Random Thoughts on a Rebecca Black “Friday”

As I write this I’m seeing that Rebecca Black’s music video, “Friday”, has reached 156,885,853 hits!

And as much as everyone says they can’t stand the song and video, I must confess there is a catchiness to it that is undeniable. Love it or hate it, the song is pretty darn catchy.

Anyway, I just thought I’d get the video on the site, being that it’s available to embed (Susan Boyle’s “I Dreamed A Dream” is disabled courtesy of YouTube).

Some Random Thoughts

What do I think of this song? Just for the record?

No doubt, good or bad, it’s a cultural phenomenon that has gained notoriety around the world.

Well, as a drummer I realize the song’s simple groove is incessantly driving… “boom boom crack boom… crack… boom boom crack boom… crack” with a loose hi-hat on each quarter note in 4/4 time. That’s about the catchiest drumbeat anyone can utilize and wicked simple. Insanely simple!

As far as Rebecca’s infamous monotone voice goes… I realize it must be auto tune at its most extreme. I admit it’s very unique that anyone would sing this way. Was it done on purpose? Or did Rebecca Black’s singing just come out that way. I often wonder how some other singer would do singing this song, like say Whitney Houston, or Barbra Streisand? Seriously, for kicks some great and amazing vocalist should do this song too.

Anyway, naming the song simply “Friday” and having the whole story revolve around partying and having fun for the weekend. Well, let’s just say that is a universal emotion.

Now the infamous lyrics, that could’ve been written by an eigth grader…

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)

Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after … wards
I don’t want this weekend to end

Well, just to defend the authors of the song for a minute… the song IS about an eighth grader finally happy that the weekend has arrived… it’s pretty self-explanatory. I guess no need for been super articulate and intellectual about it. After all, it is a simple song with a simple purpose.

So, I’m sure people are wondering right about now, “Carlos! Why are you even giving this song any attention”.

Well, for good reason. There is a lot of not-so-good music out there being pushed at our youth as good music. Is Rebecca Black’s “Friday” any different than other pop tunes out there that are being passed off as great music? Sure, the beats might be catchy and incessant and driving. The words might get stuck in your mind all day. And the melody line is simple enough to remember and sing along to.

But…

There is a LOT of excellent music out there that will never be as “popular” and well known as Rebecca Black’s “Friday”. There’s a LOT of great music that will never get this kind of limelight. And that is a fact.

What IS good music?

As I look back on old hits from another era, I see that there has been a LOT of great music that was written and recorded. Maybe it was written off as being sappy or simplistic at the time. Maybe it was considered cheesy or too sugar-coated.

I remember The Carpenters being criticized as being too saccharine and sugar-coated. And though I admit there might be a certain truth to that, as the years go by I am beginning to appreciate more and more Karen and Richard Carpenter’s musical talents, especially at such a fairly young age.

Listening to the old pop classics, I don’t really see anything comparable in this day and age. What with sampling, auto-tuning, rapping, lip-syncing… it just makes me wonder if there’s a kind of cultural wasteland out there. Well, I’m sure there is always some great artistic music being performed somewhere in this world at any given moment…

I’m just glad the true classics are being preserved for future generations to learn from and appreciate.

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Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and Amazon.com.

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