Pop Song Review: Rixton – “Wait On Me”

Today’s review is “Wait On Me” by Rixton. I don’t normally capitalise the “o” in “on” if it’s within the song title because, for the most part, “on” is a preposition denoting location: Smoke on the Water, for example. However, here, “on” is… you know what, let’s just start the review.

First impressions: Well that was weird – I looked up the new Rixton single and this Maroon 5 song started playing instead.

The music: Ska music: reggae for white people who can’t dance. Ska pop: reggae for white people who can’t dance and probably aren’t old enough to drink.

Jokes! Well, not really, but I do find myself liking this song the more I hear it. The verses aren’t much to talk about but the beat drives them nicely, so at least you’ve got something to enjoy while the song’s actually playing in case you can’t remember what you were just listening to. I actually do like the bridge, though, and the chorus isn’t too bad, either – a nice choice of notes, there. The guy’s got a decent voice and, to his credit, he doesn’t try to put on a cod-Caribbean accent, while the band do their job well enough. Speaking of bands, I compared Rixton to Maroon 5 earlier, but where the latter is basically the Adam Levine Project at this point the former does actually feel like a cohesive unit, which I appreciate mightily. And hey, at least these guys don’t have Adam Levine’s whiny falsetto or Adam Levine’s scrawny, oversexualised posturing or… just Adam Levine in general, actually. In fact, every band ever gets a plus point for not having Adam Levine (except Maroon 5, of course. Sorry, lads).

I don’t think the post-chorus whistling bit was necessary, though. It doesn’t add anything to the music and it doesn’t refer to anything else within it, so it just sticks out like a piece of toilet paper stuck to the song’s shoe. Not much else to say about the music, though, other than, “well done, for the most part.”

The lyrics: Somebody commented on the official video for this song how much they appreciated Rixton’s “creative lyrics”. Red flag to a bull, right here – let’s have some fun.

“Wait on me, I know how to love you / and I wanna love you some more.” Grand start, I must say. Here Rixton explore the deep, problematic notions of excess and arrogance associated with western culture: he’s perfectly confident that he knows “how to love you,” but he’s not satisfied with that so he has to “love you some more.” He has to prove his prowess again and again, out of greed but also out of an unspoken self-hatred tied in to his crippling lack of self-worth. With this one line Rixton have identified the modern man: an individual whose boastful, overconfident exterior is merely a mask to hide how weak and frightened he really is, persistently compelled to over-perform in order to keep up with the entitled, fast-moving, hyper-sexualised modernity of a culture which is slowly but surely killing what’s left of him. Brilliant!

Okay, fine, I’m being needlessly mean here, but if this is what passes for “creative” lyricism, no wonder pop music is stuck in a bit of a rut. “Wait On Me” is pretty pedestrian stuff, even by pop music standards: “Take it, take it / I’ll give my heart to you for free, girl / don’t you break it, break it / along with every piece of me.” Do I even need to analyse this?

“I wanna be the one to know what you need […] I never wanna be your ex-man / I’ll never make you feel ignored.” Aw, that’s sweet, Rixton.

“You can go and find your next man / but I know what you’re waiting for.” That’s… not quite as sweet, honestly. Is it me or is there a weird stalker/cuckold-esque vibe to this line? Or maybe it’s just posturing – or all of the above. “Pah! Go, feeble woman! Go to your new lover as Rixton watches on. Rixton shall watch with his all-seeing eyes your romance blossom, gaze as you dally in sweaty, sexual conquest, smile as you argue over trivial matters, laugh as you cry, gloat as you moan and beat his chest as you hold yourself in silence, for Rixton knows what it is you truly desire, what you truly crave – and it is Rixton! All roads lead to Rixton, my dear, as you shall find in your pitiful journey to be rid of me. But no-one shall be rid of Rixton! No-one!”

“I’ll go the distance but not all of the way.” I can’t tell if this is romantic or not: you could take it as him wanting to hold off from sex to get to know her better, or as him wanting sex without a relationship; it really depends on what your definition of “all of the way” is. Well, the absolute “all of the way” is death, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going for here. I mean, it could be, but it’s a strangely morbid angle for such an otherwise-upbeat song.

“Come a little closer / wanna be the one to explore / a little trouble never hurt nobody/ oh, I wanna feel your body.” Er, good one? And I thought you didn’t want to go “all of the way”. What is feeling her up if not approaching all the way? Or is that just the “distance” you were talking about? “Hey baby, come a little closer, let me feel you good, let me–woah, was that a kiss? Hey, I didn’t think you wanted to go that far. I mean, jeez, lady.”

“Say what you mean to me and mean what you say.” I guess this is kinda clever, or just completely redundant, or slightly intelligent, or totally unnecessary, or fairly witty, or absolutely tautological.

Verdict: This isn’t too bad, actually. It’s certainly better than their last hit, “Me and My Broken Heart”, even if I can’t quite tell the two apart at times. 3 out of 5.

Today’s double-up is “Waiting On You” by Coverdale & Page.

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