Is there even a place for 3OH!3 in music anymore? That’s not the fairest of questions–they were never exactly A-list even when they started out. If the charts are a party–and in 3OH!3′s imagining, they probably are–the duo wouldn’t be the host nor the cool kids who roll in at 11 p.m., but the vaguely disreputable guys who hang around behind the house. (The metaphor’s not so insulting when they try for that vibe. These are the guys, after all, who popularized the line “do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.”)
But even then–as MTV points out–3OH!3′s been almost entirely displaced by another ALL-CAPS duo, of the party rock sort: LMFAO. They do the exact same thing and add the one thing you’re more or less got to have to move up from red-hot to white-hot in star power: personality. You might not have heard Sorry for Party Rocking beyond the singles, but you’re probably vaguely-to-highly aware of the sort of guy Redfoo is. Meanwhile, the two guys in 3OH!3 are named Nate Motte and Sean Foreman, which is probably news to 95% of listeners.
Ah, but there’s another way to get back into the pop charts: get a single as much like it as possible. Hence, “You’re Gonna Love This,” which might as well have a parenthetical called “If You Love This.” Listen to the track below, and watch the action-adventuring if you’d like, and see how many references you can spot.
Here’s what we came up with.
LMFAO: Party and bullshit, yes, but one other major influence: the synth riff here is almost exactly the same as the one from “Party Rock Anthem.” Even Vanilla Ice would say so.
Calvin Harris: The ascending bit before the chorus is Harris’s signature trick. Oh, they can make it a whoosh rather than a lot of strobe synths, but it fools no one.
Black Eyed Peas: Neither of the above would exist without them, after all. If you need a one-to-one comparison, try listening to “Rock That Body” right afterward. Or compare the voice autotuned down low to BEP’s “let the beat drop.”
Ke$ha: Jeffrey Dahmer reference. Is he the most-referenced serial killer in pop?
Cobra Starship: All of the above. LMFAO + Black Eyed Peas + Calvin Harris + Ke$ha describes “You Make Me Feel…” almost exactly, doesn’t it?
3OH!3′s own contributions: You’ve got to give 3OH!3 this: they’re instantly recognizable. That autotuned smirk-voices could belong to no one else–which isn’t entirely a bad thing. Sure, male pop stars aren’t exactly ubiquitous, but still: you’re not going to listen to this and mistake it for Adam Lambert or T-Pain. That said, recognizable voices only go so far. They’ve got to say something, and 3OH!3 never get to be properly douchey. “I could take her home with me”–a line that doesn’t even require actually taking someone home–is about as lewd as they get. Without that, they’re just a couple of vaguely frattish bros–and as college-town bartenders, professors and radio listeners learn anew every year, there’s a neverending supply of those.