Robin Thicke – Blurred Lines

Welcome back, loyal reader (you… are loyal, right?)! We apologize for the lengthy hiatus here at Pop, Deconstructed, but as many of you know, your favorite pop writers have had a bit of a struggle this summer with a great personal loss. But now that we’ve given ourselves some time to heal, it’s time to start gettin’ on with our lives.

And what good is life without the analysis of Top 40 hits? Luckily for us, our hiatus has given us a plethora of material to work with. While many tempting songs are out there, none is more ripe for the picking than Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” Sure, others have already pointed out the blatant misogyny, “rape-y” vibe of the lyrics and flagrant nudity in the video. But where’s the deep analysis? Where’s the feeling?! Leave that to the experts!

(Hint: We are those experts.)

So without further adieu… we present, “Blurred Lines.”

Okay, well, if you haven’t seen the uncensored video, it has a lot of nudity. And also Robin Thicke claiming to have a large penis. Literally. The guy apparently hasn’t heard of the term “metaphor.” Or subtlety.

Apparently this video idea was pitched to him by a room of 13-year-olds and he couldn’t say yes fast enough. I’m sure you made your daddy proud.

Teenagers

The Blurred Lines Production Team in a brainstorming session

Everybody get up
Everybody get up
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey
Hey, hey, hey

Fine, I’ll get up, but I’m a little tired of being bossed around by the likes of Pharrell, yafeelme? It’s a little much. Though I do like his Cosby impression. I’m already in the mood to par-tayyy.

If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page
Maybe I’m going deaf,
Maybe I’m going blind
Maybe I’m out of my mind

Hold up. Are you calling ME illiterate, Rapey Robin (and how great is the ring to that!)? Cuz that shit is insulting. At least I make sense. I can’t hear what you’re trying to say because you aren’t saying anything. What page? What are you trying to express? Use your words. You seem super concerned that I don’t understand, but you haven’t fucking said anything anything worth responding to. I got up, didn’t I?!

Perhaps future lyrics will illuminate your concerns?

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker

I’m not really sure what the first verse had to do with this, but at least you’ve decided to start getting to the point. Which is apparently that I, the sexy listener (thanks, really, I appreciate it), cannot be held down by some man. On some level, I’m pleased that you’ve decided to acknowledge my inherent autonomy. And you are correct that in general, I prefer not to be domesticated, imprisoned, or otherwise kept. However, let’s be clear: I’m side-eying you hard because, like, you definitely just called me an animal. And I’m not sure if you know this, but that shit is insulting to women, who prefer on the whole to be referred to as HUMANS, not animals! I totally thought you were on my side, telling me to get rid of my overbearing boyfriend until you called me a fucking animal, capable of being domesticated. NOT COOL, RAPEY, NOT COOL.

And as a side note, do you know where a woman’s mind goes when you call her an “animal”? I’ll give you a hint: it’s nowhere soft, cuddly or otherwise attractive. Her mind goes immediately to: COW, WHALE, BEAST, HIPPO, MASTODON!!! No joke! Call me an animal to my face, Robin. Do it. I will twist that shit around and bring it up at least for the next seven “domesticated” years:

“Remember that time you called me a fat cow?”
“For the last time, I called you an ANIMAL! It could have been any animal! A chipmunk, for instance!”
“Why would you domesticate a chipmunk? MAKES NO SENSE, YOU WERE CALLING ME A COW AND YOU KNOW IT!”

To be honest, I feel like a Manatee right now as I type this with my awkward, round fins and giant body! And in my life of a giant seablob, I shall have no time for getting into bed naked with you, Robin. #AnimalLife (PS: LET’S MAKE THAT A THING!)

Manatee

Though to be fair, manatees are adorable.

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines

Hold the fuck up. TAKE ME?! You know I want it?! Shit is getting scary up in here! I guess I can see why people think this song is a little “rape-y.” I’d say it’s more… kidnapp-y but hey, semantics.

While I’m totally psyched that you’d never insult me on a Janis Ian-type level (it’s super traumatizing being yelled at from a moving car FYI), you’re still taking the hot-and-heavy pursuit a little far. Would the “blurred lines” you speak of possibly be the fact that I’m avoiding you like the mathlete plague? Because, you’re major creep status right now. First you’re telling me to ditch my boyfriend. And next you’re telling me you won’t let me pass you. I’m all for a cocktail or seven, but when some dude starts talkin’ about how I “want it,” I am getting the FUCK out of there.

I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

You “know” I want it, Robin (thank God SOMEONE is able to read my animal-mind!). It’s hard not to want you, what with seeing you traipse around with beautiful topless women who definitely weren’t being paid large sums of money to pretend to like you. Plus, I read that note about the large penis. So who doesn’t want that?

Robin Thicke has a Large Cock

Very subtle.

What can I say? You’re just so appealing. I used to be a good girl, but the way I grab you is pretty much consenting to sexual intercourse, wouldn’t you say? Especially after all those cocktails. What could go wrong?

What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest bitch in this place

It’s kind of sweet that you’re giving up dreaming based on my choice of denim. These are my Dreams-Cease-to-Exist Jeans (by True Religion) so you’re right on point. Look at you, werking your manly stubble and various tonalities! I’m almost over the animal “compliment.” Almost.

And indeed, what do we need steam for?! (Sidebar: wait, no, but seriously, why would we need steam? You don’t steam denim! And no one in this video is wearing any clothes! Or do you mean sexual steam? Because, if you’re implying that there’s no sexual steam between us, then I’m gonna go ahead and say we need to put another tally in the rapey column).

Ah well, what does a manatee need with steam anyway? Especially now that we all agree this place is full of bitches. Including me. The, uh, bitch.

But hey, at least I’m the hottest bitch. Look at me, lording over all these other ratchet bitches. I’ve done been crowned the Queen of the Bitches, Rapey Robin even said so, and he never lets anything get past him, so I believe him.

I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey, hey, hey

I get what you’re doing, Robin. It’s cheeky, right? Haha, you wrote a lyric you aren’t sure how to rhyme it, and even though you could’ve just changed it, or consulted the rapper on your track who rhymes for a living, you didn’t! You’re so adorable and flawed! How endearing! I’ve almost forgotten about how you got me drunk and called me a bitch.

But y’know, since you asked, just off the top of my head, here’s a non-exhaustive list of all the things that rhyme with hug me:

Rug pee!
Bug key!
Tug glee!
Plug flea!
Drug free!
Slug tea!
Mug knee!

One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Go, from Malibu, to Paris, boo
Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it’s almost unbearable
Then, honey you’re not there when I’m
With my foresight bitch you pay me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn’t pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me

Gosh, now TI is spittin’ game at me, too? What’s a sexy listener to do?

I mean, TI had this bitch, right? But she ain’t as bad as me, Queen of the Bitches! (And, come to think of it, wasn’t I a good girl two verses ago? I’m having an identity crisis. Am I a bad bitch or a good girl SOMEONE TELL ME BECAUSE I CAN’T DEFINE MYSELF WITHOUT THESE MEN HOLLERING AT ME!) Anyway, apparently TI has something “big enough” to tear my ass in two. That sounds really appealing, wouldn’t you say?

Wood Splitter

TI often brags about his wood-splitting equipment. It’s kind of a thing.

What rhymes with no thanks?

