It’s all too easy to reduce someone to a meme, or a particularly inescapable viral hit. The gay plight of convincing straight people that Carly Rae Jepsen has more songs than just “Call Me Maybe” alone is a war we still wage every day.
Such is also the case for Rebecca Black, known for over a decade now for, of course, “Friday.” Yes, it was so-bad-it’s-good. We get it. She owns it! But it’s time to look beyond the cringe, because a genuinely good pop star is now in our midst.
“Girlfriend” is Rebecca’s latest song, which arrived on Friday (January 29). And, speaking of CRJ, it’s got all the makings of a Jepso-esque banger.
Co-written by Rebecca with David Charles Fisher (over Zoom!) and produced by Micah Jasper, the bouncy cut feels like a spiritual sibling to something E•MO•TION-al (like “Boy Problems”) and a sprinkle of Katy Perry as well, as Rebecca declares loud and proud above a nostalgic beat that she’s decided to get back with her girlfriend.
“I’m getting back with my girlfriend / Ready to dive in the deep end / This time, it’s gonna be different!” she happily declares across an instantly winning chorus, convincing…us? Herself? All of the above? Yes. And honestly, who among us has not attempted to make it work once, twice, a dozen times more?
The dreamy sheen of the accompanying video only further drives the over-the-top, if naive hopefulness of a romance working out the second time around, as Rebecca feels the (socially distanced) ’80s prom fantasy and goes on a cute date at the park. Then again, stranger things have happened. Maybe it will work out this time!
“‘Girlfriend’ represents a new chapter for me, both in its sound and in the fact that since coming out, there is now a whole new layer of myself I’m sharing openly with my audience. It feels so good to celebrate queerness and I hope this song can be a form of that for everyone else when they listen along,” she told Paper, adding that the song “is a really honest picture of a moment I was going through last year.”
“It was a new experience for me to revisit a relationship again, and while everyone around me was trying to protect me from getting hurt again — I was so filled with hope that I couldn’t really let myself do anything other than try again.”
“Girlfriend” packs the kind of euphoric pop punch that could easily come from many of our Main Pop Girls, which makes the fact that this is actually an offering from an Internet underdog who pushed past the mockery and memes and reclaimed her narrative – from an unapologetic LGBTQ perspective, no less – all the more delightful. And inspiring, quite frankly.
No one gets to reduce you to one moment in your life. Now get back out there and give it another go with your ex.
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