“This is the weirdest three…combination of guys I’ve ever seen. One looks like a mechanic, the other one looks like he gets ALL the girls, and the other one looks like he’s book-smart. They just decided to get together, like, ‘Fuck it! We could all sing, let’s do it!”
Here are four videos, all featuring the same song. But wait! There’s a reason for this.
Earlier this year (or maybe it was last year!), Sheila O’Malley started linking what are called “reaction videos”. In these, YouTubers record themselves in real time listening to something, usually a song, and they react in real time as they hear it for the first time. And it’s not just new music, new hits: these reaction videos often feature young people digging back into the archives, to listen to old music, older music from their parents’ or even their grandparents’ generations.
And they are wonderful.
These people are encountering this music with an open-mindedness that is stunningly refreshing; they are coming to each song as if it’s a new thing, and they aren’t judging or being harsh in their summations. They smile and they laugh and they groove along with the music that they are choosing themselves. They are exercising their curiosity in a way that quite honestly gives me just a little hope in this point in history where, quite honestly, hope is a wee bit hard to come by.
So here are four reaction videos, in which four different young people react to the Bee Gees and “How Deep Is Your Love”. They do occasionally pause the music to talk, they do swear, and the first guy is–gasp!–smoking.