Well I have to speak out! Its kind of killing me. I think I have an ear for music, I can spot old sounds quickly and I beleive much of today’s pop music is generally uninspired and bland. This is no fault of the musicians or songwriters out there, its the industry. Sales have plummetted, artists are getting discovered out of talent shows, there is not much going on, dubstep? In terms of new genres appearing or radical music movements? Punk? Grunge? Anything new out there?
You may disagree with me, it might be my age but when I hear stuff on the radio I have to think its the older stuff from the 70’s, 80’s and sometimes 90’s that resonates with me. The fact that 80’s music is still popular on radio is an example of this. Now record companies are getting new artists to go out there and create OLD music in disguise. This is nothing new, in the 80’s there was a big 60’s revival, listen to Phil Collins cant hurry love, Altered Images Always Somethng there to remind me or Billy Joel Innocent Man and you will know what I mean. But these songs sounded fresh for their time and offerred an new, improved take on old sounds. This gets me to “We Are Young” from a group called Fun. The first time I heard it, it was instantly familiar, a week later it was number one around the world with the help of a bit of airplay. This song was no different to any other song on the charts in the modern era, irritating, catchy, pointless and just bad and did I say CATCHY? Its like some kind of musical headache disease that wont go away or just get the hell out of my head, because it’s just always there! Not only the catchy bit, but the song in general was nagging at me, I couldnt put a finger on what it WAS. Then I started humming the song on a walk to Broomfield park and singing it faster and faster to myself, and suddenly I was singing “Girls just wanna have Fun!”, particularly the last part, “girls, they wanna….., just wanna have fun, girls…. wanna have fun“.. that was my Eureka moment, “We are Young” is a slowed down lyrically absurd, Offspring like, version of Cyndi Lauper’s classic era defining pop song. I walked into the sunset into Broomfield park, sat on the park bench, feeding some ducks felt really pleased with myself for sorting that out. I could now go home and move on.
The next morning, I broke outin a cold sweat in the middle of the night, having woken to a nightmare “We are Young” / “Girls just wanna have fun” medley that would not go out of my head, not the most pleasant experience. It was clear to me that I hadnt moved on. There was something else missing. I had to go back to Broomfield, get some fresh air and go for another walk to try and work it out. Why did they give the song such a lame name, couldnt they have called it “We wanna have fun” or “We just wanna be young”, or something else. I could see the reason for calling the song “We are young”, yes they are young but as they sound like the Offspring they dont want to confuse young consumers that they are that archaic band from the 90’s, they are YOUNG, we sound like old hags, but no we are YOUNG so go buy our record! I kept saying it “WE… ARE… YOUNG”… and saying it, and saying it and I shouted out of the top of my lungs “WE ARE YOUNG, HEARTACHE TO HEARTACHE, WE SAY ….. Love is a battlefield….. ” wow owowow ho….. “WE ARE STRONG…” etc. you see my point, I realised that the “WE ARE YOUNG ” is a direct lift off the classic Pat Benitar “Love is a Battlefield” another iconic 80’s song, and in fact one of the biggest selling singles of all time. Its sung in the same way, with the same notes, and the same words just by an aggressive Offspring type male vocal and played to death by radio stations around the world. Yes boys and girls this song was designed to be global smash hit, by a global marketing department in some office (probably in California OR new york (in a Skyscraper?)). Imagine the scene, “Marketing”… “yes”… “What’s cool with the kids today?”…. “dubstep”… “Whats that?”… “erm I dont know?”… …. “What else”….”ermm – the 80’s?”….. “Accounts”… “yes”… “What was the biggest selling song of the 80’s?”…. flips chart… “Love is a battlefield”….. “how about the next best selling song” … “Girls just wanna have fun”… “OK, there you got it, writers, make a song that sounds like those two songs”…. “yes sir”… “Marketing”.. “yep”… “Get us the best looking lads you have out there, I dont care if they cant sing, if they cant sing make them shout or just get Offspring to sing the songs for them while they lipsync they havent done any thing for a while and we still own them”… “yes sir”.
Just think about it, “We are young” by a group called “Fun”. Someone out there is having a laugh.