Wednesday, 9 June 2010

2005 Crazy Frog: Axel F

Well this one is simple enough to dissect - a dance remix of Harold Faltermeyer's 1984 instrumental hit 'Axel F' (aka the theme from 'Beverly Hills Cop') with a vocal overdub of a comic voice imitating the sound of a two stroke moped engine ("A Ring Ding Ding Dingdemgdemg") - how does that grab you? Well, not too well if its showing in various 2005 end of year 'Worst Of' lists are anything to go by, but maybe a lot of the ennui is owed to the fact of the whole 'Crazy Frog' enterprise taking on a life of its own that year. Apart from the song, there was an ubiquitous 'artist made flesh' cartoon frog that popped up with a leer just about everywhere, bolstered by virtually every other mobile phone having 'Axel F' as its ringtone. That level of saturation is going to wear anyone down, and that's before the "A ram da am da am da am da weeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" starts up, but cut away the baggage and we're back at my harsh as a bare lightbulb opening description, no more and no less. And as far as that goes, the component parts don't sparkle in the sun.

The Faltermeyer remix that carries it is pedestrian and would have sounded so the mid-nineties. And though the 'words' (provided by Sweden's Daniel Malmedahl)* at first blush are the amusing distraction of a child full of too much fizzy drink running around a train carriage, unless you're willing to buy into the surrounding media hype (or have a fondness for obnoxiously hyperactive kids) then there's nothing else to provide a handhold of depth or context to stop that very hyperactivity becoming its own downfall as it goes about its business of grating away on the nerves. For my own part, I see 'Axel F' as just another work of Eurodance hokum, albeit one a good five years late for the party. And late for the party is exactly how I feel about it - listening to 'Axel F' is like walking late into a stand up comedy show and only catching the closing punchline that reduces the audience to raucous laughter but not knowing what came before that made it so funny. 'Axel F' certainly seems to have amused a lot of people too, but I find the whole thing so insipidly uninspiring that I have no notion that I'm 'missing' anything and no desire to find out for sure either way.

* Comedian Fogwell Flax was doing this routine back in the eighties. Now he was funny.

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