After the darkly playful irony of her lead single “C’mon Let Me Ride,” Skylar Grey is going for the jugular with her newest effort “Final Warning,” a skittering midtempo ballad that’s not playful or ironic — it’s just dark. Produced by her frequent collaborator Alex da Kid, the track evokes Grey’s biggest hit as a songwriter — Eminem and Rihanna‘s “Love the Way You Lie” — toying with themes of violence and vengeance. (“Someone’s gonna get hurt / And it’s not gonna be me,” she intones ominously on the chorus.) It’s effectively eerie and weird, but “Final Warning” is no radio hit, even as it features one of her catchier melodies to date.
In interviews, Grey has described “Final Warning” as her favorite song on her upcoming debut Don’t Look Down, and it’s not difficult to see why, since it’s a nice encapsulation of what she does as an artist: It’s melodramatic, a little bit menacing and impressively infectious, and there’s something thrilling about hearing her sing, “Good afternoon, dear / How does the rope feel around your neck?” with the sing-song detachment of a horror film villain.
Whether it’ll resonate with listeners is another matter entirely, but even if it doesn’t, Grey will be fine. She wrote one of the best-selling songs of 2010 — she’ll be laughing all the way to the bank either way. Hear “Final Warning” below.
Skylar Grey — “Final Warning”