"Toxic" vs "Faint"

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Which one uses the more derivitive string sample?

billstevejim, Friday, 2 January 2004 21:35 (twenty years ago) link

It seems to me that these two songs are targeting radio listeners by combining watered down dance beats with a watered down version of UNKLE samples. Both of these should seem most refreshing to those who haven't heard Endtroducing or Psyence Fiction, and aren't used to hearing effective usage of samples.

billstevejim, Friday, 2 January 2004 21:47 (twenty years ago) link

If DJ Shadow got Britney to guest on a track, I might listen to him.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:04 (twenty years ago) link

There's 2 or maybe 3 Britney Spears songs that I like more than any DJ Shadow song, but how can anyone have more respect for Britney overall? I don't see how it's possible.

billstevejim, Friday, 2 January 2004 22:07 (twenty years ago) link

It's not about respect, though. I respect Sonic Youth more than almost any rock outfit going - but aside from Evol, I rarely listen to them.

miloauckerman (miloauckerman), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:13 (twenty years ago) link

Yes, I'm sure DJ Shadow is a lovely bloke and would be great to have a pint with but he has never been involved with as good a pop record as "Toxic" or "Faint".

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:17 (twenty years ago) link

I'd rather have a pint with Britney, at least she wouldn't bore me by dick-waving about her record collection.

Also re: "effective" use of samples - "Toxic" and Endtroducing use them for very different purposes and both are very effective.

The Lex (The Lex), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:21 (twenty years ago) link

I'm pretty sure DJ Shadow has never been involved with a pop record, period.

billstevejim, Friday, 2 January 2004 22:30 (twenty years ago) link

While I have intrinsic sympathy for DJ Shadow in that he's a goth who doesn't look it, I can't say I could work up much passion over him (or these two songs apparently meant to be inferior versions in some eyes).

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:36 (twenty years ago) link

yes no real passion for DJ Shadow himself, but his music? yes, i have it, it's very strong and can't really be measured against the passion you may find in some 12 year old girl somewhere's passion for 'Lucky' or 'Oops I Did It Again' - both of which i think are great pop songs but i cannot feel passionate about myself (not that passion for Britney songs can't compare, of course they can equate). 'Toxic' is also a great pop song tho. i think it's the most produced Britney track yet (hope you understand what i mean there).

stevem (blueski), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:42 (twenty years ago) link

excuse my possibly offensive remark regarding 12 year old girls as Britney demograph too - just an example (i could have used Tom Ewing instead ;)

stevem (blueski), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:43 (twenty years ago) link

Oi! I've not even heard the new Britney album! I'm not even sure I heard the last one.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:46 (twenty years ago) link

and fwiw i reckon Shadow is equally down with Britney as he is Linkin Park - maybe both 'phoney' to him but have lavish production and good hooks, which can be appealing to even some of the most ardent hippists(!)

stevem (blueski), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:47 (twenty years ago) link

are the Britney strings definitely sampled? maybe they were recorded specifically for the song? also, where does the 'Faint' intro come from? may not be a sample...what bout the strings on the intro to 'Meteora' itself? why sample those if so?

stevem (blueski), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:51 (twenty years ago) link

The opening hooks in "Toxic" and "Faint" are too similar to be a coincidence. I also think "Toxic" specifically is targeting the "pop music fetishism" trend, by adding elements that were previously only heard from underground DJs (not DJ Shadow), which have been done hundreds of times by now. Unless perhaps "Toxic" was influenced by "Faint," which wouldn't surprise me, since they do sound very similar.

billstevejim, Friday, 2 January 2004 22:51 (twenty years ago) link

Whether they're from another song or not, they were at least produced to sound like samples.

billstevejim, Friday, 2 January 2004 22:53 (twenty years ago) link

Um my assumption was that both of them have been influenced by the use of string samples in chart hip-hop, if anything.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Friday, 2 January 2004 22:54 (twenty years ago) link

The sample in "Gimme Some Mo" is outstanding. Beyond that I can't think of too many examples, but if it is in mainstream hiphop, wouldn't that make the "Toxic" and "Faint" samples seem even more tired?

billstevejim, Friday, 2 January 2004 22:59 (twenty years ago) link

No, why? You might as well say that sampling drum sounds is tired.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Friday, 2 January 2004 23:00 (twenty years ago) link

it is irrelevant that they are sampled, but it would be nice if they were not i guess. no qualms about string samples in general at all tho.

stevem (blueski), Friday, 2 January 2004 23:05 (twenty years ago) link

The strings on "Toxic" are the Stockholm Session Strings, arranged and conducted by Janson & Janson, for what it's worth.

