Six Awful Things About Karmin's "Crash Your Party"

karmin_crashyourparty.jpg
Tonight is Z100's Jingle Ball—headlined by Lady Gaga! with a set by Kelly Clarkson!—and the top-40 station's annual celebration of its playlist's biggest stars will be co-hosted by the duo Karmin, a pair of Berklee-educated musicians from Boston who rose to prominence earlier this year with a competent, semi-serious cover of "Look At Me Now." As you might expect, the "white people performing a self-consciously jokey version of an urban hit" trope was a big hit among those who read the Internet, and Karmin even honored the social-news site Reddit for its support in the video for its cover of Lil Wayne's "6'7'." (This comment on that clip has 60 "likes": "u turn shit in to music." Hooray!) Earlier this fall they released their first major-label single, the Black Sheep-sampling attention-hog dis "Crash Your Party," and, well... imagine a boot covered in pictures of Pomplamoose and Jessie J and the band that white-boy covered "Boyz N The Hood" a few years back stomping on a human face. Forever. Six specific problems with it after the jump.

1. Amy Heidemann's voice. And here I thought the failed British import Jessie J was going to have the most aggressively barky vocal style to come to prominence in 2011. Nope! Heidemann's toasting on the lite-reggae, despite her alto-ish register, clangs against my eardrums the same way that nails being scratched down a chalkboard do—the smugness in particular grates, if only because it's so goddamn audible.

2. The rhyme in the chorus. I get that Karmin is trying to be as all-things-to-all-people as possible. The blandness of their music, their attempts to make "serious" that what is seen as trivial by people who consider themselves to have Good Taste In Music, their shoutouts to Reddit—all are ways of saying, "Like us, please! And not just on Facebook!" So of course their songs will be Kidz Bop-ready, with any obscenities being bleeped out as a matter of course. But here's the chorus, which Heidemann bleats out in a sort of patois:

Who do you think you are, a super S-T-A-R? Who do you think you are, you can kiss my oh my gah!

Like, is "oh my gah" new slang for an anatomical part? The censoring-oneself joke doesn't even make sense here!

3. "KAR•MIN [car-men]—noun, in Latin meaning 'song,' with altered spelling to hint 'karma'." The only thing I can say to this, because my brain is still somewhat melting from listening to Heidemann's rapping (more on that in a sec), is "Shut up, college."

4. "Mister TMZ" is considered a choice insult. Please tell me this won't result in "Crash Your Party" being thrown into some sort of 2011 time capsule, unless that capsule is labeled Things That Epitomize The Worst Aspects Of 2011 Quite Neatly, Which Is Why We're Throwing This Into A Really Deep Part Of An Ocean. (You'd think such students of current hip-hop would come up with better disses!)

5. The sub-Dr. Luke songwriting. I honestly never thought I was going to want to hear Jessie J's awful ode to keeping it real "Price Tag" again, but the damn thing sounds like a masterpiece next to this pile of garbage and fronting. Kudos to Dr. Luke for realizing the difference between using a pop formula and running over to a Xerox machine.

6. The rapping. It's like an Internet joke gone retroviral, a train flying off the tracks to the delight of people who think every tragedy is an opportunity for LOLZ. I'm going to eventually devolve into smashing on my keyboard here, so infuriating is it, so I'll defer to SOTC hip-hop correspondent Jeff Rosenthal for the last word here.

It was brought to my attention that Karmin is being referred to as 'swag pop', which makes me think that:

No one knows how to use the word 'swag';
Everyone needs to stop using the word 'swag'.

Amen, Jeff. Amen.

Z100 Jingle Ball, with Lady Gaga, David Guetta, Foster The People, LMFAO, Pitbull, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato, Gym Class Heroes, and Hot Chelle Rae—and hosted by Karmin and a Kardashian—is at Madison Square Garden tonight.

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97 comments
masterjesse503
masterjesse503

PUAHAHA, ALL YOU HATERS NEEDA GET LAID OR SOMETHING. if you dont like the music, just dont listen to it jeeze, people turn simple things so complicating.

cliveklg
cliveklg

As the saying goes, those who can't... critique. 

gvruiz
gvruiz

People need to get off their high horse and realize that everyone has different taste in music. Seriously, isn't music supposed to be about having fun and expressing yourself? At least she can sing live and rap. Also, if you are going to write a "critique" please be objective, if you were saying "she can't carry a tune, all the music has be auto tuned or she was lip-syncing" then you might have a point that I could understand but your 5 points are just your personal opinion/taste.

