It made sense that the first video Ark Music Factory churned out after Rebecca Black’s “Friday” — that’d be Lexi St. George’s “Dancing to the Rhythm,” which premiered on Good Morning America — would get its fair share of scrutiny. But how much longer will the world pay attention? At least for the length of one more Auto-Tuned miracle! Madison Bray, a 9-year-old, has just dropped “Girl Swag” through Ark, and it’s got the kind of subtly bizarre flourishes that may yet turn young Madison into viral gold.
Such as: the glaring deficits in talent levels that would present themselves with any pre-tween seemingly arbitrarily selected for attempted pop-stardom; the fact that the intro to the video hints at a sort of Rise of the Planet of the Apes–type “girl swag” man-killing revolution; and, of course, the lyrical content (“I know you think I’m just a young girl singing / I, I, I don’t know where to go / I know you people watching me just singing / she, she’s just 9 years old,” etc., etc). But can we trust this, or our own tastes? “Friday” was a glorious mistake: The Ark dudes tried to make a regular pop song and failed in fascinatingly weird ways (then, when it turned out Ark main man Patrice Wilson had spent years performing in Eastern Europe, it made all the sense in the world). The rest of the Ark Music Factory back catalogue, though, was bad in conventional, boring ways. If Ark is at all a savvy operation, they know they need “Friday”-style oddness to stay relevant, and they’ve just provided that with “Girl Swag.” Not to get all paranoid this early in the morning, but if Ark’s now just contriving the oddness, it takes all the fun out of it. So maybe it’s time to stop paying attention? At least for a little while?