And isn’t it a pretty awesome coincidence that everybody who sings in this song has a giant penis? Statistically you’d think it was unlikely, but here we are! And who doesn’t like a nice hair pulling? Probably some of them square non-bitches you hate. Ugh, fuck them.

Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work?

Hell no I don’t like work, Robin. That’s why they pay me. Are you telling me sex with you is going to be extremely painful, like work? I mean, I suppose I could be into that, but… wait… am I getting paid for this? Is this like… prostitution?

Baby can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica
It always works for me, Dakota to Decatur, uh huh
No more pretending
Hey, hey, hey
Cause now you winning
Hey, hey, hey
Here’s our beginning

Speaking of blurred lines, let’s add some more drugs to the ol’ “consent cocktail,” shall we? Shit’s from Jamaica, you say? And am I supposed to know where Decatur is? The fuck?

I’m glad to hear of my impending victory, however. What do I win? Is it you? Because that kind of feels like what it is. Gotta be honest, a beginning with you doesn’t feel like much of a prize or a choice. Especially cuz like… don’t you have a wife or something? And a kid?

Holy shit.

I’m out of here — MANATEES! READY? SET? FLOAT AWAY!

Growing Pains

Can you believe this wonderful man produced Rapey?

 

Demi Lovato – Heart Attack

Here at Pop, Deconstructed, we owe Demi Lovato a huge thank you. Maybe a box of chocolates or some nice roses. Because the rest of the Top 40 scene hasn’t provided a ton of material for us. It’s all been incredibly drab and uninspiring. JT’s suiting up to take you out (snooze), Rihanna’s still into you, even though you’re bad for her (break the cycle, girl, break the cycle!) and Bruno Mars wishes you still loved him (grow four inches and we’ll talk, kay?). What else is new in the world of pop? Macklemore SUPER likes thrift shops. So, that’s a thing..!

Yet here comes Demi Lovato, the most lovable hot mess out of Disney since our homegirl Mileytwerk, and she drops the brilliant Popbomb of ridiculousness otherwise known as “Heart Attack” on us! Needless to say we… I mean… we’re just so thankful.

So without further ado, we present “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato.

Puttin’ my defenses up
‘Cause I don’t wanna fall in love
If I ever did that
I think I’d have a heart attack

Well we’re off to a great start here. She’s bringing the drama from VERSE ONE. Love = sudden death! You might think that a 20-year-old girl would want to fall in love, but it turns out you are wayyy off base. Demi ain’t having none of it. And if she did, I mean… cardiac arrest, right?

Wait. I’m sensing there’s a double meaning here… Oh, I get it! “Heart attack.” Like, you know… being attacked. In the heart. With love.

Niiiiiice.

Never put my love out on the line
Never said yes to the right guy
Never had trouble getting what I want
But when it comes to you, I’m never good enough

As you can see, Demi looks out for Demi. At least she tries to. I imagine it’s difficult, what with the constant threat of a heart attack afoot! And apparently, the object of her affection is one of those sorts of guys who systematically derails women’s confidence in order to make them swoon. Damn, I wish that shit didn’t work SO WELL!

The Pick Up Artist

You know, because who could resist this… uh… man-package.

Did he perhaps insinuate that she looked fat in that one silvery dress everyone was talking about after she gained those like seven ounces after rehab? Further, is this “negging”? We have questions. So many questions.

When I don’t care
I can play ‘em like a Ken doll
Won’t wash my hair
Then make ’em bounce like a basketball

Okay, now I’m officially confused. I guess I get the “play ’em like a Ken doll,” though I can’t help but think this is a pretty dated reference. Is Barbie even still a thing? Don’t kids play exclusively with the internet now? I’m pretty sure the closest thing to a “toy” a kid would even own these days is a Leap Frog, but I digress…

So, let me get this straight: just to show a dude you don’t give a fuck, you stop washing your hair? That’s like pretty gross, Demi. You know there are other ways to keep your walls up besides stink-bombing dude’s personal space… right?!

Leave that to the professionals, like K-Stew

Leave that to the professionals, like K-Stew

Also not sure about this whole “make ’em bounce like a basketball” simile. I guess bouncing is… bad, right? Yes, must be bad, cause Demi, what with her not showering, and toying with the emotions of others for sport, is certified in NGAF. DON’T MAKE HER BOUNCE YOU!

But you make me wanna act like a girl
Paint my nails and wear high heels
Yea you, make me so nervous
That I just can’t hold your hand

Setting aside the obvious lecture this girl needs on the danger of traditional gender constructs, I’m going to go ahead and say what we’re all thinking: GET IT TOGETHER, DEMI! You’re better than this! Snap out of it! If this dude can’t appreciate you for the smelly playette with poorly constructed metaphors you truly are, then BOUNCE HIM! Bounce him right out of here! He is NOT worth your time!

Demdem (can I call you Demdem?!), I’m your friend. So allow me to reintroduce you to the sage-like words I learned from your very own House of Mouse: Beeeeee Yourself!

You were the girl who sang “who says I can’t wear my converse with my dress? Well baby, that’s just me.” WHERE IS THAT GIRL!? BRING HER BACK AND TELL HER TO KEN DOLL THIS MOTHERUFUCKER!

You make me glow, but I cover up
Won’t let it show, so I’m
Puttin’ my defenses up
Cause I don’t wanna fall in love
If I ever did that
I think I’d have a heart attack

I’m… sorry? It must suck glowing. Feeling in love. Getting close to someone. Being giddy.

First pop star in the history of the universe to COMPLAIN about glowing — right?! Not really totally sure what happened to poor Demi. But she seems to have some issues. Not like cute Taylor Swift “I keep falling for the wrong British guy” issues, but like, “I can’t fucking be happy because I WILL SELF-DESTRUCT AT THE FIRST SIGN OF INTIMACY” type of issues. Yikes.

Disney Villains

Well… at least she has friends.

The feelings got lost in my lungs
They’re burning, I’d rather be numb
And there’s no one else to blame
So scared I take off and I run
I’m flying too close to the sun
And I burst into flames

All right, I’m officially worried. She’s equating having feelings to legitimately being on fire. Wait. Lightbulb! Glowing = being on fire?! Like Katniss! She’s a girl on fire! I’M WITH IT! And now I’m… totally sadsies. Does anyone else feel like Demdem should be sharing this info with her therapist rather than her millions (?) of fans?

Yay Therapy!

“Show me on the doll where the boy touched your heart.”

Somebody get this girl some help.

But don’t say we sent you. We’re kind of afraid of being bounced…

Like a basketball.

Deep.

 

Pitbull – Don’t Stop the Party

Hello, and welcome back to another installment of “Wait, did they really say that out loud?” here at Pop, Deconstructed: your one-stop shop for all of your crazy lyrical needs.

This week, we decide to tackle the man, the myth, the legend of Pitbull. Now, obviously we do a lot of pop analysis here, and in the course of getting our hands dirty, we come upon some truly baffling lyrics. But let it be known that few men, women, or small children are capable of generating the pure vacuousness of lyrical artistry that this man (ok — every single member of Black Eyes Peas being the exception, obvi) thrusts upon us. Are you giggling at the word “thrusts” now? Good.