Samta69
Samta69

This is the type of article you get when music reviewers have nothing to write about, but have to write something.  It also smacks of bitterness.

karminLOVER
karminLOVER

this song is great, are your ears broken or something or are you just jealous that you won't ever be able to sing or rap as good as karmin HATERRRRRR!!!!!!!!

Brad Taylor
Brad Taylor

I agree with this writer. Karmin is worse than fingernails on chalkboard. All you dildoes taking up for Karmin should be neutralized, or at least spayed and/or neutered.

brap
brap

Okay so correct me if I'm wrong, isn't rap music just someone writing lyrics and then saying them super fast in an interesting manner to a beat? Amy writes the lyrics, says them interestingly, and I'll be damned if she can't spit them out fast.How on earth can Amy Heidemann be a bad rapper?

Sam
Sam

I don't really understand why people are getting their panties in a twist over Karmin. So they have a retro look to them. Ok. So Amy likes to rap. Ok. Don't try to tell me that she can't because some of that shit is fast. And just because she isn't from the projects and has a Berklee education doesn't mean that she isn't allowed to rap because rap is about the form the music is in, not its subject matter. And heaven forbid that music should be fun, let alone rap. I agree that Niki Manaj is annoying sometimes, but her act is fun (generally speaking) and she's decent at rapping.I'd also like to point out the incredibly hipster attack on their name. Are you too good for people who actually put some thought into their stage name? No, her voice just grates on your nerves, never mind.

www.glitchmode.com
www.glitchmode.com

 Came across this board after entering “Karmin Fucking Sucks” into Google. I remember when Nsync and the boy bands and Britney Spears types came out and I thought to myself that music could never get any worse…Now these days with acts like Karmin and Florence + The Machine I stand corrected. Britney, Justin Timberlake and others from that era have become true-to-form pop stars and use varied production methods as of recently and use it well to their advantage. Karmin, Florence + The Machine and Drake are by far the absolute most god awful people ever to be given millions of dollars to “perform” pop songs. Karmin is an ugly karoke act. They should have gotten a show on the Disney channel like “The Wiggles” but to me “Fruit Salad (Yummy Yummy) is comparable to Beethoven’s 9th symphony in comparison to “Crash Your Party”. Drake is a half white jew funded canadian teen shitcom star that rips off lil wayne, VERY poorly I might add. Lil Wayne is about as deep as one of those 5 dollar kiddie pools at costco, how fucking pathetic must you be to fail at ripping someone like that off? I write and produce music myself (my passion in life, been doing it for almost 20 years) and listen to countless different types of music and production styles, and nothing is more aurally enjoyable as a well written pop song. In the same vain, nothing makes me want to rake my eardrums out with a blunt rusty object more than these three specific shit festivals known as Florence + The Machine, Drake (how about “Gayke”?) & Karmin. I should stop now because I could write a series of books each individually longer than the bible on how I would rather get scrotum cancer than listen to a millisecond of Florence + The Machine, Karmin and Drake.

sirwnstn
sirwnstn

Good grief! That was harsh. I don't get it. I had a grin from ear to ear when I watched and listened to this. The whole song just seemed like good clean fun. I don't quite understand your criticism. I'm truly curious. Are you just being mean or did they perform such a profound music faux pas? I don't mean to be sarcastic. I really want to know.

Bobby Saban
Bobby Saban

What !! Karmin is lots of fun like her hair. "Help" is out and now awaiting your dance moves!

Anonymous
Anonymous

This group really does suck though. We're entering a new era of boy bands and female rappers, and I can't stand any of it. Once Nicki Minaj and Karmin hit SNL, they became huge, and now I hate most of the music industry. A white woman with a bizarre hairstyle rapping is idiotic, and should be buried along with Rebecca Black's "Friday"

ThinkB4Upost
ThinkB4Upost

This article is reminiscent of a really bad "reply girl" video. One thing is not to enjoy a genre and another thing is an inability to recognize talent within that genre. It seems like you are scratching at the dirt with this article. Maybe you should find a better pastime then writing bias news with no regard for skill and talent (which is something that this industry is greatly lacking this era) and just post this in your diary.

