I think I’m a bit burnt out on the entire dubstep phenomenon. There was a time when Skrillex, the Presets and Alex Clare really enthused me (Alex still does, but his output is backed with solid songwriting). It’s fun to drive to, its overly dramatic musical structure begs for choreography, and it’s awesome club music. However, I think that it’s reached a point where the genre isn’t particularly fresh anymore. Which brings us to this week’s free iTunes single, “Three Strikes”, by Dutch DJ Afrojack featuring vocals by British singer Jack McManus. I’ll admit it’s catchy and fun in the short term, but it’s ultimately quite easily forgettable– standard issue paint-by-numbers dubstep. It sounds like a million other tracks by a million other artists and that’s gotten me thinking perhaps the genre has finally reached a critical mass, a point of over-saturation which is just a bit ironic, since the point (I think) is to sound futuristic, and now futuristic feels stale.
Afrojack (Nick Van de Wall in real life) is from Spijkenisse, Netherlands, and has contributed to several hit songs for other artists over the past few years, including Pitbull’s “Give Me Everything” and Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)”. However, this track feels a little lackluster in comparison. McManus provides a strong, able vocal, but the overall effect is phoned-in and just a little too slick. Like I said earlier, it’s a fun jam, but you won’t remember anything about it five minutes later. Based on his earlier work with others, Afrojack seems capable of much better than this song, which probably should have been relegated to album filler rather than released as a single. It’s like the Chinese takeout of dubstep: you’ll enjoy it for its duration, but it won’t stick with you. Pick up some Daft Punk instead– you’ll get more mileage from it. The SeriouslyFluffy Final Grade: C