2 Chainz can’t compare to Springsteen

POPULARITY Cool sounds replace cool lyrics in pop music.


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Though the stories in songs have changed throughout time, the reason people listen to music has not.

Through the invention of different technologies, music has evolved tremendously. It has become more complex in its production and presentation, but far more shallow in its message and meaning.

Compare some of today’s hits with some of the classics. Two popular songs out now are “Blurred Lines” and what is known as “The Fox Song.” On the classic end of things, we can use “Don’t Stop Believin” and “Check Yes or No.”

I don’t think today’s hits deserve to be popular, because they have true meaning or a great message, but because they have a catchy beat and interesting lyrics. With technological advancement, we can make new beats and sounds that previous musicians had never dreamed of. The possibilities for new creations are endless, and that’s pretty exciting. But in all honesty, a catchy beat will only do so much.

Music is more than just entertainment; it’s something we can relate to.

We turn to music to say the things we can’t. Melodies put emotions we feel into lyrics. We listen because we empathize with that; we can relate. The catchy back beat or sick bass is just a plus.

All of these songs have memories associated with them, especially the classics. Who had a high school dance that didn’t play a single Journey song? I’m guessing no one.

I remember cruising the streets of my hometown with my parents when I was young, running errands. We rolled around in a classy minivan, and there was always something on the radio: The “good stuff” as my dad called it. I was raised on the Beatles and George Strait; my friends on Journey or Springsteen. The lyrics stir up that emotion and bring you back to the good old days. They make you feel. Why is that? Because they are true works of art. The lyrics have depth and real meaning. I just don’t see that as often in today’s popular music.

Lyrics have become shallow these days. I’d be shocked if you told me you hadn’t noticed. Consider these classics:

“The highway’s jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive. Everybody’s out on the run tonight, but there’s no place left to hide.” — “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen.

“And when the brokenhearted people living in the world agree, there will be an answer, let it be.” — “Let It Be,” The Beatles.

These lyrics tell me that artists put feelings and emotions into their songs. Real ones. I say this because I think the exact opposite when I hear lyrics such as: “You a stupid hoe, you, you a stupid hoe,” repeated eight times in a row in Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid Hoe.” 2 Chainz also lacks depth in his “Birthday Song” with the lyrics, “She had a big booty, so I called her big booty.”

How profound. Some of today’s newer music is just shallow and degrading.

Of course, this isn’t the case for all new music. There are some artists who aren’t considered classics but can write a good song. Take the ever-famous Taylor Swift for example. No, she really can’t sing live. No, she doesn’t really have a specific genre anymore. No, she doesn’t really sing about anything but relationships. But she has written a song that relates to just about every emotional situation known to man. You’d be a liar if you said you didn’t relate to at least one of them.

And her lyrics are real. They have depth and an intricate way of saying exactly what we feel. That is true music.

I like all types of music, but country is my favorite. Rap and dance music is tolerable, but I prefer the classics. There are too many memories wrapped up in those songs that I can’t help but be biased. Letting a song bring back childhood memories, family events or a first dance can sometimes be the one thing that keeps you going.

In a nutshell, music has experienced both regression and progress. Songs have become much catchier and creative, but the lyrics seem to drop my IQ every time I listen.

I do admire artists because I don’t feel I could ever do what they do. I don’t have a talent for writing or composing. I certainly can’t sing well enough for any audience besides my loofa. But I do believe many artists today can take a page from history. I’d like to hear more songs that have depth or meaning; consistency, something to them.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].

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