And Now, an Unlikely Threesome, Starring a Boy, a Girl and Gotye’s "Somebody That I Used to Know"?

Does Gotye take himself — and his song — too seriously?

I know he’s only playing the tortured romantic in his breakthrough single “Somebody That I Used to Know” — currently No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 — and its equally wildly popular video, but what you see and hear might be exactly what you get.

Most performers, give or take a Kings of Leon, would welcome the Glee treatment on one of their songs. It’s not just for fun. It can help boost a rising single up the charts (see fun.’s “We Are Young”), or, as it did with Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” make a golden oldie even hotter than it was the first time around.

Goyte’s “Somebody That I Used to Know” was doing just fine without Glee, thank you, but after the song was featured on the show’s April 10 episode, the single, which had been hovering in the upper reaches of the Hot 100 for weeks, finally made one last mad dash to No. 1.

Gotye, alas, was not amused — or impressed. His review of the Glee take included the words “dry” and “dinky and wrong” and the metaphor “like it’s playing to you from a cardboard box.” Although he eventually backtracked (he conceded that the xylophone hook in his song was “kind of dinky” and that “it was really clever to transpose the song to two guys”), I’m pretty certain that he meant what he said the first time.

I think Gotye should relax — “Somebody That I Used to Know” has gotten off pretty easy so far. When you record such a quirky song and attach an equally off-center video to it, the body of work becomes even more ripe for parody and, of course, immortality on YouTube, especially if you cast animal or kids as the stars of the show.

As much as I love both in real life, I must admit, animals and kids just don’t do it for me on YouTube. So when my friend Trudi sent me a video of two children lip-syncing the Gotye hit in the back seat of a car, my first instinct was to press delete without actually watching it. I mean, it’s not like they were going to be actually singing it, which may have rocked in that so-good-it’s-bad way. But my recently near-overpowering daddy instincts kicked in, and I gave it a cursory view.

I’m glad I did. The 6-year-olds are adorable, and although they make Britney Spears look like a pro at the ancient pop art of lip syncing, they also made me appreciate the song, which was never one of my chart favorites, in a way that I hadn’t before. I’m not sure if they understand what Gotye is singing about, but the girl, though she only gets the focus for Kimbra’s short verse, seems to already know a thing or two about love and loss.

Who knows if Gotye has seen the video, or how he feels about kids — and animals? I get the distinct impression that he doesn’t spend much time on YouTube. But if he has any complaints about how it sounds, this time, he only has himself to blame.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Britney Spears, fun., Glee, Gotye, Journey, Kimbra, Kings of Leon, Somebody That I Used to Know, YouTube

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s