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Gotye on Letterman - Is Gotye just some singer we used to know now?
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Gotye on Letterman a One Hit Wonder? Now he’s just some singer that I used to know!

Gotye - Just another singer that I used to know
Gotye – Just another singer that I used to know

We all know it. That song with that that funny painted guy and that funny painted girl both naked in a weird music video. it’s none other than Gotye. Gotye went from nobody to super stardom over his chart topping, top selling single “Somebody that I used to Know”. It was overplayed religiously on every radio station across the United States. And to be honest, I liked it! It’s a fun, catchy, and simple song that number one, brought to a halt the overused dance/electronic rhythm songs of today and number two, spawned dozens of funny parodies over YouTube.

But summer has come to an end. And with that, the wave of songs that were popular of the summer will fade away with it to the mainstream listeners. So that comes to question, what happens to artist like Gotye? Well, hes now an established musician who has developed an international fan base and has made alot of money for his record label. But does he have what it takes to stay on top of the game? To be honest, after what I heard tonight (and I admit I am jumping the gun a bit here) the answer is NO.


“Somebody that I used to know” isn’t an original song

Let’s get one thing straight off the bat. The catchy background and main tune of his most famous single isn’t original. It’a actually based of a a 1967 song by Luiz Bonfá titled “Seville”.

Is this a problem? Well, no, but it makes me question how good of an original musician Gotye is. Yes, he did add parts to the song and wrote the catchy lyrics. But what are lyrics without an awesome, catchy instrumental to it? A good song is a combination of everything. The core music, the melody, the vocals, everything mixes together to make one awesome mix. That isn’t always the case, but Gotye’s catchy song was undeniably popular because of that instrumental that he didn’t write!

Is Gotye a One Hit Wonder?

Tonight, Gotye performed on David Letterman. And the whole wide world from what I read on the web at least is, everyone thought he was going to play that infamous song that we heard all summer long. But he didn’t perform that song. He performed a song that I’ve never heard before, that’s never been played on the radio, and to be honest, wasn’t that great of a song. In fact, I don’t even know the name of the song.

Was it good? Yes, but honestly, if I didn’t know it was Gotye singing on Letterman’s stage, I would have thought it was just another indie band on Letterman tonight. Gotye didn’t even sound like Gotye! He sang differently, the music and instrumentals was totally different. The song had no mild comedic elements to it whatsoever which is partly why the song was so successful (come on, those lyrics in the first song? You didn’t have to cut me off! Have you friends collect your records and you change your number!).


On top of that, Gotye’s song was a hit because it was something we could all relate to. Anyone that has an ex can probably all them “somebody they used to know”. We’ve all been there including myself. Dealing with a person that doesn’t want anything to do with you anymore by “cutting you off”, having their friends/family be the middle man between you and the communication between them. The song had a very true premise to it, and the likes of the song went out of the norms by talking about things like “the star wars we used to know” on a YouTube parody video. I don’t Think Gotye’s new single I heard has the ability, and if that song he performed on Letterman was the best he could deliver us after the success of his first hit single, what else is there for him to offer?

Let’s look at another musical act, the band Fun. Fun’s single “We Are Young” was another chart topping, mega success that steered away from the typical electronic music. It sounds like 60’s rock music, and people including myself love it. But what’s great about Fun? They are an original band with a classic sound and they have a new hit single “Some Nights” that climbed it’s way to the top of the chart’s where their first single is at. Fun, unlike Gotye, didn’t reach the top of the charts from making a goofy, comical song with a laughable music video. The song was actually good music. It was “party” music that anyone can listen to and anyone can relate to.


There’s Still Room for More

Even though I don’t feel Gotye isn’t going to have the success of his original single, he still is a talented musician with a catchy voice. I’m willing to keep an open mind about his music and maybe after I hear it some more times, his other singles will catch. And honestly, I hope they do, because his first song was really fun, catchy, and radically different. And I am a huge supporter of his style of music. A band, live instruments. I loved electronic music several years ago. But I feel the radio has killed it. Too many songs using hard hitting dance kicks with whopping bass under it. After a while, it just gets sickening. If Gotye can rid the radio of the non-stop, overused dance music I am all for it!

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