Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Truth About Love in the Summer's Music Releases

This past summer’s music releases were heavy on themes about love and marriage.  I know that many think that rock and pop albums are vapid or coarse intellectual and moral wastelands. There are certainly moments for musical doubt. 
I must admit that I stared blankly at my computer screen when my Amazon purchasing history that pegs me as a 40 year old mother suggested that I might like the also newly released, Fifty Shades of Gray: The Classical Album, a collection of classical works chosen by EL James based upon her wildly popular fan fiction cum novels. At least it is just a collection of existing works and not some modern Hooked On Classics, remixing Chopin with a ominous seductive beat. It debuted at number one on the classical charts, outselling the next 80 albums combined.
That album oddity aside, sometimes in the lyrics of pop music, you can find bright gems of knowledge—or even wisdom. Hence my new piece at PJLifestyle about the truth and consquences of the hook up culture from Alanis Morissette, P!nk, Katy Perry, and back to Alanis. 
One of the most popular songs on Alanis' Jagged Little Pill was "You Learn." Even back then, in her years of bile and anger, Alanis recognized that we are to learn from mistakes, that's what they are for. But the carefree environment of the hook up culture robs women of this ability to see mistakes much less learn from them. If there is no sense of consequence, then there is no sense of responsibility.
It wasn't just the female rockers focusing on love and marriage, either. Train and The Killers covered this ground. Matchbox Twenty might have as well. I’m not certain yet as that is the last album I downloaded and Tigger makes me keep "She's So Mean" on repeat. (Because of the line about freaking out when you don't shut your mouth, the kids think the song is about me. Yasha thinks this is very funny.)  
Train's California 37 has a couple of songs about marital love, which tend to the more romantic, finding your true love type. Considering the goofy lyrics and silly metaphors that Train favors, focusing on romance is probably for the best, although one of their old songs, “All I Ever Wanted,” is one of my favorite songs about martial love. Eight year old Calvin favors "50 Ways to Say Goodbye." The lyrics appeal to an 8 year old boy for some reason. Add on the Old West style music, and it is a boy favorite. I heard the band mention in an interview that they thought this might be a favorite of moms. Nope. 

For far more serious fare, The Killer's Battle Born, seems to be a concept album about love and marriage, only from a man's perspective. Battle Born hits all the themes I discussed at PJLifestyle with the additions of the betrayal of young men and Christian themes. 
If you are a casual listener to The Killers, you might miss that Brandon Flowers, frontman and lyricist for the band, is a steadfast evangelist who writes songs that could appear in hymnals alongside “Onward Christian Soldiers” and blend. And I write “seems” to be a love and marriage concept album because Flowers lyrics are complicated straight up, and this time, he layered them. I couldn’t fully analyze that album and P!nk, Alanis, and Perry and get any piece done close to the mid-September releases. I will continue listening and revisit The Killers later because typical analysis of Flowers lyrics on the web is shallow, and previous Flowers’ song interpretation posts are consistent bread and butter for this blog. Somebody is always trying to figure out what he is singing and I like figuring it out. 

For now, I've got cliches of modern women's debates in the works. I was going to do and expansion of how feminists made sex boring, but since Marissa Meyer had her baby last week, the women's debates cliches are flying. I'll work on that one first. 

No comments: