I’ve never particularly cared about Rita Ora. I’ve heard her songs but not heard anything in them that I couldn’t get anywhere else. I vaguely knew that there was some sort of media shit storm that went down because of her relationship with Calvin Harris but other than that I know absolutely nothing about her personally. She hasn’t interested me and to be honest I got sucked into believing people when they called her the B-grade version of Rihanna. After listening to her brand new single “Poison”, however, I am more than willing to change my mind.
The chorus of Poison captured every single part of my attention that all of her previous music failed to do. It’s shouty but in the best kind of way. It’s anthemic and immediately makes you want to pick up the nearest hairbrush and sing as fervently into it as possible, contorting your face into all sorts of passionate expressions while you do so. Amidst the powerful shouting you’re also being quietly serenaded by the oooh’s of the second half of each chorus, barely aware that they’re there until they’ve firmly taken root in your mind where they will refuse to leave for days. Then there’s the thudding pre-chorus which invites all the hand clapping and foot stomping that the best songs always have. After this the music is pulled right back, putting the prettiness of Rita’s voice front and centre; Tension is built and suspense is held before Rita dives head first and full power into her last renditions of Poison’s epic chorus, leaving anyone singing along gasping for breath and red in the face trying to keep up with her powerful lungs.
If Rita wanted to make a statement as an artist with Poison then she has definitely done that, it is a very hard song to ignore simply because it so effortlessly and powerfully pulls listeners in whether they like it or not. What makes the song even better? It’s music video. I could go into the meaning of the video as representing Rita’s complicated relationship with the music industry – it’s all her hopes and dreams, everything she could ever want, until things start going wrong and she wants to go back to her old life but by that time her old life is either gone or has been enveloped and tainted by her fame – but why bother with all that stuff when what really matters is that the video is absolutely visually stunning. Rita looks absolutely gorgeous in various different beautiful outfits and looks, the whole thing feels high class and sexy with just that hint of darkness and grime that makes anything ten times better. With the visuals for Poison, Rita has created a very clear and distinct character and brought her to life in a striking way that, much like the song itself, is hard to ignore.
I really fucking hope that this song does well, like it deserves to, because if it does badly and Rita’s management make her record stupid, generic, Jessie-J-trying-to-stay-relevant type shit in a desperate attempt to get her a hit song, instead of recording more stand-out material like this, I will be PISSED.