So, the other night I came across this video:
I’ve never heard of Carly Rae Jepsen, but I loved the video and I thought the song was nice. I got to thinking about it though, and I said to Annette, “I’ll bet a thousand bucks, I don’t like the original version of that song.” So, I went and found it and this is it (I apologize for the goddamn ad, I hate that shit):
And I was right, I really don’t care for it. It’s not horrible by any stretch, but it’s an almost entirely forgettable, happy little pop song. Which led me to wondering why I like the Jimmy Fallon version. Is it because they’re clearly having a blast in the video? I know that shit can be infectious and it certainly has to play a part in why it’s a fun video to watch (or, at least, why I enjoy watching it) but if that were the only thing it had going for it, I don’t think I’d still have it in my head. So that leaves me thinking one of two things is going on:
Either it’s a shit song and The Roots are so good that they managed to polish a turd, or it’s a good song and the people who produced the original version are incompetent. Here’s a list of some things I know, which are pertinent to this discussion:
- I know in television, movies and plays, the best actor in the world can’t fix shitty writing.
- When it comes to music, I know basically nothing.
- I know that The Roots are highly respected and have won a bunch of awards. I also know, that doesn’t really mean anything, but I thought I’d mention it.
- I know that our country is neck-deep in mediocrity and that it’s far more likely that the people who made the original version aren’t very good at what they do.
I’m guessing it’s no more possible for musicians to polish a turd than it is for anyone else, but hey, what do I know?