The latest earworm to hit the radio waves is “ME!” by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie.* When I heard it, the first word that popped into my head was “juvenile,” which is fine. After all, it is a song for the youth (but… Taylor, you ain’t that young anymore, sorry). And it’s teaching them pronouns! The self-absorbed, narcissistic lyrics include the following:
Spelling is fun!
Girl, there ain’t no I in “team”
But you know there is a “me”
And you can’t spell “awesome” without “me” “ME!” by Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie
Just like Gwen Stefani did with “Hollaback Girl” (another fun but similarly asinine song) in 2005, pop stars are going to teach us spelling, too! How kind of them. Technically, you can get “me” out of “team,” but you have to rearrange the letters.
Actually, the whole thing kind of reminds me of one of those motivational posters you see in school classrooms or workplaces. Well, if that’s what motivates you…
*I had no idea who Brendon Urie was. Then I found out he was the lead singer of Panic! At The Disco, which is the same thing as Fall Out Boy. (Seriously, listen to them. They sound exactly the same.)
Observations on three songs from the local Top 40 station:
- Ariana Grande – “Break Up with Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored.” Everything about this song is repulsive. I have never liked Ariana Grande; she always struck me as, frankly, ditzy and a bit of a slut. Or maybe I’m conflating her with her character from that idiotic Nickelodeon show Sam & Cat. I can only hope she wrote the song with a sense of humor because it could be funny, but I just can’t find the humor. Someone should write a song in response called “Stay Away from My Boyfriend, Get a Life.”
- Post Malone – “Better Now.” For some reason, I love everything I have heard by Post Malone. He has such a chill persona. When I listen, I feel like I’m wearing a stained tank top, sitting on an ancient couch in a filthy apartment with cigarette smoke floating around me, and drinking a beer while my homies banter in the kitchen. That is the vibe of his music. This song is about a guy with a broken heart, but even so, he still sounds so calm about it. This lyric sums it all up: “Life, it goes on, what can you do?”
- Marshmello, CHVRCHES – “Here with Me.” Probably the sweetest, most innocuous song on the radio today. I doubt I hear it much in a couple of months because of that, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts. Reminds me of freshman year of high school, where life was all about innocent crushes and the biggest problem I had was homework.
You typically can’t expect much depth from pop stars, but one would hope that Avril Lavigne has matured from her days as a tomboy back in 2002, and judging by her new song, “Head Above Water,” it seems that she has. Or maybe it was the near-death experience that finally did the trick. Miss Lavigne had been greatly suffering from Lyme disease, and in the midst of her deepest pain, she composed the song, in which she cries to God to “keep her head above water.”
The old saying “there are no atheists in foxholes” came to mind when I first heard the song. In the midst of great pain or anguish, many turn to God even when they had previously forsaken him or had never believed in him in the first place. I suppose Avril Lavigne is one of these. I don’t expect her to return to the Christian faith of her roots, but you never know (and you can always hope).
I find it amusing that the news outlets are calling “Head Above Water” a worship song, and to me, it is. If this was Lavigne’s very first single, everyone would be calling her a Christian artist and they’d sell her album in Christian bookstores, like they did with Evanescence’s first album.
But Avril Lavigne herself may not see the song that way—but rather as a pop ballad or an anthem to show strength in a difficult time. At the very end of the music video is a message about Lyme disease and the URL of Lavigne’s anti-Lyme foundation website. So it appears to be the song used to market her cause.
Either way, I really like the song, and it’s a nice departure from the junk on Top 40, which reminds me, now that I think of it, that I haven’t heard Lavigne’s song on the radio at all. I wonder why. Perhaps it’s because the teenagers who listen to Top 40 were very young or not even born when she was most popular, so they might not know who she is. That’s a scary thought.