Rebecca Black was not the first example of the Internet famous phenomenon, but she may have been the best example of it. Her video for "Friday" was so far off the mark for what pop music was that it kind of created a new target for what pop music could be.
Released more than two years ago, when Black was only 13, "Friday" immediately became a sensation and eventually raked in more than 61 million views on YouTube. The music industry scrambled to take advantage of the sudden success and seemingly tried to take advantage of Rebecca Black. To her credit, cameos on "Glee" and in a Katy Perry video worked for her, but her efforts at following up "Friday" failed to capture the accidental magic of the original.
Now she has released "Saturday" with fellow Internet phenom Dave Days. The song is fun enough and humorously self-referential, beginning with the line, "2 p.m., getting out of my bed/trying to get Friday out of my head." Or is that, trying to get "Friday" out of my head!?
Elsewhere in the song, she makes fun of other aspects of the original hit. But isn't that kind of biting the hand that feeds? What was so fun about "Friday" is that the person who originally delivered lyrics like "Kicking in the front seat, sitting in the backseat/gotta make my mind up, which seat can I take?" didn't seem to have any idea that it was ridiculous to sing those lines.
As a song, "Saturday" is fine, but it's no match for the original ridiculousness. The video is mostly a rehash of the Katy Perry affair that Black did a cameo in. Everybody's doing crazy stuff; riding a triceratops, playing with sparklers, drinking from Solo cups, kissing inflatable dolls. Yes, it's a fun party. But this isn't the sort of cultural phenomenon that will inspire Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon to do an amazing cover version.
Don't think it doesn't feel mean to write these critical words about somebody who is now only 16. "Friday" was awesome and it is impossible to replicate success like that. But if you persevere, RB, you'll get it right. Hopefully the "Sunday" single will be that stroke of genius.