Via the shadowy arcana of YouTube’s recommendation algorithm, I was served up a video from an account named “Adam Emond”. Emond operated in the same vein as many Youtubers producing works in the “Every other beat is missing” meme (which may be well over a decade old) detailed in this Daily Dot article.

Here is a quartet of my favorites of those from Emond’s account:

Every Other Beat is Missing

The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird”
Scatman John’s “Scatman”
The incomprehensibility of Post Malone’s “Sunflower” is particularly on point given how it is used in Into the Spiderverse.
System of a Down’s “Chop Suey!”

These all preserve the essence of their original works, in half the time. Charming, even toe-tapping, but not particularly profound. The power really emerges in Emond’s most recent format:

Beats 2 and 4 are Swapped

(The fan-created closed captions are particularly good for these, when available. Click that little “CC” button. Take care, some of them get a little rude!)

The Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive”
Wham!’s “Last Christmas”
Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”
“Robin Thicke’s” “Blurred Lines”

The Blurred Lines video is really the proof for me of the axiom I just invented:

“If Pop Music, Then Comprehensible Lyrics Probably Mistake.” 

Did “Louie, Louie” teach us nothing? Understandable lyrics aren’t necessary for creating an indelible pop hit, and sometimes understandable lyrics just end up being rape apologia.

There’s a lot to say here (though I won’t actually say it) about the artificiality and meaninglessness of pop music, coupled with the tremendous effort and talent that goes into producing it, coupled with how terrifically entertaining much of it is.

Additionally, consider the talent and effort that goes into creating hand-crafted mutations of these songs such as Neil Cicierega’s “Bustin”, (after Ray Parker, Jr’s “Ghostbusters”), and further compare that to the more “procedural” versions of pop songs Emond is able to put out at much more rapid pace.

Also: compare Cicierega’s artful editing of the Bustin video to the clever-but-templated thumbnails for Emond’s videos.

The beautiful cherry on top of this is that Emond has actually produced and performed a completely original cover of “Bustin.”

In summation: Emond’s works are delightful, but they depend upon the cultural power and ubiquity of the originals to delight, while furthermore exploding the notion that the originals’ power was based, in any significant way, on intelligibility.


This all just really reminds me of the songs that the original artists would re-record in Simlish for The Sims games, like:

Fun’s “We Are Young”
Len’s “Steal My Sunshine”