Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

Wengie – Deja Vu

The Jukebox is happy to announce that starting tomorrow we will be pivoting our content exclusively to Slime videos!! Please be sure to hit that subscribe button and leave a comment down below and let us know what YOU think about Slime.


Joshua Minsoo Kim: For all the idiots who bemoan pop music for its artifice, YouTube celebrities make it all the easier to do just that when their music is another piece of lowest-common-denominator content that’s churned out for obsessive fans. “Deja Vu” is simply another piece of the Wengie brand, a love song that invites subscribers to think they’re gaining further insight into Wen Jie Huang’s life. In this case, we see a vague correlation between her IRL romance — visible in her totally candid ReactiCorns react videos with husband Max — and the sweet lyrics here. YouTube celebrities are in an interesting position to subvert the typical model of music-as-demystification by allowing for a preemptive, all-access view of their life through vlogs. Any music can thus be immediately personal given that that’s the intended goal. “Deja Vu,” however, is stiff enough to remind you that not only is one’s image and narrative carefully manufactured in this day and age, but that one’s personality is always performative. When a song is unable to shake the feeling that a singer’s entire life feels bound to the need for more likes, clicks, and shares, all artistry on display feels moot.

Crystal Leww: This is just an Asian-Aussie Rebecca Black. 

Ian Mathers: Sometimes you just get a nice, cleanly put together pop song with a decent little chorus and brief enough run time it’s hard to get either too offended or jazzed about it’s appearance. There are enough of those that sometimes you might even think you’ve heard one before.

Tim de Reuse: The tropical sheen over everything is just kind of flavorless, but the song as a whole succeeds through its breathy, ticklish details, and — crucially — by lasting exactly as long as it ought to. I was so ready to be bored of this after four choruses and so pleasantly surprised when it wrapped up after a tight two.

Juana Giaimo: Short and sweet, Wengie doesn’t need more than two minutes to show all her potential. The subtle keyboard chords mark the rhythm along with the more complex beat, while the backing vocals in the chorus create layers. All together, they build a dreamy scene of a long term relationship that make everyday life feel easier and lighter.

Jessica Doyle: But déjà vu is the opposite of the feeling she’s trying to invoke here? Déjà vu is unsettling, not comforting. And I do think Wengie’s going for comfort here — for all the modern trappings the song feels deliberately simple, roughly six hooks short of the current standard. It reminds me a little bit of the less ambitious pop of the ’80s: The Jets, for example. And that’s not an unsettling memory, but it’s also not a memory I feel particularly inclined to roll around in like a blanket.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: There’s nothing quite wrong with “Deja Vu,” but every second of it feels not written or performed but extruded out of some algorithm designed to make anodyne synthpop. The worst part is that it doesn’t even sound like a very good algorithm.

Will Adams: Both “Deja Vu” and Wengie’s other single “Cake” remind me a lot of PC Music in that it’s not pop music proper but rather a simulation of pop music, an assemblage of tropes to signify the idea of pop music in support of an extra-musical message. Wengie has the benefit of her message not being about the gonzo distortion of pop music in order to highlight and guffaw at its artifice and in the process ending up sounding like unlistenable shit, but the cynicism remains, just manifested differently. “Deja Vu” is a just a cog in the machine, all candy tones and snappy synthpop that’d sound no different if it were by Charli XCX or LIZ, perfect for soundtracking the umpteenth DIY prank hack Slime storytime extreme food recipe challenge vlog content of the day. It makes it hard to invest anything into “Deja Vu.” There’s a compelling argument to be made about how pop can be just as worthwhile even at its most frivolous and unassuming, but, as always, the issue is that in emulating pop music to serve a larger thesis, one tends to forget what actually makes pop music good: hooks that stay with you through your whole day; a completed, polished work comprised of re-writes and tweaks, every little piece carefully arranged; emotion that, while heightened to extremes and possibly even rendered vague in order to reach a wider audience, stems from a human place; and a performer who, at the very least, convinces you that they care.

Reader average: No votes yet!

Vote: 0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10

3 Responses to “Wengie – Deja Vu”

  1. hot take: slime and (to a lesser extent) soap carving videos made ASMR a whole lot worse

  2. I watched one of Wengie’s while writing my blurb and I really need to disagree with her assertion that all those squelching and popping and sputtering noises are anything resembling “satisfying.”

  3. (Also I’m aware that “satisfying” compilations are a YouTube genre. Different strokes, I guess, but a lot of the clips are… mildly to highly grotesque?)

Leave a Reply