Onward and upward, with “Don’t Stop the Party” by Pitbull:

You don’t get them girls loose loose (TJR!)
You don’t get the world loose loose
You don’t get money oof, oof
But I do, I do

I say y’all having a good time out there

We didn’t bother printing the lyrics twice despite Pitbull’s insistence on repeating them. He does that, you know, in case the subtlety of getting women “loose” was a bit much for you and your exploration of these complex themes needed further iterations.

Pitbull doesn’t know you, but he knows one thing: you don’t get them ladies loose like he does, nor do you get that sweet, sweet money.   Theoretically, you could be a stockbroker driving a 7-series and knee-deep in female admirers, but you, my friend, are no Pitbull. See how clear and concise he is?

You might find it a little odd that a man who just insulted your ability to seduce women and make money is now admiring your ability to have a good time, but hey, it’s a party, right? Isn’t that what we’re all here for? To have a good time, get women loose, and make money?

This is what I imagine a dialogue between the Pit and I would look like:

Pitbull: Hey, fuck you! You ain’t got money or bitches, y’all having a great time or what?!
Me: Well, sure, man, I, uh, guess it’s all water under the bridge from that 8 seconds ago when you were reminding me of how inferior I am to you . . . but sure, let’s par-tayyy.

We’re all on board here!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, que no pare la fiesta
Don’t stop the party
Yeah, yeah, yeah, que no pare la fiesta
Don’t stop the party

In case you were curious, yes, of course que no pare la fiesta means don’t stop the party. That’s right.  I hope you’re sitting down, cause not only did Pitbull just rhyme “don’t stop the party” with “don’t stop the party,” but he did it in two fucking languages.

Do you know what kind of artistic mastery one must acquire in order to rhyme words with themselves twice in the same chorus?  This dude was like, “oh, sure, any moron can rhyme a word with itself in English, but in muthafuckin’ Spanish?!”  Dang.  He just done raised the bar.

I’m running through the world like I’m running back
Scarface, world’s mine, running back

What, you thought just because we weren’t in the chorus anymore that Pitbull was gonna start rhyming words with other words?!  Psht.  Fuck you, bro.  Your rules don’t apply to Pitbull.  He’s a renegade.  If he wants to rhyme back with back while sipping on that sweet, sweet Dr. Pepper, he’s gonna do it, and he’s gonna take your girl while he does it, too. And you’re gonna let him. Because he’s throwing this party, and he can and will ruin you with spanglish and repetition if he has to!

Pitbull with Dr. Pepper

“Damn, yo, this party is off the hook, I am so fuckin’ lit off of these Dr. Peppers.”

Yeah, that’s what we thought.

30,000 people in here see me
80,000 in London, Wembley
90,000 people in Morocco, and I’m just getting warmed up, papo
Catch me with Red One in Stockholm, Beirut, cafe getting my drink on, Voli

See, you thought Pitbull was just some idiot in tight pants, obsessive compulsively rhyming words with themselves.  But it turns out he’s a man of knowledge, too, and he just dropped some on us. Yeah, that’s right, this dude knows the attendance figures for several of his concerts.  It seems a little odd that he’d have more fans in a place like Morocco than London, but hey, apparently they eat that shit up in Casablanca. Probably because basically all Moroccans are multilingual, so they can truly appreciate Pitbull’s lyrical mastery and diversity. But I digress…

Why someone feels compelled to name drop producer Red One’s name in the middle of a song while also hawking low calorie vodka (Do people drink Voli f’reals?) is beyond me, but hey, someone’s gotta pay for all these crazy Dr. Pepper parties and leather pants.  If Voli wants to foot the bill, then by God, that’s the game and far be it for me to take that away from anyone.

Also, can we note the fact that Pitbull is bragging about “getting his drink on” in a CAFE?! Um, as a hip hop artist, are you not relegated to the coolest scenes possible, i.e., clubs, mansion parties, and post-awards show after parties? Like, now all I can see is Pitbull sitting around with a couple of his homies, having a tasteful conversation over light vodka drinks, going over the logistics of all of his recent shows. Again, I reiterate: PARTAYYYY!

Wow all the pretty women here, the hooka
All of them sweet, azucar, azucar!
Dale disfruta

Wait, where are we now?  Are we still in Morocco? London? Beirut (and SERIOUSLY?! Is this somewhere I should be desiring to party?!)? I can never keep track. But apparently there are some pretty ladies here.  And they’re all very sweet.  And if you were unclear about their sweetness, well, don’t worry, Pitbull just clarified by randomly saying “sugar” twice, in Spanish.

Sugar

Just in case the subtleties of “azucar” were lost on you.

To be fair, maybe this is just his way of reaching out to the non-English-speaking Hispanic community.  I’m trying to imagine what hearing this would be like for them: bunchofenglishdrivelandrepetition DON’T STOP THE PARTY morenglishidon’tunderstand SUGAR SUGAR thissongisstartingtosoundliketheteacherincharliebrown LET’S GO HAVE FUN! I mean, how bizarre and awkward, right?

Granted, it can be difficult to figure out what Pitbull means to say in either language. Google translate can only decipher so much.  There’s no Pitbull-to-English feature. Yet. (Oh please oh please oh please, powers that be?!)

They can’t, they won’t, they never will, stop the party
They can’t, they won’t, they never will, stop the party

Who are they, exactly?  The Moroccan police?  Squares?  Dr. Pepper’s Board of Directors?

Whoever they are, Pitbull has made it clear that the hookas and sweet sweet sugar are gonna keep flowin’ regardless of who tries to step in. And really, who would step in at this point? THIS CAFE IS OFF THE CHAIN!

I’m from the city, where they stretch, yeah they slinkies
And now I’m doing shows in Helsinki
I know what ya’ll thinking, you’re thinking, that you can out think me, but you can’t frankly

Fun fact: Apparently the people of Miami, Florida are well-known for stretching.  Who knew?  Not you.  Not me, either.  We’re all learning a lot about different cultures and a bit about ourselves, aren’t we?

And just in case you were curious if you could out-clever a man who rhymes party with party, there’s this gem:

I’m out for the benchies, frankies, chinos
Just cause you ain’t me, don’t hate me
As a matter fact you should thank me
Even if you don’t, you’re welcome Yankees
Zig-a zig-a zig-a zig-a-zow
Who got the keys of the world, now? Yours truly!

So, uh, your guess is as good as mine.  Benchies, frankies, chinos?  Are we talking about khakis now?  Or is this something more nefarious that Pitbull is alluding to? I can never tell when he speaks in code like this. Which makes me think that he might be some kind of secret genius, broadcasting a complex code to a small number of people in the know, while the rest of us are screaming AZUCAR AZUCAR at our dashboards, none the wiser? DAMN YOU PITBULL, YOU GOT ME AGAIN!

Besides, who can hate a man who just brought back “zig-a zig-a zig-a zig-a wow”?  To think someone could just come up with that in their own brain?  What inspires such genius?  How can one man think so many brilliant thoughts?

Spice Girls

“Move over, ladies, you ain’t the only ones who can turn random noises into a hit song!”

We may never know.  Someday, perhaps, History Channel will devote time to cracking the secret code in between shows about guys pawning stuff and/or driving trucks on ice.

I’mma give it to ya, ah ah
Now give it to me, ah ah
I’mma give it to ya, ah ah
Now give it to me, ah ah

… and it goes on like that for awhile.

