366 Songs 112: Kickin’

Here’s an odd one: This was a favorite song of mine way back in the mid-90s, albeit one that I possibly only heard… what, maybe three times at most? I didn’t own it, because it wasn’t a single and I didn’t want to buy the entire album for one song; I knew it because it was a Tricky collaboration and happening at the time when I was very, very into all of the Tricky stuff. There’s something somewhat forced about it, listening to it now, something trying too hard to be quirky and off-center (The lyrics, in particular, are countless moments of “What…?” after another) with the random noises and lazy, loutish attempts at off-kilter harmonies as the song finishes, but I’ll admit it: I’m still sucked in by the simplicity of the chorus. “I can’t help it, I think you’re really kickin'” is the kind of lyric that can only be created by someone with English as a second language (Whale were Swedish, as far as I remember), but it has the goofy grin and appeal of one newly smitten, and for that alone, I’ll always have a soft spot for it. I can’t help it.

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