“Copy Cat,” Skream‘s new song with Kelis, is a grand, crackling tune that just barely, and tragically, misses the mark. Lyrically, the hook is Kelis’ pinnacle, one of the best I’ve heard in pop this year. Its cool, breathy condescension is so clearly unthreatened by her biters that her gaze borders on lusty, even objectifying. Unfortunately, the verses crank up the irony and never get as memorable, leaving the creative peaks that the singer claims she’s capable of never being met. Skream’s beat does its best to pick up the slack; it’s perhaps the most riveting R&B instrumental to come along since Diplo’s work on “Climax.” But with the vocal performance lagging behind, it will in the very least take another go-around from Kelis to bring it to Usher’s level.
Skream’s Skreamism 7 drops December 21st.