Roots Manuva - "Crying" (Singles Going Steady)

"Crying" is such a powerful track that not only do I enjoy the auditory assault, I actually want more of it when the song finally ends.

Emmanuel Elone: From the first second, the dense, distorted hip-hop beat slaps the listener in the face. When Roots Manuva's deep, booming voice enters with some tight, well-written rhymes, the song proceeds to beat the listener up even more. By the time that the simple, disturbing chorus enters with some vocal samples of actual people crying, this track knocks the listener into a bloody pulp. Yet, somehow, "Crying" is such a powerful track that not only do I enjoy the auditory assault, I actually want more of it when the song finally ends. It's addictive, dark, and macabre without all of the preachiness and teenage angst of other horrorcore rappers like Tech N9ne, and is just a supremely sublime song that I can't get enough of. [8/10]

Chris Ingalls: I really respect Roots' ability to create a dark, gloomy atmosphere with a combination of minor-key hip-hop and curious sonic effects, but some of those samples range from annoying to overly creepy. The dog-whistle keyboards are so high in the mix that they're a distraction, and that baby crying throughout the whole song -- didn't Lou Reed try that on Berlin? I didn't like it then, either. I give him points for trying new and interesting things, but I can't really listen to this regularly. [5/10]

Pryor Stroud: Claustrophobic, twitchy, and racked with a deep-seated anxiety that refuses to reveal its antecedent, "Crying" seems afflicted, like Roots Manuva is undergoing a lucid and ineluctable stress dream filled with nagging sensations of abandonment that he's trying and failing to process. The production is defined by a recurring horror-movie synth screech, demon-child verbalizations, and a drum track that, often, sounds as if its coming from an adjacent room containing various implements of ambiguous utility. It places you in the same solitary sonic confinement of the Cure's "Close to Me", but there's no second body here to comfort you, only the walls around you and the sense that they're closing in. Manuva, it seems, is rapping to see if someone will hear him and, if luck is on his side, help him out. [6/10]

Chad Miller: The music and beat creates an effectively menacing mood. It's unfortunate that the lyrics don't always seem to fit this theme. Still, Manuva's lyrics have depth to them, and he does a great job performing them. [7/10]

SCORE: 6.50

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