Looking beyond the melody: Consider lyrics before blindly supporting music

The music industry nowadays is more diverse than it ever has been, and everybody can find some genre that fits their desires. Music is ingrained in our society and plays in our commercials, television shows, movies, et cetera. We can access music via the radio, YouTube, Spotify and many other social media sites and apps. Every day we hear music, and thus every day it has some influence on us.

But is this really such a good thing?

For me, the answer is both yes and no.

Yes, music can be an amazing influence on our day. I wake up every morning to “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons, and that makes my day start off in a better mood than it would if I were to wake up listening to “Someone Like You” by Adele. No offense to Adele or that song, but it tends to be a mood-killer.

There’s other songs like “Happy” by Pharrell Williams or “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors that are also very upbeat, good-mood songs. Music can be used to make people feel better, get into a good mood or pump themselves up if need be. So, yes, music can have a really good influence on people.

But, then are those songs that really aren’t a good influence.

“All About that Bass” by Meghan Trainor may sound good, but it gives a message to listeners that the only body type that is acceptable are non-skinny body types.  Blake Shelton’s “Neon Lights” practically promotes turning to alcoholism to solve your problems, though it does sound catchy. Not to mention songs like Jessie J’s “Bang Bang,” that tend to perpetuate the idea that women are objects used to indulge sexual desires.

The messages of so many songs that become popular are terrible. They aren’t even well written most of the time. But nobody seems to care what they are singing about as long as it sounds good.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you that you should care what the message says. It is never OK to be passive, and that also applies to listening to music.

Now, if you want to sing about alcoholism, sexual abuse, reverse discrimination, etc., then go right ahead. You can promote those things if that’s what you want to do. But if you are against those kinds of things, one thing you can do about it is stop listening to music that does nothing but promote it.

It’s not the music industry’s fault for giving us this music. It is all based on consumerism. If people are listening to it, the music will be made. It is all about the economical supply and demand when it comes to music, and if those are the things people will listen to, then so be it.

However, I believe that this is just one aspect where we can start making humanity better because, honestly, listening to the popular music nowadays really makes me lose my faith in humanity.

When I hear my 14-year-old little brother singing Ke$ha’s “Take It Off” without understanding the sexual context of the music, I feel like there is something that needs to be said about active listening. This active listening is not just for yourself, but when you become a parent, you need to pay attention to the music that they are experiencing.

Feminists, you want to stop the objectification of women? Promoting active listening of the music that does just that with its lyrics could really help your cause.

Are you really against people getting high on whatever drug they have access to, getting addicted and having their lives be ruined?  Then maybe you should not listen to Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” especially the “dancing with Molly” part.

Have you known someone whose life has been ruined by alcohol?  Maybe Blake Shelton’s music isn’t something you should be listening to.

I know what you’re thinking right now. You’re either annoyed with me, or you just don’t care. However, that whole indifferent, apathetic attitude is exactly what perpetuates most problems in the world. You know how they say that the person who watches someone be bullied is worse than the bully itself? That’s because the passive person could do something to make a change or a difference, but didn’t attempt to.

It’s the same thing here. If you aren’t doing something to make a problem better, then you are part of the problem, and it is the same with the terribly negative lyrics that are present nowadays in popular music.

All I ask is that you take the time to pay attention to the lyrics of songs you enjoy listening to, or even look them up online. Ask yourself, “Is this really OK to listen to?” or “Would I want my children listening to this?” Then, make your decision.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 17th, 2014 and is filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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