Harbin
Harbin

Oh my god. This is seriously so bad. Why people? Why did you let this get popular??

Anonymous
Anonymous

This article is completely and utterly rude. They are artists, who actually have talent. They went to an esteemed music school, Berklee, and show off their talents in their amazing Youtube videos and new songs. Just because you don't like someone doesn't mean you have to rip them to shreds. They can both sing and play instruments, unlike most of the pop icons on the radio today.

Mander
Mander

i hate her. her face expressions, her hair. she's talented, definitely.  But this song is horrible and watching her perform is worse than pulling my hair.  but i could LISTEN to her other covers.  

Brendan Robinson
Brendan Robinson

Well it's nice to see someone call this shit out. Sure people get wah-wah when you start ripping on pop duo for writing bland music, but this is an exception. I'm glad to see someone sticking it to a couple of berklee grads who dissected black music and used their white bread education to make some bullshit formula. It's the equivalent of a fantasy baseball team for music, it kills the organic element that I love about music. If you thought Maura's words were harsh just listen to the part where the girl raps again, please....

Madison Smith
Madison Smith

if you dont like Karmin then fuck off stop whining

Guest
Guest

The thing is, and I guess this is what a lot of people who parachuted in here in search of Karmin info are missing, is that I do love pop music. A lot. Karmin's mugging and "lol hip-hop is so funny you guys, let's MUSIC IT UP" attitude" are gross to me, because they basically put them (and, more importantly, their audience) above the material, making it clear that they don't respect the idea of pop music, but aren't above using its popularity to gain more traction in the marketplace. (You think they would have become so big on Reddit had they mugged their way through originals?) It's the idea of the "guilty pleasure," one that I already find kind of abohrrent, turned into an absolutely rancid bullying club. That this song is a bottom-of-the-clearance-bin ripoff of already proven pop hits (put it side by side with "Party In The USA") only makes the whole enterprise more cynical and gross.Are you even listening to yourself?Using words like gross, cynical, abhorrent.Look dude, you obviously have no type of logic towards music, instead of trying to sound smart how about you realize that music is not about fitting into a category our a theme.Respect the idea of pop? give me a break.Your the usual person who goes around saying "The Beatles is the real music not like that lil wayne crap,blah blah blah" yet you do not realize that there is no "real music" just perspectives.Stop confusing your feelings with the truth.

Karmin > all you haters
Karmin > all you haters

Yellup! Haters gonna hate! They're talented and should be commended for making good music without cursing!

Jenmarti
Jenmarti

this is a really ignorant post and it makes me sad. so proud of you, karmin. keep flying.

Justin Thibodeau
Justin Thibodeau

You sound angry, pathetic and mostly pretentious.  I don't necessarily like this type of music either but you are the type of person that makes me disgusted in my sides opinion of music.  You lack any objective credibility within your shallow opinion and thus do a disservice to people who do actually like music that is not mainstream pop.

You seem to be a person that uses the same sensationalism in your words as pop uses in its music.  You think that all you need to do is produce loud, obnoxious and poor observations and this will somehow make you look competent.  Instead in makes you look childish and immature.

Your the exact type of person that if you were to decide to reply to my post it would be filled with a short pithy comment of useless words.  One in which the motive is the desire to reduce my accusations of you without requiring you to back any of your unregulated nonsense up. A tactic I have already seen you do to a few others.  If you want to be taken seriously and have the music you actually do like taken serious, then you yourself must learn how to hold an actual well rounded objective opinion.  As of now you are an inane voice with a small microphone swimming in a see of inane voices.

Justin Thibodeau
Justin Thibodeau

You sound angry, pathetic and mostly pretentious.  I don't necessarily like this type of music either but you are the type of person that makes me disgusted in my sides opinion of music.  You lack any objective credibility within your shallow opinion and thus do a disservice to people who do actually like music that is not mainstream pop.

You seem to be a person that uses the same sensationalism in your words as pop uses in its music.  You think that all you need to do is produce loud, obnoxious and poor observations and this will somehow make you look competent.  Instead in makes you look childish and immature.

