Rolling to a stop one afternoon in my car, I flipped on the radio to hear the familiar chorus of "Friday" by Rebecca Black. I really wanted to hate that song, but somewhere in the middle I found myself singing along.
Was this the future of music? Fourteen-year-olds singing about the days of the week? I didn't want to believe it, but here I was mumbling about how "yesterday was Thursday" like a kindergartener instead of a college student.
It certainly doesn't make it any more comforting that anyone can write, record and broadcast songs now. With the evolution of YouTube, preteens are living out their "pop star" phases in front of an international audience, and the biggest mistake is that record companies are giving them deals.
Bieber, now a multimillionaire at 18, was discovered when Scooter Braun found his music videos. Since then, "Bieber Fever" has remained a widespread and incurable epidemic - and YouTube has been flooded with teen singers who think they could be the next big thing.
Still, it's not only the kids who are starting to butcher music. The song "Party Rock Anthem" by LMFAO, which spent six straight weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Top 100, includes the lyrics, "In the club party rock, lookin' for your girl? She on my jock. Nonstop when we in the spot, booty movin' weight like she on the block."
While the beat is catchy, the lyrics are anything but poetic.
It makes you wonder if people even pay attention to words anymore. Even country singers have fallen victim to an era of terrible lyrics.
The last verse of "People are Crazy" by Billy Currington says, "Then one sunny day, I saw the old man's face, front page obituary, he was a millionairee."
"Millionairee?" How did that make it through the editing process? This is not a Dr. Seuss book. You can't get away with that.
You have to wonder what happened to the days when songs really meant something. Billy Joel's 1977 hit "She's Always a Woman" expresses more in one line than the entirety of "I Got a Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas. Joel is saying he loves this woman despite all of her flaws and lies. What are the Black Eyed Peas saying? They think tonight's going to be a fun night.
And, at the risk of sounding like a 70-year-old, that Eminem fellow has a few anger issues to work out. Asking to see a sky full of lighters is nice and all, but the stream of profanities and vulgar images that comes before it is a bit much.
Would that song still be popular if Bruno Mars hadn't swooped in and overshadowed the verses with a mellow chorus? How much attention are people really paying to the rap lyrics that come before it?
Yet, despite the evidence that we are now on a fast track to a series of "Friday" sequels and thrown-together verses, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
But as the traffic light finally turned from red to green, the soft, piano of Adele's "Turning Tables" filled my car.
The difference between the pop culture fluke I had just heard and this deep ballad was striking. Maybe good music wasn't dying out, after all?
Though song lyrics are beginning to go down a dangerous path, there will always be artists who write meaningful music to make up for the club hits. We just have to continue supporting them.
Jessica Williams is a sophomore English and writing, rhetoric & technical communication double major. Contact Jessica at email@example.com.