Today is my wife’s birthday, so we decided to spend part of the day at a nice lake in New Jersey that offered the chance to just relax, take a little dip, and do some reading.
As we were walking back from the snack bar (there’s not many snacks better than french fries), a song was playing from the “beach bar” that captured my attention.I thought it sounded a bit like a country song, but it also had a bit more of an edge to it than a typical country song. I wrote what I thought were some of the lyrics so I could look it up when I got home, and then we went back to our reading.
Soon after we got home, I typed the following into Google, “lyrics i’ve got 45 jail bail friday monday”, since those were the words I was pretty sure I had heard in the song. The search revealed that it was a Rihanna/Kanye West/Paul McCartney song called FourFiveSeconds. What a collaboration!
I then went to YouTube, and was playing the song just a few seconds (four to five) later. Here’s this great song and video:
One of the things that struck me was that the song was released in January, 2015, and that the video has had over 370 million views. Thus, it is possible that every person in the U.S. (plus another 50 million) had already seen this video, except for me. Just another sign of how behind I am in the world of modern music.
I played the song a few times, and it got better each time. (Rihanna’s eye roll is a classic.) I also read the lyrics, and then I decided to see if I could find out anything more about the song and the video, and share some tidbits in this blog post.
Well when I found the amazing write-up about the song in Wikipedia, I realized it was all worth sharing.
Here’s just one excerpt to get your attention, and to show the level of detail and thoroughness that is in the write-up:
“FourFiveSeconds” is an acoustic folk-pop, pop and soul pop song, with a length of three minutes and eight seconds. Critics noted how the song has a stripped back feel to it, and that it incorporates elements of country and folk. “FourFiveSeconds” makes use of a simple instrumentation, primarily consisting of an acoustic guitar and organ, as well as a bass guitar in the background. It has been noted that West sings his lines in the song instead of rapping them, which prompted Jim Farber of the Daily News to write that he could have done with auto-tune to smooth out his “unsteady vocals.” “FourFiveSeconds” is written in the key of D major, in common time, with a tempo of 103 beats per minute. Rihanna and West’s vocals span two octaves from the low note of D3 to the high note of D5.
You can read the entire write-up here.
Now I’m wondering what else is going on in our country that I’m the last person to know about…
But now it’s time for a fancy dinner with my wife in the great city of Philly!