Hot 100 Review: Say So by Doja Cat

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Part of the reason I’ve been doing Hot 100 is to keep up with what is considered modern pop music since I don’t listen to the radio (I mean with music and radio on demand why would you?). This is the first I’ve heard of Doja Cat. I have seen her bubbling in the lower ends of the Hot 100 and is popular with teens.

Going in blind, no preconceptions of what an artist sounds like is fun. In this case it is anyway because it’s a fairly enjoyable song. The fact the songs main beat is heavily lo-fi inspired, or at least 80s synth-wave with a similarly classic hip hop beats in the rap section. This gives the song a very chilled out quality that makes it an enjoyable listen.

A problem the song does have, and something I usually never focus on, is its length. This song is four minutes. That is fairly standard as these go. On this song however it is too long. When I mean a song is too long that does not mean it is literally too long. I mean long in the sense of it does not have enough new ideas per section to carry it. The songs repeating of the chorus constantly, though works in ways I’ll explain in a couple paragraphs, can come off as stalling for time. That, along with the extended outro gives the song a dragged out quality. It being long is not a major problem because I find its soundscape nice to chill in, but does make me check the play length more times than a normal song.

Now going to the actual lyrics the song opens with a chorus. I guess I retract my statement last time about Bieber. In it Doja sings about being with someone, or wanting to be with someone all day, night, and morning but didn’t because she did not know how they felt. She wants the other person to “Say so” in this case meaning how they feel.

In the first verse Doja continues reinforcing that idea of saying how the other person feels. She gives the other person dimension with something about a hard breakup changing them, but she can read that the other person likes her, keeps wanting her but will not say it. Therefore she gives him an ultimatum. A good verse that reinforces what the song is about, and has some fun lines like “we can dance around it all day, but if you front I’ll (Doja) be bouncing.” It’s simple, but puts you in her head ver well.

From there she repeats the chorus. I don’t mind when the chorus is repeated much. It’s part of the structure of pop songs. This song makes that work thematically. The whole point of the song is to get someone to “say so.” That makes the repeating of the chorus over and over her pressing the other person to say how they feel. It really raises the bar in that regard.

From there we get the standout moment, the rap. Doja has a solid flow and delivery as she basically tries to put all of herself out there for the other person. There are some fun lines like her checking her breath. Telling the other person to make a move, and complimenting herself. It really shows her putting herself out there for that other person, and make her move. Also “stop beatin round the bush,” for some reason makes me laugh.

The ending chorus and outro act as reprise, or affirmation. The outros added vocal flairs acting as confirmation on what occurred.

The music video for the song fits, but is nothing special. Set in the 70s Doja has a TV repairman at her house. They flirt but nothing happens so he goes to the club. They fall in love and get the whole discotheque dancing to the song. It fits, has a real great vibe, and though the song is more 80s focused the dance sequence at the end is fitting and still puts me in the same mood the song does.

It’s a really enjoyable song and glad I listened to it. Now I wonder when Physical or Break My Heart will reach my reviewing purview (that being No 1 on the chart and not being one I already covered).

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