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    Tuesday, June 26, 2018

    #ThemeSongTuesday: God's Greatest Creation

    "Shut up, Saxton, God's Greatest Creation has arrived!"

    If there's one thing I love about Mandy Rose since she and Sonya Deville were shipped off to SmackDown Live following the Superstar Shakeup, it's how they both get to have their own entrances now. It's great because Mandy and Sonya finally get to have personalities independent of Absolution. Back when they were running with Paige, they came out to her music, wore the same shirts, and yet, there didn't really seem to be any cohesion beyond that. They were a group, but also disjointed because there was nothing that really linked them together—y'know, kinda like The Riott Squad.

    Now that Mandy and Sonya can make an entrance on their own, we're all better off—especially when Mandy comes out. Make no mistake. Whenever Corey Graves calls her (or her entrance) God's Greatest Creation, the man ain't lying.

    The Mandy Rose Entrance is one of those things you know WWE's production team actually thought about—or at least exert a lot of effort on every week. Before I break down Mandy's song, let's talk about how the lights just go out, save for the golden lights in the arena. When you're at the venue, you know that a goddess—sorry, Alexa Bliss—is about to make her presence felt. When you're watching at home, you even have this special effect where the edges of the screen are all blurred and Mandy Rose is entering in slow motion. If that doesn't perfectly simulate how it feels to see your crush suddenly walk into a room, then I don't know what does! It's like... time is standing still and she just walks in so... radiantly effervescent. I just realize that last phrase doesn't make sense—but barely anything does when a woman that beautiful enters the room, so shush.

    Okay, time to break the song down.

    It starts with the sweet, sultry voice of a woman whispering, "Mandy." And God damn, if that isn't sexy? Yes, it is almost always sexy if someone whispers into your ear. No, it's not just a trick radio DJs and voice talents have at their disposal. Yes, I just gave one of our tricks away.

    The beat drops and you hear synths, guitars, and a sax coming together to hear a song that could serve as the backdrop for any of the following scenes:
    • A trip to your favorite strip club
    • A softcore sex scene
    Let's face it. WWE knows what they have with Mandy Rose. She's essentially a throwback in this era of women's wrestling—much in the mold of the Trish Stratuses and Torrie Wilsons of the world. In a way, WWE is pretty self-aware with this and doubled down on Mandy Rose being Eva Marie 2.0. Hey, they're not going overboard with Mandy's sexuality by having her compete in bra-and-panties matches and bikini contests, so they're already going in the right direction on that alone.

    Anyway, back to the music. It's essentially a loop that goes over and over again, with the sax interludes coming in, much like Lana's theme. But whereas Lana's theme is clearly made for a dancer—and for people to get up and dance along to—Mandy's theme sounds like it was clearly meant for the lounge... or the strip club. Let's be real. Who hasn't heard this entrance theme and immediately had sexual thoughts? Yep. Point proven.

    But going deeper into the production, it's worth noting what influences CFO$ drew from in putting this track together. Over the years, CFO$ has taken from genres you normally associate with wrestling—rock and more recently, hip-hop. Hell, they've even incorporated some trap into their production because it's the current trend in hip-hop. With Mandy Rose's theme, they drew from an unconventional genre: lo-fi instrumental hip-hop.

    Lo-fi comes from the term "low fidelity" and it refers to music whose sound quality is lower than what's normally considered a standard among industry professionals. Through the track, you'll hear imperfections in both the recording and production—these are generally looked at as no-no's for most mainstream practitioners. Common elements include environmental interference (like ambient sound/noise), misplayed notes, tape hiss, degraded audio signals, etc. It's an aesthetic that's been around for a while. You may remember it in the music of artists like Beck.

    But if you want a more current reference, SoundCloud rap is a prime example of the use of lo-fi as an aesthetic in the music you might hear today. Look no further than the music of artists like Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Pump, Lil Yachty—man, I can't believe all those guys are "little"—Russ, and XXXTentacion. I'm not referring to the emo content in their lyrics. Focus on the production aspect and listen to how gritty and "DIY" their songs sound. As an example, check out "Gucci Gang" by Lil Pump, which MWF's Kyle Sison uses as his entrance theme.

    That's the lo-fi aesthetic I'm referring to, and when you look at the production behind Mandy's theme, you'll see elements of that. In the case of Mandy's entrance song, you hear it in the subtleties, like the imbalanced mixing between the keys, guitars, and sax. There are also the misplayed keys cutting through the sax interludes, that leave you with the feeling that something's off, and yet, the harmony leaves you dazed enough to accept it for what it is. Check it out here.

    "Golden Goddess" is a what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of theme. It makes you want to prostrate yourself in front of this beautiful human being and pine for her attention. You'll want her to just look in your direction because even a glance is a moment you're willing to treasure for a lifetime. Just her mere presence makes the temperature rise. And this theme emphasizes that with the sexiness of the sax complementing the erotic vibe that the theme is going for. 

    Mandy Rose's theme is ultimately very simple, but it completes the package that WWE went all in on when they let Mandy Rose become Mandy Rose on SmackDown Live. As soon as I hear that sweet, seductive voice whisper, "Mandy..." I'm going to make like Byron Saxton and shut up because God's Greatest Creation is about to enter my screen.

    Can SmackDown Live happen sooner please?

    What do you think about Mandy Rose's theme? Is it the sexiest theme in wrestling today? Hit us up in the comments section below!

    Header image from WWE SmackDown Live


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: God's Greatest Creation Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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