Thursday, June 16, 2016

30 Day Song Challenge, Day 16: A Song You Used To Love But Now Hate

The vault of go-to stories that, in one way or another, capture something of what we understand to be the American experience is both deep and diverse.  There are the Horatio Alger-esque "bootstraps" stories. There are "The New Colossus" stories of immigrants, huddled masses yearning to breathe free. There are the "underdog" stories of athletes and artists, scrappy young Davids who come from behind and, against all odds, with hustle and heart alone, defeat Goliaths. There are a thousand different stories of justice won, justice delayed, and justice denied, each as representative of these United States as the other.

And then there are the one-hit wonders.  A truly American story.

We joke about one-hit wonders, but I imagine it must be an incredibly deflating, demoralizing, and disheartening experience for those poor artists who manage to feel the contours of their dream realized, only to have it slip every so quickly from their grasp.  Pop music and pop music audiences are fickle creatures.  They love you one day, hate you the next, and there is often neither rhyme nor reason to be found in their affections.

My pick for today is (as far as I know) a one-hit wonder from 2011, "Someone That I Used To Know" by Gotye. I'm sure you remember it, but here it is anyway:

The thing is, I really did love this song when it came out.  Part of that is because it perfectly captured a sentiment that registered deeply in my experience at the time, but it was also a ridiculously catchy earworm of a song.  Alas, earworms tho.

I don't hear this song very often anymore, but when I do it absolutely grates on my nerves.  It's cloying, it's cutesy, it's more than a little too-precious-for-itself.  And every time I hear it now, I am reminded of the (also cloying, cutesy, and too-precious) video, which just compounds my dislike.  "Hate" is probably too strong a word for how I feel about this Gotye track, but I can definitely say to it:

Now you're just a song that I use to love.

Click here to return to the "anchor page" for #30DaySongChallenge2016 with the full list of this year's picks

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