Leonard: Black is back

Edward Leonard

The teenyboppers have returned, and with them their unique brand of bubblegum pop. Somehow The Disney Channel, with help from Canada has managed to revive this thoroughly dead tradition of screaming, popular-image obsessed fangirls.

Just now, though, we’ve begun to see the harsh reality of just how deep this cruelly upbeat rabbit hole goes. They have unleashed Rebecca Black upon the world.

Stunning the world’s eardrums into painful submission with her virulently infectious single “Friday,” Rebecca Black wass credited with having made the “worst song ever.”

That’s right, YouTube viewers. Rebecca’s very first ever attempt at a publicly released song has surpassed just about every music video ever made.

Worse that “What What (in the Butt).” Worse than “Pants on the Ground,” or even the loosely related “My Jeans” (although some scholars have now begun theorizing that “My Jeans” and “Friday” are actually the same song).

While this cacophony of unmitigated disaster did inspire some pretty amusing parodies, these attempts at finding creative outlets for society’s apparent limitless hatred for this teenage girl weren’t enough to keep the video from getting pulled from YouTube entirely.

With this whale of a flop as the starting note for her career, Rebecca has, at the very least, nowhere to go but up. Armed with a hopelessly optimistic outlook, she has set about trying to make another big hit, this time to a bit less public outcry and a bit more acclaim.

With this end in mind, she turned to a medium that has, historically, not been her strong suit: the YouTube video. Not just that, the YouTube music video.

And she managed it with an unexpected grace. Rebecca recently guest-starred in an adorably funny music video by the neo-bubblegum movement’s grown-up alterego, Katy Perry. While Rebecca’s signature nasal whine was notably absent, she herself was one of the crucial actresses, transforming Katy’s nerdy, awkward, bookworm character into the beautiful, spandex-clad ’80s party queen we all knew she could be.

After recharging her batteries by riding the coattails of someone else’s success, Rebecca put out a new video of her own, titled “My Moment.” The world held its breath in fear.

This video was her way of telling off “haters,” as she put it in a recent interview. While it lacks the Bubonic Plague-esque catchiness of “Friday,” It still holds the ear, albeit in a less brutal vice grip.

The much-dreaded “haters” will likely say that “My Moment” is pretty much an amalgam of every clichéd child-band sound and pop-starlet video move in the book, from Brittney’s famed backup dancers to the almost nauseatingly upbeat synth-melodies of Bieber. They wouldn’t be wrong.

These things, however, are clichéd for a reason: they are tried, they are true and they sell music. They’re catchy. They’re effective.

Admit it — the first time you heard “Baby,” it got caught in your head. Justin’s “whoas” were stuck with you for days, and, though you’ll likely go to your grave denying it, his song had certain toe-tapping appeal.

So it is with “My Moment” — maybe not to the same degree, but it will get there. She’ll continue making more music to appeal to adolescent girls. She’ll recover from her first video, and will even be considered successful.

Will it be Mozart or Zeppelin? No. Will it be, from a technical standpoint, innovative, or even good? No. Will every song sound just like the last? Probably. But that should be nothing new. Every genre of music has those bands (like Dragonforce and Cascada) that have become successful by basically repackaging the same song over and over again, and people love it.

So Rebecca Black, like it or not, will become famous and rich. She will develop a following, and will perhaps even earn recognition as a pioneer of a re-emerging genre. And she will have earned it.