• Animated and catchy beat-work
• Heavily edited vocal performance
• A revamp worth a discussion and listen
Second chances are a rarity these days. Especially in the music scene, if the audience deems an artist as utterly “worthless” or “uninspired”, nine out of ten times the vox populi will negatively influence the overall perception of the musician throughout their career. Re-branding from that stage is harder than an uphill task, but hey, everyone has their fair share of opportunities to prove otherwise about demeaning critics. One such was shown very recently, and this was way too significant to sideline: American singer Rebecca Black stormed the limelight yet again with a remix of “Friday”, a record of exemplar notoriety from the past decade on its tenth anniversary this month. Does this retake serves as any sort of retribution or fall flat in the process? Let’s see.
Perhaps I wouldn’t be mistaken to say that “Friday” and Rebecca Black are two synonymous name in internet mockery; released on an uneventful day in February (a Thursday, hah!), the début single quickly became an unforgettable “so bad its good” icon in pop culture, rendering the then fourteen year old an instant viral sensation throughout the length and breadth of cyberspace. Rather than wooing teenagers with peachy bubblegum attributes (which was all the hype in that era), it surfaced a teeny and nasally performance from the Californian denizen; further nailed by the awkwardly hilarious of a music video. It quickly garnered over an imposing amount of criticism (as of now, it is the top 20th most disliked upload on YouTube). What provided a terribly wobbly start, the bespoke act released more tracks later, however being over-shadowed by this preceding disaster. Three thousand days later, the songstress has revisited this catastrophe in a zealous and audacious manner worth discussing.
Obviously between the span of the original travesty that happened and this specific modification, EDM happened. Or its explosion in the pop scene, more precisely. Taking this nuance, the sole producer behind this project, Dylan Brady (1/2 of 100 Gecs, who have released in Mad Decent) cleverly employed his Hyperpop signature in the production. If you are unfamiliar with this genre, consider it like this: a dash of chaotic, upbeat and nightcore-esque of a sub-genre made popular by renowned icons like Charli XCX. It is being dubbed as the future for being such a wild interpretation of Electronic-pop, hence an adept marketing decision to go with such a brash structure.
The instrumental at talk here starts with a chipmunk rendition of the singing voice, which by the way, performs on the same infamous lyrics more or less. Going on from here, one will notice two distinguishing features: overt and gritty distortion in the mixdown accompanied by heavily auto-tuned vocal delivery; A trademark of the aforementioned style. Then there’s the torrent of off-beat bounce-y bassline which hits on every alternate beat. The outcome is a catchy flow and progression running at a 141 beats per minute, albeit basing itself on a simpler and stripped down melodic riff. Just as its predecessor, there’s a rap verse, this time from 3OH!3 and short features from Big Freedia and Dorian Electra. It varies on a breakbeat to a four-on-four beat groove, with jutting synths and FXs to make it all the more edgy and attention-grabby.
Alright, now the afterthoughts. There’s no doubt that Rebecca Black’s decision of taking this sharp-turn in music style is spot-on. The Hyperpop direction suits her like a charm, as this remix dunks the 2011 version by a mile. Are there noteworthy flaws (say the unnatural vocal style and the somewhat generic flavour of beat) in this approach? Yes. But considering the amount of improvement and overhaul, this is a remarkable comeback at display here!