Dizzie Rascal and Armand Van Helden - Bonkers - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Dizzie Rascal and Armand Van Helden - Bonkers

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Part two of Dizzee's chart domination, and the second in a series of singles which bring a little sunshine and a whole load of real-world weirdness into the drab functionality of the Simon Cowell-gripped UK top ten. 'Bonkers' might seem to veer dangerously close to novelty, but it actually follows on from 'Dance Wiv Me's mundane-into-magic setting, this time riffing on eccentricity, a great British pop tradition running through Screaming Lord Sutch, Madness and Robbie Williams. And thank the heavens Dizzee is here to take up the role for the 21st century, recasting himself as the naughty kid at the back of the class, warping his mind with unobtainable dreams and impossible sounds. It suits him.

Anyone who thinks 'Bonkers' is Dizzee selling out by going pop has got a seriously messed up idea of what pop is. This is pop only as it exits in the mind of a Ritalin-fucked, sugar guzzling, sociopathic 10-year-old. A bassline like a stampede of elephants drives Dizzee's dum-dum boy rap about living his life his way. The best what-the-fudge moment comes at just under two minutes when the tune suddenly mutates into what sounds like Aphex Twin's idea of a disco classic, queasy and sea sick where it should be funky. 'I'm floating in the floor now,' Dizzee (?) sings before the whole thing collapses under the weight of its own wrongness. It lasts less then 10 seconds and sounds tailor made for people dropping into K-holes.

But beyond that, this is great pop music because it's so generous and friendly, not trying to be serious and 'authentic' at the expense of the club-goers, not blanding itself out just to score a hit. Right now, as you read this, 'Bonkers' is bringing a little warmth and humour into someone's otherwise gray day, whether they're a misunderstood teen or a trodden-on office worker. And that is pop music at its absolute best.

One genius line that sums everything up: 'A heavy bassline is my kind of silence'. If you feel the same, then you're in Dizzee's gang.

Richard Morris

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