A co-worker asked me in Slack for a link to the best thing I’d seen on the internet so far today. I answered her before I saw this.
In order to fully understand what’s happening here, it’s best to know that Morrissey is the mopey former frontman of the British indie rock band The Smiths. The P90X is an “extreme home fitness” kit featuring 12 DVDs designed to help users “get lean, bulk up, or grow stronger.”
The creative minds at Seattle-based Botnik Studios decided there was comedy in both of those things, especially when artificial intelligence could be used to mash together the lyrics of Morrissey with the Amazon customer reviews for the P90X.
Botnik called the result “a mathematically perfect pop song.” Vice’s music site Noisey has some of the great details:
The idea came about when Botnik’s Jamie Brew wrote a scraper script to pull text data from websites, he says. He made one that pulls all the Amazon reviews of any given product and another that pulls all the lyrics from any artist. Once he did that, he had to figure out the most practical application of these scripts. “At some point I must have asked myself: ‘What product would I like to hear Morrissey review?’ and my answer must have been: ‘I would like to hear Morrissey review the P90X home workout DVD system,’” he says.
That’s Brew singing over what Morrissey fans will surely recognize as the familiar guitar sounds and pacing of “This Charming Man.” But the lyrics are better when they’re aimed at something that includes “a comprehensive nutrition plan, workout calendar, fitness guide, and How to Bring It DVD.”
“I’ve gotten bored with this desire to get ripped,” auto-Morrissey sings. “The workouts themselves are insane but not impossible.”
If you hadn’t heard enough from Morrissey at this point, Botnik also used its tricks to create an exclusive interview with the singer. Catch up to that over at Noisey.