Pop Culture Musings: Nearly Current Pop Music Thoughts

Pop Culture ___ is back and we are talking pop music. And—much like Entertainment Weekly’s Music Issues—I am visibly out of my depth.

In Praise of Enjamb

I can’t say I am a fan of Andy Grammer’s song “Honey, I’mGood” in total. I am, not generally, a big fan of the “you got country in my pop, no, you got pop in my country” genre, but... I don’t know. There’s something that make it linger, you know? My first reaction to it was, well, “nah, nah, honey I’m good” (I HAD TO DO IT! YOU KNOW I DID! SHUT UP!), but the hook gets into you, you know? It shows you things. It…it changes you.

Regardless of my overall assessment though, I have to say one part I really do appreciate is the lyric from the chorus, “Honey I’m good. I could have another but I think I should not.” Ok, so written out like that, there is not much reason to like the line. It is not particularly creative or smart. But take a second to consider where the rhyme falls. See/hear it? Now, try to structure it like you might a poem. It would break down to something like this:

Nah, nah. Honey, I’m good.

I could have another but

I think I should

Not.

See what I’m seeing? Grammer used enjambment on that last line.

The traditional, easier way of doing things would be a straight A-B-A structurein which your first and third lines rhyme and the set terminates at that point, moving onto the next couplet. So you might have, say:

Nah, nah. Honey, I’m good.

I could have another but

I might get rude.

Just to use a wholly made up and not very good example to highlight that rhyme.

But Grammer doesn’t do that, and I think that’s kind of great. You see it a fair amount of the time in poetry—lines are not complete sentences or thoughts but arranged as to hit the rhyme without completing the sentence that runs into the next line, sans punctuation.

It does not make the song good, per se, but I appreciate the subtle playing with the pop music structure Grammer does by doing it.

 Want to look this good? Enjamb, baby...enjamb. (photo from billboard.com)

Want to look this good? Enjamb, baby...enjamb. (photo from billboard.com)

 

So…What’s This Song About?

So in July, Demi Lovato released “Cool of Summer.” First, just a spot of advice. Don’t release your summer song at the midpoint of summer. If you release early you can tap into summer anticipation and summer. In the middle? Maybe you get summer. Maybe.

Anyway, that one was for you marketing types.

To speak to the song in specific, well, how do I put this: is this a song about something statutory going on?

Before you tell me, yes, I am aware of there being some buzz about this song, perhaps, being about a same sex coupling and, viewed in that context, some of the lyrics—like, say, “Don’t tell your mother.”—seem less creepy. Others like “Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite”… they remain pretty discomfiting.

Part of the problem is Lovato is 23 now and sounds every bit of it in the song. This is not the Disney starlet anymore and her voice has matured to match her look. So you are immediately left to wonder why this adult is telling your romantic target not to tell his or her mom.

Again, if it is same sex, one could make an argument that Lovato is reassuring (or warning) her lover that no one beside them need know for reasons of being judged or—and not to be too dark about it, but—being in danger. However, if this is a heterosexual coupling, and there is no textual reason to decide hetero or same is more likely, then the recommendation not to tell mom is puzzling. What adult man would ever consider telling his mother about his summer fling?

Unless, of course, he’s not Demi’s age. And mom knowing could be a problem.

On its own, perhaps this would be an over interpretation.

But then, there’s this lyric: “Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to take a bite.” Now, I don’t want to be overly crude, but…we all know what this means, right?

So not only does she need to tell her partner to keep it secret from Mom but said partner is also a virgin? The facts seem clear.

But hey, I think that’s alright. Men have long boasted a fairly large catalog about women too young and some of those are classics. It only seems fair and right that women get a chance to do the same, doesn’t it? This is how equality looks!

 This piece was not an excuse to indulge in this moment of male gaze. Honest. (photo from celebmafia.com)

This piece was not an excuse to indulge in this moment of male gaze. Honest. (photo from celebmafia.com)

Drugs, Right?

We all are onboard with the idea that The Weeknd’s “I Can’t Feel My Face” is all about drugs, right? Not a woman? Ok, good.

 Pictured: Drugs (photo from astrotarot.com)

Pictured: Drugs (photo from astrotarot.com)