Over the past three or four years, pop music became a catch-all for music that pays little attention to lyrics. For example, Pitbull can release a new song by yelling gibberish and adding a catchy hook in the middle, and it automatically becomes a Top 40 hit.
New artists have dropped the bar so low for lyrics that formerly great lyricists Patrick Stump, from Fall Out Boy, and Adam Levine, from Maroon 5, can get away with writing meaningless garbage and receiving popular success.
A few notable exceptions to this trend include rapper Macklemore and electronic artist Avicii, but are overshadowed by many artists trying too hard to impress a mass of people that do not appreciate the power of amazing lyrics.
Queen was one of the most influential bands of the 20th century — their music sounded amazing and the lyrics were powerful and came from the heart. Pitting that against “light it up, up, up, light it up, up up, light it up, up, up, I’m on fire,” the chorus of Fall Out Boys’ hit single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark,” shows the extreme difference in today’s quality of lyricism.
Many music fans shy away from lyrical genius and replace it with anything that sounds catchy. This explains why artists like Pitbull and Flo Rida continue to have successful careers. Flo Rida has not been relevant in my playlist since he came out with the song “Right Round” in 2009. Listeners should not allow artists to repackage the same song over and over, as Flo Rida has done for over four years.
I should not have to look to electronic dance music and heavy metal for real lyrics, but currently, those two genres possess more lyrical genius than pop and mainstream rock. And while I am not saying every song has to be a lyrical masterpiece, it would be nice to hear one on the radio once in awhile.
The hits are a complete miss right now, and it shows that there is no better time to invest in a satellite radio.