Unlike most people I know, I have never been much of a fan of YouTube. I’ve managed to invest my time in loftier pursuits than watching video clips of Tourette’s Guy and Justin Bieber. However, upon hearing about all the ruckus over one of YouTube’s newest hits, I couldn’t resist the temptation to see what all the commotion was about.
But now I can see why this video has garnered over 2.2 million views. Combine the vocal range of a typical housecat, the freshness of a year-old bagel, and the lyrical genius of pre-schooler and what do you get? You get “Friday”, by teen-pop singer Rebecca Black.
The interesting thing about this music video is that its popularity is largely due to the fact that many consider this to be the worst song of all-time. Still others maintain that, while the song manages to set popular music back fifty years, it is the worst music video of all time. Both sides are correct.
What makes “Friday” such an irresistible trainwreck? First, there’s Miss Black’s singing talent. Have you ever heard those people who have had throat cancer and are forced to speak through an electrolarynx device held against the neck? Yeah, that’s the closest comparison I can make. While many talented singers possess a four octave range; Rebecca Black seems to possess a four note range.
Next, there’s the thoughtful and insightful lyrics. How can we not love a song which contains this shining example of lyrical genius?
“Yesterday was Thursday.
Today it is Friday.
We we we so excited.
We gonna have a ball today.
Tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday
The lyrics are so atrocious that it was featured on Comedy Central’s Tosh.0 blog (“Songwriting Isn’t For Everyone”), which resulted in many of the video’s 2.2 million views. It seems people wanted to watch the video for the same reason people like to watch a NASCAR race- in the hopes of witnessing a fiery wreck.
And what a fiery wreck “Friday” is. Not only can viewers experience horrible singing and lyrics so awful that they can hardly be called lyrics, but they can witness a music video concept so cliche and hackneyed that it almost succeeds in coming across as Socratic irony. For nearly 3:00 of the video’s 3:48 runtime, Rebecca is riding around in a car full of smiling teenagers with Justin Bieber haircuts.
Many people have asked me why I stopped performing as a musician after over a decade of playing guitar and bass for various bands and recording projects. As long as record companies continue to ear-rape the general public with pop music which contains little in the way of musical ability, songwriting ability, or singing ability, I will have no part of it. I do not wish to be an accessory to these crimes.
However, Rebecca Black’s viral success has given me hope for a comeback. Here’s a new song I’ve been working on:
“December was cold.
January was pretty cold too.
And February is cold, but that’s cool,
Because March probably won’t be as cold as those other months.”
How do you like that? I’m halfway to becoming an international singing sensation.