Today is Friday, so let’s check in with Rebecca Black.
If you stopped following the 25-year-old songstress after ‘Friday’ faded from the cultural zeitgeist, then you’ve missed one of the music industry’s most inspiring redemption arcs. More than 11 years after releasing “the worst song ever,” Black is back with her first LP — and the album is getting solid marks from critics and fans alike.
Black’s collection of ten atmospheric pop tunes is titled Let Her Burn. That name can be read as an allusion to all the hate Black received after she recorded “Friday” at age 13. The infamous track was written by the team at ARK Music Factory, but for her new album, Black is penning her own lyrics. She has a writing credit on all of Let Her Burn‘s tracks.
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A lot has happened in Black’s life since ‘Friday’ hit its cultural zenith in 2011. The California native became a YouTube star, released a follow-up track called ‘Saturday,’ toured the world, released an EP of her own music, and come out as queer. All those experiences have shaped Black’s career, but she certainly hasn’t forgotten about ‘Friday.’
“Millions of people having awareness that you exist as a teenager is really complicated, and something I didn’t really understand. And probably still don’t understand now,” Black told NPR. “I’ve struggled a lot, as somebody who’s grown into who I am now. Now I’m 25, with this experience of feeling like I had been defined by something that I never really set out to be defined by, especially as a kid.”
Black’s transformation is evident in the music video for ‘Crumbs,’ the first single from Let Her Burn. In the video’s opening moments, Black cuts herself open, which is easy to read as a metaphor for her sense of self-reflection.
Most reviewers are digging the new Rebecca Black. DIY described Let Her Burn as “a pop phoenix rising from 2011’s ashes,” while NME hailed the album as “laser-sharp.” The music videos for the Let Her Burn singles have attracted modest traffic on Black’s YouTube channel, though their viewership is nothing compared to that of ‘Friday.’ Black’s most infamous performance is up to 164 million views on YouTube.
Even at her lowest moments, Black has always had plenty of supporters, and she will get the chance to celebrate her new album alongside her fans. In May, she will hit 11 cities in a U.S. tour.
At this point, Black has proven that she possesses serious musical chops. There’s only one thing left to do: Record a song called ‘Sunday.’ Come on, Rebecca, close the loop. Tell us about going to brunch and getting the Sunday scaries. The weekend trilogy must be made complete.