The Dare: “Good Time“

In an interview with The New Yorker earlier this year, Netflix’s head of global development Bela Bajaria described the platonic Netflix show as a “gourmet cheeseburger” at a fancy restaurant: a safe option that offers something “premium and commercial at the same time.” Harrison Smith’s output as the Dare thus far, starting with last year’s ribald “Girls” and today’s “Good Time,” is just a regular cheeseburger. But Smith knows what makes a song like “Good Time” hit the spot: That beefy synth bass, those splashy electroclash cymbals, all those squiggly big-beat analog synth lines, and a champagne-soaked voice so chiseled from the rock of James Murphy that Smith might as well start planning his fake retirement now. 

There’s something dizzying about the Dare being so indebted to LCD Soundsystem, a band whose identity was shaped in large part by being self-reflexively indebted to other bands. Listening to “Good Time” is a good time though, not unlike the high-caloric familiarity of listening to Nicki Minaj’s “Super Freaky Girl” or Saweetie’s “P.U.S.S.Y.” To submit to the fast food of music is to know that it will do the trick in a pinch: good after hours, good when you simply do not care. That’s the thrilling nihilistic sleaze of it all—who cares!—the opposite of Murphy who, through it all, cared to an almost obnoxiously earnest degree. Is caring better than not caring? Who knows, but it would also behoove Smith to put a little more distance between his music and the Bottle DJ Satisfaction Meme.