Have the lyrics to “Hey Ya!” ever heard the music? Has the music read the lyrics? Written, produced and performed by André 3000 for Outkast’s double album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, the song is a popcorn popper of musical styles—everything from shades of British Invasion pop to Prince-crowned funkadelics—built on a simple and sturdy drumbeat, sweetly skipping synth lines and a burbling bass part (plus droplets of watery, guitarish synth that streak into the mix partway through). Incongruously, the words—delivered alternately as karaoke testimonial and lonely falsetto croon—come from a man dismayed and frustrated, asking a romantic interest why “[we’re] so in denial when we know we’re not happy here.” But by the time André gets to shaking it like a Polaroid picture, happiness hardly matters, because “Hey Ya!” is resolved to dance the sad away.
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