“Panda Panda Panda” by Deerhoof

This song is pretty much the pinnacle of the Twee Pop movement. In purely musical terms, it’s actually quite sophisticated, with very textured Noise-Pop instrumentation. The controversy over the song’s quality is rooted in the fact that the song’s actual lyrics consist almost entirely of the word “Panda” being repeated to a simplistic, nursery-rhyme-like melody. But the best Twee Pop is the most sincere in its whimsy and the least tainted by irony. I can’t say for sure if Deerhoof intended to be ironic when they wrote this, but it certainly doesn’t come off that way. This song has a disarmingly ingenuous feel to it, and the continuous undercurrent of complex Noise-Pop keeps it from devolving into complete inanity. As for the chorus itself, it’s almost impossible to repeat the same word ad infinitum without becoming annoying, but damned if these guys didn’t pull it off. Say what you will about it, this is one the catchiest choruses in all of Indie Rock (maybe the catchiest if you don’t count Weezer as Indie), and the sheer daring of its simplicity keeps it from coming off as uninspired pablum like so many of the mainstream Pop earworms of that era.

Verdict: Good.

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