And lord help us if a non-flirter gets in their way.
An unflashy example of years of studio time paying off with yet one more effortless take on a known R&B quantity’s house style, “I’m A Flirt” is one of those songs that I never would have pegged as a high-placer on a year-end list until I noticed I was getting the same springtime serotonin bump on the hundredth play as on the first, the bouncebouncebounceworthiest track he’s released since, well, “Ignition (Remix).” Now we’re not the only ones to notice that in a year when many people felt R. had exhausted the batshittery–and this is before the second wave of Trapped In The Closet chapters dropped (we’ll give “R. Belly” a pass)–the best single off the mostly embarassing-not-cute Double Up (a helpful Cliffs Notes for what Rich Juzwiak dubs the album’s endless “metaphor killers” in that linked essay: R. is now a horny diamond-encrusted dinosaur bitching someone out on the two-way in 3-D stunna shades while shooting sour sex skittles out of his robo-urethra on Neptune… or something) keeps the come-ons to the kind people other than R. will be able to parse (hey there’s a girl over there and he’s gonna wink at her!) and the handclap-and-descending-bass-bump programming nicely subtle. The closest the song has to a hook other than the g-funky synth scribble is that upper-register piano plink-plink-clunk, played like a jump rope swinging ’round on the beat, and while T.I. steps over it with his arms-folded and a T-Pain en español kicks up his heels as he grins in mid-air, it’s R.’s first and final verses that pull out all the crazy double-time double-dutch stops, nimble in a way that the guy who could have prolapsed himself in the “Bump And Grind” days never coulda dared and landing without even needing to dab its brow at No. 3.