As much as a lyric can impart poetic structure in a pop song, the beat in “You Make Me Say” seems to do more for Cecy Santana in this latest release bearing her name in the byline. Right from the moment we get started, there’s a sense of wonder and confidence bleeding through our speakers via the percussion that doesn’t exist within the bassline backing up the drums in the master mix; it’s unique to the pulse of the percussive force here itself. Santana wants us to feel her vibe in “You Make Me Say,” and with a joint effort with 20 Fingers, she gets her point across and then some.
The passion runs fluidly between our two vocalists and the instrumental fabric supporting their every verse. There’s something really special about the disciplined decadence in this piece that feels as controlled be Santana’s singing as it does the connectivity she develops with everything surrounding her in the track, and it’s left me hungry for more of her sound since first discovering “You Make Me Say” this summer.
20 Fingers adds another dimension to the narrative at hand that is so much more contributive than the standard duet element would be. His is a voice that conveys depth and a dangerous amount of swagger untethered to the cockiness of Santana’s fierce singing. The contrast is necessary to really get the friction going in the climax this groove brings us to, and if it’s something they could replicate in a future studio session together, I would recommend that they do everything they can to prevent this from being their last collaboration.
The thrust of the drums gets us feeling her passion and that of 20 Fingers’ in a way that wouldn’t be nearly as accessible to us as it is in this scenario, and with quality craftsmanship behind the board, there’s scarcely a moment when we aren’t hearing every detail in the music, no matter how small or big. That’s a hard balance to strike, but it wouldn’t seem so just going off of this release.
“You Make Me Say” is a great club track with some solid melodic frills making it a terrific pop crossover, but most of all I see it as the right summer vehicle to get more people excited about Cecy Santana. 20 Fingers’ stealthy verses aside, she’s a real show-stealer next to the groove in “You Make Me Say,” and there’s nothing here to suggest that she’s even going full-capacity at the hook. There’s still more to develop within her artistry, and it’s coming into focus quite beautifully in this song.
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