This generation is producing good tunes

Published 10:19 am Friday, July 13, 2012

Column: Kessa Albright, Guest Column

“Hey, I just met you/And this is crazy/But here’s my number/So call me maybe.”

Kessa Albright

These lyrics have been blasting through teenagers’ car stereos, stuck in the heads of the annoyed, tweeted and rewritten for countless YouTube parodies all summer.

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The lyrics of “Call me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen are not the most meaningful of the lyrics on Top 40 radio stations. The popularity of the song, along with last summer’s hit song “Friday” by the infamous Rebecca Black, have caused people to question the lyrics of today’s music.

I’ve heard people comparing the far from poetic songs that are playing on the radio to songs of the past. One of my friends on Facebook compared “Call me Maybe” to “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin.

No. Just no. “Thank You” is a classic, beautiful song, and one of my personal favorites. While “Call me Maybe” is a catchy song, comparing it to any Zeppelin song is just not fair.

The truth is every generation has its songs with awful lyrics, and not every song on the radio is going to be a gem. “Splish, splash I was takin’ a bath” probably doesn’t have a deep hidden meaning.

But if you think that this generation doesn’t have artists writing powerful lyrics, you might not be listening closely enough.

Even songs on the radio have not-so-hidden meanings some critical types don’t pick up on. Songs like 2011 hits “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People and “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem featuring Rihanna. “Pumped up Kicks” tells the story of a school shooting, and “Love the Way You Lie” is about domestic abuse.

While some people criticize the artists, I think the radio stations should take the blame. While you can censor the words in the song, you can’t take out the meaning. Those songs along with others are not meant for young children’s ears.

So the next time you say, “Meh, this generation’s music is crap,” listen closer or turn on something else, perhaps over the Internet, rather than the radio.

I’d suggest the indie band Bright Eyes and some of their protest songs. The Rocket Summer is a very talented one-man band who writes about a variety of subjects, like faith, on their new album “Life Will Write the Words.” Up and coming pop artists Lana Del Rey and Marina & the Diamonds have beautiful voices that match their lyrics.

You don’t have to travel back in time to listen to good music.


Kessa Albright is a junior at Albert Lea High School and is a summer intern at the Albert Lea Tribune.