While 5th grade me enjoyed the hit LMFAO songs on their surface for their catchiness and sense of humor, in retrospect I see Redfoo’s and SkyBlu’s style less as comedic music that lives off shock value and more like over the top takes on the unavoidable radio EDM of the early ‘10s. While there were several well crafted EDM chart-toppers, with songs by Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Ke$ha coming to mind, that work just as well in headphones as they do on the dancefloor, the purpose of hits like “Levels” by Avicii or “Give Me Everything” by Pitbul was hardly outside of getting a crowd to go wild. This was a time where the Black Eyed Peas and feature heavy tracks by David Guetta (dance music’s DJ Khaled) were pretty much inescapable. It doubled as being both the beginning and ending period of dubstep’s reign over popular culture, a strange time where Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” EP was one of the most cutting edge projects to hit the mainstream in a long time (a project I think still holds up today).
piece of post-modern commentary on the state of popular music at the time, and I’m tempted to make that argument. Love it or hate it, there’s no denying this album’s status as one of the trashiest records of all time, which doubles as its appeal for some and its downfall for others (and it’s only trashier when you find out that Redfoo is SkyBlu’s uncle, information I wish I didn’t see but because I had to you have to).
When taking a long overdue relisten, there is hardly a moment on the project that doesn’t sound straight out of 2011. It’s basically early Ke$ha for frat boys but with far less emphasis on making ‘good’ electro pop tracks and more focus on getting a crowd to go dumb, in the most literal sense. Every synth patch, build up and drop feels like it was designed in a lab for early ‘10s radio, as if they knew it would sound dated in ten years and embraced EDM as some sort of long form artistic choice, which is partly why the dated dubstep bass growls on the intro track don’t feel out of place.
There is a rough around the edges quality to it, too, and given that even the best songs aren’t particularly perfectly produced, this ‘fuck-it’ attitude is enhanced and is ultimately what the appeal of this record could boil down to, with a healthy dose of catchy songwriting. While the instrumentals were, without a doubt, made for the radio, the abrasive masculinity is almost too much to be palatable for that audience. It’s truly shocking, even more so ten years later, especially when considering that the title track was radio hit.
“Sorry For Party Rocking” is not a masterpiece, and it’s not misunderstood. It’s too catchy to be dismissed yet too ridiculous to put under a critical lens. It renders just as enjoyable to adults with a sense of humor as to kids who know a little too much. However, outside of a few moments, like “Take It To The Hole,” which has some of the funniest lyrics on the project, and the undeniable groove on “With You,” it’s an album whose deeper cuts serve merely as time in between its big singles.
But for an album that relies more on energy than conventional pop formula, it’s impressive that its only true downside is its slight inconsistency, but even saying that makes me feel like I’m listening to it wrong. As my friend Levi put most elegantly, “to think about party rocking is to not party rock.” Instead, one should crack open a beer, take a few shots, and get lost in the sounds of an early ‘10s house party. If my future preteen grandchildren ask what music sounded like when I was their age, I may only hesitate before putting this on. At the end of the day, it’s just fun, catchy party music, doing the same thing everyone else was doing, just without pretending they weren’t.