Criticize (song)

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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)
Released September 23, 1987 (September 23, 1987)
Recorded 1986
Genre R&B
Length 4:09 (album version)
4:00 (single version)
Label Tabu
Alexander O'Neal singles chronology
"String Module Error: Match not found"
"Never Knew Love Like This" (with Cherrelle)
Hearsay track listing

"Criticize" is a song written by Alexander O'Neal and Jellybean Johnson and recorded by American recording artist Alexander O'Neal. 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.


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


The song was O'Neal's biggest hit in Britain, where it reached No. 4 in the United Kingdom and on the R&B chart in O'Neal's native United States. It was also one of his only two hits to chart in the Republic of Ireland (reaching No. 14). "Criticize" reached No. 70 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In popular culture[edit]

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 listing[edit]

  • 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


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

Sales chart performance[edit]

Peak positions[edit]

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


External links[edit]