In a world of derivative, empty lyrics about having a good time, Pitbull has truly eclipsed even the most mundane Black Eyes Peas Songs.  While adding a little Latin flava.  And by “Latin flava” we mean arbitrary repetitive lyrics which simply recur the obvious themes here: Pitbull has lots of sex and you’re allowed to be here, he guesses. Now let’s party.

Black Eyed Peas

Check and mate, Black Eyes Peas.

 

Philip Philips – Home

Oh HELLO!

Firstly, we must apologize for being absent for so long. Holidaze and all that. You understand, don’t you? Of course you do, Understanding and Patient Reader. Besides, how lame have the charts been lately?! Pop stars are just out there singing about nothing (read: love in its various forms — yawn). Except for that one song about smoking crack, but it’s too sad to mock, honestly. Or at least that’s what my therapist says. But she’s kind of judgy.

Where is the absurdity?! We haven’t had any excitement since Nicki Minaj burst onto the scene to threaten Mariah Carey’s safety with her existence shake things up on the Top 40 Charts.

Nicki Minaj being creepy

Okay, fine, Mariah, we admit it, it’s pretty terrifying.

Like, sure, we’ve been presented with fresh new faces: Carly Rae Jepson, One Direction, PSY (“fresh” might be a stretch here), Karmin, Gotye. As well as some not-so-fresh faces: Usher, Pink (still good, mostly!), Enrique, moar Chris Brown (we aren’t gonna be forgiving you, just get over it), and Madonna… AGAIN!

And there were horrifying bands breakups, of course (LMFAO, duh, who else would would shed our tears so easily?). But all in all, 2012 seemed like a year to stay safely in the lines – not much boundary-pushing to be found. Unless you consider dubstep/dance music crossing over to pop as “boundary-pushing.” You shouldn’t, though.

And can I be honest and say that I kind of secretly like the dubstep and I’m not even totally embarrassed to admit it? Which can only mean that it has yet to hit its phase of being horribly run into the ground. This frankly scares me. If dubstep has not even peaked in its terribleness, what is to become of us?! Ugh. Here’s hoping that Justin Timberlake will bring sexy back to pop music this year, amirite?! (It would be too much to hope for Destiny’s Child to start droppin’ sick tunes, too, I imagine.)

Anyway, we decided at Pop, Deconstructed to start off 2013 looking at an entirely different pop genre: bands pretending to be Mumford and Sons, a phenomenon which, at the present moment, is ALMOST as popular as veteran pop stars pretending to still be young (Madge, you’re a 54 year old Jewish woman – stop yelling out spellings of words in your songs. Stop making songs named “gang bang.” And for the love of all things good in this world, STOP wearing mid drift-baring clothing and spelling love “luv.” You haven’t been cool since Ray of Light. Do you you know how long ago that was?! Neither do we. But it feels like a long time ago. How has your teenaged daughter not bothered to tell you this repeatedly?!).

Old Madonna being old.

If you see this woman out raving all night on Molly, please remind her that she has children at home.

But I digress. The obvious target here is Phillip Phillips, the American Idol Winner, who has BOTH TWO LAST NAMES AND TWO FIRST NAMES (!!!) WHICH HAPPEN TO SOMEHOW BE THE SAME THING. Plus, his top-10 hit “Home” manages to almost ironically parody Mumford and Sons while simultaneously garnering more popularity than any Mumford track ever. But hey, I guess that’s what makes it pop music, eh?

So, without further ado:

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m gonna make this place your home

Okay, so I THINK what is happening here is that Phillip Phillips (seriously, the fuck?) is taking his girlfriend/boyfriend/nonjudgy significant other on a road trip. How sweet! They don’t seem know where they are – look at them, getting all adventurous! Throwing caution into the wind!

Philip Phlips

He’s so unassuming! Of course I’ll get in the car with you!

They’re just like following the traffic tide, rolling along, totally not alone because y’know, they’re together. Although it’s unclear what’s really going on here because PP has perfectly mimicked Mumford’s knack for using lyrics which, despite saying lots of things, don’t actually seem to mean anything in particular.

How Phillips plans to make unfamiliar roads his girlfriend’s new home is unclear.

WAIT. JUST. A. MINUTE. Something seems amiss here.  Could this boy with a strange firstname/last name be more nefarious than we thought?

Are they moving?! Is… is he kidnapping her?! Suddenly, it kind of seems to me like he might be kidnapping her – taking her down unknown streets, blindfolded, while he whispers creepy nothings in her ear! “Don’t worry, darling, just hold onto me. You’ll like it here. This will be your new home and we’ll both be so happy. You’ll never have to be alone again because you’ll have ME.”

Creepy Kidnapping

“Shhhh, baby, don’t worry, they’ll turn this into a hit single, I promise.”

OH GOD I AM AFRAID FOR THIS WOMAN’S SAFETY! Or dude’s. Really, whatever you’re into.

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found.

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

So, now this freak is all “Settle down, darling. Don’t struggle so hard. Don’t listen to those demons in your head telling you that I am a sociopath who took you from everything you knew and loved, locked you in my car, and calmly explained to you how I am going to give you a new ‘home’.” Chained to a radiator. But it’s a lovely radiator!

Creepy basement

“Welcome to your new home! You’re going to love it here. Don’t worry! I told you… you’re going… to… love it… “

This might be a fearful situation which could drag you down into despair. But ignore all that! It will all be clear why I had to take you one day, long after the Stockholm Syndrome has set in. And definitely don’t try to escape, because you can always be found. By me, your captor companion. Who will bring you back to your new home. NEVER. TO ESCAPE. AGAIN.

Seriously… is anyone else creeped out by this situation!? Just me? Now that I have the kidnapping scenario in my head, I can’t even imagine what else the song could be about? You guys know that you’re oooing along to a total homicidal felon — otherwise known as Evil Marcus Mumford (Ed Note: I don’t know who that is, either. – Josh) — don’t you?! Well cut it out!

Or do. I mean, honestly, it can’t be that much worse than dancing to Enrique Iglesias basically telling some girl, “You know what I’m here for. You’ve heard all about me. I hope you don’t find it rude, but I have steadfastly decided, without your consent or knowledge, that we will be fornicating tonight.”

Yay pop music!

Throwback Thursday: Katy Perry – Last Friday Night

This week we’ll be doing something a little different: Throwback Thursday, where we look at “classic” pop absurdities and dissect them as if they were released last week. Why?

To start, these throwback songs were the inspiration for Pop, Deconstructed. The concept for this blog started with bored (and hilarious) musings during a long drive on Route A1 in Portugal, going from Porto to Lisbon. The first song we deconstructed was “Can I get a…” by Jay-Z, and the lulz have been rolling ever since. Also, unfortunately (fortunately?), there’s a whole catalog of ridiculous lyrics out there we’ve only begun to harp on. It appears that ight now the big hits are Rih-Rih, Tay, Ke-dollar-sign-ha, and the Biebs, and if you think we’d do our homegirls and boys like that, you’ve got us all wrong. Come people, we have SOME loyalty!

Ke$ha

If you’re waiting for us to start making fun of Ke$ha, you can just keep on holding your breath.

So without further adieu, Throwback Thursday presents… Last Friday night by Katy Perry.

