Simian Mobile Disco feat Beth Ditto – Cruel Intentions

Release Date 04/01/2010
By Ian Snell

James Ford has been responsible for shaping some of the biggest British albums of the past few years producing Florence, Klaxons and Arctic Monkeys.  And alongside former Simian bandmate and Mobile Disco partner Jas Shaw he almost caused a renaissance of mainstream dance music in 2007 with ‘Attack Delay Sustain Release’ and their Justice collaboration ‘We Are Your Friends’.  Their follow up, ‘Temporary Pleasure’, released last August was a less heralded affair despite its predilection for celebrity collaborators.

This latest offering from their second record sees them team up with Gossip front woman Beth Ditto the reigning Queen of the indie scene.  As countless others have proved, teaming up with a star guest is not always a recipe for success.  But it would seem that the SMD duo have done the impossible and arranged a song for the Gossip singer that doesn’t sound like ‘standing in the way of control’, something that, judging by her latest release, Ditto herself could not manage.  They have also managed to work a gay icon into a dance track without turning it into a camp de farce. 

The song itself is an ode to casual sex with Ditto playing on the allure of availability and simplicity, a combination most find impossible to ignore.  The role is one that Ditto plays too well, her voice managing to appear sultry yet disinterested at the same time, as though if this potential lover rejects her serenade she can quickly find another potential conquest.

It is released too late to truly resonate as its message will be lost on the many beginning to count the cost of Christmas party hook ups, and the song is not strong enough to sustain long into the new year.  But for those involved in early January revelry it will be a dance floor filler.

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