Black Gold - Breakdown

Nick Lewis 25/10/2009

Rating: 2.5/5

This collaboration between Eric Ronick (Panic at the Disco, Ambulance Ltd.) and Than Luu (M.Ward, Rachel Yamagata, shushshush) sounds like a comedy song. There I said it. It's actually a pretty good track: catchy, pleasing to the ear, danceable. But the bridge sounds like a spoof Justin Timberlake song and the chorus similarly sounds like they've taken an existing song (I can't work out which) and replaced the lyric with an oddly gleeful “you're having a breakdown”. It all comes across a bit Saturday Night Live and I'm not sure it's meant to.

Maybe I'm wrong, but the sheer juxtaposition of dancey, left-of-centre pop music with a tale of someone having a nervous breakdown just makes it sound like a joke, and a cruel one at that. Gnarls Barkley showed that this can be done sensitively and to brilliant effect (Crazy) but there's a certain lack of tact to this: “you're going mental / and I'm feeling that you let go” is not something I think you would genuinely say to someone having an 'episode'.

Still, ignore the lyrics and it's a competent slice of fairly interesting sounding pop.

Release date: 27.09.09