Gagging on Gaga

Pop goes the music

Photo By amy beck

I’m not your typical teen who buys into Lady Gag-Me and an alcoholic Ke$ha. I believe in real music that involves lyrics that speak to my soul and feeds my mind. People have these misperceptions that all teens listen to the hot new pop songs on the radio. Well, they are sadly mistaken. I look at my peers and their choice of music—I don’t judge them for it because it is catchy, I just don’t see what the big enchilada is with them. Some people like these quirky pop singers because everyone else does. Trends are what make up a teenager’s DNA. We all do it, even though I hate to admit it. I won’t, however, obliterate my ear drums with nonsense songs singing about Alejandro and Jack. Just not my style.

Pop singer and songwriter Lady Gaga was named Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta when she was born in 1986. She worked her way up as a songwriter for artists at Interscope before getting her ticket to fame with hits “Just Dance” and “Pokerface.” With music inspirations like Michael Jackson, Madonna and Amy Winehouse, she’s into breaking the rules of what pretty pop princesses should look like. I give credit to Lady Gaga for a little originality and trying to escape the norm of pop music, but there is a fine line between trying and trying too hard. I mean, the chick wears a full-on meat dress, has yellow hair, and wears 14-inch heels. Is that sexy nowadays? Is that the new “in” thing? It must be, because Ke$ha and Katy Perry are on that bandwagon. Their music seems to sound identical. Lyrics that tell a story are hard to come by nowadays—especially those aimed at the pre-teen years. These girls are the upcoming teen generation, and their world is getting risqué. These are the kind of lyrics they have to look up to: “And baby when it’s love if it’s not rough it isn’t fun, fun …”

This lyric leaves me with this question: Why does pop music, being bubbly and meaningless, always target teens? What started this whole façade? Madonna in the ’80s made a huge impact with edgy, strange music and outfits. I love to say it: Lady Gaga is a biter, someone who copies someone else. The idea of teens liking this crap comes from record producers and songwriters: Let’s see how many people would bump a song that consisted of bad romances and catching a disease. To me that sounds like junk and bad influences. Yes, we can all relate to a bad love experience, but why relive it? Give me some peace, love and happiness. Better yet, give me those raw wounds you unleash after a bad break-up. Give me something real.

Kesha Rose Sebert, born in 1987, is also a pop singer and songwriter. She was signed to Dr. Luke’s label at age 18. When Ke$ha first came out, I thought her single “Tik Tok” was a pretty brainless song. “Before I leave, brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack.” “Ain’t got a care in world, but got plenty of beer.” I mean, really? Who does that besides hardcore alcoholics? The message of the song absorbs little kids and pre-teens into thinking that waking up to a bottle of Jack is going to make you a rock star or a celebrity. Get real, Ke$ha, we don’t all follow your alcoholic tendencies. “Boys tryin’ to touch my junk, junk.” OK, now what the hell are listeners supposed to get out of this? STDs, pregnancy? Yes, all the good stuff rolled up in a memorable little lyric. Nice, Ke$ha. It only gets better. “My status is gonna be affected if I keep it up like a love sick crackhead.” That is from Ke$ha’s “Your Love” single.

This is what music has come down to. Lovesick crackheads. Great, more influential lyrics that’ll keep the teens wanting more. The drug scene will always be a peer-pressure time a teen goes through, but why make it into a catchy song that’ll get you thinking about it more? Her need to constantly uphold this “rebel, punk princess” bit is unnecessary.

Pop, plop, fizz

I get that mindless music can be an escape, something light to listen to, but when it’s constantly overplayed on the radio, then we have a problem. I want teens to have a positive outlook in life. I want the next generations to be better than the previous. Music will always be a teen’s quick escape from their problems in the world, so why not give them something meaningful to hold on to? It can be just as bubbly but have a spark of interest at the end.

I think gratifying music comes from the soul and sometimes the pain we go through in everyday life. I love A Day to Remember because their lyrics speak to me. They make me think about my life and my relationship. “If you can wait till I get home then I swear to you that we can make this last.” The song “If It Means A Lot To You” is a situation people can relate to if they’re in a long-distance relationship. It’s clean, effortless lyrics. Another favorite band of mine is Just Surrender. One of their songs, “Your Life and Mine” just blows my mind. It puts me at ease and calms my nerves. Music is an escape, and when you get in touch with songs that’ll drive you into your own world, you have found the missing puzzle piece to your soul.

Is the standard of music drastically dropping to the point of no return? Will the music industry produce a better and classier pop singer that has a clear, positive message to send out? Or will they continue on this downward spiral of producing catchy instrument noises and garbage lyrics? The next generation of Lady Gagas is going to be too sexually explicit and obscene to be considered fun, bubbly pop. As society grows into sex being the way to go, and alcohol isn’t just for 21-year-olds and up, will the music flounder, too? Will I have to dig up a Britney Spears CD from the ’90s just for my future daughter to listen to so she won’t be exposed to the new pop fad? It’s a bitter realization, but it might just be reality.