Friday, April 1, 2011

Music Review: Friday

It is April Fool's Day as I write this, so I hope you've been having a happy one of those.  We've got an interesting subject up for review this time around: the song "Friday" by Daniel Bedingfield.  It's part of his 2002 album Gotta Get Through This, and to my knowledge it was only released as a single in the United Kingdom.  As such, I only know about it from its inclusion in Dancing Stage Max, which was, again, a European exclusive DDR game (I have my ways).  ...I take it this isn't going to be the real review.

April Fools!  No, my real quarry is another song entitled "Friday".  This one is performed by a miss Rebecca Black, a 13-year-old upstart from Anaheim, and was released in early 2011 by the label Ark Music Factory, who have a unique business model.  Anyone who wants to get into the music business can pay them a couple thousands of dollars and have a song written with/for them.  Its founder, a mister Patrice Wilson, co-wrote "Friday" and also cameos as a guest rapper1.  So, now that I've got the objective portion of this review out of the way, I'm free to say that personally...  I find this song nigh-unlistenable.  See, over the past year or so, I've encountered many popular songs I regard as "so bad it's good", including "Hey Soul Sister" by Train, "OMG" by Usher &, "Like a G6" by Far East Movement and company, and pretty much everything else covered by ToddInTheShadows.  (BTW he stated on his Twitter channel that he would not be reviewing this particular song, oddly enough, because he felt it wasn't quite bad enough.  I get the feeling that enough requests could change his mind... but I ain't saying nothing.)  But what, you may ask, takes this song past that threshold into the realm of no return?

Welp, it starts with her vocals on the song.  They are the worst set of pipes that have ever been piped into my own earpipes.  All joking aside, Rebecca's voice on this track are so grating, raspy, nasally, and for lack of any cleaner adjectives, unpleasant.  Combined with the lyrics, which we'll get to next, her sound has a bad habit of sticking in my head and leaving me willing to do anything to it them out!  It doesn't help that a copious slathering of Auto-tune was involved, and what's worse, even with them she only sings in one note for a sizeable chunk of the song!  Lady, please, you don't get anywhere in life by singing in fewer notes than you can count on your hand.  Except Flo Rida, but he's technically a rapper, so he doesn't count.

But would replacing her with the likes of Mariah Carey make this heap any better?  Technically, yes, but it wouldn't be anywhere remotely near good.  I mean, we start off with a description of her everyday life.
7 AM, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Yeah... not something you should talk about in a pop song.  When Tiga did it in "Bedrock" ("She watchin' that Oxygen, I'm watchin' ESPN"), at least that was a representation of how their differences are skin deep, but they bond through that which they both enjoy, namely sex.  But here, there isn't a point.  And yes, the only note to be heard in these three lines is B.  Lady, if you're going to be this monotone and sing so quickly, just rap and get it over with!  ...No, we do not want to hear you rap.
Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)
Kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?
One, you say you have to catch the bus, but (if the music video is any indication), your friends roll up in a car. I can has consistency?  Two, you're 13 years old, so your friends must be considerably older to be able to drive themselves (I take it you know the legal driving age in the US is 16).  At the very least, you probably won't be in the same school as them, but other than that, never mind.  Three, and I say this again, what's the point to stressing out between sitting in the front or the back seat?  You would think (again, according to the video)
It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday
Everybody’s lookin’ forward to the weekend, weekend
Partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah), partyin’, partyin’ (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun, lookin’ forward to the weekend
And this is the part which gets stuck in your head and kills anything nearby.  Read it in your head with the voice I previously described, only over 9000 times worse, and you'll see why.  On second though, don't do that.  You'll thank me later.
7:45, we’re drivin’ on the highway
Cruisin’ so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun
You know what it is
Why does everyone assume we know what "it" is? First Wiz Khalifa, then you, and I think there's some more... And you're all newbies to the game! We know nothing about you, much less whatever "it" is!
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it
I counted three lines of nothing and one line of you giving us some pointless description. Once again, thank you Captain Obvious, I said with sarcasm.
Kickin’ in the front seat, sittin’ in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?
The heck, you're saying that again when you're already in the car? Again! I can has consistency?
Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin’)
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today
Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after...wards
I don’t want this weekend to end


Wow.  This sums up everything you need to know about the song right there.  Is the realization of what days of the week come before and after Friday such a profound discovery that you feel you needed to share it with the world?  I think not!  ...Okay, so maybe you have a point.  Maybe you're trying to show the distinction that Thursday is bad, and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are good.  But it would take the lyrical genius of Shakespeare to make that sound anything but dopey!  Oh, and I caught you saying "we so excited".  Because poor grammar be cool.

After this black hole, the aforementioned writer jumps in with his own rap verse which, quite frankly, is the only decent part of this song.  Sure, it rehashes much of the points from the song thus far from a different perspective, and his delivery is nothing to write home about, but like most guest rap verses this one plays it safe, which is more than I can say about the rest of this song.

So there you have it.  I just dragged myself through audio heck for your amusement.  And the worst part of it is, that was Patrice Wilson's intent all along, more or less:
'Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards.' I mean, everybody knows that, obviously, but I wanted the song to be simple and kind of sweet," Wilson says in the interview. "People talk so much about how silly or stupid the lyrics are, but pop songs, they're meant to be catchy and to tell things in a simple kind of way. I feel bad that Rebecca has been getting so many people criticizing the song. Because it was me that wrote it.1
Silly pop songs?  What's wrong with that?  (Shut up Paul.)  Seriously, catchy does not have to mean the same thing as stupid, but you, sir, have fallen on the stupid end of the spectrum.  Do you have anything to say in your defense?
And the truth is, if you look at the numbers...even though people say they hate the song...really, they love it.1
*gasp* I am shocked and appaled by your assumption!  ...I'll be the judge of that.  But before I do, I wish to explain something.  On my new 5-starwhatever scale, I've considered whether or not to include a zero as the lowest grade instead of one.  This would be something reserved for things that are obviously broken or unfinished.  For example, "Break Up" by Mario/Gucci Mane/Sean Garrett is something I would give a zero to, as well as possibly "Imma Be" by the Black Eyed Peas.  Just take ToddInTheShadows' word for it.  Oh, and it corresponds to a letter grade of E.  E comes before F, so that's not so bad, right?  Wrong: it stands for 'Epic fail' or 'Emergency', since this grade is reserved for emergency use only.  So, is it worth breaking it out for "Friday"?


YES.  It is, as I warned you, unlistenable.  Anyone can write a hack song, but it takes a special x-factor to make the lyrics sound so revolting that the whole mess becomes stillborn.  In doing so, Rebecca Black displays a lack of talent so great, that in a sense she displays her own kind of talent.  And no, you do not have to see it to believe it.  We need to forget about this ordeal as quickly and as widespread as possible.  Please, to all of the people trying to elicit a laugh (or genuine interest, you never know) by sharing this music video online, I beg of you, stop.  If we stop giving her attention, she may go away.  And if she does, well, then capitalism isn't such a bad thing after all!

Lyrics: 0 weekdays out of 5
Production: 0 weekdays out of 5
Composition: 1 weekday out of 5
The Call: 0 weekdays out of 5 (E)

1 Lee, Tiffany. "Rebecca Black's Not To Blame: Meet The Man Who Wrote 'Friday'". Stop The Presses! 30 March 2011 <>.

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