“Valley Girl” by Frank Zappa

This song is, in a way, the direct forbearer of such songs as the early Kesha material and the Chainsmokers’ “#Selfie”, but despite some people at the time who apparently failed to get the joke, the fact remains that this song is funny whereas its later imitators are merely annoying. I credit that to the fact that, as hilariously spot-on as Moon Zappa’s send-up of the ‘valley girl’ stereotype is here, her delivery makes it quite clear that she’s being sarcastic. In contrast, while I’m aware that Kesha is not really the brain-dead party girl she appeared to be on her early albums, her performance at the time was a bit too convincing, coming across as reality rather than satire, and listening to an actual air-headed bimbo in a song is just as annoying as coming across one in real life. Indeed, no-one has ever really managed to make a successful copy of this song, and while Frank Zappa fans tend to look down on it simply because it was the only pure pop song of his career, it has actually held up surprisingly well and, despite the fact that the specific slang used in it has dated, remains a funny and insightful takedown of an all-too-common personality type even to this day.

Verdict: Good

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