Friday, January 24, 2014

In which I confess my love of pop music

We all have our "guilty pleasures," and mine is pop music.  I remember myself as a teen, doing homework with the radio on, practicing my harmonies on the school bus, and holding the transistor radio up to my ear as I snuggled in bed late on a Saturday night, waiting for the final song on the Canadian Top 40 ("Hotel California" again!!??).  Good times.

And now that I have a teenage daughter who likes the car radio tuned to 98.3 Fly-FM ("Today's Best Music"), I've become immersed in the world of pop music in 2014.  And I confess:  I like it.

Mind you, there's a lot of chaff to sift away before you get to the wheat.  My personal interpretation of chaff includes
  • anything by Ke$ha (having a dollar sign in one's name is a real red flag for me)
  • anything by Lady Gaga ("I Live for the Applause"? -- ewww) 
  • anything that refers to putting one's booty on the dance floor.

But here are five excellent pop songs that will make me turn the radio up louder every time.  I've included video links for each.  Now obviously videos need to be taken with a grain of salt:  you can't assume that the song is intended to be "about" what the video portrays.  But they're fun to watch all the same.


If you make it through all five, cast your vote:  which is your favourite?

1. "Wake Me Up" by Avicii (vocalist Aloe Blacc) Maybe it's because I also like country music that this blend of country and dance music appeals to me.  I love the singer's voice as well.  (There's an acoustic version of this song here.)  And the lyrics are thought-provoking:  "I can't tell where this journey will end, but I know where to start."


*****

2.  "Say Something" by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera.  Heartbreaking lyrics, gorgeous singing, touching video.


*****


3.  "Counting Stars" by One Republic.  Besides this song's infectious tune, I see it as challenging us to reject the world's materialism for something more meaningful.  But it's hard (as the Apostle Paul would attest in Romans 7:15-20):  "I feel something so right by doing the wrong thing."


*****


4.  "Story of My Life" by One Direction.   I admit it, I find these lads very endearing --- and cute image notwithstanding, many of their songs do have some substance.  This is one that does.  The video, in which they peruse photographs of their real-life families, is great as well.  (But if you'd prefer a side-splitting spoof of the song, go here AFTER you've listened to the real thing.)


*****


5. "Let Her Go" by PassengerThe lead singer's unique, Hobbit-y voice is the first thing that strikes you.  (He even looks like a Hobbit!)  The simple, moving lyrics are the next:  "You only need the light when it's burning low; only miss the sun when it starts to snow; only know you love her when you let her go..."


*****

Cast your vote in the comments!  (Nope, you can't vote for the spoof video.  My blog, my rules.)


12 comments:

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    1. Thanks for stopping in today (and voting!).

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  2. Tough choice. I like song #5 best, except the singer's voice takes some getting used to. (Sorry. I don't mean to put him down or anything, it's just a style I'm not too keen on. And this is not how I thought hobbits would sound....)

    Now, if the guy who sings #1 did song #5.... :)

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    1. Yes, it's different, isn't it!? It definitely grew on me.

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    2. I think his voice might grow on me, too, if I listened to it more. I like their style of music.
      I'm totally out of the loop with pop music these days. I never listen to the radio - in our old car, the radio didn't work, and at home, background music bothers my son so I don't play anything unless we listen to it deliberately. So if you have more good stuff to share, please do :) Thanks for these!

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    3. You're welcome -- thanks again for visiting!

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  3. This is fun!

    My favorite: #5 -- The Hobbit Song. :-)

    I also like #1 and #3. Think I'll add those to my MP3 for workouts. Thanks for separating the wheat from the chaff! I like popular music too sometimes, but I rarely listen to the radio. I hope to see more "Jeannie's Top Five" posts in the future!

    P.S. I wasn't allowed to listen to secular music when I was a kid. A few times I listened to the "Top 40 Countdown" and felt very naughty about it! :-)

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    1. Thanks, Adriana - I'll have to start thinking about other Top Fives!

      When I was a kid my musical fare was pop, hymns, Sunday School songs, and country (our family faithfully listened to the Saturday Night Hoedown on the radio). I don't think I knew a single piece of classical music until I was in my 20's -- probably Handel's "Messiah" and Pachelbel's "Canon" were my intro to that field. There is so much out there to discover and enjoy about music. As that song from Mamma Mia says, "I ask in all honesty: without a song or a dance, what are we?"

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  4. I laughed out loud when I read your Ke$ha comment! I have to turn the radio off when a Ke$ha song comes on. I just have to. I also grew up listening to pop music on the radio. But that's where our similarities end. Unlike you, Jeannie, I sang along until the neighbours complained.

    I'm torn. I love #5 (LOVE his unique voice! But I tend to like unique voices . . . Adam Levine, Jann Arden, Adele, even Pit Bull.) and I really like #1. But I also like #4 and #2. It's easier for me to pick a least favourite. (#3 . . . sorry One Republic. Somehow, I don't think they'd be too upset at losing the vote of a 51 year old mother & nana.)

    #2 . . . I'm not a Christina Aguilera fan, but I think I just became a Great Big World fan.
    #4 . . . maybe I'm just a sucker for boys who love their families.

    Thanks Jeannie! This was fun!

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    1. Hey Wendy -- great feedback! Yeah, Kesha gives me the willies. When Allison and I hear her I always say sarcastically "She is SO deep." Allison is getting used to my unsolicited commentary on the music we listen to.

      I mock Maroon 5, but I actually like Adam Levine's voice too. I've been known to belt out "I'm at a pay phone" complete with actions -- not in public though....

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  5. Hello Jeannie. I saw you at MMD. Hands down, my favorite is "Wake Me Up." I love that song, and I enjoy his new song, "Hey Brother" too, but not quite as much. One fun thing about having teenagers now is being more "in the know" on pop music.

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    1. Hi Betsy! MMD is a great meeting-place, isn't it? Thanks for coming by today! Yes, having teens opens you up to a lot of things, doesn't it.

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