Comedian's Video Completely Skewers Pop Music in 5 Minutes Flat

Source: YouTube
Source: YouTube

All pop music sounds the same, and according to Bo Burnham, it's all written by the devil to brainwash you and steal your money and your heart.


The musician and comedian tears the mainstream pop machine a new one with his latest song, "Repeat Stuff." Fans have heard the song before in his full-length comedy special what., but the new video treatment takes the song to a whole new plane.

The comedian hits the pop industry from every angle, mocking its songs’ scant lyricism, formulaic structures and press obsession. Burnham’s verses also skewer the formulaic writing behind most contemporary pop. For the most part, it relies on the same 4 chords because it’s scientifically proven that the brain can easily mistake its ability to recognize and predict a song's structure with actually liking the song. Similarly, the lyrics should be so vague so that everyone can relate to them. As Burnham sings: "I love your eyes and their bluish, brownish, greenish color."

But most importantly, one must repeat stuff so listeners can easily learn the lyrics in a single sitting. The scariest part is that the maddening "Repeat stuff / Repeat stuff / Repeat stuff!" will actually get stuck in your head and have you humming along after the song stops. Because that's how earworms work: repetition. Still not convinced? The current No. 1 is "All About That Bass," a song in which Meghan Trainor sings the word "Bass" 48 times. 


Burnham’s song proves the power of repetition and simplicity in controlling audience tastes. And if these strategies seem too powerful to be mere human productions, look to the other half of Burnham's explanation: Pop music controls you because it's all written by the Illuminati.

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Tom Barnes

Tom Barnes is a senior staff writer at Mic focused on music, activism and the intersection between the two. He's based in New York and can be reached at tom@mic.com.

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