I am the first to admit I know nothing about popular music.
Nothing. Like, nothing. The radio station I listen to – when I actually listen to the radio – is mostly older stuff (or sometimes I branch out and listen to the local indie station.) Most of the time I just listen to the music I have on my phone because I know it’ll be stuff I like, with less talking. (Although the local commercials have their charm, sometimes. There’s been one lately for National Grid – our power company – that makes me laugh EVERY TIME. It’s just this guy talking about how you need to stay away from power lines, but he sounds SO PISSED, and he says something like “No matter HOW MANY TIMES we tell you guys to STAY AWAY FROM THE POWER LINES, people die because they touch them EVERY YEAR, so I guess we need to REMIND YOU AGAIN, SIGH SIGH SIGH” and seriously, it’s just about the best. Best of all? It’s not SUPPOSED to be funny. It’s supposed to be SERIOUS. That’s why it’s the best.)
Once and a while, though, a popular song will come on the channel I listen to. For a while, it was that foolish Bruno Mars song about giving some girl flowers and she wouldn’t have left him. “I SHOULDA BOUGHTCHU FLOWERS!” sang Bruno Mars, every time I turned on the damn radio. And it was annoying. Mostly because I am confused by Bruno Mars. I think it’s the autotuning. What’s up with all the autotuning these days, kiddos? I know this makes me sound like an old woman telling kids to get off my lawn, but I’m seriously perplexed. Is it because these “singers” actually can’t sing? Or is it because kids today like the sound of it? I’m seriously asking. I’m not even being sarcastic.
But yesterday – well, ok, this will show you how out of the loop I am. Yesterday, I heard this song that apparently, all of YOU have heard like a MILLION TIMES already. And I heard it for the FIRST TIME.
So this song came on, and it was kind of catchy, so I was like, “what’s this?” and bopping along a little and then some of the lyrics started making sense and I was like, “this is…I don’t know, kind of worrisomely sexist? And kind of…I don’t know, making sexual assault sound like cool-times?”
Yes. “Blurred Lines” came out in like June, or something, I guess. I know. It’s August. I am so far out of the loop that there’s ANOTHER loop, and THAT’S the loop I’m in, you guys.
Now, here is what I have learned about this song from people I know, and also the interwebs:
- Robin Thicke is apparently some sort of big deal. (He sings R&B, which perfectly explains why I’ve never heard of him.) He is ALSO Alan Thicke’s son. I wonder if Kirk Cameron dreams of beating him up (or converting him to his krazy kult of Khristianity) when he sleeps at night for stealing his daddy?
- Robin Thicke looks like a sexier version of Alan Thicke, but has a weird pompadour. And he has very pretty eyes.
- I’m not the only one who thinks this song’s lyrics are a bit of a worry. A lot of people have been saying the same thing. (Well, DID say it. A few MONTHS ago. When it came OUT.)
- Robin Thicke (and the people who sing this with him, who are apparently famous people, too – Pharrell and T.I.? I don’t know who those people are) is aware the song is sexist and inappropriate. And he doesn’t care. Actual quote from Mr. Thicke: “We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, ‘We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this.’ People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.’ So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, ‘Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.'” This is…not the right thing to say in response to writing sexist and somewhat pro-sexual-assault lyrics, dude-bro.
- The video posted above is the “rated” version. The unrated version has been banned from YouTube. You can only see it on VEVO, which I can’t embed here, I guess. In the “unrated” version, there are women who look naked that are wearing flesh-colored unitards or something. I don’t know. I didn’t care enough to watch this all over again twice.
- A thing I said when upon hearing the lyric “I feel so lucky/you wanna hug me/what rhymes with hug me?” was “I don’t know. Bug me? Jug me? Slug me? I’m pretty sure ‘fuck me’ doesn’t, if that’s what you’re implying, Thicke.”
- This song seems to be about a variety of good girls who the singers KNOW want to be bad in the most degraded way, even if they don’t ADMIT they want to be bad, so the singers are going to…well. “Hug” them until they acquiesce, I guess. Also at one point Alan Thicke’s son talks about smoking all the weed, and one of the other singers talks about “hugging” someone in the back of a Volkswagen. (This joke is only funny if you’re a Mallrats fan.)
