After hearing "The Abduction From The Seraglio," famed music critic Emperor Joseph II told the very overrated Amadeus Mozart something that still holds true today: "There are too many notes." But just how many notes could you take out of a song and still have it sound basically fine? According to the impatient musicologists over at YouTube, about half of them.
Is your favorite genre people mumbling a song they've only heard once? In that case, the "But Every Other Beat Is Missing" section of YouTube is for you. Bedroom editors like Adam Emond, EveryOtherBeat, and spudislander are experimenting with taking out, yes, every other beat from popular songs to see what kind of abominations they come up with.
While that makes a lot of them sound like garbled garbage (like Smash Mouth's "All Star"), some skipped beats actually stay surprisingly close to the quality of the original (also like Smash Mouth's "All Star"), all while imbuing the music with a new, meth-like energy. Take, for example, "Uptown Funk," which still sounds like "Uptown Funk," if "Uptown Funk" was sung by an out-of-breath James Brown.
The same goes for the the beat skip of "7 Rings," which makes it sound like Ariana Grande writing her own deranged version of "Do-Re-Mi" from The Sound Of Music:
Naturally, lyrics tend to suffer the most with skipped beats, making singers sound like babblers who forgot to take their meds. Still, some lyricists manage to say ... well, not more, but about as much with half of their words swallowed. Like System of a Down's "Chop Suey," which turns from vague introspection about overdosing into a song about a tweaker who's really worried about his table:
Or the beat skip of "Old Town Road," which simply makes Lil Nas X sound like he's enjoying whatever random syllables pop into his head:
But we all know that the best tampered songs are supposed to reveal some secret message, like hearing Satanic instructions when you play The Beatles backward. For that, we have only to look at the edit of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" -- or as future historians will call it, what really happened during the Lincoln assassination.
As the truncated lyrics reveal, "struck by a smooth criminal" turns into "struck by Booth," obviously a reference to the infamous John Wilkes Booth. That finally reveals the true identity of Annie: Annie Laurie, who sang the first-ever song about the death of Abraham Lincoln in 1865. And what about the copious repetitions of "OK, Dennis, OK?" Well, it doesn't take a conspiracy theorist to realize this refers to Dennis Boggs, our premier Lincoln impersonator. It's all so clear!
You can find Cedric on Twitter.
For more, check out The Human Flesh Phone, For People Who Love Fear And Terror and Even Elton John Hated The New 'Lion King'.
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