There’s a stranger in my bed,
There’s a pounding my head
Glitter all over the room
Pink flamingos in the pool
I smell like a minibar
DJ’s passed out in the yard
Barbie’s on the barbeque

Okay, first of all, let’s address the glitter situation. How did something associated mostly with middle school art projects and David Bowie become the symbol of hard drugs and sexy mistakes? I assume this is mostly Ke$ha’s fault, what with her undying commitment to glitter all over the floor all the time. I guess I can’t blame Katy for trying to jump on the glitter bandwagon. Katy “Miracle Whip Tits” Perry is nothing if not an opportunist.

So Katy appears to have made some mistakes. There’s a stranger in her bed. She’s got a headache and smells like booze. Standard Saturday morning so far – nothing to write about he– but wait! There may have been a break-in at a zoo, what with the pink flamingo situation. Or maybe just a bunch of tacky shopping at Ocean State Job Lot. It’s ambiguous. You know, like art. No verdict yet on whether this is truly a number one song worthy party.

And as a side note, I’m gonna go ahead and assume that when the DJ sleeps over you get some kind of discount.

There’s a hickie or a bruise
Pictures of last night
Ended up online
I’m screwed
Oh well
It’s a black top blur
But I’m pretty sure it ruled

Oh man, a hickie or a bruise, huh, Katy? Holy shit. Did a game of spin the bottle break out or what? You crazy kids and your crazy party games. But you left out the part where you locked braces with the overlooked nerd kid you got relegated to seven minutes in heaven with, all the while the cool kids were just playing a prank on you and they opened the door just in time to get smart phone pics — hence the lamenting of the photos being online, and the plot fulfillment of all bad amazing 80’s and 90’s party movies that you seem to be paying homage to in your video. No but seriously, why did you leave that out of the song?! It would have been amazing. (I totally write songs, so … ahem).

Nerdy Katy Perry

If you’re going to be formulaic, girl, you might as well, you know… follow the formula.

And to think all of this could’ve ended up on Facebook, of all places?! Imagine your reputation being ruined. Here you were, on top of the world, your breasts making even Elmo sensual (too soon?), but now we’ve reached the end of all of your viable career options. You’ll never get into Harvard Business School now, Katy. Looks like plan B as a pop star.

But at least it ruled.

Last Friday night
Yeah we danced on tabletops
And we took too many shots
Think we kissed but I forgot

Last Friday night
Yeah we maxed our credit cards
And got kicked out of the bar
So we hit the boulevard

Oh hey, don’t worry, Katy, sometimes we all make out with people and forget. Or blow a little too much money on our bar tab. Or do something bad enough to get kicked out of the bar even though we’re in the top 1% of hottest people on earth. Nobody here is judging you. We’re all human, and we’ve all been there after all.

Last Friday night
We went streaking in the park
Skinny dipping in the dark
Then had a menage a trois
Last Friday night
Yeah I think we broke the law
Always say we’re gonna stop-op
Whoa-oh-oah

Yo, hold the fuck up for a second. You JUST said you can’t be sure if you made out with someone, but now you DEFINITELY got naked and had a threesome? What kind of crazy Eyes Wide Shut sex party is going on around here? Is this like a Julia Roberts thing where it’s totally fine to bang two dudes but kissing is strictly forbidden? Cause if so, I demand to be invited to your parties I’m disturbed.

Threesome

But hey, who can be sure if we kissed or not, right?

Trying to connect the dots
Don’t know what to tell my boss
Think the city towed my car
Chandelier is on the floor
With my favorite party dress
Warrants out for my arrest
Think I need a ginger ale
That was such an epic fail

The chandelier is on the floor? Arrest warrants? You know, I’m starting to think you misled us with this whole “I might have kissed someone and hopped on a bar” shit, Katy. At first, I was convinced your Friday night was ordinary — sterile, even. But now it’s sounding more and more like shit got real. Really real.

Where I come from, arrest warrants aren’t chuckled off with an “epic fail.” And let me tell you, these hotels are pretty uppity about their destroyed chandeliers. Like sure, they’re total stick-in-the-muds, but you can’t just be tearing down chandeliers. And speaking of which, where the fuck are you staying that has chandeliers in the rooms? Is this some kind of kitchy Vegas hotel? Because if so, your whole little Hangover experience doesn’t count and I take back all of the times I jumped up and down singing this song with my white girl hand in the air like I just didn’t give a…

This Friday night
Do it all again

Hey, sure, why not? Just remember, Katy. California Girl or not, those three strikes laws are pretty vicious so you might want to consider cutting your losses after the wanton destruction of property, wild sex adventures and questionable discount shopping or you might get your ass thrown into prison with a mandatory minimum sentence. But that’s just me talking.

Katy Perry's Epic Fail

Pictured: Katy Perry embarrassed by a few minor “epic fails” at her latest shindig.

And on the off chance that you do decide to do it again, call me? xoxo

Alex Clare – Too Close

This week we’ll be looking at “Too Close” by Alex Clare. You know this song because it comes on every 7 minutes on the radio. Plus it’s in that Internet Explorer commercial (ha!) that used to play often enough to put this no-name dude on the radio in the first place, but I digress. Before we begin, let’s take a moment and acknowledge that we now live in a world where dub step has gone from something enjoyed mostly by online gamers and drug abusing ravers to legit mainstream pop. I mean, have you heard Bieber’s new song? Or Nicki Minaj’s? Hell, even Taylor Swift is doing it! Dub-pop is the new Hip-pop, so get your glow sticks out and get ready to WUBWUBWUB in the 2010’s!!

You know I’m not one to break promises
I don’t want to hurt you but I need to breathe
At the end of it all, you’re still my best friend
But there’s something inside that I need to release

Hmmmm. I’m no relationship expert (one has to HAVE a relationship to gain expertise on them amirite??), but anytime someone starts off with, “I’m not one to break promises… ” I take that as a pointed innuendo that shit is about to get REAL. Not awww-shit-I-can’t-wait-to-brag-about-this-on-Facebook real. But rather ohmygod-you-are-about-to-make-me-ugly-cry-aren’t-you real.

You’re being a real chickenshit, Alex. Don’t try to dull the pain by reassuring me you’re still my best friend while I’m already wubwubwubbing tears of despair over the fact that you’re about to break a bunch of promises we built together. AND FURTHERMORE, IF I WAS YOUR BEST FRIEND, YOU WOULDN’T NEED TO “BREATHE” ON IT, NOW WOULD YOU?!

Kano Fatality

Pictured: Alex Clare being your best friend

Male mixed messages 101: I’m not normally one to break promises, except for right now. And I don’t want to hurt you even though I’m totally in the process of purposefully doing so. You’re still my best friend, but like get the fuck away from me because I’m trying to make positive growth in my life and I can’t do it with all your best friend juices dripping all over me. Thanks for your support BUT NO THANKS BITCH! Can you tell I’ve dated an Alex Clare or two? I’m not bitter, though.

Which way is right, which way is wrong
How do I say that I need to move on
You know we’re headed separate ways

See, here’s the thing, Alex. If I knew we were heading separate ways, we wouldn’t need to be having this conversation, now would we? You are obviously surprising the fuck out of me right now, and trying to cop out by pretending this is an obvious conclusion. “Well hey, I’m gonna go ahead and dump you, but come on, you knew this had to happen, right? Right. Of course. Still biffles?”

