If the hits of 2004 have a theme, perhaps it’s men’s hurt feelings. Busted, Eamon, Mario, and more to come, like a damburst of male confusion, spite and woe. The year’s most enduring hit – in chart terms the most enduring hit of any year – finds a singer tormented by his beloved’s life without him, unable to stop imagining the details of her intimacy with another man, equally unable to endure them.

We don’t get to talk formally about “Mr Brightside” here, and in any case its emotional content isn’t the reason it’s claimed squatters’ rights on the charts. But thematically it’s the twitchy rock cousin to “I Don’t Wanna Know”, a song whose peak finds Mario Winans’ loverman cool dissolve into a desperate, unwanted but unstoppable series of questions – “Did he touch you better than me? Did he watch you fall asleep?”

That’s the centre of the song and its best moment. What surrounds it doesn’t match up. The start and end of “I Don’t Wanna Know” lean heavily on its guest stars – one appearing almost on a technicality, the other all too noticeable. Enya’s presence on the song is some re-recorded hums mimicking the pitched-down version of a track the Fugees sampled on “Ready Or Not” – and it’s that song you think of the moment you hear this. Eight years can feel like an aeon in pop but in this case it’s an eyeblink, just too soon for Mario Winans to get out from under the older song’s shadow. The things he adds to the sample – the bridle and halter of that tight, structuring beat and his own pleasing but slightly anonymous smoothness – aren’t enough to shake that feeling.

He also adds P Diddy, whose rapping is improved from the last time we met him but whose presence on the song breaks whatever intensity Mario had managed to build and ruins that climactic breakdown, turning painful obsession into embittered petulance. You need a charisma Diddy doesn’t have (at least on record) to land a clunky double meaning like “I gave you extra cheese”, and his verse is full of similarly stilted, half-connected moments. 

There’s nothing fatally awful about “I Don’t Wanna Know”, it passes four minutes in a state of slick adequacy. It got enough traction to inspire another answer record, even. But there’s nothing to suggest that in the years since “I’ll Be Missing You” Diddy and his cronies had upped their game beyond mediocre tinkering over better records.

Score: 4

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