Breaking down pop music complexity

    Whether you're listening to music in iTunes or on Spotify, pop songs ranging from country love ballads to catchy club beats are everywhere. Sure, you may start belting the lyrics the second your jam comes on the radio, but rarely do we ever stop and dissect the ridiculous things these songs are actually telling us. Here are NBN's choices for the most nonsensical and mind-boggling songs, and our attempt to analyze the more "serious" workings of pop music.

    “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
    Hey I just met you / And this is crazy / But here’s my number / So call me maybe?
    Before you came into my life / I missed you so bad / I missed you so bad / I missed you so, so bad.

    The summer pop anthem posed perhaps the most important question of our generation: “So call me maybe?” But behind this proposal and the accompanying chorus of violins, there is a blatant contradiction in Jepsen’s lyrics. The chorus establishes an awkward situation in which a stranger offers her number to a guy she has just met for the first time (the skin that was showing from his ripped jeans was too much for her to ignore). However, she later admits that she “missed [him] so bad.” How can she miss someone before he comes into her life? Does she have a TARDIS?

    On the contrary, she may not be talking about the physical “you” that was mentioned in the chorus at all; rather she has been missing the metaphorical “you” in her life. Of course, this is assuming that Carly Rae Jepsen has the time to make this distinction with all the other boys chasing her.

    “Don’t Wake Me Up” by Chris Brown
    Don’t wake me up up up up up up / Don’t wake me up up up up up up / Don’t wake me up up up up up up /Don’t wake me, don’t wake me,
    Don’t wake me up (no)/ Don’t wake me up / Don’t wake me up (yeah)
    I don’t wanna fall fall fall fall asleep no, / I don’t wanna fall unless I’m falling for you, / I don’t wanna fall fall fall fall asleep no, / I don’t wanna fall unless I’m falling for you.

    When Chris Brown’s new single first came on the radio, my sister told me that it would make the best alarm tone for its repetitive Autotuned wailing of “don’t wake me up.” I agreed until I heard that he “don’t wanna fall fall fall fall asleep,” by which time I yelled at Brown to make an assessment. To sleep or not to sleep? That is the question.

    Upon further research, it was revealed that Brown’s song is a narrative of a lover in a dream (seriously, this is on Wikipedia), and the singer would rather sleep and dream of her rather than get out of bed and do actual things, like write lyrics with more than seven different words. Despite Brown’s attempt at literary music, I can only imagine that he has seen Inception one too many times.

    “One Thing” by One Direction
    I don’t, I don’t, don’t know what it is / But I need that one thing / And you’ve got that one thing

    What happened to boy bands just being straight with you? The Backstreet Boys were so articulate, with songs like "I Just Want You to Know" and "I Want It That Way." But with this boy band comeback started by One Direction, songs' messages just seem convoluted and illogical. In their song “One Thing,” One Direction repeatedly emphasizes that they are looking for a certain quality in a potential love interest. What is that certain quality, you might ask? Sadly, that's a question I don't know if One Direction can even answer because they simply refer to it as "that one thing." What's more confusing is that even though they can't specify their collective romantic preference, they nevertheless know that "you've got" it. For all we know, this could just be a reflection of their base desires and 1D thinking.

    As if the chorus's ambiguity wasn’t enough, they also reiterate their incompetence by repeating, “I don’t, I don’t, I don’t know what it is.”

    “Whistle” by Flo Rida
    Can you blow my whistle baby, whistle baby / Let me know / Girl I’m gonna show you how to do it / And we start real slow / You just put your lips together

    And you come real close / It’s like everywhere I go / My whistle ready to blow

    Flo Rida is catchy and somehow keeps producing singles that reach iTunes chart-topping positions, despite the fact his songs raise some intense red flags. Take his latest hit, “Whistle.” I’m not sure whether he’s really attempting to teach whistling or whether he is using the term whistling as a euphemism for giving blowjobs. If it’s the former, he does a half-assed job (he just gives up after step one and two to “put your lips together and come real close”).

    If it’s the latter, then I worry that Flo Rida has a pre-mature ejaculation problem and/or is a sex addict (everywhere he goes, his whistle is “ready to blow.”) I don’t think a club could handle that kind of indecency.

    “Birthday Cake” by RihannaOoh baby, I like it / You so excited / Don’t try to hide it / I’mma make you my bitch / Cake, cake, cake, cake
    Cake, cake, cake, cake / Cake, cake, cake, cake / Cake, cake, cake / I know you wanna bite this / It’s so enticin’
    Nothin’ else like this / I’mma make you my bitch / And it’s not even my birthday
    But you wanna put your name on it / And it’s not even my birthday

    And he tryna put his name on it / Oooh, I wanna fuck you right now / Just get up on my body

    I miss Rihanna before she dyed her hair with Kool-Aid, back when she was straightforward about sharing her umbrella and taking a bow. In her song “Birthday Cake” with Chris Brown, she seems to be caught in a conflict between eating cake and having sex. In one verse she directly addresses the cake (cake, cake, cake), saying that she will “make [it her] bitch,” conjuring up images of a Fatbooth-ed Rihanna greedily eyeing some Devil’s Food. On the other hand, she also blatantly tells her partner that she wants to make him her bitch (more S&M shenanigans, I see) and wants to “fuck [him] right now.” Classy, Rihanna.

    The added layer of complexity is rooted in the name of the song itself – “BIRTHDAY Cake.” Rihanna completely disregards the sanctity of birthdays, eating birthday cake and having birthday sex whenever she wants. Oh, how Jeremih would disapprove.


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