You remember Patrice Wilson and Ark Music Factory, right? I know, it feels like a decade ago that Rebecca Black was being interviewed, discussed and dissected more than Lady Gaga and Britney Spears combined, but surely you haven’t forgotten the hitmaking production team that spawned the success of “Friday,” as well as the guru behind the label, the inimitable Patrice Wilson. Well, record company and executive are back, and they have a new starlet in tow—young Lexi St. George, featured artist of the label’s “One Week to Make it Big” special airing this week on Good Morning America.
The 14-year-old St. George was the winner of an Ark search across the malls of California to find the next Rebecca Black—in name-recognition, if not necessarily in death threats. But Patrice isn’t planning on stacking Lexi up to his label’s breakout star. “I don’t want people comparing and saying she’s the next Rebecca Black,” Wilson told Gawker. “With this project, it’s a bit of a different thing. We wanted to make something everybody could like, whether the older or younger generation… I don’t anticipate that people are going to dislike this video. I hope people give her a chance and not say I don’t like ark music factory so I don’t like this song.”
Fortunately for Wilson, and unfortunately for us, there’s really no comparison between Lexi’s debut single and video, “Dance to the Rhythm (With Me)” and Rebecca’s cult classic “Friday.” Aside from a banner in the video’s beginning that seems to be written in the same Cooper Black-esque font as the “Friday” intro, there’s nothing about “Dance to the Rhythm” that suggests the Ark Music stamp. Rather, it just sounds like…a pop song. Nothing terribly exceptional, but nothing all that riotous, either. No stunningly monotonous accounts of the day’s events, no fun fun fun fun, and certainly no making up minds between seat choices. The production values are higher, the hooks are stronger, and the video, while still a little “Look at what me and my friends recorded with my Bat Mitzvah money!’ in style and budget, is as energetic and competent as it needs to be. Sigh.
It’s been true throughout the history of pop culture that as soon as a so-bad-they’re-good artist or event becomes self-aware (either by choice or because self-awareness is thrust upon them), the fun is ruined forever. (Look at what happened with Snakes on a Plane, ferchrissakes.) Patrice and Ark were hell-bent on their next artist not becoming a nationally famous laughing stock like poor Rebecca Black, so congratulations, guys—you created a perfectly mediocre teen-pop artist that no one will care about or remember in two weeks. Sorry, Lexi, but your career was doomed from the getgo. Nice hat, though. Very Blossom.