It’s possible my younger daughter played it, and I was spacing out. Missed it. That is possible. I could’ve been in an elevator, or a cafe, or a bowling alley, a garage, a Hungarian disco (mash-up), a pizza parlor, a swimming pool in France, or on the street in the East Village, or West, or upstate, or downstate, or out of state, and heard it. It’s very possible I have heard it and did not realize that I was hearing it. It was probably playing in, like, Uniqlo or whatever.
By some unofficial counts, Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’ is the most-played pop song of all time. (I don’t actually know if that is true, but it feels true, and feelings, as this year’s presidential campaign remind us, are very important.) And yet. And yet. I don’t recall being in A PLACE IN TIME and realizing that I was actually, actively listening to Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella.’
This is not because I hate music. I love music. Love it. Here are some bands I really love: The Replacements, Dinosaur, Jr., The Clash, and Joy Division. Newer stuff? Welp, everything Hamilton Leithauser does is brilliant—from his Walkmen days to his solo stuff. I am one of those people who looks forward to Mondays so that I have a new Spotify Discover Weekly playlist waiting for me. I like to discover music.
And yet. Until today—until a few minutes ago, really—I don’t remember taking note of the Rihanna song called ‘Umbrella.’ Look, I’ve been busy—two kids, a wife, a full time job, hobbies. Okay, I don’t really have hobbies. But still. Busy.
Then, earlier today I was checking out this playlist that my colleague Brendan made for a post for The Fresh Toast. I realize it’s no longer Labor Day weekend, but I was psyched to check out the playlist nonetheless. And that’s when it happened. A song came on, and I was curious to see who was singing.
Let me take you through what happened next: I turned to my left and saw on my phone that the song that was playing was Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella.’ I was listening to ‘Umbrella,’ by Rihanna. It was playing. I could hear it.
And you know what?
It sounded pretty good.