This was the first of the Youtube viral sensations to actually reach the top ten, and as I so often say, there’s a reason for that. It’s still extremely goofy, but unlike its predecessors like “Friday” or “Miracles”, it’s an intentional novelty tune, and a fairly well-executed one as novelty tunes go. More importantly, it’s actually a good piece of music…divorced from its meme-spawning music video, it bears a strong resemblance to the biggest dance hit of the previous year, “Party Rock Anthem”, but without any of the generic qualities that made that song so underwhelming. Remember, this song was a hit before Billboard started counting Youtube views in its formulations, so the only way it could have gotten as big as it did is if people actually wanted to listen to it as a song. Think of it as the “Kung Fu Fighting” of the 2010s— the Eastern-themed novelty ditty that is utterly ridiculous, but has a tune so catchy you can’t really bring yourself to dislike it.
Verdict: Silly, but good.