NO THX, “BEST FRIEND”, if WE were moving in separate directions, then why does it only seem to be YOU who needs moving on? I see a lot of chatter about the things YOU need, Alex. What about what I need? What if I need MY best friend? Too bad for me, because he’s breathing elsewhere. Hmph.

And it feels like I am just too close to love you
There’s nothing I can really say
I can’t lie no more, I can’t hide no more
Got to be true to myself
And it feels like I am just too close to love you
So I’ll be on my way

Seriously? This… this is the best you can do? Not even a “It’s not you, it’s me?” Or maybe, “I’m just not ready to love?” Or fuck, even, “You’re a needy bitch who is sucking the life out of me and do you really need to call 8 times a day because I have asked my friends and they’ve confirmed that this is NOT really normal.”

No. I get, “I am too close to love you.” You’re TOO FUCKING CLOSE, Alex? How does that even make sense? On what planet is this a reasonable thing to say? And if we’re too close, how are you simultaneously hiding from me?! Is there anybody, anywhere, who has any idea what the fuck this means?

“Listen, baby, I want to love you. But we’re too close. I overshot. And now I can’t love you. Due to our intimate closeness.”

What. The. Fuck.

Listen. I’m not saying I would punch someone in the throat for saying something like that to me. But if I did, would you blame me? Would the cops even arrest me? Or would I maybe get a high-five? I’m pretty sure I would, at the very worst, get a chuckle, followed by a stern warning with a wink. Everybody knows the police take off one degree of assault for every degree of douchebaggery the victim displays. Bam, exonerated!

Alex Clare

You might not think a guy with a beard this adorable would viciously stomp on your heart. You’d be wrong.

Hey, we all have to be true to ourselves. If you don’t love me, Alex, I get it. I can move on. My heart will be unbroken.

But you can’t just hit me with the single worst excuse ever given for a breakup, drop a beat on it, and act like it’s cool.

You gave me more that I can return
Yet there’s so much that you deserve
Nothing to say, nothing to do, I’ve nothing to give
I must leave without you
You know we’re headed separate ways

Well, hey, at least he’s starting to admit that he took a lot more than he gave. You know, I don’t want to speculate, but Alex Clare sounds like kind of a lousy boyfriend. He takes but never gives. He breaks your heart and acts like you should’ve seen it coming. And he tells you it’s because he’s just too CLOSE to you; you clearly love, support and give him too much. He can’t love you, you see. He must be on his way.

You’re right, Alex, I do deserve better.

Because you know what? I can get all the love I need from Justin Bieber and he can bring that dubstep all day and night and even promises that as long as I love him, he’ll be my silver, my platinum, my gold. And I’d be willing to bet that the Biebs is all about getting super close while we’re broke, homeless and living in a box. LOVING AND SUPPORTING EACH OTHER IN SPITE OF IT ALL.

Eat it, Alex Clare.

Karmin – Hello

This week we’re going to look at Karmin’s “Hello.” Karmin is, of course, the non-autotuned, anti-hipster, somewhat rap-centric mashup of Ke$ha and Nicky Minaj. I realize that’s a lot of descriptive words to use for someone who needs no introduction, what with how she’s already said both “hello” and “konichiwa” to anyone who’s listened to the radio in the last 4 weeks. So, without further adieu, we present to you the genius of Hello:

Too nice, too clean
Too white, too green
Little haters, big dreams
I don’t care what you think about me

(Note: You can really tell somebody doesn’t care what you think when they tell you they don’t care what they think, amirite?)

Two faced, old friends, told me, the end
was near, forget them
See a lot of things changed since then
Don’t they know that I came from Nebraska
Am I gonna quit? Nice of you to ask
But momma told me go and chase what you after
I’m on track, so I’m gonna rap faster

Listen, Karmin. I totally sympathize with your need to write an anthem to address your haters. I do. I have an entire backlog of fuck-the-haters songs I’m dying to release when my music… uh… takes off.

That being said, you generally need a legitimate career before the hate parade can really begin. For one, people have to stop mistaking you for Ke$ha. You’ve had ONE hit, homegirl. And as great as “Brokenhearted” was (and it WAS, cheerio!), I’d guess that maybe 4 out of 10 radio listeners would even be able to correctly identify you as the artist. And half of those couldn’t get your avant garde spelling right, anyway. (Nevermind figure out that “Karmin” is actually the name of your “band,” aka you and your impressively good-looking boyfriend. But let’s ignore that and keep calling you Karmin because “Amy” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.)

Karmin Hairstyle

So, whaddya supposed she’s hiding in that hair, anyway? Gotta be drugs, right?

Like, I sort of see what you’re saying, Karmin, I do. These haters, formerly known as your Nebraska High School friends, are calling you names on the internet tubes — sayin’ you’re too white and clean to rap and shit.

Can we address the fact that this is a totally valid point? Well, the part about being too clean, anyway. We do not condone judgment on rappers based on their skin color here at Pop, Deconstructed!

Honey, I mean this in the nicest possible way, but you are no Ghostface Killa. You are not even, uh, Soulja Boy. (Wow, you know what, I’m sorry. Whether or not that’s true, now I’m just getting mean).

And unlike Ke$ha, you’re not hiding under the playful guise of “just kidding, guys, I’m not REALLY gonna try to rap, but I will totally spit a couple of catchy lines that could maybe be rap’s try-hard cousin, all the while being in on the joke.” You’re like, legit trying to validate yourself and “rap faster.” Sigh. No Karmin. Just… no. Either be good, or get in on the joke with the haters. This is not your path to recognition as the rhyme-throwin’ MC.

Thankfully, you have your mother to support your delusion. Sigh. Check the bridge:

Imma break it down for you and get a little deeper
Slayin’ on it, prayin’ on it like a grim reaper
Running the thermometer, and yep I got a fever
Hi, konichiwa, are you a believer?

What’s the deal with this chick? Cheerio? Konichiwa? Karmin, of the great Cornhusker State, is apparently a woman of the world and she ain’t ashamed to preach it! She has, at the very least, heard of England and Japan, anyway. Who knows, maybe she bought a guidebook with all that sweet “Brokenhearted” money.

Also, is this video seriously set in Japan because Karmin uses the word Konichiwa several times?  Really?  Did that really just happen?

Karate Kid 2

Pictured: Karmin’s understanding of Japanese culture

Maybe this is her signature thing – randomly greeting the I’m-totally-sure-enormous crowds of different cultures in each of her songs. That would actually be kind of cool. I can’t wait to see what she does with Slovenian “Pozdravljeni!” It’s sure to be a real hoot!

Let’s move onto the chorus:

I’ma do it, do it
Like I wanna do it
You gon’ know me like, you ain’t never known me before
I’ma bring it, bring it
I’ma give it, give it
You gon’ love me like you ain’t loved nobody before
Hello, hello, hello, hello
Hello, hello, hello, hello
Hello, hello, hello, hello
You gon’ love me like you ain’t loved nobody before

“Oh, you don’t like me yet? Well fuck you, cause you’re gonna love me LOVE ME LOVE ME LOVE ME.” I’m not sure you should be chanelling your inner Kathy Bates with a Sledgehammer, but hey, I’m not your PR manager (yet).

