Calvin Harris – “Blame” feat. John Newman

I’ve been a fan of EDM producer, Calvin Harris, for a while now. I’ve spun his songs out in my DJ sets and usually look forward to receiving something new by this talented British producer, who is now one of the world’s highest paid DJs. While his new single, “Blame,” featuring the vocalist, John Newman, has hit #1 in the U.K. and ties Michael Jackson for the honor, I’m not so sure this is a number one record.

First, it’s not horrible. It has all the usual elements: sounds anthemic, big room progressions, deep house sounds mixed with syrupy pop. And, John Newman’s raw and sometimes raspy vocals that create the emotional pop sound that has certainly caught on in the dance music world. For some reason, I just feel it’s a little too formulaic. While it’s a verified hit now across the pond, will that record translate here in the U.S. on pop radio? I hope not, because I really don’t want to hear a guy whining every hour (as U.S. radio tends to play hit records each hour to shove it down your throat) about how he cheated on someone and now wants to “blame it on the night.”

One thing is for sure, the music video for the single had a lot of money thrown behind this effort. It’s a slickly produced, highly stylized video, which will sell a lot of black lingerie and stockings. I’ve seen a ton of electronic dance music videos over the years and many surely don’t have the budget to achieve this level of production. Harris and the label that backs him can pour money into these songs and get results like #1 chart topping singles with a formula that they’ve been able to milk now for a few years, but they have to be careful they stay on their game and don’t mail it in like they seem to have done on this song.

Okay, so let’s be honest. Yes, I like looking at women in lingerie just as much as the next guy. But maybe that’s getting tired. The woman in black lingerie passed out on the bed is very cliché. Anyone can put a beautiful woman in lingerie in a music video. We’ve been doing it year after year after year. But, what does that tell our young women? That they should walk around in lingerie while men stay fully dressed, because it’s more appealing to watch a half-naked woman in a music video who is the only one to blame for a poor decision?

Is that what we’re saying to our daughters? Your role in life is to use your body in sexy lingerie to do what, exactly? Yes, I know it’s a music video and this is the norm. But, come on. Really? More of the same? It’s just…well, boring is what it is. There’s no creativity behind all the money that went into this music video.

Help me  understand the metaphor of the women diving into different bodies of water. One woman dives into a sink in a bathroom. Another into a champagne bucket at the club. Yet another  into a rain puddle. And, lastly another disappears in a bath tub. All neat tricks, for sure. Each woman ends up being underwater, then their heads pop up at once above the water at the same time. Is this supposed to mean they were slipping into semi-consciousness on some sort of drug as the lyrics, “Blame it on the night” and “Don’t blame it on me,” are crooned by Mr. Newman? I’m not really sure.

From a quick read through the lyrics, it seems the guilt is heavy on the mind of the man in video, who is now regretting fooling around with another woman who came over in black lingerie.

Can’t be sleeping
Keep on waking
Without the woman next to me
Guilt is burning
Inside I’m hurting
This aint a feeling I can keep

It seems as if the woman on the bed was a friend who just needed to talk, but it went a little too far.

I had to let her through the door
I had no choice in this
I was the friend she missed
She needed me to talk

Well, who’s fault is it really? Not his, that’s for sure. It’s the fault of the night, not his inability to keep his hands to himself when a seductress makes an appearance in his apartment.

So blame it on the night
Don’t blame it on me
Don’t blame it on me

Now comes the remorse and asking for forgiveness (for what, being an idiot?).

Oh I’m so sorry, so sorry baby
(I’ll be better this time)
I will be better this time
I got to say
I’m so sorry
Oh I Promise
(I’ll be better this time)
Don’t blame it on me
Don’t blame it on me

The bottom line is, this is a video about a guy who cheats on someone with another woman, but wants to blame it on “the night” instead of his own stupidity. We’ve got a formulaic dance track with a formulaic video that has now gone #1, most likely not because it deserves to be #1, but because it’s got a lot of money behind it to push it to #1 – umm…in the U.K., that is. Hopefully, we over here across the pond don’t fall for this one, because I for sure don’t feel like hearing this one on the radio every hour. A guy whining about how bad he feels now that he’s slept with another woman who showed up at his door in black lingerie.

Don’t agree with me and love this song? While we wait for our iTunes affiliate program application to be approved, you can buy it on Amazon.com.

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