Sean (Sean), Friday, 2 January 2004 23:21 (twenty years ago) link

for the uninitiated - what are toxic and faint?

jed (jed_e_3), Friday, 2 January 2004 23:55 (twenty years ago) link

Toxic = Britney Spears
Faint = Linkin Park

Sean (Sean), Saturday, 3 January 2004 00:03 (twenty years ago) link

I don't mind that they're sampled, but it sounds like they went out of their way to make the strings sound sampled.

In a similar manner, it also kind of pisses me off when various Incubus songs or Avril's "Complicated" have sections with superfluous record scratching. I love "Complicated" and I do enjoy several Incubus singles, but those scratching noises stand as the only parts of those songs that I truly hate. The same goes for "Toxic" and "Faint" - it seems like the "sound" of a sample was placed into the song, I suppose for the sake of having the kids think it's more hiphop oriented, thus giving it more of an "edgy" sound, or something.

billstevejim, Saturday, 3 January 2004 00:19 (twenty years ago) link

toxic is the best thing britney has ever ever done. i have never associated the phrase "watered-down" or the name "dj shadow" with this song.

she must release it as a single, i am convinced it is a guaranteed hit (in the UK).

lid, Saturday, 3 January 2004 17:06 (twenty years ago) link

billstevejim i think you can blame the Dust Brothers for that superfluous scratching bug (MmmBop another example)

stevem (blueski), Saturday, 3 January 2004 17:20 (twenty years ago) link

Lid it is her next UK single. I think it will flop though. :(

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Saturday, 3 January 2004 18:54 (twenty years ago) link

I'm kind of happy that when I hear the string sample in "Faint" I think more about Bernard Herrmann than DJ Shadow.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 3 January 2004 19:13 (twenty years ago) link

first time i heard 'cure for the itch' i thought dj shadow tho

stevem (blueski), Saturday, 3 January 2004 19:13 (twenty years ago) link

ok yeah I'm not (or more like I shouldn't be) implying it's wrong to think of DJ Shadow, esp. since Linkin Park are totally hip-hop influenced (and judging by Reanimation, prog-hop influenced too). It's just that the sample in "Faint" reminds me more of Herrmann because I find it actually thrilling in an emotional context, raising the anxiety of the lyric in the same way the sound would raise the tension in the hip-hop film. DJ Shadow never has that effect for me.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 3 January 2004 19:16 (twenty years ago) link

Anthony OTM - I think of Herrmann too (OK I think of my received-wisdom idea of what Herrmann sounds like). I don't get any emotional kick from "Faint" though, just visceral pop fun which happens to be angst-flavoured in the way that some bubblegum happens to be sour.

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Saturday, 3 January 2004 19:18 (twenty years ago) link

The emotional kick really depends on my mood (I'm always kind of struck when Shinoda notes that he's clinging because "you're all that [he's] got." Linkin Park has a knack at expressing vulnerability loudly without the belligerence of, say, Nickelback - in part because their beats are tighter). But the visceral pop fun is definitely there always.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 3 January 2004 19:32 (twenty years ago) link

If you can think of another example besides DJ Shadow, that's completely okay with me. It was just the first one to pop into my head. The point I'm trying to illustrate has more to do with the unoriginality of "Toxic" and "Faint," rather than their source of inspiration.

billstevejim, Sunday, 4 January 2004 09:17 (twenty years ago) link

I highly disagree with "Toxic" being the best thing Britney's ever done. (Baby One More Time and Oops are both in my top 100 singles ever.) And I just read that she recently shot a video for Toxic, her long-awaited answer to the "Cry Me A River" video. *Yawn*

billstevejim, Sunday, 4 January 2004 09:23 (twenty years ago) link

"And I just read that she recently shot a video for Toxic, her long-awaited answer to the "Cry Me A River" video."

oh my, i cannot wait to see this. toxic will definitely be a hit because me and my friends love it and it will be even more of a hit if the video is "controversial". good move, brit.

lid, Sunday, 4 January 2004 14:20 (twenty years ago) link

Hopefully her answer vidoe will be the Paris Hilton sex tape with her face Photoshopped onto it.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 4 January 2004 17:35 (twenty years ago) link

I think Faint might actually be one of my top 5 favourite singles of last year. I've only just heard Toxic and it clearly needs to be number 1 for eight weeks and conquer the universe.

