Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy love songs, either in the form of catchy tunes from bands like The 1975, Jason Mraz, or lyrically driven love stories from Taylor Swift, poetic forms of it from Adele or Ed Sheeran, not to forget old-school ballads from the eighties from the likes of Bryan Adams and Bon Jovi.
But I do get annoyed when the song is written in a way that cheapens love and romance, or that depicts women or men as just an object to lust after.
Eventually, you also got to ask yourself if some of these themes of music we listen to almost daily have become engrained in our psychology and become more acceptable, maybe even the norm of our times and affecting our romantic relationships or how we view our potential partners.
It may be melodious and have a ‘sick’ beat, and we usually tend to overlook the lyrics, but the older I get, the more the lyrics and content of a song matter to me.
Another issue is that songs with the theme of love, or any relation to love such as relationships, attraction, and sex appeal tend to take up almost 80% of radio airwaves and music.
Frankly, there are only so many songs with hit words like ‘booty‘ and ‘baby‘ and ‘bang bang‘ I can stomach over two decades of music. Thankfully songs with the above lyrics are on the downtrend for the last few years, as more songs released by actual singer-songwriters are introduced and gaining appreciation among wider audiences.
If this is what the youth of our times are listening to it should concern us what these songs are portraying about relationships, love, and respect for the opposite sexes.
It may probably be that the overarching theme of love and sex sells the most records and music as it appeals to the majority of the public. Looking at the images of the album covers of some of these singers, such as Camilla Cabello, The Pussycat Dolls, or a look at the K-Pop Korean bands out there, it is obvious that sex appeal sells well.
Then, are we forced to accept that this is the only way to promote music and get wider appeal and attention? Should we continue to tolerate it? And how can we encourage more wholesome and diverse music among our children?
Unfortunately, this is not something we can easily influence, we are the consumers and most probably the music industry will keep marketing themes that sell the best.
At the end of the day, music is more than just a creative expression, it is also a tool to deliver themes and topics, sometimes probably in a more acceptable manner than what a speech can do.
What then? How do we exert some control over what we and our kids listen to?
I encourage you to check out different genres of music and look for music with diverse topics. It may not be the popular tune on the airwaves or Spotify, but it will give a better range of musical themes to feed your ears and your minds.
What? You mean there are songs that actually stimulate your thought process? Clever words and lyrics that make you take a second listen to catch what they just sang? Or themes that you can relate to?
Yes, they do exist.
So what have I been listening to lately this season?
Anberlin, Switchfoot, Relient K, Jason Mraz, Coldplay, Paramore, Fall Out Boys, and many of Jon Foreman’s solo albums.
My picks for best break-up song?
Here’s a different take on the ending of a relationship, check this by Relient K – I Don’t Need A Soul
Feel free to drop your recommendations if you have any.