Pop music is a term that’s been around since … well, the beginning of pop music. People tend to refer to pop music as whatever happens to be popular at the time. But what do you refer to pop music after “the time” has passed? Think about it: The Archies were, at one point, a popular group. In fact, “Sugar Sugar” was the number one single in the country. But today, not so much. Granted, we still refer to it as “pop music,” but typically it carries the inflection that it was a dark time during our lives.
Obviously, The Archies are an extreme example. Hell, even The Beatles were considered pop music, so it can’t all be bad.
A quick Google search shows the definition of pop music as: “music of general appeal to teenagers; a bland watered-down version of rock’n’roll with more rhythm and harmony and an emphasis on romantic love.”
A bland, watered-down version of rock n’ roll? How you can use “rock n’ roll” in any comparison to what is currently referred to as “pop music” is beyond me, but we’ll agree to disagree. Ultimately, there is only one thing that matters when it comes to pop music, and it’s the obvious reason for writing this post: addiction.
Now, this isn’t an all-encompassing addiction. Generally speaking, I digress that most music on the radio is utter crap. I don’t enjoy listening to it. I don’t see how anyone could enjoy listening to it. I find myself longing to be a child of 60’s. Good Lord, to be a child of the 60’s.
But every couple of years, a song slips onto the radio, generally from an unknown singer, that tends to catch my ear. No, before you start thinking too much, I don’t mean catches my ear in a “Oh wow, this person is incredibly talented. Listen to those harmonies. Is that 7/8 time signature? ” Maybe catches my ear isn’t the right term. Perhaps “Violently grabs my head, inflicting so much pain on my ears that my brain has no choice but to release an unprecedented amount of endorphins so I can go on living” is a more suitable phrase. Yes, that will work.
This applies to none other than the current #1 song in America: “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
Look at those eyes. She knows exactly what she has done. I was stuck in traffic a few weeks ago, when this song comes on the radio. As if my hand was possessed ala Dr. Strangelove, it reached for the radio console but instead of changing the station, it increased the volume. Even more bizarre, despite this being the very first time I’d ever heard this song, I knew every freakin’ lyric! Add in the fact that my feet tapped in unison with my head bobbing, I could have sworn that I’d been brainwashed the previous night.
Pop music has the innate ability of making the listener–regardless of their actual age or gender–feel like a fourteen-year-old girl. Maybe it’s because this music is intended for that demographic, who knows? But that is what it does. Everyone likes to daydream about not having any responsibilities and your only worry is if the cute boy down the street will call you up. Don’t try to hide it. You know you do this. Male, female, elderly, late 20’s; doesn’t matter. And, in that regard, this song is textbook. (Note: Ignore the fact that this girl is actual 26-years-old. Don’t let facts get in the way of your fun.)
The catchiness of this song is absurd. You hate yourself for it, but you want to be listening to it constantly. You want to hear to it so bad that you will search the iTunes store on your phone while you’re driving down the freeway. Even worse, when you get pulled over, the cop will understand what you were doing and will let you go scot-free, because he was just searching for the song, as well.
In short, to honor this past weekend’s premiere of the new season of Breaking Bad, I can only conclude one thing: Carly Rae Jepsen is the true Heisenberg.