to be your baby, used to be your lady
Thought you were the perfect lover
All the harmony went falling out of key, so
Now you gotta find another
Now you’re talking crazy saying that you made me
Like I was your Cinderella
You and me are through, though, watch me hit it solo
I’mma do it acapella, yeah

Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
I’mma do it acapella, yeah

[Verse 2]
Out on our first date, he took me gourmet
We hit that Olive Garden, my Little Italy
Daddy always said let the gentleman pay
Never ever go Dutch at the buffet
I saw his bad intention, he didn’t wanna talk
He put the saucy on it (Oops!) time to check my watch
Daddy always said money can’t buy class
You don’t wanna get stuck taking out trash

[Pre-Chorus - variation]
Ooh, yeah I guess it wasn’t meant to be
Because he didn’t do jack for me
I want a bean with a beanstalk
And if the magic ain’t right, time to walk

[Chorus]
Used to be your baby, used to be your lady
Thought you were the perfect lover
All the harmony went falling out of key, so
Now you gotta find another
Now you’re talking crazy saying that you made me
Like I was your Cinderella
You and me are through, though, watch me hit it solo
I’mma do it acapella, yeah

[Middle 8]
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
I’mma do it acapella
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Watch me do it in falsett-uh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Never mind, bring the beat back

[Chorus]
Used to be a baby, used to be a lady
Thought you were the perfect lover
All the harmony went falling out of key, so
Now you gotta find another
Now you’re talking crazy saying that you made me
Like I was your Cinderella
You and me are through, though, watch me hit it solo
I’mma do it acapella, yeah

Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
I’mma do it acapella, yeah

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2 Comments

Filed under Single Reviews

2 responses to “SINGLE REVIEW: Karmin – “Acapella” (+ Lyrics)

  1. Pingback: New Music: Karmin – Acapella |

  2. sparx

    lol, I have never heard a song that refers to “gluten-free”, had to google it to make sure : )

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