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Apr 01

AALIYAH feat. TIMBALAND – “We Need A Resolution”

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“The problem is,” my friend is saying, “That people see relationships as a zero-sum game.” And while I’m talking to her Aaliyah is saying “Who should be hurt? Who should be blamed?”, ’cause someone has to be, and while Aaliyah’s singing Timbaland is making clarinets sound like water running uphill, or like the blood in your temples when you’ve been arguing so long your words are starting to tie knots in one another.

Tell me your heart, what’s your problem, let’s resolve it, am I supposed to change, are you supposed to change, we need a resolution we need a resolution we have so much confusion: “WNAR” is sex-war black-comedy, with Aaliyah parrotting therapy-culture nostrums and getting cut off by Tim’s exhausted, insensitive rap (it’s her time of the month, apparently). But somebody replaced the laugh-track with scissor-beats and that taunting woodwind wooze. The song is claustrophobic and tangled and unsteady, like a quarrel: unlike a quarrel, it’s also very beautiful, but this is still pop music, after all. Still, it’s not the sonic guess-whats that make this my favourite record so far this year: it’s all the stuff that in the pit of my stomach I do recognise.

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