Max Bell gets paid in Timberlands.
There were no hit records on the demo. Bronson told us that on the breezy, Alchemist produced “Terry.” But we already knew. “Easy Rider” was made for lysergic lane changing. (Pitbull will not be on the remix.)”Actin Crazy” appears to be the only minor concession to thirsty record executives. Still, the video was uncompromising. Opportunity knocked and Bronson used the budget to eat cereal while superhuman feats were handled in post (and post?). It’s wonderful. Now we have “Baby Blue.”
The fourth “single” from Bronson’s forthcoming Vice/Atlantic debut, Mr. Wonderful, “Baby Blue” isn’t supposed to be a hit. Mark Ronson and that guy Kanye apologized to on Twitter may have topped Billboard for the last eight weeks, but Bronson just wants the drums to knock (they do) and the horns at the end (they’re there). The keys and the choral crescendos are perfectly placed. Ronson remains the same guy who once laced Nate Dogg and Tony Starks.
Bronson isn’t a singer, but carries himself with the same assurance he applies to epicurean one liners. In his mind, his broken croon could win The Voice and American Idol in the same year. While the hook borders on comedy, this is Bronson at his most vulnerable. Mistreated by a nameless ex, he enumerates his reasons for moving on in woodgrain, women, and swordfish. He hits her right back just to remind her. It’s not exactly a flawless breakup record, but all images are predictably gorgeous.
Chance delivers a serviceable feature. More acidic than “experimental.” If you prefer the duo’s previous, more playful collab, “NaNa”, you’re probably not alone.
Ultimately, this isn’t Bronson’s sharpest writing, but on some level, it’s his most interesting. His catalogue contains very rare moments where his guard drops, where he’s noticeably hurt. “Baby Blue” is an interesting step. For now, we come to Bronson for the comedy, the man-made-myth escape. But there’s undoubtedly more than he lets on. It might be tragedy and it might be wonderful.