"Scream & Shout"
It turns out that superstar singers jot down to-do lists just like the rest of us. Here's will.i.am's for "Scream & Shout":
- Go to the club.
- Program an altered-state-inducing beat.
- Turn up the stereo.
- Party till morning.
- See if Britney Spears wants to do the same.
That's pretty much what happens in The Black Eyed Peas' frontman's latest solo hit. That, plus a volley or two of vulgarity, some braggadocio and a whole lotta drinkin'.
Britney gets the synthesized soiree started with a verse in which her voice sounds like some sort of British/German-accented fembot doppelgänger parody of herself slinging s-words: "When you hear this in the club/You're gonna turn this s‑‑‑ up/You're gonna turn this s‑‑‑ up/You're gonna turn this s‑‑‑ up." It's no surprise, I guess, that everybody's watching her: "When we up in the club/All eyes on us/ … See the boys in the club/They watchin' us."
Other activities on tap include high-volume catharsis ("I wanna scream and shout and let it all out"), cranking up the decibels to hyperbolically destructive levels ("Turn it up and burn down the house") imbibing a cocktail or three ("Drink it up, and then drink some more"), smoking and/or perhaps lighting a metaphorical fuse ("Light it up, and let's let it blow"), and, of course, making sure no one forgets who's supposed to be the center of attention: "You are now, now rockin' with will.i.am and Britney, b‑‑ch."
Good thing everybody's already watchin'.
All of that electropop-fueled hedonism might best be summed up with this lyric: "Rock and roll, everybody let's lose control." It's a bash will.i.am wishes would just keep on blowing up: "When me and you party together/I wish this night would last forever."
That last line perhaps goes a bit deeper—albeit unintentionally, I suspect—than the other lyrics on this song (or most of the Black Eyed Peas' similarly party-oriented hits in the last decade, for that matter). Listening to this tune, as well as Peas hits " The Time (Dirty Bit)," " I Gotta Feeling" and " Boom Boom Pow," one gets the strong sense that will.i.am and his friends long for a euphoric, ecstatic experience that never ends.
Now, from a spiritual perspective, I can postulate that what they're really longing for is something that only God can give them. But the closest will.i.am can get to glory is a really, really long night at the club.
As for the video, it feels at times like outtakes from a lost mash-up between big-money clubbing and The Matrix. Will.i.am sports acres of sci-fi-cool leather as he sings. As for Britney, her outfits cover less of her, including one that bares her midriff and another that features a plunging neckline. It's a video that's every bit as self-consciously stylized as the song it backs … and, sadly, every bit as empty.