Music is something nearly everyone can appreciate, whether they understand it or not. You don’t need to know what a chord, or a rhythm is – or even a note – to enjoy the sound, sing along and tap your feet. The enjoyment of music is so universal that people feel perfectly comfortable asking someone what sort of music they like, never expecting the conversation to be shot dead with the words, “I don’t like music.” It seems as though music is something that so many of us can relate to because it seems to be a genuine portrayal of emotion that isn’t difficult to empathise with. Even without vocals, music can sound happy, or sad, or energetic, or angry. So using these melodies in parallel with lyrics of a similar nature makes for an authenticity that brings it to life.
Irrespective of what we decide is our “music taste,” it is difficult to avoid the popular tracks of the moment, whether that’s a well produced charity single or a track produced in another language that takes our fancy because of the catchy tune and silly dance that accompanies it. The biggest radio audience a single has achieved so far is that of around 240 million. You might claim to hate pop music but there’s no denying that there’s a simplicity to most pop songs that makes them stay in your head throughout the day and with 240 million people all singing the same annoyingly moreish song, pop music is an excellent platform for sending a message and being heard.
The theme of most popular singles is love, which can be romantic and harmless, which is just as well because popular singles are played on the radio all the time prompting people as young as 10 to download them from iTunes and other such providers. Unfortunately, though, this is not always the case. The song I referenced earlier that reached a radio audience of 240 million was called Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. The song contains lines such as, “let me be the one you back that ass in to” and “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two” or even “not many women can refuse this pimping” and “you’re the hottest bitch in this place.” This isn’t to mention the video which portrays three topless women parading around the singers the one word uttered by any of them being “meow.” Admittedly, the version played on the radio is cleaner but a song as popular as Blurred Lines will be searched on the internet by people of a variety of ages and downloaded millions of times.
I haven’t a problem with Thicke producing his track despite his moral confusions but I think, with such a wide audience, radio has too much influence to be playing whatever has the catchiest tune. If we’re not careful, we’ll have the next generation of teenagers believing that this is an acceptable way for a man to address a woman – and, personally, I don’t believe it is.
Maybe that’s controversial, but it looks like common sense to me.