Ferrrrrrg (Ferg), Monday, 5 January 2004 19:41 (twenty years ago) link

two weeks pass...
The Toxic video - Britney is biting Jennifer Garner's glam-spy style big time! Kind of a bad idea for her, but an awesome achievement for the producers of Alias.

Kim (Kim), Saturday, 31 January 2004 17:27 (twenty years ago) link

The bastards who make CD:UK only showed about half of it this morning. Damn them to hell!

Most underrated thing Britney's done = "Born To Make You Happy". That really is a gorgeous song.

Nick H (Nick H), Saturday, 31 January 2004 17:49 (twenty years ago) link

I love "Born To Make You Happy," but I still fail to understand the appeal of "Toxic."

billstevejim, Saturday, 31 January 2004 18:40 (twenty years ago) link

I'm a total fool for strings and I have to say that 'Toxic' is like a '04 pop summation of Danny Elfman (ie Batman Returns). The singing is of course classic Britney (ie not up to much, but fits with the song anyway), the production is class and the tune is actually pretty damn melodic (Geirism). And I do like the hook and the video a fair bit, esp. the fact that Brit tries on a few different styles but somehow isn't as in ytour face about it as she could've been (it's a change alright, but somehow I don't find it particularly ostentatious).

That's the appeal for me. That and she looks hott.

Barima (Barima), Saturday, 31 January 2004 19:28 (twenty years ago) link

Barima sums it up nicely!

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Saturday, 31 January 2004 19:45 (twenty years ago) link

I don't know that BTMYH is underrated, it went #1, and all. Her most underrated single is Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know, that's beyond great.

edward o (edwardo), Sunday, 1 February 2004 03:14 (twenty years ago) link

The superfluous record scratching in "MMMBop" is so great

Mike Ouderkirk (Mike Ouderkirk), Sunday, 1 February 2004 03:26 (twenty years ago) link

Mike OTM.

People forget about BTMYH though, sandwiched as it was between the behemoths of "Baby..." and "Ooops...". I think she was also at her hottest then, with the shorter, auburn hair. Rowr.

Nick H (Nick H), Sunday, 1 February 2004 13:25 (twenty years ago) link

Dan - cheers. Nick otm. I think I like BTMYH a little more than those behemoths some days.

Barima (Barima), Sunday, 1 February 2004 20:48 (twenty years ago) link

BTMYH = best thing ever obv.

I'm not sure why the strings on "Toxic" are being singled out as derivative when said strings are similar to so many other pop songs - how is this distinct from "Die Another Die" or "Don't Know What To Tell Ya" or etc. etc.? "Toxic" is great but it's hardly the first pop song to use strings in this fashion.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 2 February 2004 11:12 (twenty years ago) link

holy moly "Toxic" should have been the first single! "Me Against The Music" was so dire it may have damaged her career irreparably; if she had come out with this single/video first the britney train would have just kept on rollin!

teeny (teeny), Thursday, 5 February 2004 19:20 (twenty years ago) link

I think "Me Against The Music" may be Brit's most underrated song actually, if the Madonna cameo was surgically removed it'd be truly awesome. "Brave New Girl" should have been the lead single though! With "Toxic" and "Outrageous" as follow-ups.

The Lex (The Lex), Thursday, 5 February 2004 19:39 (twenty years ago) link

How is "Those strings have been used a million times before!" a defense/rebuttal against "Those strings are derivative!"?

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 5 February 2004 19:49 (twenty years ago) link

Tone of voice.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 5 February 2004 19:50 (twenty years ago) link

the "too high. can't cooommme do-own" bit is truly wondrous and SO fun to sing along to.

lid, Thursday, 5 February 2004 20:32 (twenty years ago) link

Don't forget, "BTMYH" was a UK #1 - it was never played on the radio in America, so it's easy for Americans to underrate it, I suppose.

billstevejim, Thursday, 5 February 2004 22:11 (twenty years ago) link

"How is "Those strings have been used a million times before!" a defense/rebuttal against "Those strings are derivative!"?"

