Single Shot: ‘Friday’

Something cosmic must have conspired to ensure I wrote this post: April Fool’s Day falls on a Friday, of all days, not to mention TWF’s post of the most excellent cover of the song, and worst of all the damn thing has been in my head for about a week straight.

I don’t want to dwell on it too much, but I do have a few thought on Black’s ‘Friday‘.

      Friday - Rebecca Black

Let’s get one thing straight: this isn’t what I’d classify as a “good song.” It certainly is pretty far off the beaten path in terms of my own stylistic persuasions, but in spite of this, it’s interesting. Initially, I wanted to just do a joke post about how smitten I was with the track, but looking a little closer, I realized that this song is a weirder, more complicated phenomena than just another dopey pop song.

It’s interesting in the sense that it’s the infamous metaphorical trainwreck condensed into a handful of over-produced minutes of mundane pop. It’s so terrible (lyrical content, structural simplicity, rap breakout, and let’s not even get started on the video…), and yet you have trouble looking away (I’ve listened to it maybe 4-5 times this week… Am I ashamed? You’d better believe it). Have other songs fit the bill? Sure, but nothing so effectively crystallizes the effect as ‘Friday’ does.

The article over at Know Your Meme has a fantastic synopsis of the whole ordeal, and I recommend at least giving that article a look if you are at all curious. My favorite thing I found there was a response video from one of the girls seen dancing in the ‘Friday’ video. People were giving her a hard time for dancing goofy, and she owns up to it:

It’s quite possible the most genuine thing I’ve seen on the internet in a long, long time. So good for Dancing Girl.

The ultimate conclusion I’ve reached with ‘Friday’ is that it is the telos (GRK., ‘end’) of pop music. Everything we’ve seen in the past four or five years, with the rise of the institution of Auto-Tune, to the protracted demise of the album as an medium in favor of downloadable single tracks, the emergence of Bieber Fever, it all has lead to this.

For better or worse, the phenomena of ‘Friday’ should not have caught anyone by surprise. The true irony to be savored here is the wide swath of people lambasting this song. It’s just interesting that so many ‘critics’ decided to draw the line in the sand here. Not at any number of the terrible pop acts that have come across their plate in recent years (Perry, Bieber, Cyrus, Ke$ha, and so on) did they see fit to revolt, but Rebecca Black was too far?

The only outstanding question is “how long” before someone makes a name for themselves by dropping down to the next lowest rung. I wait with bated breath.