The Darkness sound like Tiny Tim covering Heart, and their image is playful enough that I doubt they’d get angry if I assumed they were being satirical. Kanye West uses a maudlin munchkin sample while describing a facial injury, and judging by his oddball album cover, he’d probably laugh if I asked him if “Through the Wire” was a lampoon of 50 Cent’s bullet cred. Eamon’s smash “F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back)” consists of artlessly profane verbal abuse toward a cheating girlfriend, and every photo implies he’d kick the shit out of me if I told him how much this song cracks me up. That only makes it funnier.
The Staten Island 19-year-old claims his sound, proudly described as “ho-wop” at the start of his debut album, I Don’t Want You Back, is inspired by Frankie Lymon and the Wu-Tang Clan. And his best songs do kinda suggest “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” mixed with Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “I Want Pussy.” One has a Flamingoes sample, and the soda-shop-saccharine “I Want You So Bad” says, “I just want you close to me/I’ll get you wet/just wait and see” (not to mention, confoundingly, “Just sit back and have a seat”). Unfortunately, the rank-out crooning that makes “F**k It” such a hoot gets tiring when the music strays from ho-wop to pedestrian r&b thuggery.
Eamon seems to believe that “sex” only rhymes with “X,” ignoring “convex,” “aspects,” “Lurex,” “Rice Chex,” and, most fittingly, “complex”—N.O.R.E.’s 30-second intro to “Lo Rida” feels Dylan-esque compared to the rest of the Top 10 I Don’t Want You Back. The search for lots of cheap coitus from girls who won’t seek it elsewhere—the ‘ho less traveled—loses its charm once producer Rap Legend Milk Dee describes unknowingly fucking Eamon’s girl in a bathroom, her “face in the bowl.” Have the dozens of family members thanked in the liner notes actually heard this stuff? Maybe they assume it’s a joke.