Pop music isn't cool. Never has been. But cool is overrated. There's a reason why songs like Carly Rae Jepsen's smash "Call Me Maybe" become so popular -- because they are good. Doubters need only listen to U.K. alt-folkie Ben Howard's dark-hued acoustic cover to hear the ace songwriting underneath the Canadian pop gloss. But why be a doubter in the first place?
"Call Me Maybe" has been generating joy since Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and friends made a lip-dub that went viral and gave Bieber's compatriot the fuel to instant pop stardom. But he was merely the first and most famous. Countless fans have uploaded similar videos since, providing crowd-sourced evidence of why pop music matters.
Popdust collected 75 of the best ones into a viral-ready supercut ranging from soldiers in Afghanistan and frat boys in a van to tween girls with ukuleles and teen boys with guitars to Katy Perry by the pool and James Franco in a beard. Not to mention grandmas, cheerleaders, toddlers, a guy in a gimp mask and an amazing young drummer without arms. These videos were shot in bedrooms, barracks, rivers, forests, schoolyards, toy stores, showers, talk show sets and an empty Burger King.
Look, we live in an era of narrowcasting and niches, but while it's awesome to have instant access to millions of songs at any given moment and for everyone to define their own soundtrack, it also robs us of shared experiences.
And so when a song breaks through these subcultural barriers -- whether it's Outkast's "Hey Ya," Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy," Britney Spears' "Toxic" or Carly's "Call Me Maybe" -- there's something special about loving a song that everyone else loves, too. It's a connection that used to be more common, and so we appreciate these rarer crossover songs so much more now.
After I posted it on Facebook, a friend wondered why this supercut made her so happy, and the answer is simple -- seeing so many different people in different places experience the same happiness from the same source is pretty freaking life-affirming.
We live in time of strife and division, recession and occupation, wars on women and students in the streets. It may be, ahem, crazy, but right now there's one thing we all seem to have in common, one thing that connects people and playlists together: "Call Me Maybe."