Pharrell Williams – Happy

First Hit #1: March 8, 2014

And here we are, the last song of the daily We Are Number Ones. The end of this multi-year project to see what we can learn from decades of music. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do next with this, or even if I’m going to do anything else with this (outside of a summary post tomorrow), but at this point, we’ve reached today. And I’m happy.

The song is also Happy. It’s not anything complicated, just a kind of generally joyful little song. It’s kind of a throwback to another decade, but nothing very specific, it’s just some pretty infectious dance music with a charming video and a general good-vibes production. It’s more than a little repetitive, but it’s great for Pharrell because he’s got a great audience-participation song, it’s great for audiences because it’s got that old chestnut, a good beat and you can dance to it. It’s the ideal song on which to end this project, because it’s a good summary of pop music since the 1940s – Good, bad, in-between, it makes people happy. Even if you hate it, how can you deny that?

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2 Responses to Pharrell Williams – Happy

  1. musicosity1 says:

    Well done on the blog! An ambitious project successfully completed.

    This song heavily features the “Picardy third,” in which a song in minor key goes to a major chord on the root. This musical technique is sometimes call the use of the “happy third,” which Pharrell surely knows, putting it so prominently and frequently in a song called “Happy.”

    Pharell looks and dresses like a Motown homage. The song and his singing fit that image well, except the autotune has (still) got to go. Nice to hear a song about music being enjoyable, though. A good mission statement for any extended rumination on music and the people who make and consume it.

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