Your the exact type of person that if you were to decide to reply to my post it would be filled with a short pithy comment of useless words.  One in which the motive is the desire to reduce my accusations of you without requiring you to back any of your unregulated nonsense up. A tactic I have already seen you do to a few others.  If you want to be taken seriously and have the music you actually do like taken serious, then you yourself must learn how to hold an actual well rounded objective opinion.  As of now you are an inane voice with a small microphone swimming in a sea of inane voices.

WTF
WTF

Wow, I think music is music and I like hearing something new every now and again. Besides nothing can be as bad as hearing that "Friday" song on the radiom. Also everyone has there own taste in music. If u had any real "class" u would just shut up and ignore it because 90 percent of people DON'T CARE!

CrAzY4yOu
CrAzY4yOu

thank GOD. i thought i was the only one who thought this. ugh its so fucking annoying when i heard it on the radio, it gave me chills. disgusting.

Matt
Matt

Wow. Someone had nothing to write about and was in a bad mood.

Angelina
Angelina

The only thing i agree with is the rapping...in a pop song...makes my ears bleed a little....

silverfuture
silverfuture

Don't dis Karmin! Amy and that other dude are my Jiggas!

Christina Pham
Christina Pham

"1. Amy Heidemann's voice. And here I thought the failed British import Jessie J was going to have the most aggressively barky vocal style to come to prominence in 2011. Nope! Heidemann's toasting on the lite-reggae, despite her alto-ish register, clangs against my eardrums the same way that nails being scratched down a chalkboard do—the smugness in particular grates, if only because it's so goddamn audible."What? There are so many things wrong with this statement. First of all, how is Jessie J a failed British Import? She has a huge following, and an amazing voice. Are you one of those people who also thinks Christina Aguilera can't sing? Try doing what she, Jessie J, and Karmin can all do with their voices, and 80% of female vocalists can't. 

SariRainMJ
SariRainMJ

I didn't think their "Look At Me Now" cover got popular because of it being funny, but more so because people were like "OMG, that girl can rap Busta's part near flawlessly!" And because, well, they're a pretty talented pair. And their video quality is good, which makes youtube watchers pay more attention to your videos for some reason. As for "Crash Your Party" it's a perfectly decent pop song. I don't see the big beef with it. It's not a song I particularly enjoy, but I don't utterly hate it, either. It's one of those songs you absentmindedly let play on your radio while you're driving because "meh." I agree that it's definitely no worse than other pop songs in the same style that are on the radio these days, as some other comments read. I also agree that it's kind of weird for you to review pop music if you hate it so much. I hate death metal, but I don't post reviews for it on my blog. I think it's just an excuse for you to spew your obsessive hate over pop music to people who couldn't be bothered to care about your opinion and are still going to buy that music you hate so much and watch their videos and go to their concerts. There are so many genres of music for you to review; you don't have to pick pop. Also, your reviews become invalid when you say you simply hate the whole genre then proceed to post a bad review of a song, artist, or album in that genre. If I hate licorice, I'm never going to call any brand of it "good", so therefore, my opinion is too biased for anyone to make a real judgement based off of. I could see if you were like "there are some really amazing, talented, innovative pop acts out there, but Karmin falls short in these particular areas." But since you're saying you just hate pop, anyway, now I'm just seeing you as a music snob. And those are my least favorite type of people. "I hate it, so therefore it sucks and anyone who likes it is an idiot." Get over yourself. 

Just saying
Just saying

I don't think people should be name-calling anyone here. Period. If you're critiquing something, stick to why you think it has no value, not why it hurts your feelings. That being said, Maura I'm interesting to know why you think rap music is only supposed to be made by black people. It's a little close-minded if you ask me. Anyone can make whatever music they want. And if you've ever seen an interview with Karmin, youd realize that they're not assholes like many of the people who exist in rap music. They're just out there doing what they have to do. I think your article couldve been much better if you didn't behave so emotional

Gareth
Gareth

Talent, or lack there of, aside. Their Youtube schtick is what Pat Boone was doing back in the day: stripping away the soul, to make nice little family friendly packages. I don't know if it equates to more than novelty.

Joe
Joe

The rapping is pretty terrible. Making it tongue in cheek doesn't stop the rapping from being terrible. Did I mention that Amy Heidemann can't rap?

As far as pop music goes, it's not that bad when compared to other songs of its ilk. I just don't understand what is so desirable about doing a sort of ironic take on a hip hop song and doing it poorly. Taking a bad generic hip hop song and turning it into a bad generic pop cover doesn't make you a genius.

