In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing. This week, we’re picking songs about the day of the week the story runs.
If there’s one thing that unites the majority of songs about Fridays it’s that they tend to share some sort of enthusiasm for the day. Even noted mopes The Cure offered up “Friday I’m In Love,” a track that sees Robert Smith in his most jubilant state, celebrating the day that ushers in the weekend. But, what’s seen far less in these odes to the work week’s final day is that all that anticipation can just as easily lead to disappointment instead of some sort of raucous celebration. It’s that kind of inflated expectation that leads to crushing defeat the Hall & Oates so astutely covered on “Friday Let Me Down,” a deep-cut from the band’s 1981 album Private Eyes.
It would be overstating the song’s merits to say that the story weaved by Daryl Hall and John Oates is at all deep–in fact, they spend the bulk of the song’s backend just repeating the song’s title–but its a simple yarn about an object of affection opting not to return any of the protagonist’s numerous messages that boasts one of the duo’s strongest choruses. Each time the chorus comes around the pair take to deconstructing the song’s title, then bouncing it back and forth between one other, effectively doubling the song’s hook by never leaving a second of dead air between words. It’s a trick that’s so effective that it more than makes up for the schlocky, overly-processed guitars that launch the song, showing that even if Hall & Oates were happy to give themselves to the occasionally misguided production trends of the time, they could still find something salvageable in them. “Friday Let Me Down” may not have the handclaps of “Private Eyes” or the falsetto coos of “You Make My Dreams,” but for those finding themselves stood up on a Friday, it offers a comforting, danceable consolation.