Song of the Day #1,944: ‘We Can’t Stop’ – Postmodern Jukebox

postmodern_jukeboxI first encountered Postmodern Jukebox (whom I referenced in yesterday’s post) through this doo-wop performance of Miley Cyrus’ ‘We Can’t Stop.’

I was impressed by the arrangement, the performances, the visual style and most of all the concept. Scott Bradlee, the mastermind behind Postmodern Jukebox, says that he was dismissive of modern pop music until he really dissected it and approached it from a more classical perspective. Then he was smitten.

He writes on the group’s website:

My goal with Postmodern Jukebox is to get my audience to think of songs not as rigid, ephemeral objects, but like malleable globs of silly putty. Songs can be twisted, shaped, and altered without losing their identities–just as we grow, age, and expire without losing ours–and it is through this exploration that the gap between “high” and “low” art can be bridged most readily.

They’ve delivered some enjoyable “high art” here.

It’s our party we can do what we want
It’s our party we can say what we want
It’s our party we can love who we want
We can kiss who we want
We can screw who we want

[Verse 1]
Red cups and sweaty bodies everywhere
Hands in the air like we don’t care
Cause we came to have so much fun now
Bet somebody here might get some now
If you’re not ready to go home
Can I get a "hell no"?
Cause we gonna go all night
Till we see the sunlight, alright

So la-da-di-da-di we like to party
Dancing with Molly
Doing whatever we want
This is our house
This is our rules
And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
Can’t you see it’s we who own the night?
Can’t you see it we who bout’ that life

And we can’t stop
And we won’t stop
We run things, things don’t run we
Don’t take nothing from nobody


[Verse 2]
To my homegirls here with the big butt
Shaking it like we at a strip club
Remember only God can judge ya
Forget the haters, cause somebody loves ya
And everyone in line in the bathroom
Trying to get a line in the bathroom
We all so turnt up here
Getting turnt up yea yea




It’s our party we can do what we want to!
It’s our house we can love who we want to!
It’s our song we can sing if we want to!
It’s my mouth I can say what I want to
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Eh!


2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,944: ‘We Can’t Stop’ – Postmodern Jukebox

  1. Dana says:

    I think he discovered “low art” so that more than 10 people would know who he was, but it appears to have worked.

    I don’t hear anything in this arrangement that bridges a gap between low and high art, but it’s a nice enough doowapish cover of Miley’s hit.

  2. Amy says:

    I missed this post initially, so I’m glad I found it – and the philosophy behind these arrangements – this morning. I’m intrigued by his analogy of songs to silly putty, though I wonder how the artist who crafts a song just as she wishes it to be would think of that completed track as malleable material to be reshaped at will.

    That said, I often most appreciate the artists on all the various reality singing competitions who do just what postmodern is doing here and reimagine a song to suit a personal style. It’s an impressive feat for someone like me who has absolutely no musical talent at all. I wonder whether the same could be done with the written word. I’ve seen the genre busting movie trailers where a horror film is reimagined as a romantic comedy, for instance. Those are funny and creative, but don’t seem to suggest that one genre warrants the “high art” classification.

    Anyway, I love this sort of stuff, even though I don’t particularly love any of the covers. The concept alone wins me over.

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