As in, it's like singling out a house tune and saying "man the 4/4 beat on that is really derivative". The strings in "Toxic" are stock-in-trade (if not quite as much as a house beat) but in a good way - a spoonful of cliche always helps the pop tune get down.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Thursday, 5 February 2004 22:19 (twenty years ago) link

"Toxic" is the second Britney's single I've been impressed by. Its simply brilliant! Probably the best mainstream song I've heard in years.

Is "Faint" another Britney song? Forgive my ignorance but Im not a big Britney Spears fan.

daavid, Friday, 6 February 2004 00:56 (twenty years ago) link

"Faint" is a Linkin Park song and is almost, if not exactly, as good.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 6 February 2004 03:58 (twenty years ago) link

anyone still doubt "Toxic" is gonna get MASSIVE very soon?

i haven't seen such positive consensus about a pop single among the people i know since... "Hey Ya"! but last night... two friends and i had our monthly hip hop/r&B/dancehall/ukg/pop club night, and as a friend was finishing his set with Sticky/Ms Dynamite's "Booo!", i mixed "Toxic" into it. when those strings soared, people started screaming!!! and when the beat kicked in, all hell broke loose. everyone was jumping, hands in the air all over the place, and the pre-chorus buzzy bit drove 'em nuts! you couldn't believe the joyful pandemonium it caused. after that i played "Hey Ya", and it got even more euphoric. (enthusiast pop djs take note: No Doubt's "It's My Life" also tore the place up!)

i was always annoyed with the Madonna comparisons, but now i've turned around to thinking that, for beter or worse, Britney IS the new Madonna. "I'm A Slave 4 U" warmed her up to my 20-something peers in a way that no pop-crit Cheiron praises ever could, and now she's everyone's favourite upfront pop-diva to get the party started. i've noticed da laydeez are especially fond of her.

the best thing that could happen right now is "Toxic" indeed becoming incredibly massive, and in turn making Britney ditch the lame R&B aspirations and do a whole album with those Swede guys who did "Toxic" and "Showdown". well, i can dream...

(also: how come no-one's yet mentioned how "Toxic"'s middle-eight TOTALLY rips off "Rock Lobster"?!?)

Mind Taker, Friday, 13 February 2004 19:54 (twenty years ago) link

I'm so lost. What does DJ Shadow have to do with anything? Was he sampled? How could he be sampled, he's a DJ? Was something he sampled also sampled?

David Allen (David Allen), Friday, 13 February 2004 20:13 (twenty years ago) link

DJ Shadow has little to do with any of this - he was just the first guy I could think of who used string samples many years ago.

billstevejim, Friday, 13 February 2004 20:41 (twenty years ago) link

Britney IS the new Madonna.

doesn't Madonna, like, sing LEAD on her songs? I finally heard "Toxic" and I was surprised how frikkin' barely there Britney is on it. It's entertaining but I definitely prefer "Faint."

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Friday, 13 February 2004 22:27 (twenty years ago) link

Anthony, one of the reason I love Britney so much is because there's virtually nothing of her in the song - she's always sounded not-quite-human, and "Toxic" just ups the robot levels even more (though not quite as much as "Brave New Girl"!)

"Toxic" will indeed be huge... people with all sorts of tastes seem to be loving it equally.

The Lex (The Lex), Friday, 13 February 2004 23:04 (twenty years ago) link

It should do OK (though I'm not ready to say huge). Some girl requested it on the RAP (or urban or whatever, they call it "hits" but they don't play Nickelback - thank god - like the top 40 station does) station in town and they actually played it.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Friday, 13 February 2004 23:05 (twenty years ago) link

I'm really surprised by the omissions in this thread. Nobody has mentioned the key points about Toxic:

* The producer's name. Bloodshy (real name: Christian Lars Karlsson).

* The fact that the string arrangement is all about pastiching Islamic and Indian pop.

I agree that it's the best pop single since 'Hey Ya'. I say this as someone so sick of pop that I only notice it when it's startlingly good, as 'Toxic' is.

Momus (Momus), Saturday, 14 February 2004 17:28 (twenty years ago) link

'Toxic'>>>>'Hey Ya!'

