Pop music, you either love or you hate it. I won’t lie, pop isn’t always my first choice when it comes to music genre. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s too mainstream and the songs quickly become annoying after having them repeatedly drilled into my ears at the top of every hour by FM radio, or possibly because I find that much of it sounds exactly the same. Despite that, many people will complain that it is uninteresting and doesn’t inspire much emotion or creativity, but I don’t believe that to be true.
The thing is, pop is written to sound familiar immediately, however its that exact method that sometimes gives it a bad name. Due to its upbeat sound it can deprive genuine artists and forward thinkers of even a shot at being heard. Pretty much like with blockbuster movies, pop music is usually technically perfect but also very predictable. Although, if you listen to it over and over it can start to take a shape and form, then you discover another part you hadn’t heard before.
If you can get past the candy sugar coating of repetitive chords and choruses, I feel some of these songs have a much deeper meaning. Since leaving mainstream radio and switching my eardrums over to a much happier place between Spotify and Sirius radio, I’ve had the chance to rediscover my relationship with pop. Perhaps even enjoy it. Due to that, I decided I wanted to dive into my top five favorite favorite pop songs at the moment in order to show there is more behind them then might meet the ear.
Capsize (verb) – to turn bottom up; overturn
We have all been overturned by a relationship. Had our entire world turned bottom up. This is a song about what happens after. A song of memories and devotion. It’s a conversation between two people who truly cared for one another, but have now lost each other. Both individuals are destroyed by it, but trying to be tough and move forward. The relationship has ended, but all the feelings that went with it haven’t.
Yeah I’m fine.
Drop tears in the morning.
Give in to the lonely.
Here it comes with no warning.
Both people are upset and hurting but doing their best to pretend not to be. It speaks to me on so many levels. We all wear masks, especially when we have been hurt. We always want people to believe we are strong and not effected by our own emotions. But being fake and pretending is exhausting.
I’m swimming up against the tide.
Oh my god. I’m swimming but I’m getting tired.
Oh my god.
Human emotion can be like a roller coaster. The feelings you experience after a serious relationship has ended are confusing to say the least. This song ties all those feelings together. It’s upbeat and happy, yet sad and dark at the same time. The song struggles to know where it stands, just like someone after a breakup.
Capsize, I’m first in the water.
Too close to the bottom.
I’m right back where I started. Said I’m fine.
DAFT PUNK- Instant Crush
This is actually one of my all time favorite songs. To me, it’s a song about fake love or unrequited love, possibly both. It’s describing being so lonely that you fall in love with the idea of anyone. Feeling an immediate connection to a person you barely know but not understanding why.
And we will never be alone again.
Cause it doesn’t happen every day.
Kinda counted on you being a friend.
Can I give it up or give it away.
It’s never being able to get over the fantasy you created of someone, or continually daydreaming of a stranger. It’s a song of Illusions really. It’s about infatuation, excitement, false hope, and getting high off the potential that another person is going to save you from yourself.
I didn’t want to be the one to forget
I thought of everything I’d never regret
A little time with you is all that I get
That’s all we need because it’s all we can take
This is a painstaking evaluation of the “idea” of a relationship gone traumatically wrong. When you feel a deep connection to a stranger but can’t do anything about it. This song is to THINK you’re in love only so you won’t have to be alone ever again. Becoming deeply infatuated with a person or people, but only for short periods of time. Unable to move forward with an actual adult relationship but dreaming of the idea of loving them.
It didn’t matter what they wanted to see
He thought he saw someone that looked just like me
The summer memory that just never dies
We worked too long and hard to give it no time
THE CHAINSMOKERS- Inside out
This song to me is about trying to love someone who is emotionally unavailable, puts up walls or can’t open up. Trying to allow a person you care for to trust you and let you love them just as they are, and how frustrating it can be to try and reach someone like that.
Bend your chest open so I can read your heart
I need to get inside or I’ll start a war
Wanna look at the pieces that make you who you are
I wanna build you up and pick you apart.
People have trouble committing for all types of reasons. Some have been hurt in past relationships which cause trust issues. Sickness or even mental health such as depression or anxiety can make people feel as if they aren’t good enough or not worthy of love.
I’m gonna love you inside out
Let me see the dark sides as well as the bright.