Hello! Speaking of “hello,” I do not really get this whole hello thing. Why does she say it so much? Is she saying hello to all of us pop enthusiasts, and introducing herself? If so, brash way to do it Karmin, informing us rudely that you’re just gonna do whatever you want and give it to us this way and that. And we’re all supposed to sit here and take it like little bitches, not to mention love you like we’ve never loved before. Oh and hello x 100. I’m not buying it, and frankly, I’m insulted you think I can bullied into giving up my affections! I’M NOT THAT EASY TO PLEASE, KARMIN!  And my love is not so easily forced.

Too hard, too soft, too rough, too posh
Lemme do, what I want
Lace it up, baby tie it in a knot, uh
Race track, two legs, Hollywood, big break
Suck it up, intake
Let me tell ya how it happened real quick ohh
Touchdown in the middle of the city
Mass Ave. street, jammed up to Newbury
Million dollar party
Now tell me who you wearing
Lots of new hand held hype you can carry

Okay, now I’m officially confused. Is this an anti-haterade anthem or a song about fly parties? I thought we’d reached a consensus on what this song is about, and then she had to go and add in a party scene… in BOSTON.

Wow, Karmin, you really ARE from Nebraska if you thought some haute party in Boston was going to impress us. “Shit, I gotta tell you about this hot million dollar party I went to in Boston with all these famous people wearing designer dresses,” SAID NOBODY EVER.

Christ, Karmin, if you can’t drop nasty rhymes, but still wanna sell your fly street cred, you’re gonna have to do a little better than Beantown. Give us something we can work with.

Let’s make it easy on you: If you are a budding pop star trying to gain party street cred, stick with the old stand-bys: New York, LA, Miami (likely only acceptable if you have Latin heritage), Paris, London, Rio, Bangkok. Seriously. Don’t stray out of bounds until you’re Jay-Z level famous, or you’ll make us all look bad, for crying out loud.

Let me keep going, baby till I’m dead and gone
That’s my only wish
And if you don’t know I’ll be singing my song
I got a lot to give

Oh, it’s been broughten. At least she’s staying on message now. Karmin’s not going anywhere (neither was 50 Cent, ha!), and she will probably reinvent herself as many times as it takes until we “get” her and her poofy hair. Should we at Pop, Deconstructed keep attempting to mold her into the pop star she should and could be, orrr should we simply accept her as an almost-but-not-quite-there pop “star” trying a little too hard to make hip-hop happen a la Christina Milian, Samantha Mumba or JoJo… ?

…And if you just cocked your head and asked yourself “Wha? Who?!” well then… I rest my case.

Nicki Minaj – Starships

Oh, Nicki. I do this with love, really. You are the Gaga of Rap (and in case my loyal readers are wondering, I’m not sure if that’s a compliment, either). Sure, your style and utter ridiculousness may eclipse your existent talent (which we all agree exists, right?! RIGHT?!), but… I’m not here to judge you. Jokesies, of course I’m judging – you look like a trainwreck and rap like you have Tourettes! There is comic gold to be mined! Thankfully, you’re a big girl with lots of money (and truthfully, I got mad love for you!), so I can hit you with the truth.

So Nicki kicks off the song talking about the beach in classic summer fashion:

Let’s go to the beach, beach
Let’s go get away
They saay, where they gonna saay?
Have a drink, clink, found the bud light
Bad b-tches like me is hard to come by

Bad bitches like you, eh, Nicki? Don’t get near this one – she’s a mad dog, and isn’t afraid to bite! She’s all drinking light domestic beer in the sand and doesn’t care where anyone is saying anything. Sounds like a rolicking good time! Does Homeland Security know about this? Someone should clue them in because SHIT IS GOING DOWN!

Bud Lights on the Beach

Lock your doors. Hide your kids. Shit is about to get real.

The patron own, let’s go get it on
The zone own, yes I’m in the zone
Is it two, three? leave a good tip
I’ma blow off money and don’t give too quick

Well at least Nicky informs us that she’s not a poor tipper, even if she’s not clever enough to check her iPhone to figure out the time (and like, isn’t that what she pays her entourage for?! I mean, REALLY!). I guess she can’t be expected to be shackled to meaningless concepts like space and time, what with the switch from Bud Light to Patron. This girl is a TOTAL BARRIER-BREAKING BADASSBITCH.

At this point Nicki drones on about how she likes to dance, as all artists who regularly collaborate with Weezy are wont to do. That’s fine, Nicki, go on with your bad self. Up next, the brilliant chorus:

Starships were meant to fly
Hands up and touch the sky
Can’t stop ’cause we’re so high
Let’s do this one more time

Starships were meant to fly
Hands up and touch the sky
Let’s do this one last time
Hands up

We’re higher than a motherfucker

Starships, eh? Well kudos to you, Ms. Nicki Minaj, for making Jefferson Starship cool again. Because really, how can anybody stop appreciating the band which gave us We Built this City on Rock n’ Roll? (For reference sake, that song needs its own dictionary for the abominations it heaped on pop music, but I digress).

Nicki Minaj looking... like herself

Clearly this is the result of Bud Light. And not, say, tremendous amounts of MDMA.

Indeed, Nicki, Starships were meant to fly. That’s how they were designed. Just like you. Flying so high. Higher than a motherf*cker. I’m not totally sure if we’re still talking about booze or not (read: we’re not) because I don’t remember you mentioning any other illicit substances. But you certainly dress like you’re on a combination of E and acid, so let’s just assume you truly are touching the sky.

 

Now things start getting… hilarious? Interesting? Confusing?

Bump in my hootie hottie hoop
I own that
And I ain’t paying my rent this month
I owe that

Guess that well-tipped waiter got the last of Nicki’s money. Unfortunate for the landlord, to be shirked for a night on the town the beach like that! Nicki, haven’t you sold like a bajillion albums? How the fuck are you not paying rent? I mean, you don’t even have car payments! I feel as though something isn’t adding up here! Do pink wigs really cost that much money? Are you secretly paying Sophia Grace to make Youtube videos to keep you famous? Girl, you are trippin’!

But fuck who you want, and fuck who you like
Dance your whole life there’s no end inside
Twinkle twinkle little star

Remember kids, even when you can’t afford rent, sex is free! Free love in the sand! For anyone who’s high on drugs life! The logical next step, of course, is to refer to childhood nursery rhymes. A clear association. After all, what is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star really, but an allegory for promiscuous sex?

Now everybody let me hear you say ray ray ray
Now spend all your money cause they pay pay pay
And if you’re a cheat, you a che-chea-cheat
My name is Onika, you can call me Nicki

Ah, so that’s why she can’t pay rent and owns a hooptie even though she’s a millionaire. Just spend that money cause you’re gonna get paid anyway. Apparently? Assuming, y’know… like Nicki, you, too, have a record contract. And airplay.

I’m not entirely sure why Nicki is getting all existential on us here. “If you cheat, you are a cheat.” That shit is too deep for me, and frankly, too deep for pop music. Take it to your tumblr, Nicki. Come on!

Also, why are you telling me your name if I can’t even call you that? The fuck? “Hey, man, my name is Bill, but DON’T FUCKING CALL ME BILL, my name is William.”

Okay, “Onika.” Got it.

Ellie Goulding – Lights

This week Pop, Deconstructed will tackle “Lights” by Ellie Goulding. Why Lights? Sure, it lacks the stupidity and discord of pop lyrics we normally delight in. But anyone who’s been reasonably conscious for the last 4 or so months has heard this song about a thousand times, not to mention danced to its sweet beats. Yet nobody (including the geniuses behind this very gem of a blog) seems to be able to pinpoint what, exactly, this song is actually about. So let’s take a look, shall we?

