Where did we lose our way? At what point did we toss all care to the wind and start admitting that we like some of the most absurd music out there? Like Russian meme music...
I'd say the answer for most of us is around the time the internet was released to the public, but for the Russians, we have to dig deeper.
Back in 1976, Eduard Khil sung his own baritone version of "I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home." Except this time he added his own non-lexicable vocable (nonsense syllables) twist to it by singing nearly one logatome the entire time.
I just used a bunch of big words that I literally just learned about that all amount to this guy using the sound for "lol" through an entire show tune, like an absolute madman. He was ahead of his time, for sure, a true pioneer.
This track was rediscovered and uploaded in 2009 and went down in the internet hall of fame (another of Khil's countless lifetime awards) as "Trololo." Check it out:
The fact that this guy is so comfortable and confident makes me think he's either a complete boss player or a complete psychotic.
Fast forward to 2001 and Vitas, a multi-award winning Latvian known as the Russian Chayanne, puts on a New Year's performance that's out of this world. Known for designing his own stage outfits, he shot for the stars this time and went for the classic New Age Pleiadian extraterrestrial dance party style.
Like the homie Mr. Trololo above, Vitas chose to make a ton of weird noises and flick his tongue around during the chorus while barely dancing (minus that slick wrist movement) while everyone else cut a rug. Check it out:
I'm now firmly convinced that we've been infiltrated by and possessed by a species from another planet and star system altogether that are still struggling to learn to control the human vocal apparatus. Or there's something seriously wrong with the Russian music scene.
Let's bring it back down to Earth with another New Year's song.
Novi God (or Nowiy God, meaning New Years in English) is actually a killer song. A Russian boy band called Steklovata put together the video for their second single in 2002, complete with the most amazing green screen effects you'll ever see.
I'm not sure what happened with this group. They were the full package, from hair and fashion, to dancing and vocals. Don't believe me? Witness first hand:
The best part about this, the best song on the list, is that it still gets seasonal spikes of searches in Google at the end and start of every year since it was released. You can see small spikes, and then you can see the year it went viral and has maintained it's status as the most influential song in the world since:
Russians have mastered the art of unintentional internet virality through their own unique cultural tastes in music, and while I'm scared of the ultimate consequences, I'm eager to see what's next, especially since the special effects get better each time.
I just hope it doesn't include staring blankly into space while flicking your tongue at a condenser microphone for three minutes straight. Russian meme music is unironically awesome.