B.o.B compared Strange Clouds to sloppy seconds, essentially. We're taking a few liberties with that quote, but the metaphor sort of applies. Well, maybe not the "sloppy" part. Not after "Strange Clouds" itself, Dr. Luke curating/ripping the exact sounds you'd want in a pop-rap-step track (everything is -step now) in 2012. Not after--nah, "Play the Guitar" gets no place in this paragraph. And certainly not after "So Good," a track produced by Ryan Tedder in an apparent attempt to court radio as dashingly and deliberately as possible. Listen below.
OK, look, writing a review proper of this thing would be craftwork too intricate for a song that, by all indications, was devised by checklist. Instead, we'll do our best to reproduce that checklist, as undoubtedly exists on some well-thumbed binder page in the studio:
* Drum loop from "Empire State of Mind" that putters and pitter-patters and does not cease.
* Piano loop also from "Empire State of Mind," regular as a nail gun.
* Cone of reverb on both of those, saying "This is big. This is radio-friendly. You will play this on your station, because it'll just flatten whatever puny little chugging-off productions came before it."
* Look, it doesn't even matter what B.o.B says here but talking about college transfers can't hurt, nor can alluding to jet-setting or referencing Pisa and Egypt. (Ibiza is not on this checklist because it's not the dance-pop checklist.)
* A chorus less sung than lazed out, the title delivered so nonchalantly it doesn't hook you so much as yawns and stretches its arm around you.
* The name Ryan Tedder on here, which is still a selling point for some reason. And "So Good"? That's enough like "Good Life" that somebody--Far*East Movement? Avril Lavigne?--is going to release a Tedder-helmed single called "So Life," which is going to get at least one parent carping about how "life" qualifies as an adjective now and kids these days and tarnation.
* The above scenario was more interesting than anything on "So Good." And this is no longer a checklist. Huh. We can't even complain about this right. It just... exists.