Recently, Rebecca Black’s love for the final day of the work week has become an internet sensation with her music video “Friday”. She’s been on the front pages of Yahoo, Digg, reddit and other media outlets. While I don’t find the song to be a work of musical or lyrical genius, I think that some people may be getting a little carried away. I saw the title, and braced myself, what was I going to hear, the sounds of cats running across chalkboards? Were my eardrums on the verge of self destruction? Instead what I heard was a thirteen year old girl’s attempt at a pop song. I realize that Rebecca did not write the song herself, and that she certainly did not apply the Auto-Tune herself. The lyrics may not be great, and the music may leave something to be desired, but I think I have heard songs that rival the quality of “Friday” from mainstream artists.
While listening to the radio I thought I heard what must be the new theme song for Jersey Shore, but it turns out it was just Jennifer Lopez’s new single “On The Floor”. Her music video begins with what I think may be the only product placement for Swarovski crystals, she then enters the club, and soon we find rapper Pitbull, the only slight saving grace to the song. The majority of Lopez’s role in the song includes telling the audience what to do on “the floor”. After a quick view of the video, I counted the word floor at least 26 times from J-Lo alone.
I will be the first to admit, Lopez has a better voice than Rebecca Black, but that is simply because she has a better voice than almost anyone, and Rebecca Black is, as I mentioned before, thirteen. Now let us examine the lyrical quality of J-Lo’s song. From what I can tell, I am supposed to get on the floor, step on the floor, sweat on the floor, et cetera, et cetera. Very little else occurs during the nearly four and a half minutes of the music video. At least in “Friday” we see the progression through Friday, starting with her morning cereal to keep up her nutrition, all the way to the party that night with her friends-who seem a tad young to be driving that car, but nonetheless. Again, I must clarify, that I do not believe “Friday” is Bob Dylan quality-to most people-but does it deserve the harsh punishment it has received?
While “On the Floor” is the most recent example, there is a much more accurate representation of what fame can get you. “I Gotta Feeling,” the Black Eyed Peas hit from 2009 seems to be the thirty-something version of “Friday”. Repetition is key for Will.i.am and crew, the first minute and a half consisting of nothing but “I gotta feeling, that tonight’s gonna be a good night.” The kicker comes at four minutes. The Peas begin to recite the days of the week, letting the world know that they will partying every day. I guess it’s only cool to throw out the days of the week after six Grammy awards.
I’m not asking that “Friday” be added to any best of the year lists, or that it be scratched from history, rather, I would like big name acts to be held to the same scrutiny as Rebecca Black. Maybe it would improve the quality of music as a whole, rather than targeting one thirteen year old girl.