366 Songs 036: We Just Won’t Be Defeated

Yes, yes, I know, I’m late; things haven’t exactly been going to plan recently, shall we say.

There’s been a lot said about the Go! Team, and their mix of found source music and influences; the place where mash-up mentalities meet live music, and then go off and do something less boring instead (A reference that’ll make sense to no-one who isn’t of a particular age and nationality, but for those who saw Why Don’t You…? on British television during the 1980s, you’re welcome; oddly enough, there’s something about the Go! Team sound that reminds me of the theme music for that show, too), and in theory it’s a fine, fine thing. But in practice, there’s a mudiness and laziness to much of the Go! Team’s music, especially on the second album, where songs sound far too alike, and far too busy, for their own good. It impacts even their best songs, and “We Just Won’t Be Defeated” is certainly one of those, but behind the “Double Dutch” vocals and sampled horns and indie jangle, there’s something… tired, perhaps, would be the best way to put it? For a song made up of all these elements that are so alive, so vital, there’s a life missing from the final effort.

It’s something that struck home especially when watching this live performance, which looks like a band barely awake, working to a formula and doing it very professionally, which is great as far as it goes, but – well, music, especially pop music, is something where professionalism is always trumped by passion, and this performance is passionless. You watch everyone at work, and you end up liking the song less, as a result. The Go! Team, when you think of them as this multi-cultural group mixing genre and culture and era into one aural blender and coming out with something to shake your tush to as a result, should be above all fun, and this… isn’t fun at all. It’s just something doing a job very well.