I have to admit I had NO IDEA what to expect from the latest Pharrell produced Gwen Stefani track, Spark The Fire. No clue. Stefani is always entertaining, usually kooky and constantly different, and while that makes for an awesome back catalogue of weird and wacky hits, it doesn’t make for confident predictions. Which I kind of love.
My first listen to Spark The Fire didn’t help much. While I don’t know what I was expecting, this sure wasn’t it. I was enveloped and intrigued with the ding-ding-ding of the opening bells and the dark, layered harmony in Stefani’s opening vocals. One thing I did know, was it was creepy as hell. Do I like it? Do I hate it? Why am I scared? Because if there was a secret rave for murderous dolls coming to life in the middle of the night, playing with knives and dropping acid, this was the soundtrack. Apologies for the imagery.
My second listen was when the song started to grow on me. The song opens into a full blown Stefani dance track. Those chanty, repetitive lyrics were already stuck in my mind and I was bopping along. In a totally sexy way. Hey get off my cloud! / Hey get off my cloud! / Who got the light-a? / Let’s spark the fi-ya! / Who got the light-a? / Let’s spark the fi-ya! I think I kinda like it. Why do I like it? Why am I scared? This was Hollaback Girl‘s grown up, slightly deranged older sister dressed in Stefani’s wicked Harajuku style. Apologies for the imagery.
By Round 3 I was in love. Stefani brings a Fergie-Ferg type rap quality to the lyric, while the scaling bells, swirly synths and popping beats make for an intricate and quirky instrumental. It’s dark and weird and creepy and wonderful and the fact that I like it so much has me questioning things about who I am as a person. Like why did I enjoy watching The Conjuring? Why did I cry when the clown died in American Horror Story? Why do I feel for the witch in Hansel & Gretal? (A grossly misunderstood character in my opinion, but that’s besides the point.) I still don’t know why I like it so much, just that I do. If Chucky and Pikachu were to breed, Spark The Fire would be the result. And it’s awesome. Apologies for the imagery.