At the core all of these issues are somewhat the same. They all cause people to struggle with being intimate and letting others into their world. Some will shut down and push people away when they start to feel vulnerable, so they don’t run the risk of being hurt again.
I’m gonna pick your brain and get to know your thoughts
So I can read your mind when you don’t want to talk.
This song is extremely powerful. It’s a voice saying that everyone has their own issues and struggles. But as humans we are able to look past those things and decide to love someone for everything they are. The good, the bad, the ugly.
I’m gonna love you inside out (Your love, inside out)
PHOEBE RYAN- Mine
To me this song is about a girl who has gone through a break up and is trying to remember who she is. Trying to pick herself back up and love herself again. Breakups are not only difficult and sad but it’s easy to get swept up immediately into a new relationship to distract yourself. So many people do this with rebounds. Quickly moving from relationship to relationship, rather than choosing to stand alone, be strong, and deal with moving forward. I feel like in this song she’s communicating her strength and her choice not to do that.
Facing the change, but it’s still tough to see
At first, I fought it all, I was so mean
I’m still unsure how it’s supposed to be
But taking every day now by the skin of my teeth. Until I learn
I’m holding on to all the pieces of my heart’s debris, til it’s time
I’ll pull it together and fix myself eventually, I know it’s mine.
After coming out on the losing end of a relationship, it can be difficult to reclaim yourself. You send so much of your time and energy into being with someone else, that it can be scary to imagine being alone again. You go through a rollercoaster on emotions but in the end you come out the happiest if you learn to reflect inward.
When it went down, it was so hard to breathe
I gave up everything in a slow fall down to the floor
Life was escaping me, I couldn’t find myself
Til it was all lost, not anymore
Even though her heart was broken by losing a love she is choosing to remember it is still made of gold. When she says “I wear it like a message” it seems like she is trying to tell herself the break up wasn’t her fault and she did all she could do.
“I found gold in the wreckage, put it on a necklace
Keepin’ it ’cause I know that it’s mine
I wear it like a message so I don’t forget it
Keepin’ it ’cause I know that it’s mine.”
When a relationship ends you can come at it very emotionally, angry and sad. Or you can choose to learn from it, so to speak. Take yourself apart, clean up the pieces and put it all back together as a better version of you.
IMAGINATION DRAGONS- Believer
Overall, “Believer” is about someone who finds meaning in the pain in his life. The song is the declaration of a person who has experienced great pain in his life but who has learned important things about himself through those experiences.
I was broken from a young age
Taking my soul into the masses
Write down my poems for the few
That looked at me took to me, shook to me, feeling me.
He’s known his limits, and he’s battled with them. That battle has led him to take his struggle into the form of song, or as he says, “Write down my poems for the few.” People listened to what he had to say and understood what he meant. He’s sharing something very personal with us. This song is who he is.
Singing from heart ache from the pain
Take up my message from the veins
Speaking my lesson from the brain
Seeing the beauty through the pain.
The lyrics are the power to overcome or the ability to believe in good things in general. To me, it seems to say that pain is a part of normal life, and you need to be ready to learn from it and be challenged.
Pain! You made me a, you made me a believer, believer
Pain! You break me down, you build me up, believer, believer
Pain is viewed here as a means to spiritual ascension, growth, and overall happiness. Without the spiritual and physical pain we go through in a place of darkness, the light wouldn’t be possible. Learning to endure emotional pain can given us grace and patience. Parts of who we are were shaped by pain at one point or another. I’m sure we’d rather not have been shaped by some of these experiences, but we are who we are nevertheless.
I was choking in the crowd
Living my brain up in the cloud
Falling like ashes to the ground
Hoping my feelings, they would drown.
Sometimes life is a little difficult, and sometimes that difficulty makes us want to give up. Struggling with the dark thoughts inside of our own mind as we deal with difficult outside circumstances can be overwhelming but we sometimes have to face the pain head-on and find out what we can learn from it.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions on what makes music, music. So maybe you “HATE” pop music because you have amazing musical taste and find it too unsophisticated for your mental palette. Or maybe you’re just hipster who thinks it’s cool to hate things that many other people enjoy and your narrow minded enough to dismiss an entire genre of music because of its label. But if not, I hope you give some of these songs and artists a listen. My thought is, some of the songs and sounds you find may surprise you.