Local Record Review: 'Friday' by Rebecca Black from Anaheim Hills
Ark Music Factory
Don't give us that look--who could be better for a Beat Blvd. entry? She's totally local (from Anaheim Hills), she's got a new release, and let's face it, if everyone isn't actually talking about her, the fact that you're reading this via the Net means that if you haven't seen this already, someone you know has and is about to forward it to you. And none of you--and certainly none of us here--knew about her even a week ago. It's instant viral Internet fame of the most classic variety.
The whole story can't be summed up in a short blog entry but you can easily find out why this video exists in the first place. You'll discover that MST3K veteran Michael J. Nelson apparently was the key this going huge, and even find out who that girl in pink dancing with her in the back seat is.
You can--and should--check out at least some of the endless, endless amounts of parodies and reworkings and more that have exploded all over the place. The fake Bob Dylan one is a winner:
Though for simplicity's sake I'd recommend a few of the simpler but more brilliant reworkings--a sped-up version that only lacks a rampaging 160 bpm beat to make it a lost happy hardcore rave classic from 1995:
While someone did the opposite trick, in the line of the slowed down Justin Bieber craze a little while back, turning the song into a majestic, elegant procession (the "yeahs!" after the "partying partying" part are astonishing this way):
There's also this version which takes the "fun fun fun fun" hook and turns it into something closer to a mantra:
So setting all that aside and coming back to the song--and of course and inextricably, that jawdropping video itself. No, it's not the greatest thing ever. Yes, it is a Frankenstein's monster of a pop song, fusing elements from all over the place--especially and obviously, the impact of Radio Disney (when Nick Jonas posted "fun fun fun fun" on Twitter it was an almost perfect acknowledgement).
And lord yes, there's no question a lot of the attention comes from the fact, as a friend of mine said, that this is all down to that universal factor: "gleeful fascination with watching someone crash and burn before their very eyes."
And yet? It's an earworm. What more does a pop song (hell, any song) have to be but an earworm, and what more does any performer need to get a leg up but to create something that has that kind of impact? In all its sculpted-within-a-molecule-of-its-life Autotuned obsessiveness it is, to quote another friend, "a cute pop song...no worse than, like, a back-to-school JC Penney commercial."
Which serves as another pointed reminder that, yeah, her parents kicked down for this, it was all written and done for her, and so forth--but how many of us at 13 would have done any better? (Trust me, I remember what I was thinking was cool and great at 13, and I knew I was right--and my 40-year-old self agrees with his sentiment completely and never ever wants to go back to that point again.)
It's been a crazy and sad week for a lot of this world. Look at Japan's horrific situation, the cruelties in Libya and Bahrain, the government stupidities in this country and elsewhere, the usual . That's humanity. And if the offset of that has been a buzzing-or annoying, or both-silly little anthem to something that's been sung about in so many songs so many times-just getting to the weekend so you can have some fun--well then, bring it on.
Even down to the gifs.
You can buy it on iTunes now if you like. It's already charting in the top 100 sales level. Really.
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