It could be the robotic vocal delivery. Or the inane chorus of "tomorrow is Saturday and Sunday comes afterwards". But "the worst pop song of all time" has become a global sensation, catapulting its 13 year-old performer to stardom.
"Friday" by Rebecca Black is either a witty parody of saccharine teen-pop or a new low in manufactured song production. The song, which details the fresh-faced California girl's excitement at the impending weekend, has become a YouTube sensation since she posted the video last month.
It has received 10 million views and now leaped into the official iTunes download chart. Black's name even "out-trended" the Japanese earthquake on Twitter. However most of the comments are not positive. Black's monotonous auto-tuned vocal has been mocked. Rolling Stone criticised the song's "sub-par production values, grating hooks and extraordinarily stupid lyrics".
The lyrics of "Friday" have come under particular scrutiny. The song follows the teenager as she gets up, eats a bowl of cereal and struggles to choose whether to sit in the front of the back seat of the car.
The chorus, "Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday/ Today is Friday, Friday (Partyin')/ Tomorrow is Saturday/And Sunday comes afterwards", has prompted inevitable YouTube parodies. There is now a "Friday" sung a la Bob Dylan and a version in the style of minimalist composer Steve Reich.
The credit for "Friday" does not belong to Black alone. She is the product of the Ark Music Factory, a Hollywood company that charges wealthy parents a fee in return for the chance to turn their offspring into stars.
Ark writes and produces bespoke songs for star-struck teens and produces low-budget videos. The company says that its mission is to "make it possible for an emerging arist to be discovered, defined and delivered, to advance in their career and be successful."
Black, from Anaheim, the home of Disneyland, previously sang the lead in a high-school production of Oklahoma! She was allocated "Friday", written by Patrice Wilson and Clarence Jey, who claims to have completed exams at the Trinity College of Music.
Black has been compared to Justin Bieber, the teen sensation brought to prominence through the power of social media. But she has shrugged off the criticism her song has prompted, tweeting "Yay! Friday is on Itunes top 100! Sweet dreams! xoxo. So honored. So many amazing and talented people actually KNOW of my song."
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