“Dis-‘funk’-tional Radio Hits”
Constantly traveling alone in car for work, I crave Top 40 music to help get me from point A to point B. Yes, it is overplayed and the lyrics are over-simplified, but their catchiness allows me to mentally check out and make my drive home much quicker. However, lately I choose driving in silence since the recent hits emotionally drain me! There seems to be a fad in songs complaining about tiring relationships and dysfunctional couples. The more I hear these songs, the more I adopt these issues!
As a huge Maroon 5 fanatic, I became stoked to hear more of their songs on the radio. But their most recent hit, “One More Night” describes a sickening relationship. Stuck in a constant tug of war between him and his lover, the singer becomes stuck in an emotional rut as he regrettably promises “to stay one more night” with the lover that shares no compatibility with. Some of the lyrics describe their arguments as emotional volatile to the point where I assume it to be verbally and psychologically abusive.
T-Swift is back on my annoying radar with her super-catchy “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together”. Not only is her music video completely non-related to the song, but I get so frustrated with the same cycle of her putting up with the arguments and the minimizing of her feelings by this fictional boyfriend. In the words of Taylor herself in the bridge of her song… “This is EXHAUSTING!” I just can’t imagine how this song can be an anthem for fourteen year olds instructing them how to put up with the most trivial of arguments.
And lastly, (although one of my guiltiest of pleasures) is Justin Bieber’s “As Long as You Love Me”. While the ordinary listener may find the lyrics hopelessly romantic as their love stands the trials of homelessness, starvation, and poverty, I quip that that sounds like a horrible notion of love! But the line that makes my brain hurt the most comes in the rap:
“I know we have issues, baby (true, true, true),
but I’d rather work on this with you
then go ahead and start with someone new”
Now, I’m not completely a cynic when it comes to love songs on the radio. I get it; it’s the biggest inspiration for music. But why sing about the dysfunction and the exasperations of a relationship that not only has stopped working, but in certain cases, the singer can’t stand their lover as a person? Because of the popularity of these topics, I’m worried that these types of dysfunctional relationships will become mainstream and normalized. I just want to yell at the radio and scream, “LOVE DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY!”