Today, I’m going to explain the anatomy of an annoyingly catchy song.
There are various things that musicians and album producers do to turn a horrible song into something that becomes mentally tattooed on our brains. It’s sort of like how aerosol potpourri sprays cover up that massive dump you just took in the bathroom after eating a hearty steak dinner.
The potpourri spray smells good at first, but if you hang around the bathroom too long, the crappy smell returns. In the case of the annoyingly catchy song, it sounds good at first, making you want to shake your ass, but after you’ve listened to it for a while, you realize how crappy it truly is and you regret spending the 99 cents for it at the iTunes Store. It’s so crappy that you wouldn’t even bother downloading the torrent for it.
After listening to several annoyingly catchy songs, including the subject of today’s review, “Chicken Noodle Soup” by Webstar & Young B, I think I’ve pinpointed what makes an annoyingly catchy song so memorable.
1. Repetition of lyrics. Repetition of lyrics. Repetition of lyrics.
If there’s one thing that makes an annoyingly catchy song memorable, it’s repetition of lyrics. Just like learning the multiplication table, the periodic table, mixed drinks, and putting the toilet seat down for the ladies, repetition has always made it easier to remember things, like song lyrics, even if you don’t want to.
The Chicken Noodle Soup song lasts for only 203 seconds, but the lines “Let it rain. Clear it out” is said 26 times, “Let’s get it” is sung 21 times, and the title of the song, “Chicken noodle soup” is sung 18 times. So if my math is correct, there’s a “Let it rain. Clear it out” for every eight seconds of the song.
Of course, these are no where close to the 55 times the phrase “peanut butter jelly” is said in the Buckwheat Boyz song Peanut Butter and Jelly. But hearing the words “chicken noodle soup” 18 times in one song is enough to make the song pop up in my head whenever I walk through the soup aisle at my grocery store and sing under my breath, “Chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle soup. Chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side.”
2. Make it ass-shakeable.
For some adults, listening or watching The Wiggles or Barney the purple dinosaur causes quick channel changing, violent shaking of televisions, uncontrollable crying, and impromptu games of Russian Roulette. It also makes some parents wonder if having to tolerate The Wiggles or Barney was worth having children.
However, with young children they are very successful because those crazy colorful Australians and that frickin’ big ass purple dinosaur make children want to dance. Annoying catchy songs do the exact same thing in the clubs or in your car. But then again, there’s lots of alcohol at any club, and if alcohol has the power to make me look good to women at a club, it also has the power to make a song ass-shakeable, no matter how stupid the lyrics are.
What also helps make a song ass-shakeable is the use a sound effect repeatedly in the beat. A lot of hip-hop producers weave police sirens into their beats, which on several occasion have caused me to look in my rear view mirror to see if I’m being pulled over or if I need to make way for an ambulance. In the Chicken Noodle Soup song, there’s an air raid siren which just doesn’t want to stop in my head, even when the song is over.
3. Have lyrics and a title that make no sense at all, and if possible, relate it to food.
“Peanut butter jelly with a baseball bat?”
“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard?”
“Chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side?”
Monkeys with typewriters could probably come up with better lyrics than these annoyingly catchy songs, if monkeys had the ability to form words, sentences, paragraphs, and knew how to work a QWERTY keyboard.
But history has shown that crazy lyrics that are repeated over and over again, have references to food, and have an ass-shakeable beat with them equals annoyingly catchy goodness and eventually a reference on Family Guy.
Item: Webstar & Young B – Chicken Noodle Soup
Price: 99 cents
Purchased at: iTunes Store
Rating: 2 out of 10
Pros: Annoyingly catchy. Makes me want to shake my ass when there’s alcohol in my system. Possible future Family Guy reference.
Cons: Excessive use of air raid sirens. Repetitive lyrics. Me shaking my ass. Lyrics make no sense. The Wiggles and Barney.