May 9, 2001
1:59 PM   Subscribe

All my life, people have been studying the hidden (sometimes very well hidden) profundities of pop-music lyrics. You know, however, that 99.99% of it is mundane and not worth studying. Wrong!.
posted by luser (8 comments total)
99.98% is mundane and not worth studying.
My bad.

(that was tongue-in-cheek)
posted by ktheory at 2:27 PM on May 9, 2001

No, I think the Beatles only constitute about .01% of pop bands, so I think we're safe with the 99.99% figure.
posted by SurgeonDryHog at 2:50 PM on May 9, 2001

Personally I think the last two Offspring albums offer a magnificient critique of today's dehumanized, commercialized teen culture. Howz dat?
posted by Erendadus at 3:45 PM on May 9, 2001

Good, except I wouldn't consider the Offspring "pop" by a long stretch...
posted by kindall at 4:47 PM on May 9, 2001

O.K..ya'll can have this one. How about the Ink Spots.All the good songs begin with the same beat, all where written between 1939 and 1946 ( the real good ones) and all have an ambigous titles (i.e 'I dont want to set the world on fire' and 'Address Unknown' I posit that the Ink Spots were possibly working for the OSS. If I disappear('If I did'nt care') well..."Someone's rocking my Dreamboat".
posted by clavdivs at 5:47 PM on May 9, 2001

the ambig...thing, sorry but check it out.
posted by clavdivs at 5:49 PM on May 9, 2001

Well, there's always Andy Partridge and XTC... But I suspect we can find an even greater bard in the works of Christina Aguilera.

Take for example the misuderstood work, "Genie in a Bottle".

The work addresses the mind/body/soul dycotomy, and the way our complex and sometimes conflicting ways that our diverse 'lineaments of unsatisfied desire' can work against successful interpersonal relationships.

"Oh whoa...
My body's saying let's go.
Oh whoa...
But my heart is saying no.

As you can see, these conflicting signals bring on surprise ("oh") and an instinctual repulsion from a deeper understanding ("Whoa").

Mantra-like, this phrase is repeated four times over the course of the three minute song -

"If you wanna be with me, baby, there's a price you pay.
I'm a genie in a bottle, you gotta rub me the right way.
If you wanna be with me, I can make your wish come true.
You gotta make a big impression, I gotta like what you do.

Simple eloquence, in the expression of the feminine search for love, in the face of the percieved emotional weaknesses of male partners. The promise of physical satisfaction is brought foward - the only ground of male satisfaction her persona percieves as 'wanted', or needed, in exchange for an ambiguous satisfaction that she herself can not understand or adequately communicate.

Consequently, she has never found true satisfaction, and as the song states,

"I feel like I've been locked up tight
For a century of lonely nights;
Waiting for someone
To release me.

She's amazing. Lennon? McCartney? Amatuers.
posted by resigned at 5:59 PM on May 9, 2001

My contention is that people read way too much into music (moreso than other art forms). It always feels like they're just filling space, to me.
posted by owillis at 6:34 PM on May 9, 2001

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