Beatles, Lady Gaga and U2

One of the things that I've started recently is looking for new music. Soon after arrived in France I bought a poster of  the very well known album cover 'Abbey Road' by the Beatles and then figured I might as well start actually listening to them! Since I arrived in France, I've been growing my repetoire of music bands I like. Recently, I've been listening to music from Michael Buble (oh, the shame), Guineafowl (young pop band from Sydney), Fisherspooner, Beatles, U2, and miscellaneous electro pop remixes. I've been using Youtubes playlist feature which eats up downloads like anything, but it does give you a decent range of artists. Myspace rocks too if you know what band you're looking for. But what tops both is Spotify, a program available in the UK and France. Basically, you pay about $5 each month and get to make playlists from a huge database of artists. Note to self: check out Deezer. Oh, and please believe me (lols) I am actually listening to french music, albeit occasionally. Does that say something about its quality hehe?

Personally, it really depends what mood I'm in as to whether I think about the words of a song or just listen to it for the beat. Love it or hate it, there are a lot of artists out there who have amazingly catchy beats but not great lyrics. Some artists write about what they are personally going through; others try to persuade or comment on their society through their lyrics. Call me a cynic, but I am inclined to agree with others who have said some pop artists come up with a catchy tune and try to write up some haphazard, last minute lyrics to fit the beat. So you could argue that some songs are meant to be a mindless activity. But I would think most artists actually want to say something important in their songs. You only need to hear interviews where they talk about spending many days and nights nutting out the lyrics of a song. So at times I'm kindof disappointed when I 'tune in' to a song's words, while other times I'm refreshingly surprised.  This all goes to say that I've been going through phases in how I listen to music and what I think about the songs.

Sometimes though, I am really baffed about what the artist is trying to say in the lyrics. Call me naïve, but sometimes I really don't want to know what a lyric means. But sometimes it seems worth exploring, such as with Lady Gaga. Love her or hate her, she is a pop culture revolutionary, albeit a confusing one. This element promoted me to watch a interview of her with Fuse recently to better understand her and her songs. I personally think that she has a lot right in what she writes in her songs, however I need to qualify that by saying she is highly sexually provocative in both lyrics and videos which confuses and mars what good is in there. In her highly popular song 'Bad Romance' Gaga says the enigmatic line 'I want your ugly, I want your disease', which she states in her interview is talking about how when you truly love and accept someone, it's all-embracing: I'll take all of you, warts and all. I think that's gold. I'm not sure how willing we would be to love people like that. I'm wondering how many guys would still be going out if their girlfriends knew their 'ugly' and 'disease'. Nah, I really think this is superhuman love. God's love is kinda like that I think.  

Other times, I realise new layers to an artist's words, and this is such a rich experience. One of those moments was listening to  U2 in 'Magnificent'. With 'I was born to be with you' U2 seems to make a deliberate reference not to a human lover, but to God. Further on, U2 draws this out with 'justified til we die //you and I will magnify// The Magnificent' talking about the life of a follower of Jesus. It's a profound reference to how Jesus makes his followers right with God and then the right response of the Christian, to live in reverence and love of God, magnifying him and not themselves.  

So there you go. I've let the cat out and the bag and admitted I listen to Lady Gaga and Michael Buble. Not a great comeback to the blogworld. :D



Max said...

Mark: for good new stuff and reviews I always check out Take a look at too. He always has good tips. :)

Sheid said...

U2's lyrics are the bomb, Mark! So many of their songs can be interpreted superficially but really have deeper meanings, making them a great way to kick up a conversation. Also, U2 are the best band in the world.
If you're looking for more great lyrics, check out MAE: (soft alternative rock) or FM Static: (super optimistic pop rock). And I'm sure you know about Relient K and Switchfoot.

Mrbonchapeau said...

@ Max, thanks! Will check it out.
@ Sheid, je suis d'accord. I agree! Will check those sites out--thx :D

P said...

Interesting conversation!

On finit toujours par être un peu déçu du sens (ou .pas!) d'une chanson, surtout quand elle vient d'être pondu par un artiste pop du moment!. Pour moi, chaque musique, chaque chanson est associé à un moment de la vie, à une émotion, à une situation bien particulière, à des pensées, des sentiments, à un état d'esprit et cela suivant le rythme, la voix, la tonalité.
Si elles ont un sens, alors c'est encore mieux, mais des fois les situations auxquelles je pense pendant que j'écoute la musique n'a aucun rapport. Je ne fais pas forcément attention aux paroles, car elles sont souvent en anglais, et si ça va trop vite ou si c'est trop mélangé avec les instruments, alors je ne comprends pas grand chose, et c'est d'autant mieux au fond.
J'espère que tt ce français ne va en rebuter certains... if it does, I'm sorry then.

Mrbonchapeau said...

Salut P, pas grave quoi. J'essayerai de le traduire.

In summary, P wrote:

'We often are a bit disappointed at the end of a song, especially when it's produced by a pop artist! For me each piece of music, every song, relates to a moment in life, to an emotion, to a specific situation to a state of mind, while following the rythme, voice and tonality. If there is this depth of meaning present, that makes the song even better, but often the ideas I reflect on when listen to a song have nothing to do with the song itself! I don't necessarily pay attention to the words, cos they're often in English, and if it's too fast or the voice is drowned out by the intruments, then I don't really get much of the words. Sometimes it's best that way!'

Thx P for your comment!

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