Song Review: Paula Abdul featuring The Wild Pair – “Opposites Attract”

“Opposites Attract” was released as the sixth and final single from Paula Abdul’s 1989 debut album, Forever Your Girl. The song features vocals by Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, who are known as The Wild Pair. The single for “Opposites Attract” was released on November 28, 1989, and the song peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

I was 14 years old and in the ninth grade when this song was released as a single. I fell in love with the song the first time I heard it; the beat is incredibly catchy, and the interplay in the vocals between Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair is fun to listen to. The song focuses on two characters who are complete opposites of each other, yet they still find a middle ground and make their relationship work. It’s the type of theme that any teenager girl could easily get into. While I love “Opposites Attract,” it’s my second favorite song on Forever Your Girl; my all-time favorite song on the album to this day is “Straight Up.”

The music video also helped my appreciation for this song. It’s a video that sees Paula interacting with an animated cat named MC Skat Kat. It looked very impressive for its time, and for the most part, I think that on a technical level it still holds up today. The part with the musical notes coming out of the boombox looks a little cheesy, but everything else still looks great. Also, I do have to admit that in some respects, it does look a little dated as well; however, I think this dated look is part of the video’s charm. From what I’ve heard, Paula was inspired for this music video by the Gene Kelly film, Anchors Aweigh, where he dances with Jerry the mouse from the Tom and Jerry cartoons. When I watched this video shortly before working on this writeup, it had been a number of years since I’d last seen it. When I watched it this time, I could truly tell just how much choreography went into making the interactions between Paula and MC Skat Kat look as realistic as possible.

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