A Bad Song Says So Much

About a week ago, I heard Rebecca Black’s name being floated around. I knew, or thought I knew, she was a singer, and I wanted to find out what all the fuss was about.  It’s one of the perks to being a librarian–if something is bugging you, you can research it right there at work.  So I did what any good researcher does, and went to Wikipedia (*snort*) and discovered that she’s an Internet Phenom, like LolCats, and Perez Hilton. She’s thirteen years old, and recorded a song called “Friday” for a few friends in March. Her YouTube video has over 103 million hits. Ok. Interesting right? No. The interesting part is, as of April 15, 2011, the song has 271,000 “likes” and a whopping TWO MILLION “dislikes”.

My question is why?

It made me think about aesthetic. What do I like, and what do I dislike about the song?  here’s a brief list:

  • Lame lyrics: “Yesterday was Thursday. Today is Friday.  We we we so excited…. Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards.”
  • Injected hip-hop sequence.
  • Offensive.
  • Robotic, droning 3 note range. She stays on the tonic note for approximately 3/4 of the song.
  • Heavily AutoTuned, just to keep her three notes (sort of) on pitch.
  • Nasal delivery. I don’t mean like snot. I mean like Manilow.
  • The entire song is a “hook”… a catchy musical device meant to draw in the listener. It’s a brain worm. Gets in there, grabs on with its tiny 13-year-old pincers, and won’t leave.
  • Heavily overproduced.
  • Cashing in on the teen vocalist phenomenon created by the Fox TV series Glee.
  • And finally, the video. The entire production has overtones of a “high school popularity status you’ll never be able to attain, so don’t bother trying.” It’s there. I’m over 40 years old and *I* felt it; disenfranchised and “unpopular” teens must have those feelings of being cast away quadrupled in them.

That’s the short list. Really. And I didn’t find something I liked. maybe that it’s only 3 minutes 48 seconds long, instead of four.

The best part are the parodies: Jimmy Fallon and Colbert, Overproduced to hilarity.  Bob Dylanesque. No excellent video, but the lyrics sound almost deep sung like this. The  YouTube comments are wonderful: fantastic (and blatantly false) 1960s stories about the history and reminiscences of this song.

In case you’re wondering (yeah, I know you’re not…), other songs I hate…

Herman’s Hermits. “Mrs. Brown”. Would YOU let your daughter date this guy?

Ohio Express.  “Yummy Yummy Yummy“. The guy’s voice. And the deep, deep lyrics. And I hate any word that ends in -ummy. It’s a weakness.

Woody Herman Orchestra. “Big Wig in the Wigwam.”  Ok. I don’t hate this song. The lyrics annoy me. But what a swing piece.

Kermit the Frog. “The Rainbow Connection.”  Sorry Kermit. Morose frogs annoy me.

Michael W. Smith. “Open the Eyes of My Heart”. Yes. Seriously.  Give your lyrics some thought. Heart Eyes are creepy. And Glory doesn’t rhyme with Holy. It plays the crowd. Give us something with substance.

Classy Freddie Blassie. “Pencil Necked Geek.” This song is the reason professional wrestlers shouldn’t sing. And in one song, he embodies Biff from Back to the Future. Hello! McFly!

Blue Swede. “Hooked on a Feeling.” Worst band name ever. Worst cover of a B.J. Thomas song ever. And THAT is saying something. Oo ga cha ka. Oo ga.

Free Design. Kites are Fun. Almost as exciting as Monty Python’s “I Like Traffic Lights” without realizing it’s painfully bad.

Elvis Presley. “Wooden Heart.” The song where Elvis jumps a shark and gains 75 lbs.

What songs do *you* hate? Post a link so we can hate them too!


7 thoughts on “A Bad Song Says So Much”

  1. First, don’t know how to do the cool links 😦 maybe someone can tell me?

    Okay, hate this one: LEO SAYER-When I Need You
    Barf. Dipthongs, my friend. Dipthongs.

    And this one: Otis Redding- (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay Love Otis, this song makes me want to say, “Get a job, slacker!”


    And lastly, this one: Richard Marx – Right Here Waiting. Played over and over in Bethany’s infamous, shag-carpeted practice rooms by melancholy non-music majors. Repetitive melody, shamelessly emotional lyrics and vocalizing. Bah!

    And I forgot George Harrison’s I got My Mind Set On You. Bleh


    1. Don’t know the songs, @Zalissa, but I listened to these versions and linked them for readers, assuming they were the versions you meant…? As a rule, I can’t STAND Scott Stapp’s voice. It sounds like his mouth is permanently stuck on the letter R no matter what he’s singing. (incidentally, it’s the same reason I don’t like Pearl Jam).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s