[Editor's note: Why This Song Sucks determines why particular tracks blow using science. It appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday.]
Song: Carly Rae Jepsen's “Call Me Maybe”
History: “Call Me Maybe” is the first single from Jepsen's Curiosity EP. It was actually released last year. She made it and everyone was like, “Eh, thanks,” but then Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez tweeted about it AND PEOPLE LOST THEIR MINDS. It's been number one on Billboard's Top 100 for several weeks now.
I asked my youngest sister about it. She said it was excellent, which alone proves that it's not. I mean, she once tried to argue that Michael Cera was the best actor in Hollywood. She talked for about four minutes before I realized she meant Jesse Eisenberg. “Oh, wait, the one from the Facebook movie is the one I'm talking about,” she said. “Which one is that,” she asked. SHE WAS ACCIDENTALLY ARGUING WITH HERSELF.
Atmospherics: Feather-light fun; cascading bink-bink-binks; like what they'd play during the end of a movie about a girl that moved to New York to become a dancer, encountered some sort of minor trauma (MY CAT DIED OF PNEUMONIA! [crying] MY DAD WAS RIGHT, I'M MOVING BACK TO IDAHO), then eventually realized her dream.
Scientific Analysis: While there's certainly merit in creating a song that has a chorus that spawns a moderately enjoyable meme, “Call Me Maybe” is fat with mischief. We needn't even look past the first line before we encounter transgression:
I threw a wish in the well, don't ask me I'll never tell.
You threw the wish in the well? That's backwards, yo. You don't throw a wish in the well, you throw money in there. The wish is what you get afterwards. That's like saying you threw chlamydia at a hooker. You didn't throw chlamydia at a hooker. You threw money at the hooker and got chlamydia afterwards.
(Note: There have been 4,000 reviews written about this song. This is the first time one of them mentioned prostitutes and sexually transmitted diseases. Science breaks new ground again.)
Things get no less wobbly later in the song, but our biggest concern is its core philosophical belief.
If you listen to the words, “Call Me Maybe” is about a very forward girl with a crush on a guy. She gives him her number (which is cool and normal), but then, over the course of three minutes and twenty seconds, tells him eleven times to call her, maybe (which is not cool and not normal). If we extrapolate that, that means that she's telling this poor bastard 436 times a day to call her, maybe. And that's fucking annoying.
Now, even after all this data, I secretly felt that maybe I'd been too dismissive of her approach; she's young and energetic and a hormonal girl, which is as unsolvable a mystery as has ever existed. But then I saw this: This was plucked from an old issue of Seventeen, a magazine specifically catered to Jepsens the world over. It's a graphic that explains what type of person you are based on the type of bangs that you wear (Seventeen is always doing high class shit like this). Look at the bottom left:
They called her by name, yo. That's game over.
(I) Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was really good.
(II) Apologies to hookers.
(III) Let's not pretend like we didn't all read those stories in the back of Seventeen about embarrassing moments people experienced. They were always entertaining. I mean, I had no idea so many teenagers were getting walked in on while masturbating.