Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sean Kingston: Crossing the Line Between Sam Cooke and T-Pain

Maybe I missed this the first time around, but "Beautiful Girls" from Sean Kingston is absolutely one of the catchiest songs in recent memory. It's actually a bit of cheat - integrating an already catchy chorus with a subtle (then not-so-subtle) sample of Ben E King's "Stand By Me." Reactions have been mixed, largely to the aforementioned sample, but I would prefer to see Kingston as the future of R&B. He fits in well alongside modern R&B stars such as Chris Brown and T-Pain, but he seems more focused on cute teenage love than he does on drinking, the club, or booty. That seems more reminiscent of Sam Cooke, while not disgracing King or his song that is sampled. Furthermore, the video pays homage both to Kingston's modern day R&B presence, as well as his 1950's influences. The song has also drawn ire for its playful use of the word "suicidal" - repeated at length in the chorus - however, I would argue that he's channeling class R&B's darker roots, rather than any present influence. With both its modern flair and classic sound, "Beautiful Girls" is a single that would do both Barry Gordy and Timbaland proud.


Ella said...

So who is the John Steinbeck fan in this group? "East of Eden," is pretty complicated and deep reading.Intresting blog.


Will said...

The John Steinbeck fan would be me - Will - author of about 99.9% of the posts here.

Adrian said...

Wow, good tip. I like this song. Comparing anyone to Sam Cooke is a bit risky (I tend to think of him as in the top 2 male vocalists ever, along with Smokey Robinson) but this guy's voice and melodies are good.