While there is something to be said for pop music’s simplicity, this is still no justification for crimes such as rhyming “fun” with “fun” and the perpetually mocked “days of the week” list.
It’s good for pop music to be accessible. Deeply profound lyrics are better left to more reflective genres, since most people seek lightheartedness or dance-ability in pop music. “Friday” is overly-easy to relate to–everybody loves the weekend. But that is no excuse for the lyrics. It’s bad enough when artists waste words rhyming “go” with “whoa” all the time or lack creativity, but to say that “Friday” lacks lyrical creativity is a gross understatement.
In addition to the lack of quality, the song was paired with a music video that also presents artistic problems. A consistent motif throughout the video is driving, which is puzzling since Black and her friends are not legal drivers. The video begins with Black lamenting mundane activities of her day, which includes going to the bus stop, where her very young friends pick her up. There is one seat left in the car, yet Black struggles to decide which seat she should take. The driving motif continues when the songwriter shows up toward the end and raps about driving recklessly.
Concept music videos can be tricky because sometimes they add a creative dimension to the song that highlights its important aspects. But other times the video may have nothing to do with the song and is confusing.
In some cases, like in the “Friday” video, it is simply poorly arranged and has major flaws. Aside from the inconsistencies with driving and the question of young teen partying, Black’s facial expressions are awkward and her singing robotic, heavily auto-tuned, and nasally.
Overall, the song showcases society’s low standards–people will buy anything.
Although the above reasons and more make an adequate case for a negative perspective of the song, Black shouldn’t be mercilessly slandered.
For one thing, the song and video were well-marketed. Views on Youtube and purchases on iTunes really made Black’s song almost universally familiar. This girl is only 13 and she has made (and will make) a lot of money. Granted, it’s money for a horrible song and I wouldn’t say I’d want my name on it, but she’s doing well for herself at a young age.
Black’s song is everywhere: junior high and college students listen to it and it’s easy to get stuck in your head. There’s no escaping Black. But she’s not the first person to become famous for being so outrageously awful. People have a strange attraction to things that are “so bad they’re good” or “so stupid they’re funny,” and this is what’s happening here.
Regardless of the low quality, “Friday” is not likely to fade from speakers anytime soon. Either let the vocals and common chord progression drive you nuts, or start “gettin’ down on Friday” and chalk it up to the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.