After almost a year away, Ailee has returned with her first full album, Vivid. Title track “Mind Your Own Business ” is a clear statement that Ailee’s particular brand of girl powerhouse songs hasn’t gone anywhere.
“Mind Your Own Business” is as exactly as in your face as you expect it to be. After all, no one delivers a kiss-off with quite as much class or sass as Ailee. “Mind Your Own Business” is fierce as all get out, an exercise in anger and frustration that builds into just being done with this shit already. Ailee acknowledges the good times she and her boy used to have, but refuses to dwell on them. She’s done with his promises to change and his bad attitude, and so walks out, pointedly refusing to regret her decision for a moment. She delivers the message loud and clear: her man needs to mind his own business, and that business no longer includes Ailee.
Tragically, the queen bee vibe of the lyrics are not fully matched by the instrumentals. While “Mind Your Own Business” does have the instant win condition of a killer sax line, and Ailee’s voice is on point as always, the rest of the production fails to live up to the potential crafted. The biggest sin is that “Mind Your Own Business” is oddly muted for such a song with such powerful lyrics.
The verses and bridge both allow Ailee’s stunning vocals to dominate the track. Unfortunately, there’s a failure to do so on the chorus, which is where it really counts. The glut of back-up singers present bury Ailee’s voice, despite her distinctiveness. The production causes further problems in that most of the instrumentals follow the harmony quite closely. It’s like a solid wall of sound hitting the ear rather than a melodious harmonization.
That wall is not helped by the overly-safe vocal arrangements, which fail to allow Ailee an opportunity to truly flaunt her prowess behind the microphone. The cumulative effect of all this is that Ailee is muted behind the noise of sup-par production; her solid delivery of a kick-ass song drowned under a mix crammed full to bursting.
The MV, though, is bitching enough for ten Ailees, plus two. Okay, it’s not quite that glorious, but “Mind Your Own Business” will definitely give any girl whose been spurned some serious squad goals. It starts off as a typical revenge fantasy: if your boy isn’t up to par, and has wasted your life for . . . really any time frame longer than three months is acceptable, then trash the hell out of his car. After all, he probably likes it more. Where “Mind Your Own Business” really kicks it up though, is that instead of Ailee and her friends trashing her ex’s car and driving away, the cops show up halfway through.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mYCjGdlqxE]
She and her girls end up getting hauled off to jail by women who look like they picked up some sexy cop outfits at Sleazy Joe’s Costume Shop. They manage to break out of jail and head back to Ailee’s place to finish destroying any and all of her boyfriends’ personal possessions. When he shows up, Ailee freezes and falters, but does what we all want to do when a boyfriend turns out to be crap — kick him in the balls and make him sing soprano.
Really, though, what makes “Mind Your Own Business ” work isn’t the revenge fantasy of Ailee ruining anything and everything belonging to her ex that she can get her hands on, cathartic as it may be. It’s that she’s doing so with her girlfriends.
People always act like “single” means “alone”, but that’s rarely the case. Here, Ailee’s boy may have flaked out on her, but her friends are tried and true. After all, good friends may bail you out of jail, but great friends are in there with you. Because really, having a group of friends willing to risk felony charges for petty revenge against one person’s ex-boyfriend? Squad goals right there.
“Mind Your Own Business” is a lyrical reminder that Ailee is the Queen of Kiss-offs and Break-ups, and an aural reminder that it doesn’t matter how talented someone is vocally, good production is always needed.
(Images via YMC Entertainment, YouTube)