Modern music is brainwashing listeners

Graphic by Carolyn Chen '12

Every time I turn on the radio, I am disappointed to hear the same horrible, beat-heavy, meaningless, vulgar, mass of sound compiled together supposedly making a “song.” Music today is worse than disco and country combined. In fact, songs today are just techno-wannabes, and who the hell would want to be like techno?

I haven’t heard a single hit this year that I have actually loved. Sure, a lot of this year’s music has been fun and catchy, very turn-up-the-volume-roll-down-the-windows kind of music, or dance music/awkward-sweaty-jumping-up-and-down-at-an-attempt-to-dance music.

When I play my music in my room, or listen to my iPod in the car, I want a song that I don’t have to skip. I’ve found myself skipping all of my Top 40 songs, but staying on the older artists such as Elvis, Squeeze, Elton John, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, Michael Jackson, and of course, The Beatles.

I want to hear an incredible voice when I turn on the radio. I want to hear lyrics that are meaningful. I want to hear a song that I will want to listen to 80 years from now when the iPod is the new record player and the new iPod is some sort of iPhone-Blackberry device that can make smoothies and turn invisible and float!

Music today just doesn’t seem like it’s going to last, which is weird because the radio stations must think it will, considering they play the same 12 horrible songs over and over again until listeners are brainwashed into thinking they actually like them.

You see, I’ve noticed that when I first listen to these hit songs, I hate them. But after hearing them again and again, I have found myself buying them on iTunes, thinking that I liked them.

I honestly think that if Z100 played a “Mary Had a Little Lamb” remix (containing some lyrical alterations, swear words, and a fresh beat with some weird sound effects that sound like lasers or flying spaceships or something) as much as they played Bruno Mars’ song, “Grenade,” the remix would reach the Billboard Top 40 in an instant.

I really enjoy some of the music at times (Nicki Minaj is kind of my hero), but the majority of the top charts are annoying and flat out gross.

Speaking of annoying, “Just Can’t Get Enough” by the Black Eyed Peas is number one on iTunes. Well, I think I actually have had enough, thanks. The robotic song sounds like one of those free ringtones I could set for my alarm clock to wake me up.

But what really makes me mad, and kind of nauseous, is how disgusting some lyrics are.

I’m all for swearing. If I said I wasn’t, I would be a f***ing liar. I think it’s a good way of expressing yourself because words like “darn” and “crud” don’t always get the point across. However, I really think the music industry has taken it much too far.

The song “S&M” by Rihanna has been topping the charts for days now, and its beat is not only exceedingly irritating, but the lyrics are a little vomit inducing as well. The title of the song is self-explanatory, though if you do not understand what it means, I do not recommend googling it.

Want another stomach-churning example?

Ladies and gentleman, the 21st century Ipecac and rap song all in one, “John” by Lil’ Wayne. Here is just a little taste of the vulgarity the popular song holds.

Actually, I would share some of those lyrics, but they’re a little too lewd to print in Inklings.

But all I have to say is “ew.”

Rap can be great. 2Pac’s “Changes” and “Ghetto Gospel” are beautiful songs with depth and inspiration. But Lil’ Wayne’s song above is not rap. It’s just a bunch of words that are intended to amp up his street cred, recorded on top of music, and labeled as rap.

So now that I’ve showed a few examples of what the music world has come to, I’ll make my point: songwriters should remember that one of the greatest hits of all time was about simply wanting to hold someone’s hand.

This generation needs to finally make something new and exciting. It seems like we are just reliving the past, but there was a reason the disco and techno eras ended.

We need to hear another Freddie Mercury or John Lennon. We need to hear music with a purpose that tells a story or explores the meaning of life, or even a simple song about love. And no more computers creating the music. I’m looking for music that uses actual instruments (gasp!) like the piano, the guitar, the violin, the trombone

America is in need of great music more than ever, and if America can’t deliver, it might be time for a second British invasion.

And no, Dubstep does not count.