Artist: Taio Cruz
US chart peak: 2
Release date: June 1, 2010
Writers: Taio Cruz, Dr Luke, Max Martin, Benny Blanco, Bonnie McKee
Producers: Dr Luke, Benny Blanco
Quintessential Max moment: “I throw my hands up in the air sometimes” is the sort of slightly off lyric Max specialises in
Video synopsis: Taio oversees a scantily-clad group of female welders
As New York Magazine writer Adam Sternberg’s points out in his 2010 feature, The Hit Whisperer, Taio Cruz’s spectacularly braindead ‘Dynamite’ is basically another Dr Luke song about how much fun it is to hear a Dr Luke song in a club environment. It’s notable for perhaps representing the apex/nadir of pop’s then obsession with club-LOL anthems; songs where DJs are playing songs to fall in love to, sweaty heaving masses are throwing their hands in the air like they just don’t care and lecherous rap goons are shouting things like “dalé!”.
‘Dynamite’ opens with Cruz – a former songwriter-for-hire turned short-term global pop sensation from London – showing up to a club with one thing on his mind.
Let’s have a look at that opening verse shall we:
“I came to dance, dance, dance, dance
I hit the floor cause that’s my plans, plans, plans, plans
I’m wearing all my favourite brands, brands, brands, brands
Give me space for both my hands, hands, hands, hands”.
According to Sternberg’s piece, ‘Dynamite’ was initially meant for Flo Rida (imagine), but Luke felt it didn’t work as a rap song so the basic track was sent to Martin, who came up with “half a hook for the chorus”, before being given to lyricist Bonnie McKee to finish. To be fair, the chorus is pretty impressive, displaying the then current trend of having the song’s tempo suddenly slow down and the music fall away, when we’re all programmed for it properly go off. It also seems to have two choruses, with the first half riding a very house-y piano riff and the second picking the tempo back up and adding a slight hint of dancehall into the mix.
As with most of the pop songs concerned with clubbing released at that time, it doesn’t necessarily convince you anyone involved has been to a club within the last ten years, and certainly not one outside of west Hollywood.
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The tempo is the same throughout the song, just might feel psychologically like it slows in the first half of each chorus.