- Also, the song keeps repeating “I know you want it.” I don’t know about you, but any variation of “I/You know you want it” immediately puts me on edge.
- However, all of this having been said: THIS SONG IS HELLACIOUSLY CATCHY. Like, if I was fifteen-years-ago Amy and still going out dancing, I would totally have danced to this. It’s got a good beat.
I honestly don’t know what to think about this. Is it inappropriate? Yes. Kind of. And a little stupid. I’d like to think it’s tongue-in-cheek (I’d say not a euphemism, but when you’re talking about this song, it’s probably totally a euphemism) but reading Robin Thicke’s quote (unless that, in itself, is ALSO tongue-in-cheek, like a many-layered pile of tongues in cheeks) makes me think it’s not.
There have been a lot of songs over the years that are inappropriate, I suppose. Everyone finds something to be offended about. Do I, personally, find this song offensive? Yes, on some level, I do. I don’t like that there’s a song that is apparently nudging its listeners to ignore what women SAY and imply what they want from…I don’t know, body language or what they interpret as longing looks or whatever and say “I know you want it.” And the fact that this is such a popular song – well, yeah. That’s an issue. Do I think everyone listening to this is going to be all “THESE AREN’T JUST SONG LYRICS, THEY ARE WAYS I SHOULD LIVE MY LIFE!” No. Of course not. No more than I think everyone who listened to that cop-killer song killed cops, or that everyone who listened to the “he drinks a whiskey drink, he drinks a vodka drink, he drinks a lager drink, he drinks a cider drink” song drank all the varieties of alcohol (and then sang the songs that reminded them of the good times, and the songs that reminded them of the better times.)
I know a lot of people are all “it’s just a song!” as well as many people are all “THIS IS VERY IRRESPONSIBLE!”
I’m getting old. I don’t get as upset about things as I used to; I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I don’t think I’ll watch the video over and over. However, if the song comes on the radio? I’m probably going to car-dance to it. It’s super-catchy, you guys. I’m not even kidding. And I usually HATE this type of music.
So, my super-late review of the song “Blurred Lines” by Alan Thicke’s son with pretty blue eyes who wears douchey fedoras?
Good song with a happy beat and a fairly inappropriate message and a pervy video.
(I think there are bigger things to get upset about in the world. The situation in Russia. The man that killed that woman and her son and then took off with her sixteen-year-old daughter. The fact that the shortcut I take to get home is CLOSED for ROADWORK and I have to take the LONG WAY HOME and there is SO MUCH TRAFFIC THAT WAY ZOMG. Things like that.)
According to the interwebz, “Blurred Lines” is the song of the summer, anyway, and look at all the places it’s been:
Jimmy Fallon and Robin Thicke! With classroom instruments! Sorry, I don’t know, even if you’re offended by this, if you can watch this without smiling a little. Jimmy Fallon is one of those magic people that makes me grin inappropriately. I just love him.
This guy whose happy neighbor is bopping around to it in his backseat! I decided I love this guy, because his eyes remind me of BFFs when BFF is comically surprised by something. I MISS YOU, BFF!
The Muppets! I don’t know if this is adorable or creepy.
MY song of the summer is (upon research) from like 6 or 7 years ago, so as you can see, OUT OF THE LOOP. I’ve been listening to this for the past month, over and over, on repeat. Because it makes me cry.
(See, I like my songs bittersweet, and poignant, and I like to leave crying, 99% of the time. Once in a great while, I like to bop around. But mostly, I like to cry. It’s my best thing.)
I have also randomly gotten obsessed with covers of Radiohead’s “Creep.” I found a Brandi Carlile cover, and an Ingrid Michaelson cover, and I listen to them OVER AND OVER. I don’t know why, all of a sudden. It’s a good song, though.
OK, those of you in the loop, what do you think about this song? Fun? Offensive? Did you not even know it existed until I posted about it? What is YOUR favorite song of the summer? (Extra points if it’s sad.)
Happy Thursday, people of the internet. It’s almost the weekend! We’re almost there! WE CAN DO IT!