Barima (Barima), Saturday, 14 February 2004 21:58 (twenty years ago) link


Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Saturday, 14 February 2004 22:07 (twenty years ago) link

I'm still really loving "Toxic"; I'm glad other people are so enthusiastic about it.

Sean (Sean), Sunday, 15 February 2004 04:35 (twenty years ago) link

I can't believe nobody's mentioned how both the strings, and the guitar (which nobody has mentioned) are both very Bond movie sounding.

Jedmond, Sunday, 15 February 2004 04:48 (twenty years ago) link

jess noted it's basically spybeat

cinniblount (James Blount), Sunday, 15 February 2004 04:57 (twenty years ago) link

In this thread?, I'm not doubting you, I just couldn't see it.

Jedmond, Sunday, 15 February 2004 05:19 (twenty years ago) link

oops - it was on his blog! my bad!

cinniblount (James Blount), Sunday, 15 February 2004 05:28 (twenty years ago) link

Didn't Bloodshy work on the first Mis-Teeq record? Or am I getting my faux-urban Swiss producers mixed up?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 15 February 2004 06:04 (twenty years ago) link


Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Sunday, 15 February 2004 11:12 (twenty years ago) link

I'd just like Momus to explain what he meant by saying Toxic's string arrangment is a pastiche of Indian and Islamic pop.

Jedmond, Sunday, 15 February 2004 13:30 (twenty years ago) link

I think Bloodshy did work with Misteeq, and also worked with Cathy Dennis on Sweet Dreams My LA ex, yes?

the strings make this song so euphoric, but i love the surfy guitar bits in the chorus too. and i disagree that you cant hear britney's presence/vocals on this song, i mean it's supposed to be cool, breathy, sexy, innit? which it is.

lid, Sunday, 15 February 2004 14:19 (twenty years ago) link

Bloodshy also did Christina Milian's "When You Look At Me". i first stumbled upon his name on Deetah's '99 "Deadly Cha Cha" album (ha, anyone remember her?).

Mind Taker, Sunday, 15 February 2004 16:01 (twenty years ago) link

He did Milian's "AM To PM" too, and stuff for Ms Dynamite, including "It Takes More" and "Put Him Out". I thought he was American though, not Scandanavian. He does that Jerkins-style shouting his name at the beginning of his tracks.

Nick H (Nick H), Sunday, 15 February 2004 16:20 (twenty years ago) link

The guitar on Toxic reminds me of Morricone.

Joe Kay (feethurt), Sunday, 15 February 2004 17:19 (twenty years ago) link

Re: spy style - that sound was part of what I was referring to with the Alias biting post upthread. That show has had an absolutely massive stylistic impact - espionage is cool again, and Bond has nothing to do with it.

Kim (Kim), Monday, 16 February 2004 00:57 (twenty years ago) link

Oh, I remember Dee-Tah. I remember hating her, maybe the years have changed me. I doubt it somehow, though. I'm thinking of the chorus of 'Relax', positive vibes not forthcoming...

(I do very much like Toxic tho)

William Bloody Swygart (mrswygart), Monday, 16 February 2004 01:13 (twenty years ago) link

one month passes...
the little distortion/glitch breakdown in 'toxic' reminds me of aphex twin's 'windowlicker.'

morris pavilion (samjeff), Sunday, 21 March 2004 06:49 (twenty years ago) link

re: the "those string samples are there to give dj shadow-esque cred" and similar comments.

wtf? yes i'm sure thats what the producers were thinking.. "how can we trick those pesky music nerds to like this song?"


don, Sunday, 21 March 2004 13:20 (twenty years ago) link

not a diss.. i'm a music nerd myself..

don, Sunday, 21 March 2004 13:28 (twenty years ago) link

two years pass...
Both songs are still boring.

billstevejim (billstevejim), Friday, 16 June 2006 17:24 (eighteen years ago) link

I like both these songs. The samples may be derivative, but they're extremely effective.

chap who would dare to be a nerd, not a geek (chap), Friday, 16 June 2006 17:29 (eighteen years ago) link

two years pass...

still boring

billstevejim, Monday, 18 May 2009 20:39 (fifteen years ago) link

how can the same dumb revive happen to the same guy twice?

Hard House SugBanton (blueski), Monday, 18 May 2009 21:01 (fifteen years ago) link

cos it did

billstevejim, Monday, 18 May 2009 21:29 (fifteen years ago) link

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