Did aspiring pop star Rebecca Black sing the worst song ever? Despite being a 13-year-old newcomer, she is the target of snaky comments and personal criticism from the online community.
Does her rendition of “Friday” truly deserve such vitriol when compared to other popular songs and music videos?
How Much Do Lyrics Matter?
Some commenters are complaining about “Friday’s” silly, repetitive lyrics. If SingStar and Guitar Hero taught us anything, it is that many beloved, popular songs have repetitive or silly lyrics masked by a catchy beat or chorus.
The Black Eyed Peas’ songs are repetitive and “I Gotta Feeling” actually lists all seven days of the week. The song reached number one on Billboard’s Top 100.
Although her natural singing voice is questionable, “Real Housewives” star Kim Zolciak managed to deliver a dance song with lyrics cautioning everyone not to be tardy for the party. It sounds like an awkward phrase straight out of a rhyme-obsessed third grader’s mouth, but the dance beat compensated for the lyrics.
Hit Songs Often Become Annoying
Chart toppers can quickly become amazingly annoying. Remember the Baha Men hit “Who Let the Dogs Out?” In 2000, that song rose to number 18 on Billboard’s pop charts. The tune got heavy rotation on radio stations and at public events. It was the unofficial anthem for the Seattle Mariners and featured in a slew of movies over the last decade.
Fans rebelled and, in 2007, Rolling Stone readers voted it as one of the top 20 most annoying songs.
However, “Friday” sounds the same after repeated plays and listening to multiple YouTube spoofs.
Worst Music Video?
The music video looks like something an indulgent teen would create as part of her birthday celebration on MTV’s “My Super Sweet Sixteen.” It appears to follow the song’s story, but there a few missteps. With the exception of an out of place rapper, the video shows regular teens–some with braces–having fun.
Does that make it the worst video?
There are plenty of contenders for that title. Among teen performers, Miley Cyrus’ “Can’t Be Tamed” video wins for weirdness. Her smoky eyes, complicated costumes and racy dancing seemed like a strategic attempt to shed her “Hannah Montana” image, but the video was more suitable for an edgier artist, such as Adam Lambert.
Reach for the Stars, Rebecca
“Friday” is not as awesomely bad as some critics claim. Justin Bieber’s YouTube success was a game changer. It is possible that, with the right guidance, Black can parlay her 15 minutes of fame into a successful music career.
Top 100, Billboard
“Dog Chant”, NPR
Baha Men, Billboard
“Top 20 Most Annoying Songs”, Rolling Stone