The worst song ever written….
Well that title has been claimed by many but never has there been such general agreement that the song “Friday” has truly earned it (google it if you haven’t heard it and can bear truly insipid things). But what makes the song so truly awful that it transcends genre biases and manages to rankle every listener older than 14 (and many younger)?
First off I think Friday is the natural outcome of a lot of what’s wrong in music today. I am not going to sit here and pontificate that music is dead, because it isn’t! There is a lot of good music out there for anyone who cares to listen. Sara Bareilles, Bruno Mars, Cee Lo Green, Paramore, Matt Nathanson, John Mayer, Herbie Hancock, and anything written by Diane Warren are all just a small set of examples of what is happening and what is good! That having been said: There is a tendency to “dumb it down.” Since the turn of the century lyrics have been relegated to second class status. Talk of Melody’s decline began a mere 20 years ago. Fast forward to now and the great musical revolution is reaching its nadir as the abuses of the record industry have taught us to commoditize the work and steal it whenever possible.
Not that we, as listeners, don’t bear the brunt of the responsibility. As long as Rebecca Blacks can make huge sums of money off their mediocrity/awfulness then they will continue to multiply. Conversely when we give great artists hits, by buying their music and going to their concerts we are voting in a system that is far more important than American idol!
Now on to the terror at hand, I am a big fan of Kenny Werner’s attitude that every creative endeavor has some value. That having been said I think this song violates that principle, which in turn forces us to consider HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? Well I compiled a limited list for your edificative (pretty sure that isn’t a word) pleasure:
- No sense of craft: Violates basic ideas of songwriting.
- Bad lyrics: Make no sense and highlight trivial and useless ideas
- Bad melody: Boring and repetitive
- Boring Arrangement: There are things other than beats and synths
Ok so we all hate this song. But could it be fixed? The lyrics to this song are horrible. They accomplish nothing. There is no story. They are an unrelated list. Friday Friday partyin, doesn’t bring any kind of significant resolution to our ears or help us understand what the point of the song. Taking it line by line, cut the initial orgasm noises out of the song and start with an alarm clock going off. This will create the early morning wake up feel. Two Ok you woke up. Did you do ANYTHING more interesting than eat a bowl of cereal. Are you looking forward to a party? Are you thinking about a boy? IS THERE ANYTHING GOING ON IN YOUR HEAD? Next: Are you in a bus or a car? Please pick one and don’t clue us into whether or not you are taking the front seat or the backseat. That doesn’t matter. There is no connection between cereal, bus-car, and the chorus. It is a meaningless mishmash of “hip” buzzwords.
Verse 2 has her on the highway, (she is ghost-riding in the video). Apparently we jumped from a mundane morning directly through school (thank god they cut her verse on the math pop quiz) and she is off to a party. Back to the Chorus which makes slightly more sense now (i.e. The buzzwords fit in the song but still don’t really work). Then she recites the days of the week. Cue the rapper who merely reiterates all the confusion and adds nothing except a cameo for the producer and a sweet writing credit. End repeating the chorus.
These are all basic things that should never have been neglected. Yet Rebecca and her label are laughing all the way to the bank. Perhaps Ryan Tedder of One Republic fame summed it up when he was asked about the classic song At Last, “…I could write that song now and give it to a Mariah Carey or whomever. And it wouldn't work! You'd put it on the radio and it would die instantly.” Well is he wrong? What is gonna happen to music? The answer my friends is blowing in the wind…
(Ryan Tedder quote from http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2010/12/30/132477498/would-at-last-be-a-hit-today)
(no that is not an academic citation… yes you can still find it… no I do not care!)