Features | Awards

The Rendering Critics' Jobs Obsolete Award

By Joel Elliott | 15 December 2009

Jordin Sparks :: “Battlefield”
from Battlefield
(Jive; 2009)

“Disarming” is a quality that critics admit to with a certain amount of shame and resignation, arriving hat in hand and admitting quietly somewhere towards the end of a lengthy exposition that no, this naïve pop song bears no traces of irony. As far as I know, however, this is the first post-Whitney track to actually preemptively coerce that resignation. The subtext of “Battlefield” is “What are you getting all up in arms about? It’s just a pop song.”

But rather than be all cute about it, Jordin Sparks is going to wrap it all up in the maelstorm that is this track’s drums. “I guess you better go get your armor,” she sings, but then doesn’t give you enough time and suddenly you’re buried under the flurry of the bridge.

The video is completely ridiculous, which I guess is proof of how transcendent the song is that anything could work with it. Why is she sitting in a 1971 Pantera? Why is she shooting smoke out of her fingers? Words are only like styrofoam weapons.