Pop music ate our souls, let’s get them back

Christine Colleran

Pop music is like junk food. It’s over-processed, sometimes sugary and not always easy to quit. Most of us indulge in it, whether you happen to be a glitter-drenched Ke$ha enthusiast or someone who hummed “Call Me Maybe” one time while you were waiting for the bus. I myself have a weak spot for Taylor Swift and the Backstreet Boys. Call them my guilty pleasures.

The problem with pop music is that somewhere along the way we stopped listening for real, authentic music and started accepting digitalized “pop-crap.” Somewhere along the way, pop music ate our souls.

I don’t know exactly when it happened, maybe around the time that the Baja Men let the dogs out. Or when Fergie’s London Bridge fell down (does anyone even know what that means?). Maybe we lost our souls when Willow Smith started whipping her hair back and forth and we copied her, effectively launching the whiplash epidemic of 2010.

My point is, pop music lacks substance. The record companies know what will sell, and we reinforce them when we download these inane pop songs and records. The music is highly manufactured and made for blind consumption by the Average Joe/Jane.

Are you merely an Average Joe? I didn’t think so.

At risk of sounding like a total college hippie, it’s time we fight against the pop sensation. Don’t let stiff-suited people at the top of the record companies decide what YOU like. It is time to begin saving your music-deprived soul.

Start by ignoring Lady Gaga’s egg capsule and meat dress. Sure, she could be a great person who stands behind nice causes, but the main reason she is pulling these “stunts” is to sell records. It’s only business.

Understand that just because a song is catchy does not mean it’s any good. Just look at lyrics of one of Katy Perry’s recent hits: Kiss me/ Ki- ki- kiss me / Infect me with your love and / Fill me with your poison. These (umm…) highly intelligent lyrics don’t hold a candle to Louis Armstrong’s: Give me a kiss to build a dream on / and my imagination will thrive upon that kiss / Ah, sweetheart I ask no more than this / A kiss to build a dream on.

Finally, work on finding the music that inspires you. I am not trying to sound corny. Good music is art—it should promote some self-reflection and deeper thought. Norah Jones jazzy vocals and insightful lyrics do this for me. Maybe a metal band gets you thinking, or the sound of a bluegrass banjo- we all have our own preferences.

You don’t have to give up pop music completely. However, pop music is the equivalent of sweets on the food pyramid- to be used sparingly. At the very least, don’t take pop music at face value. You probably shouldn’t whip your hair like Willow, and, no matter how much you love Ke$ha, it is not the best idea to brush your teeth with a bottle of Jack.
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