Paparazzi - Single (2022)
Review By Kimberly Raschka Sailor
December 19, 2022
Okay, whoa. Some history first. The Cornell Class Notes are RARB mainstays — we've been evaluating their jams since the group's 1998 release Break the Silence. No Class Notes submission has gotten an overall "5" yet … *dramatic cinema voice* … until now.
The comparison between the group's recent releases isn't even close, so everyone who worked to make Paparazzi happen should just shelter in place for the long haul. Lady Gaga dropped this hit single in 2009, and though recent covers have re-popularized the song, the Class Notes bring their own flavor here. The result is ridiculously sexy, just dripping with lush vocals in a distinct tone set by lead DeVon Clinkscales, who also handles the polished percussion.
Is it inappropriate to call this song foreplay? Arranger Shams Ahmed leaves no open doors for us to slip away from this enchanting scene: these parts are packed tight with wall-to-wall sound delivery. And the tension built into the measures — just the right hits of thick dissonance, and little attacks from the upper voices. It's got allure, it's got sophistication, it definitely leaves an impact. All of those memes about being a mood? Yeah, Ahmed is the damn mood. When you wrap this up with deft production work by Angela Ugolini that gives the song a palpable urgency, this cover becomes nearly iconic in its own right.
If this is the new era for the Class Notes, y'all should be jacked up with anticipation.