Tom Ewing’s Top 100 Singles Of The 90s

Honestly, some songs don’t need much written about them. “California Love” is the summer pop anthem of the decade, and in summer who wants to stay in and analyse stuff? But, if you insist:

Reasons to treasure “California Love”

1) The vocoders add just the right touch of dementia to the song, stopping it from being just a tourist-board encomium by hinting at the sun-blasted madness we dreaming outsiders like to associate with California.
2) A rolling, swaggering piano sample that Moby (just picking a name out of the air, you understand) would sell his sainted soul for.
3) “Lookin’ like I robbed Liberace” is one of the funniest hip-hop boasts ever – that it comes out as “Lookin’ like a rap Liberace” makes it even more intriguing.
4) Tupac. This is the only Tupac record I own, which makes it impossible for me to think of the man as a martyr, swallowed up by darkness inner or otherwise. Name me the doomed rock star who would yell “Gimme love!” with such joy three minutes into this song. “California Love” helps remove Tupac Shakur from the seductive grasp of myth, helps turn a man’s death back from art into tragedy.