What happened to good music?

Warning: I am about to go off on a soap box sounding very similar to my Grampy and his thoughts on George Micheal in the 1980’s.

What happened to good music? There are some good new artists lately such as Mumford & Sons. I love them and their sound combination of some old Johnny Cash-like sounds with new bluegrass-ish style. However, there is some really, really bad music these days. There is no thought put into the lyrics, it’s all electronic and in general, just sucks.

There is one song in particular that is really getting my goat lately. It is a travesty that this song was even produced. Maybe I am completely missing some super deep, philosophical meaning, but I doubt it. And if I am missing it, then likely most kids listening are missing it too. “Pumped up Kicks” by Foster the People is the worst song I have heard in a while, lyrics-wise. The tune itself is ok but the lyrics are abominable to me. Here are the lyrics:

Robert’s got a quick hand. He’ll look around the room; he won’t tell you his plan. He’s got a rolled cigarette hanging out his mouth. He’s a cowboy kid.
Yeah! He found a six-shooter gun in his dad’s closet, with the box of fun things. I don’t even know what, but he’s coming for you. Yeah, He’s coming for you!
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, You better run, better run, faster than my bullet. (WHAT THE HELL?)
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, You better run, better run, outrun my gun. All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.
Daddy works a long day. He be coming home late, and he’s coming home late. And he’s bringing me a surprise. ’cause dinner’s in the kitchen and it’s packed in ice
I’ve waited for a long time. Yeah the sleight of my hand is now a quick-pull trigger. I reason with my cigarette, Then say, “Your hair’s on fire, you must have lost your wits, yeah?”
All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, You better run, better run, outrun my gun.All the other kids with the pumped up kicks,You better run, better run, faster than my bullet.

And over and over and over it sings the chorus until we are all brainwashed by it. In the climate of violence and tragedy that we live in, how can an artist feel justified in making a song reminiscent of school shootings even if they have some twisted intention of bringing awareness to these awful events?  Teenagers hear these kinds of lyrics and all of a sudden they start thinking, “I want to be like that mysterious, conflicted, intimidating soul.” It romanticizes the violent epidemic that is occurring in our world. The media does a bad enough job of sensationalizing tragedies and now we have pop music doing the same warping of our kid’s minds.

It scares me to pieces that my kids are growing up in a society that is constantly trying to desensitize us so that violence, blood, and disturbing images are the norm. It may seem like I am trying to keep my kids in a bubble and I am. I want them to hold on to their sweet innocence. We teach them about things that CAN happen, to be safe, to be aware, and to understand that not all is good…but do we have to shove it in their face so that they think tragedy is the “Jones’” to keep up with?

5 thoughts on “What happened to good music?

  1. I’m with you, most of today’s music sucks. My husband and I normally listen to 80s music because it is what we grew up with and is still better than most of the other stuff that’s out today. Since that is what our kids hear most of the time, that’s what they like, too. My son was probably the only child that took in a Styx CD for the music party at school when the teacher told them they could each bring in whatever music they wanted to listen to… 😉 But then, I’m about twice as old as some of the mom’s, so who knows if they’ve even heard of Styx?

  2. Pingback: A new generation | Winding Road

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