Like many of you, I have a morning routine during the work week. I get up, shower, put on my makeup and style my hair, fix my coffee and so on.
One of my favorite parts of the morning is the commute. No, I don’t like bumper to bumper on the freeway or inconsiderate a**holes cutting me off.
What I like about my commute is it gives me twenty to thirty uninterrupted minutes to listen to my favorite DJ’s. They’ve been on the air for as long as I can remember and they make me laugh all the time.
Unfortunately, they’re also a Top 40 station, which means in between sets I’m forced to listen to some of the most heinous crap on the radio today. I know I could change the station, but then I’d miss out on Dave, Ken and Molly, and all their crazy shenanigans.
Recently, what has to be one of the very worst, most inane songs I’ve ever heard began playing. Frequently. It’s so bad I kind of want to gouge out my eardrums with an ice pick. The last time it came on the radio, I actually veered into a grocery store parking lot to rush in and buy one, but then I realized it was a bit too much of a permanent solution.
Instead, I decided to blog about it as a form of catharsis for my agony.
Now, if you’ve read my blog in the past, this might be ringing some bells for you. “Rose,” you ask, “haven’t you done something similar in the past? Isn’t this getting a little tired? Don’t you think you should try something new?”
To which I reply, yes and you can find those other blog posts here and here, no because the songs at the top of the charts change from week to week thus providing me with an endless supply of crap to criticize, and maybe but this is my blog and I’m pretty sure my mom and two other people are the only ones who read it so I might as well write about whatever I want.
Anyway, back to the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad song. I know you’re probably wondering which one it is (since there are so many), so let’s address a few the recent, most heinous offenders, shall we?
Worth It by Fifth Harmony feat. Kid Ink
So this is one of those typical R&B songs with a repetitive beat that I guess is good for dancing up in ‘da club.’ And while I am not inherently against such music, in fact I’ve been known to shake my ass with the best of ‘em, I have to object to this one because, well… I just want to shoot myself every time it comes on the radio.
Fifth Harmony is a girl group, and they want you to know they’re worth it. Worth what, I don’t know, but they drill the point home, telling us “I’m worth it” over and over. Thirty-five times to be exact. It leaves me wondering who they’re trying to convince.
Kid Ink also does his best to drive his point across too, letting us know eighteen times he wants a girl who’s “wit it.”
We also get the refrain multiple times, and I’m not sure if the girls are looking for a guy with money or moves. And by moves I mean good in bed. And when I say good in bed, I mean they want the dude to show them his junk. Like, in the club. Just whip it out and reveal all. Cause they’re worth it. And they have too much style to waste their time if your winky is too small.
I think that’s what they mean, anyway, but I can’t be sure. You be the judge:
Uh huh you see me in the spot like
“Ooh I love your style”
Uh huh show me what you got
‘Cause I don’t wanna waste my time
Uh huh see me in the spot like
“Ooh I love your style”
Uh huh show me what you got
Now come and make it worth my while
Now, you might say something like, “Rose, that doesn’t say anything about winkies. Are you sure that’s what they mean?”
And I can’t be completely sure, but the rest of the meager lyrics are peppered with innuendo like this, although maybe my interpretation is just off:
Come harder just because
I don’t like it, like it too soft
I like it a little rough
Hmm… I’m pretty sure they’re talking about winkies, although they also say gimme gimme a lot, which does make me think of other things. Like, they could be talking about money.
And either way, I’m left hoping no one gives them anything.
Honey, I’m Good by Andy Grammer
Okay, I’m probably going to catch some flak for this one, but every time I hear it, I get a little pissed. For the girl, that is.
And not the one in the club, the one sitting at home waiting for Andy’s drunk ass to stumble in at one o’clock in the morning all turned on by the hotties in the club.
What specifically irritates me is the first part of the chorus:
Nah nah Honey, I’m good
I could have another but I probably should not
I’ve got somebody at home, and if I stay I might not leave alone
What this means is he’s just one drink away from being a cheating bastard. And he knows it. He seems to really like flirting with danger, which tells me eventually he’ll fall off the edge. He just won’t be able to help it.
During the song, he lets us know he’s been checking out all sorts of long legs, asses, telling women how good they look, and the whole time denying he’s interested by letting these beauties know he’s got a girl at home.
Which leads me to my next issue. Why the hell is she at home instead of out in the club with him? Shouldn’t that be a thing they do as a couple, especially since he can’t be trusted not to flirt with everything on two legs?
And the worst of it, the very worst, is this is somehow touted as a sweet love song. The video shows all these couples holding up signs displaying how many years they’ve been together. I wonder if all that collective longevity is a result of the love-strengthening properties of drunken flirtation with club rats.
Cool For the Summer by Demi Lovato
This song is all about a summer fling. Which, again, is not something I’m inherently against. As all of us past a certain age have learned, youth tends to be wasted on the young, and so I’m all for living it up, exploring the world, learn what you like and don’t like. Hopefully these young whipper-snappers will behave in a semi-responsible manner when they do it.
And Demi is certainly hellbent on exploring something. She starts out seductively imploring her summer catch:
Tell me what you want
What you like
I’m a little curious, too
Tell me if it’s wrong
If it’s right
I don’t care
I can keep a secret, can you?
Got my mind on your body and your body on my mind
Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite
Which I’m okay with, I guess. I mean, she’s learning about her sexuality, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It’s when we get to the refrain that things start to fall apart.
