If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Jennifer Hudson’s finally found a musical style that will work for her. “Walk It Out” is super cute. It’s kind of like, “Yeah, I’m grown-grown, but I can still give you a stripper kick and turn that cherry out.” As someone who just turned 30, I appreciate such a sentiment. Or better yet, the song is like the musical equivalent of getting your stuffy homegirl loose at the club after a few drinks.
And I really, really like that this is the second song in a row that I’ve heard from J. Hud that didn’t make me want to shout, “This is why Deena Jones got all of the leads!”
All praises to Pharrell and Evelyn Champagne King for “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel).” And now, applause-applause for Timbaland, who has upped the ante. By the way, I hear you in the background, Justin Timberlake. You sound good, sir. How about you sing background on a Janet Jackson comeback single? Nah, I ain’t forgot.
Anyway, I love this Jennifer Hudson single and that is not something my fingers are not used to typing.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t think Jennifer Hudson can sing and she hasn’t had her moments before. See, “No One Gonna Love You.” However, mama can be so loud. Like, I’m so glad J. Hud’s producers have got her to stop screaming as if she was Jesus’ alarm clock.
Not to mention, a lot of her music sounded unnecessarily old. I know she was being positioned as a Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin like vocalist. Okay, but even Whitney Houston’s earlier work included some fun, youthful uptempos. Hell, so did the stuff towards the end. I know y’all remember the hood auntie classic (this is a compliment), ”Whatchulookinat.” Also, even Mean Re-Re had “Rock Steady,” baby, plus “A Rose Is Still A Rose.”
It’s about time Jennifer Hudson stepped out of the Dionne Warwick’s Bid Whist party long enough to shimmy with folks who still have their original teeth. I mean, this was the then-20 something woman who had a song about smacking someone with their pocketbook. Sure, she tried before, but that song she had with Rick Ross was some Banshee ‘n B shit. Nope.
Now, I did notice a hint of Beyoncé in the vocal arrangement and delivery of “Walk It Out.” The inflections seem very KING BEY and I get the feeling this song might’ve been presented to her during recording sessions. This is not a jab to J.Hud. Singing tracks intended for Beyoncé is probably the best creative decision she’s made in a long time. A few other women should probably consider doing the same thing.
My favorite lines (clearly) are:
“I be on, I be on, I be-I be on that good shit. I be on, I be on – yup! – on that hood shit. You gotta take me out. Let me show how to approach me now. If we do it right, you can turn me out.”
Yes, Jennifer. Sing my life story. This song is so fun and playful. Glad you loosened up. It wasn’t but a month or so ago that Jennifer was talking about how singing about sex is “overrated.” That was some bullshit then and it was bullshit now.
There may be an imbalance in music with respect to subject matter, and yes, some people sing about sex in the corniest of ways (Pharrell’s new album is a nice example. Dude still sings about sex like a desperate virgin in the band.) However, sex is fantastic and sex songs are good. Ain’t nothing wrong with crooning about getting some.
Happy you could join the celebrating, Ms. Hudson. Keep it up.