Think she’s gonna make a move
Somehow I’ve managed to not write about Cassie’s first single, “Me & U,” even though I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. And as her album sold something like 100,000 copies in the last week and radio has gone balls out on playing it, by now most folks are aware of it. The spell she’s cast on music-listening public has been powerful, like a snakecharmer whose lyrics possess their listener and get the trousersnakes moving. Starting with a limited, punctuated slide up and down the scale imitating a hypnotized sway, locking in perfectly with the juicy keyboard line, airy synth counterpoint in lieu of backing singers, oil-tanker percussion, stabbed from every direction by a orchestral sample and swell.
The words slinking out of her mouth are far sexier than most of what’s on the radio. Despite being the one in control (still charming), she plays subservient with a hint of glee. There’s also a bit of detachment: as much as it’s all about “me and you,” she’s all “too busy” and apologizing for delaying her callbacks, talking about the free samples she’s not giving out but mmm, there have been some licked lips when her name gets dropped, Pavlov’s dogg style. There’s a shit ton of studio gloss on Cassie’s voice, especially noticeable during the prechorus and beyond, but it works well with the tones that surround her. When she harmonizes with herself it’s irresistable, even when it’s done frequently — tasty and tasteful.
But the best song is the lush bridge, getting all sweet and cuddly with the same juicy chimes. Her little “I swear!” outburst is a little, uh, little girl sounding but adds a little emotion beyond horn-Aye. The rest of the song swings the same except with little vocal exercises thrown in for one last hurrah. “Me & U” was produced by Ryan Leslie, apparently a chum of Usher’s and guy who’s produced some large and mostly unheard stuff (Britney Spears “The Answer,” new New Edition and a bunch of shit for Bad Boy Records). Leslie was the one who encouraged her to take music seriously, and he also wrote nearly every song on her record. Personally this is my favorite single on the radio at the present — far sexier than the dreaded “Sexy Back,” less overt than “Gettin’ Some Head,” and kicking the shit out of everything Beyonce puts out these days. If her next single works magic the same way “Me & U” has, we could have a bona fide new star on our hands.