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A penis-happy Swede making his bid for jock-jam supremacy by exhuming the already picked-over corpse of a disco band’s sad-sack ballad? What could possibly go wrong?
In 2008, Swedish dance-pop mastermind Jonas Erik Altberg, operating under the name Basshunter, needed to follow up his No. 1 single in the UK with something that would make people think of him as a musician, and not an amateur porn star. So he pulled the same trick as so many other well-intentioned but very wrongheaded musicians looking to hold on to the remains of their fame in this increasingly distracted age: He rush-released a cover, hoping that if people didn’t remember who he was, they’d at least remember the song that he was warbling. The song? KC and the Sunshine Band’s last-days-of-disco hit “Please Don’t Go”—which had the added advantage of hitting No. 1 around the world during both the ’80s and the ’90s. Cross-generational pollination! It’s brilliant! Well, until about 10 seconds in, anyway.
Listening to Basshunter’s version of “Please Don’t Go” is like listening to an answering machine that malfunctioned while receiving a call from someone at an inanely musically programmed minor-league baseball game; it stitches together the undeterred stomp of “Rock And Roll Part 2,” the keyboards of “James Brown Is Dead,” and the disembodied feel of those “Cha Cha Slide” bits that stadiums use when they want people to clap their hands. Add to that a half-felt vocal performance that’s treated with enough Autotune to make Cher choke on a Bob Mackie bead, and what you’re left with is… well, really nothing at all, the equivalent of a gun filled with Nerf bullets, the sort of song that wouldn’t even place at the AVN Awards in the special “Music By People Who Also Make The Movies You’re Honoring” category.