By Kavit Sumud | February 11th, 2013
So you might ask yourself: “Purity Ring and Soulja Boy, WTF mate?” But this follows in the same vein as Swedish band jj’s long running series of mediocre mainstream tracks being impressively redefined through a much better band’s electronic aesthetic. The best example of that would be their take on Jermih’s “Birthday Sex.”
And this song utilizes jj’s method to perfection. First, Purity Ring covers all of Soulja Boy’s lyrics, but this time they bring Megan James out of the distortion desert (an aesthetic so central to the band’s sound on their debut LP) for moments that matter. And for all those haters who thought Megan James couldn’t carry a song without abundant autotune, here’s your clear refutation to that grumbling.
Purity Ring replaces the traditional hip-hop production of “Grammy” with their signature frenetic, spliced sound method in the verses. That’s jj tact #2: focusing the attention on the most emotionally poignant parts of a track while keeping the original in tact. In this case, it helps listeners mute through the Soulja Boy lyrical bloat while allowing the focus of the cover (on “Grammy,” it’s the chorus) to have space to breathe and shine when its time comes. And James carries that chorus spot on. She delicately pleads: “What do you want from me, Cause I’m giving you everything?” and the chorus is so good, it demands that the lyrics morph into a double entendre.
I hope this is a harbinger of clearer sounds to come in Purity Ring’s original tracks, as some of their music on their LP, Shrines, got a little messy and could have used this crystalline production.