Cat Cohen's Anatomy of a Hit a Hit in 2014

Rude by Magic

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“Rude” is an excellent reggae-pop recording by a uniquely gifted underground Canadian group with its contemporary sound and lyrics

Song: Rude
Artist: Magic
Album: Don't Kill The Magic
Songwriter: N. Atweh, M. Pellizzer, A. Travis, B. Spivak
Producer: Adam Messinger
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Concept
A plaintive reggae song with a touching plea for a romantic relationship against a singer’s girlfriend’s parent’s wishes.

Lyric
The singer makes a case for his relationship with his girlfriend despite parental objections. Saturday morning jumped out of bed And put on my best suit Got in my car and raced like a jet All the way to you Knocked on your door with heart in my hand To ask you a question 'Cause I know that you're an old-fashioned man, yeah Can I have your daughter for the rest of my life? Say yes, say yes 'cause I need to know You say I'll never get your blessing 'til the day I die Tough luck, my friend, but the answer is 'No' Why you gotta be so rude? Don't you know I'm human too? Why you gotta be so rude? I'm gonna marry her anyway Marry that girl Marry her anyway Marry that girl Yeah, no matter what you say Marry that girl And we'll be a family Why you gotta be so rude

Groove
An infectious mid-tempo 16th-note groove carries the track from beginning to end.

Melody
The verse and pre-chorus use mainly stepwise motion in a 7-tone major scale. A well-contrasted chorus jumps higher with more interesting intervals helping to make the song memorable.

Harmony
Simple major diatonic chords, mostly vi, ii, and I are used throughout.

Structure
Verse Pre-Chorus Chorus Post-Hook Verse2 Pre-Chorus2 Chorus2 Post-Hook2 Instrumental PreChorus3 Chorus 3 Post-Hook3 Tag ABCD ABCD Solo BCD

Signature
No signature or intro.

Production
The well-crafted production is simple, crisp, transparent, and layered with textural contrast and variety.

Performance
Atweh’s vocal is a straightforward honest emotional plea.

Predicted Longevity
“Rude” is a welcome change of pace on the charts with its hip reggae feel and universal message. Both the melody and lyrics stand out. Despite this, I don’t feel that the recording is destined to be a classic, merely a good hit and memory signpost for 2014. A “4” on the “Cat Scale” from 1 to 5.

Album Cover: Don't Kill The Magic

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