A View From The Top #38

by Oliver Rose

Sunday 26th June 2016

The PearShaped writer’s rosta is only so large. It simply wasn’t designed to take on eleven weeks of Drake at number one. It would, quite frankly, constitute an injustice of epic proportions were the now battle-damaged Charlotte Morrison forced to conjure any more content around this dire track. To all my predecessors, your efforts have been valiant. I would then, be honoured to join your affected ranks on this, the momentous week whereupon records are finally smashed, as One Dance becomes the most successful single of the digital age. I hope my alternative views here add something new…

**a moment to appreciate the ‘views’ pun…

…all right, let’s go**

Negotiating the obstacle of my ambivalence concerning this was, initially, quite challenging. Things only became harder when in a braindead, semi-comatose state (stimulated by repeated listens), elements, musical or otherwise, began to resonate in the annals of my short-term memory. I would never have initiated this inward abuse had it not been for the impossibility of generating prose from this utter nothingness after only a solitary play. Soon these grew like malignant lesions to occupy the entirety of my frontal lobe. Now, being as I am, but a shell of my former musical self, I revert to the already small bank of analytic skills I have garnered elsewhere, specifically in history.

And so now for something completely different.

In the fourteenth century, the Black Death spread through Europe and claimed 75 to 200 million victims. We have come to consider it one of the worst pandemics in all of medical history. Streaming statistics for One Dance on Spotify alone show a play count of 430,987,100 – this continues to rise with each passing day. The swathes of the plagued are multiplying exponentially. What’s worse is that the Black Death ravaged a continent over several years; One Dance has taken a little over two months to deal considerably more widespread damage.

I suppose at this juncture, there is room to speculate that my comparison of afrobeat with bubonic plague is perhaps insensitive. True though this might be, it’s worth asking if the miserable constancy of each evil is not at least similarly all-pervading? Worse perhaps, you could argue that it’s actually my historical aggrandisement of Drake which is most offensive – I would have to agree with you here, and so, in short I’ll relent.

What I can offer you now in place of any pretentious historical analysis is, well, limited. The near-endless string of One Dance analyses reaching back into the fog of chart-stats past ought to satiate any burning desires you may harbour to hear about the boring instrumentation or Drake’s very unexciting ‘lyrical musings’. To ruminate any further on the objective quality of One Dance seems both arbitrary and unoriginal. Instead, a ham-fisted postmodern discussion will simply have to suffice.

Here is a cynical haiku:

God damn Drake’s One Dance;
The beat is weak and boring
“Front way or back way”

And here, now, is an image from the Museum of Modern Art in New York of minimalist art that can actually be considered great. It is a painting entitled Suprematist Composition: White on White. It was painted in 1918 by Kazimir Malevich.

Malevich, Kazimir