Less Is More


The Tweet single “Oops (Oh My)” has just one drum, a simple Timbaland rhythm that hits the counter beats instead of the main ones. There’s a hurdy-gurdy riff above it, which drops out for just some dub echo in the break—proving that the way to put variation into a simple track is to make it simpler. My notes say “spare discussion,” which was a miswrite for “spare percussion” but is right anyway, since the discussion here is spare, or at least one-sided: Tweet comes home, 3 a.m., still feeling all her feelings; oops, her shirt goes up over her head, her skirt drops down to her feet, a hand is caressing her thigh—who could this be? Well, it’s her own face in the mirror, her own hand on her thigh.

“How do you suggest self-sufficiency without implying desperation and inadequacy?” asks Tim Finney in his Web review of the song. Tweet does it with her voice, puts in passionate idiosyncratic oopsiness without overdoing the peculiarities or undercutting her basic warmth. So the voice is sexy, but it doesn’t come across as coy or as if it’s instructing us to find it naughty or salacious. What intrigues me is that the track works so well being brought down essentially to drum and voice and personality (to percussion and discussion). It beats Alicia Keys’s “Fallin’ ” hands down. So to speak.

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