Thursday, May 27, 2010

Peter, Bjorn and John - "Young Folks"

The best use of bongos in a pop song since The Beatles' "You're Going To Lose That Girl"? Joe Cocker's "Feelin' Alright"? Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crystal Blue Persuasion"? The best use of bongos in a long time, I can tell you that.

From top to bottom, everything about this song screams out "insignificance," which is why I like it. Victoria Bergsman sounds like she just woke up on the floor, rolled over a pile of heroin needles, and then promptly recorded her vocal track. Really that's just a result of her first language probably not being English. The non-native speaking issue could also explain grammatically incorrect turns of phrase such as "Usually when things has gone this far" and "Hours seems to disappear." But the "strung-out junkie" effect remains.

The animated video is perfectly in line with the song's whole G-rated aesthetic. Peter's thought bubble says "It's easy...just put your lips together!" Are they going to kiss? Victoria's thought bubble says "I'm not sure..." Peter's thought bubble says "Look - just watch what I do." He starts...whistling! How pre-teen. I love it when the video turns kaleidescopic at about the three minute mark. And who can forget the thought bubbles of the partygoers: "This is good!" "I like the drums..." "I like the bassline..." This is one serious party.

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