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I Don't Want You Back

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Album Review

Eamon essentially came out of nowhere in late 2003, when the Staten Island singer's "F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)" caught fire at national radio. Initially, novelty figured into the song's success — with its numerous expletives removed, the track sounded like Scarface on TV. But there was also a visceral directness in "F**k It" that listeners responded to. Its spare, quietly surging arrangement was slow-jam pretty, as was Eamon's bold, doo wop-inspired delivery. But its supposed warmth only put the shrillness of "You thought you could keep this sh*t from me" and "F*ck what I said, it don't mean sh*t now" in greater relief against the tepid backdrop of early 21st century urban radio. In a landscape of constant innuendo, people responded to Eamon's cold glare and boldface dismissal. His Jive debut plays off the song's success; I Don't Want You Back includes not only the uncut audio version but its video as well. Helming principals Milk Dee and Mark Passy have also followed through with a handful of songs that retain "F**k It"'s stuttering, streetwise production. "Get Off My Dick!" situates snippets of drum'n'bass beats around a simple organ loop as Eamon lays down another kiss-off; it's reminiscent of the Streets' Original Pirate Material in both its sound and conversational tone. "I Love Them Ho's (Ho-Wop)" isn't as imaginative, copping the Flamingos' "I Only Have Eyes for You" for its heavy-handed celebration of groupie love, but "My Baby's Lost" and "I'd Rather F**k With You" are better combinations of conventional genre bravado and interestingly off-kilter style of Eamon and his crew. The remainder of I Don't Want You Back isn't as strong, relying on posing and unremarkable filler. But the album is still quite promising, especially with such a statement-making single. [I Don't Want You Back also appeared in an edited version.]


Born: 1984 in Staten Island, NY

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s

Staten Island vocalist Eamon appeared in late 2003, when his bold single "F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)" took urban radio by storm. With its spare melody and stripped-down production -- not to mention its profanity-laced dismissal of a two-timing lover -- the song stood out immediately and blew up request lines nationwide. Jive jumped on the fervor, fast-tracking a video for "F**k It" and slating a full-length LP for January 2004. When the debut dropped, it further showcased Eamon's strident lyricism...
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I Don't Want You Back, Eamon
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