Ellie is totally dramatic and bizarrely elusive in her messaging here:

I had a way then losing it all on my own
I had a heart then but the queen has been overthrown
And I’m not sleeping now, the dark is too hard to beat
And I’m not keeping now, the strength I need to push me

Whoa, hey, slow down, pal. What’s going on here? Imagine a friend relaying a story to you in these confounding riddles. Queens being overthrown? The dark too hard to beat? What are you saying, Ellie? What is the problem? Is everything going okay with Avril Lavigne Skrillex? Do you have some horrible, infectious disease nobody’s ever heard of? Are you suffering from depression?! And why do you no longer have a heart?! Where did it go? I’m begging you to just be honest and tell me everything, girlfriend!!

You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine it when I’m alone
And so I tell myself that I’ll be strong
And dreaming when they’re gone

Listen, Ellie. I’m your friend and I’m here to help you. Help you help yourself. But first, you will need to tell me what the fuck is going on, in specific terms. Don’t petrify yourself! And who is going to be gone?! The demons? The previously mentioned Queen and her minions? I’m so confused! And what does any of this have to do with lights? I have so many questions and so few answers.

"Evil" Spiderman

Not pictured: Ellie Goulding… ?

I’m picturing Ellie lying alone in a hospital bed, infected with some sort of darkness like in that one pretty terrible Spider Man movie. Her parents are there offering their light in order to stop her from turning into Evil Tobey Maguire, which nobody, anywhere, wants. Ever. But that doesn’t explain the turning to stone, dammit! The mystery remains unsolved, but at least we’ve crossed one possibility off the list – this song probably has nothing to do with Spiderman. Probably. Onwards!

 

 

‘Cause they’re calling, calling, calling me home
Calling, calling, calling home
You show the lights that stop me turn to stone
You shine it when I’m alone
Home

Goddamnit Ellie, need I remind you of the importance of commas?! They save lives! Your cry for help is a code to be cracked, and even the greatest pop lyric detectives in all the land (us, obviously) cannot figure out what the fuck you’re trying to convey. Do the lights stop you and turn you to stone, OR are the lights stopping you from turning into stone??

Two Skillrexes?!

Yeah, we don’t get it, either.

Listen up, homegirl. When your parents warned you about dating that strange boy with the glasses and the hair, we all sided with you and insisted you should be able to date whatever subpar Dub Step DJ you wanted to. But if you’re going to just toss all of the tenants of grammar and storytelling into the wind, then I might have to join Team Ellie’s Parents Against Skrillex.

Noises, I play within my head
Touch my own skin and hope that I’m still breathing
And I think back to when my brother and my sister slept
In an unlocked place the only time I feel safe

So I’m thinking this is one of those songs like “One” by Metallica where it’s about some poor soldier who has been blown to bits and is just sitting in a hospital bed, wishing for death. Except of course, pre-awful Napster-ruining Metallica actually framed the story and told the audience what was going on. I’m guessing she is either in a drug-induced coma, or an acid trip she can’t break out of. But who can really say? Certainly not Ellie Goulding.

Also, not to criticize your parents too much, friend, but should your brother and sister really just be left around in unlocked apartments? Is this considered acceptable parenting in the UK? Some custom I don’t know about? Just seems kind of irresponsible, is all. And the fact that this is her ultimate safety blanket in memory just speaks to what a terrible place Ellie must be in. If only I could crack this code…

But ah well, at least Ellie hopes she’s still breathing. Hope is something, right?

The song ends with the chorus repeated, with the audience left to speculate that perhaps Ellie is allergic to darkness. Or relationships. Or maybe MDMA. The possibilities are endless and equally unlikely.

But we’re going to keep dancing to it anyway. Damn you Ellie Goulding, and your vague and impenetrable disease.

Cher Lloyd – Want U Back

First of all, can we talk about the grunting? I mean, I appreciate dressing like an 80’s bad girl and grunting like Axl as much as the next guy… but Axl Rose, you are not. From all I can gather, you’re just a budding pop star out there purposefully abusing boys.

So, perfect premise here. Cher is all irritated because she lowered her standards to use date some loser with no game. Naturally, after a while, she was all “forget this project otherwise known as the human being I have been spending all my free time with – time for an upgrade!” and dropped his ass like a bad habit.

She was presumably feeling good about shedding dude, imagining him being so depressed that he couldn’t even leave the couch until… wait, WHUT?! He started being happy and dating some other girl? The NERVE. UNLEASH ON HIM, CHER!

Remember all the things that you and I did first?
And now you’re doing them with her

Yeah, I get it. You took your boyfriend to some restaurants and now, what, you own them? He can’t ever go back? I mean, I’m not sure where the narrative of this particular song is taking place, but I would venture to guess that most of the tweens in Cher’s target demographic have two, maybe three restaurants in their town (that wasn’t just my youth, right?). I fear they’re all taking this song literally and hiding out, keying cars in Friendly’s parking lots across America.

Then, of course, our heroine basically passes up all subtext of being a human being and admits that this dude essentially has no free will and is her puppet to do with what she will:

Boy you can say anything you wanna
I don’t give a shh, no one else can have ya
I want you back
I want you back
Wa-want you, want you back
Uh
I broke it off thinking you’d be cryin’
Now I feel like shh looking at you flyin’
I want you back

Yes, you heard that right. Cher Lloyd doesn’t care what you want. Cher Lloyd doesn’t care what makes you happy. You thought by virtue of her terminating the relationship that you could now enter into another relationship? You’re chattel, bro. Marked territory. Go back to your sad den to listen to that Taylor Swift record you’re embarrassed to admit you own (and love) and let Cher forget all about you in peace. Nobody wants to see you looking all glowy and showy at the local Applebee’s!

Please, this ain’t even jealousy (jealousy)
She ain’t got a thing on me (a thing on me)
Tryin’ to rock them ugly jeans jeans jeans

Ahh, finally, we’ve reached the pinnacle of Cher’s maturity (although admittedly, there was some stiff competition for this honor) – taking jabs at the other girl’s appearance.

The new girl may make him happy. She may be better for him. She may love him for who he is and perhaps she has never even considered an “upgrade.” But if you think for one moment that the “other girl in town” is better for chatteldude than Cher, the monster who enslaves him for her own benefit/self-esteem, then you are absolutely WRONG! So wrong, I don’t even know where to begin! Cute jeans are absolutely essential to a happy, healthy relationship. And the more this guy walks around town (“lookin’ like clowns”) with Uglyjeans Mcgee, the less respect everybody has for him, and by extension, Cher! Think of Cher’s feelings! They are obviously all that matters!

As the song concludes, we have the last helicopter part where she tries to get all cutesy.

It’s possible that by the end of the song, we, the audience, are meant to have overlooked all of the immature, cruel and vindictive things this girl has said of her seemingly innocent ex. But hey, let’s set aside the fact that Cher Lloyd consumed this poor boy heart and soul, for sport. Who could resist a cute girl poking fun at herself with a random tidbit at the end of the song, a la Ke$ha?

Girl, let me make something perfectly clear to you: you are NO Ke$ha.

(But omg SO catchy!!)