Criticize (song)

"Criticize" is a song by American recording artist Alexander O'Neal, written by O'Neal and Jellybean Johnson. It was the second single from O'Neal's second solo album, Hearsay (1987). The song's distinctive backing vocals were performed by Lisa Keith. Following the successful chart performances of the Hearsay single "Fake", "Criticize" was released as the album's second single.

"Criticize"
Criticize.jpg
U.S. cover art
Single by Alexander O'Neal
from the album Hearsay
B-side"A Broken Heart Can Mend" / "Fake (Extended Version)" (UK 12" only)
ReleasedSeptember 23, 1987 (September 23, 1987)
Recorded1987
GenreR&B
Length4:09 (album version)
4:00 (single version)
LabelTabu
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Alexander O'Neal singles chronology
"Fake"
(1987)
"Criticize"
(1987)
"Never Knew Love Like This"
(1988)

MeaningEdit

The song's lyrics are a personal commentary, critical of a nagging ex-lover, who criticizes his "friends", "ideals", "lifestyle", and "feeling[s]".

ReleaseEdit

The song peaked at No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming his biggest hit there, and in 2020 became O'Neal's first single to be certified Silver in the UK. In O'Neal's native United States, it peaked at No. 4 on the R&B chart, and No. 70 on the main Billboard Hot 100. It was also one of his only two hits to chart in the Republic of Ireland (reaching No. 14).

In popular cultureEdit

The song is featured in the soundtrack of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV on the in-game radio station "The Vibe 98.8".

Track listingEdit

  • 12" Maxi (Tabu TBU 651158 6)
  1. "Criticize (Remix)" - 7:00
  2. "Criticize (Edit)" - 3:55
  3. "Criticize (A Cappella)" - 2:40
  4. "Criticize (Critical Mix)" - 5:30
  5. "Criticize (Critical Edit)" - 3:45
  6. "Criticize (Critical Dub)" - 4:30
  7. "Criticize (Nag Mix)" - 1:35
  • 12" Single
  1. "Criticize (Remix)" - 7:00
  2. "Criticize (Critical Mix)" - 5:30
  3. "Fake (Extended Version)" - 5:20
  • 7" Single (Tabu 651158 7)
  1. "Criticize" - 4:00
  2. "A Broken Heart Can Mend" - 3:40

PersonnelEdit

Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes.[1]

Sales chart performanceEdit

Peak positionsEdit

Chart (1987) Position
Ireland (IRMA)[2] 14
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 17
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[3] 40
UK Singles (OCC)[4] 4
US Billboard Hot 100[5] 70
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[6] 21
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[7] 4
West Germany (Official German Charts)[8] 24

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[9] Silver 200,000 

 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Re-recordingEdit

Alexander O’Neal re-recorded “Criticize” in 1998 with producers Errol Jones and John Girvan.[10] The song was released as a commercial single, peaking at number 51 on the UK Singles Chart.[11]

Track listingEdit

  • UK CD Single (OWECD3)[12]
  1. "Criticize (‘98 Critical Yojo Working Radio Mix)" – 3:59
  2. "Criticize (‘98 Chill Out Positivity Krew Radio Mix)" – 4:38
  3. "Criticize (‘98 Critical Yojo Working Club Mix)" – 6:56
  4. "Criticize (‘98 House Positivity Mix)" – 4:20
  • UK 12” Single (OWET3)
  1. "Criticize (‘98 Critical Yojo Working Club Mix)" – 6:56
  2. "Criticize (‘98 Critical Yojo Working Radio Mix)" – 3:59
  3. "Criticize (‘98 Dub Mix)" – 4:38
  • Germany 12” Single (0066260CLU)
  1. "Criticize 1999 (Bini & Martini Club Vocal Mix)" – 7:22
  2. "Criticize 1999 (Bini & Martini Ocean Dub)" – 6:05
  3. "Criticize 1999 (Bini & Martini Subsonic Vocal Mix)" – 8:30
  4. "Criticize 1999 (Bini & Martini Subsonic Dub)" – 7:52
  • Germany 12” Single (0066540CLU)
  1. "Criticize (Stonebridge Club Mix)" – 9:52
  2. "Criticize (Critical Yojo Working Club Mix)" – 6:56
  3. "Criticize (Jamie Lewis Phat Club Mix)" – 7:49
  • Italy 12” Single (BLUE012)
  1. "Criticize '99 (Jamie Lewis Phat Club Mix)" – 7:49
  2. "Criticize '99 (Harley & Muscle Deep House Mix)" – 7:54
  • Italy 12” Single (BLUE013)
  1. "Criticize 1999 (Bini & Martini Club Vocal Mix)" – 7:22
  2. "Criticize 1999 (Bini & Martini Ocean Dub)" – 6:05
  3. "Criticize 1999 (Bini & Martini Sub Sonic Vocal Dub)" – 8:30

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hearsay liner notes. Tabu Records. 1987.
  2. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Criticize". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Charts.nz – Alexander O'Neal – Criticize". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  4. ^ "Alexander O'Neal: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "Alexander O'Neal Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  6. ^ "Alexander O'Neal Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  7. ^ "Alexander O'Neal Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  8. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Alexander O'Neal – Criticize". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 25, 2019.
  9. ^ "British single certifications – Alexander O'Neal – Criticize". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved May 24, 2020. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Criticize in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  10. ^ Criticize '98 Mix liner notes. One World Entertainment Co. Limited. 1998.
  11. ^ "UK Charts > Alexander O'Neal". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2020-05-15.
  12. ^ "Discogs > Criticize". Discogs. Retrieved 2020-05-15.

External linksEdit