There isn't an inch of room open for debating who is in control on UK singer Clare Maguire's hurricane-sized single "Don't Mess Me Around." From the opening gut-shot handclaps and rumbling bass right through to the final few wails, it's obvious that Maguire "owns" everything around her. The pitiable boyfriend with the wayward eye. The overly jealous girl giving the death stare from the corner of the bar. Anyone who dare throw shade at her girls. They're all under her domain, the simple screams of "don't mess me around" is all it takes for Maguire to assert her dominance.
Since she's a female Brit with a penchant for soulful reclamations of WOMANHOOD, the comparisons to Adele are going to come fast and furious, but they're unwarranted. Maguire's far more ferocious than Adele. The latter would never attempt a line like "you have been erased, that's how easy you are to replace," and she certainly wouldn't scream it. I can't remember the last time a soul/R&B track had me reaching to turn the volume down, but "Don't Mess Me Around" does. Earsplitting, domineering, grooving, this song is all of those things and so much more. Run from it if you want, you won't get far.