Theory of a Moment: Rebecca Black’s New Track

No longer than 30 seconds before typing this sentence, I was reading Rolling Stones’ “The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.” As the title implies, it’s a list of the legends – The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, the lot – those who defined and set the standards for pop and rock and roll. Two tracks ago, I was listening to the Sex Pistols’ “Anarchy in the UK.”

One track ago, I was listening to Rebecca Black’s “My Moment.”

Just like a number of people, I had anticipated the follow-up to “Friday” in bad blood. Well, not really. I was under the spell of bias upon my first listen. During the time, the top-voted comment on YouTube was, in all caps, “It’s not that bad, people.” As I heard the song play through, despite my self-propelling condescension, part of me actually agreed with the sentiment. But don’t get me wrong. It’s not that simple.

After drawing flak for her debut “Friday,” what’s to be had from Ark Music Factory’s premiere artist? An answer back in the form of another song, of course. Containing a bit more depth and dimension than its predecessor, the lyrics of “My Moment” are conversational in tone and self-buttressing in intent.

By contrast, the vocal work has improved. The key and melodies better suit Rebecca’s range, which explains how she sounds more like a human being in this song than in “Friday.” Until now, I find myself baffled at the timbre of her voice in the debut. Fortunately this time, her producers took it easy on the auto-tune. Also, no more rap part. Nice.

“My Moment” sets out to be a pop song and objectively speaking, it succeeds. It uses the basic verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus formula, with a predictable chord progression and infectious melodic lines. No-brainer, no surprise.

But that’s where the problem lies.

In her attempt to be lovable and self-righteous at the same time, she ends up limp. Rebecca Black lacks the veracity of conviction necessary for a valid comeback. If she’s throwing punches, they’re hardly felt. At best, the bridge of the song is just slightly annoying. The fact that everybody saw it coming further softens the blow.

After guest-starring in a Katy Perry music video (“Last Friday Night“), releasing a song that’s merely “not that bad” is clearly not the most appropriate way to ride the momentum. Its lackluster production does nothing to help, too. It’s as if the instrumentation and mixing were made for the sole purpose of putting the listener to sleep. Where did the budget of Ark Music Factory go? Didn’t “Friday” sell like hotcakes on iTunes?

“My Moment” is a teenybopper song for, well, its age group. If you want something impressive or substantial, turn your ears elsewhere. Over 20 years old? Try some The Vaccines for crying out loud.

If Rebecca Black is so set on proving herself, this song does not cut it. She has a lot of learning and growing up to do. But really, why the rush? Youth is a beautiful thing. 2/5.

PS. Both music videos for “Friday” and “My Moment” end in applause. Why is that?


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