ABRA Brings Brooding Heat to a Reworked 2001 R&B Classic

"Bacardi" is Jagged Edge's "Where the Party At" if it took place in a nightmare.
November 13, 2017, 12:06pm
Image via PR

ABRA – the self-styled Darkwave Duchess – is one of alt-pop's most consistently fascinating voices. On "Bacardi," another hooky banger with a tangibly dark sonic edge, released over the weekend, she proves why that is. Real 00s R&B heads will have identified that the track, which was uploaded to Soundcloud, is something of a goth-pop reimagining of Jagged Edge's "Where the Party At," which originally featured Nelly, interspersed with the chorus from Lumidee's "Never Leave You" for good measure. Here's the original:

To call ABRA's interpretation merely a cover would be a gross underestimation: it's a total overhaul of the track, and showcases ABRA as someone so comfortable and inventive within her own sound and her influences that she's able to take a classic and mould it into something that belongs completely to her.

The version is full of ABRA's signature flourishes: doomy synths, energetic drum-machine punches, and reverb-heavy vocals that make you feel like you're listening to her deliver them on a smoky stage three metres away from you or somewhere down the end of an underground tunnel slick with a liquid you'd rather not touch. It's a far cry from the glossy originals, and maybe even better for it. Hear it below, and become a disciple of the church of ABRA while you're there – it's a lot of fun.

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