Don’t tell your mother
(I get that. Who wants to share with mommy about the guy they’re fooling around with?)
Kiss one another
(Still makes sense)
Die for each other
Wait… what??!! Die for each other??? What the fu…?
No, Demi, just no. I mean, first of all it’s a summer fling, and second, no cherry is worth dying for. I mean, cherries are yummy, but if I had to choose between life and cherries, it would be a no brainer. Seriously, Demi. I think you need counseling.
And finally, the coup de grace… the song that nearly drove me to self mutilation with an ice pick…
Bad Blood by Taylor Swift
Swifty, as my morning DJ’s like to refer to her, has been dominating the charts this year with several singles from her “1989” album, hitting #1 on the Billboard charts.
And I’m happy for her. Really I am. I’m sure she’s worked really hard.
The thing is, if I have to listen to that goddamn “Bad Blood” song one more time, I’m going to get a really big f***ing machete and, and….
Deep breaths, Rose. Count to ten.
Sorry about that, guys. I’m much better now.
Anyway, what really gets me about this song, besides the fact that it topped the charts, like, ever, isn’t just the lyrics. Granted, they’re abysmally simple and read like a precocious five year old wrote them. I mean, My kid wrote a poem in sixth grade deeper than this shit. And he doesn’t write.
She also says “hey” and “unh” a lot.
‘Cause, baby, now we got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done
‘Cause, baby, now we got bad blood
Now we got problems
And I don’t think we can solve them
You made a really deep cut
And, baby, now we got bad blood
It’s the tune as well. And the cadence. And the rhythm. It sounds like they tapped the tune out on their Casio and threw in a minor drumbeat to give it a little pop. Like that episode of friends when Ross plays his keyboard at the coffee house.
And paired with ridiculous lyrics, it’s like an earworm. If an earworm was a blunt object like a baseball bat being rammed down my ear canal. Every time I hear this song, it reminds me of that joke we used to tell when we were five years old. You know the one.
What are you eating under there?
You were eating underwear??
Swifty does take a moment in the break to get all philosophical. You can tell because the music goes all dreamy and lacking any kind of bass for a moment.
Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes
You say sorry just for show
If you live like that, you live with ghosts (ghosts)
Band-aids don’t fix bullet holes (hey)
You say sorry just for show (hey)
If you live like that, you live with ghosts (hey)
If you love like that blood runs cold
But then that keyboard synth drumbeat pops back in, and we’re brought right back to the same pedantic chorus, over and over. She’s right, my blood really does run cold.
And we really do have problems, Swifty. We really, really do.
Sure, the video is kind of flashy; it has a few A-listers, hot girls in latex, chick fights, futuristic gizmos, and explosions. Enough glitz and glamour to gloss over the fact that the song has more style than substance.
If this is the future of pop music, what possible hope does the industry have?
I’m not claiming to be an expert on what passes as good music, but I fail to understand why music with a real message and pop can’t be one and the same.
The point being, what are we filling our heads with? And what are the powers that be trying to fill our heads with?
I’d like to leave you with the lyrics to a song by one of my all-time favorite musicians, Ani Difranco, folk/alt rocker chick and lyrical genius. She’s long lamented the evolution of music, and in her own, inimitable way, gives us a scathing commentary on the industry.
Thanks for keeping it real, Ani. I couldn’t agree with you more.
Fuel by Ani Difranco
They were digging a new foundation in Manhattan
And they discovered a slave cemetery there
May their souls rest easy now that lynching is frowned upon
We’ve moved on to the electric chair
And I wonder who’s gonna be president
Tweedledum or tweedle dumber?
And who’s gonna have the big
Blockbuster box office this summer
How ’bout we put up a wall
Between the houses and the highway
And then you can go your way
And I can go my way
Except all the radios agree with all the TVs
And all the magazines agree with all the radios
And I keep hearing that same damn song
Everywhere I go
Maybe I should put a bucket over my head
And a marshmallow in each ear
And stumble around for another dumb numb week
For another hum drum hit song to appear
People used to make records as in a record of event
The event of people playing music in a room
Now everything is cross-marketing
It’s about sunglasses and shoes
Or guns or drugs, you choose
We got it rehashed, we got it half-assed
We’re digging up all the graves
And we’re spitting on the past
And we can choose between the colors
Of the lipstick on the whores
‘Cause we know difference
Between the font of twenty percent more
And the font of Teriyaki, you tell me
How does it make you feel?
You tell me what’s real
And they say that alcoholics are always alcoholics
Even when they’re as dry as my lips for years
Even when they’re stranded on a small desert island
With no place in two thousand miles to buy beer
And I wonder is he different is he different, has he changed
What he’s about or is he just a liar
With nothing to lie about
I’m headed for the same brick wall
Is there anything I can do about anything at all
Except go back to that corner in Manhattan
And dig deeper, dig deeper this time
Down beneath the impossible pain of our history
Beneath unknown bones
Beneath the bedrock of the mystery
Beneath the sewage system and the path train
Beneath the cobblestones and the water main
Beneath the traffic of friendships and street deals
Between the screeching of kamikaze cab wheels
Beneath everything I can think of to think about
Beneath it all, beneath all get out
Beneath the good and the kind and the stupid and the cruel
There’s a fire just waiting for fuel