Why Do I Love “Can’t Hug Every Cat” But Not “Last Friday Night” If They Share the Same Bass Line?

As promised, “Can’t Hug Every Cat” — The Gregory Brothers‘ auto-tuned version of the eHarmony cat girl’s rant — has become de rigueur in the Crushable office; I’ve also shared it with my sister, my boyfriend, and anyone near a computer. But what makes it so addictive? Probably the same thing that makes it sound so familiar.

I realized on my twentieth listen that “Can’t Hug Every Cat” shares a bass line with Katy Perry‘s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)”: Both have that twangy guitar/keyboard combo thumping along behind the auto-tuned lyrics. I’m curious if The Gregory Brothers noticed this when they were remixing it with their Songify app, and if they figured they’d pull a track from a song that has become fairly successful.

[Disclaimer: I have had no musical training -- I've never taken Anthropology of Music or Music Theory, so this is all funnelled through my untrained ear.]

I’ve come up with a few reasons why “Last Friday Night” makes me want to claw my eardrums, while I’ll sing out the lyrics of “Can’t Hug Every Cat”:

  • Katy Perry’s offensive “nerd girl” stereotype
  • The moment (every time) that Debbie says “I really lo-ove cats” and seems to be fanning herself
  • Perry’s staccato singing: “There’s-a-stran-ger-in-mah-bed-there’s-a-pound-ing-in-mah-head…”
  • In terms of unforgettable cameos, Nyan Cat > Rebecca Black
  • Debbie’s lyrics seem genuine, while Perry’s just manipulating her listeners who rocked the headgear in high school
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