Rebecca Black’s Workaday ‘Saturday’ Video Gets the Job Done
Saturday, wait: "Friday" follow-up is a day like any other day
What does Rebecca Black say? She says what day of the week it is, and which day follows that day of the week. And nearly three years after the then-amateur singer, now 16, captivated an Internet full of rubberneckers with the tenaciously matter-of-fact “Friday,” she’s doing it again. This time, with self-awareness.
Black’s absence has been an eternity by viral-pop standards, and her aptly titled “Saturday” faces the unenviable challenge of coming after Ylvis’ ineffable smash “The Fox” — a SPIN 2013 year-end list honoree that itself displaced the “Harlem Shake” to become the “Gangnam Style” of a new generation. This sequel contagion, again via Ark Music Factory, also follows the “Friday”-conveyor’s indigestion-causing “Chinese Food.”
In that context, “Saturday” looks good enough, racking up nearly nine million views as of this blog post and flattering its viewers with meta nods to Black/Ark’s original viral-clip-du jour. It’s decent bubblegum pop, celebrating Saturday too straightforwardly to raise hackles (“I don’t want this Saturday to end”), even though the video’s depiction of hip-yet-innocent youthful fun is only a surfboard or so removed from The Simpson’s Poochie, and it’s hard for this music-critic type to get over co-YouTube-star Dave Days’ floppy-haired resemblance to Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus. The occasional spoken-word interjections are unashamedly delivered in an “oh my god Becky look at her butt” early-’90s Valley girl cadence.
At the same time, it’s no “The Fox” (what is?!), and the world already has its fair share of better Saturday-themed songs. Even within this one’s high-fructose milieu, try throwing some clicks toward Whigfield’s 1994 going-out Europop bash “Saturday Night” — and then try to stop singing, “Da, ba, da, dan, dee, dee, dee, da / Nee, na, na, na.” Or, if you’re up for some ESG-moody U.K. post-punk, try the Jellies’ dub-hollowed early-’80s dancefloor nugget “Jive Baby on a Saturday Night.” At least there’s already an unbeatable song about “Sunday Morning” — which reminds us, with apologies to Morrissey, Black’s “Saturday” is, like, everyday. Come, Armageddon, come!
Just because, listen to De La Soul’s classic “A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays” below.