150983a
150983a

@www.glitchmode.com 

saying this about florence and the machine is the most stupid thing i ever heard ,srly. did you ever take some time to search about them? lol get a life

Sam
Sam

Please inform my curious mind as to how Florence + the Machine is uncreative pop music? Really, I'd like to know. I could understand if that hippie-dippie, psychedelic thing is what turned you off but how is it pop, and how is it not creative in your gloriously pretentious mind? Is it because it's played on the radio?

Kiko Jones
Kiko Jones

I believe the answer to your question is "...Karmin is trying to be as all-things-to-all-people as possible. The blandness of their music, their attempts to make 'serious' that what is seen as trivial...their shoutouts to Reddit—all are ways of saying, 'Like us, please! And not just on Facebook!'"In other words, if I'm not mistaken, what she's saying is Karmin's music is trite, they try to hard and the end result is quite annoying. I agree.

Kevineehollee
Kevineehollee

 let me doods its a free country and if ya dont like something use one of ya hands and uh try turning it off -hello-this simple task is learned in kindergarden-and like most people understand the basic concept of duh if ya cant do no better ya self then thut the f-- up- my momma be teaching us kids if ya aint got something nice to say keep your mouth in the closed position,boys-with total respect for any singer or band that can make it in what ever kind of music and find an audiance in 2012 hell mary -right on for them-peace love sex and harley parts -shed some feathers doods .ya cant please everyone so ya got to please yur self.---good night girls.iycdnbtsu--that stands for if ya cant do no better then shut up/

Kiko Jones
Kiko Jones

I know it's an extreme comparison but by your logic a scientist dedicated to, say, poisoning our water supply should be spared criticism b/c he or she excelled in school, graduated at the top of their class, and got numerous PhDs. Sorry but no.

3fingersbrown
3fingersbrown

Hmmm... so people should only write positive music criticism? See what happens with the kids these days? Everyone gets a medal just for showing up.

Jack
Jack

Beatles are overrated, Lil Wayne has a PHD, and Karmin sucks. Which are my feelings and which are the truth? I'd love to know, oh soothsayer of the people's emotions.

Kiko Jones
Kiko Jones

You sound like one of those people who supports the idea of ALL the little kids playing soccer getting trophies, "because there are no losers just players" or whatever stupid crap people say in those circumstances. Ugh.  

Kiko Jones
Kiko Jones

You know, this isn't some little private blog written for free but actually an established publication which pays Maura for her opinion and expertise. So, b/c she gets paid to write her opinion, that means--guess what?--somebody does care! [ignorance reigns supreme on the internet]

Kiko Jones
Kiko Jones

I'm not good at mugging people, should I praise those who are experts?

Brad Taylor
Brad Taylor

Your opinion is less than worthless.

Nicole
Nicole

I don't think Maura implied that rap should be made only by black people, just that people who perform rap shouldn't do so without an appreciation for the genre. Karmin really seems to imply that they're improving on the songs that they cover not due to any innate talent that they have, but just by changing the context of the music. 

Some of my favorite musicians are singers who reviewers love to hate on, but I have never understood the rationale behind fans' insane rants and ad hominem attacks. Karmin fans: so this one reviewer doesn't like your favorite band. So what? She provided a video of their music and we all clearly know how to use the internet, so it's not like people are forced to take her word about Karmin. We can press play and listen for ourselves. I did that, for approximately 5 seconds when I decided that I'd had enough. I think that Karmin are twee and awful and obnoxious and I hate that they are Pat Boone-ing music in 2012, but if there's a market for that, they'll do fine, regardless of how I feel. If there's not, they'll disappear. All the negative reviews in the world won't stop people who like this from liking it. Chill.

Christastirling86
Christastirling86

thats funny you say that karmin cant rap when busta ryhmes was saying how awesome she is. i would love to hear you try and do any better

sirwnstn
sirwnstn

Ah, thanks.  That was actually in the article, but it seemed like a needle in a haystack of anger.  Well, I can now see Johnston's point.  Here's to hoping Karmin settles down a bit and find their own voice.  I checked out their YouTube channel, and they look like they have some good musicianship.  I wish them luck.

Samta69
Samta69

 Actually Christa, we probably don't want to hear Joe try to rap.

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