Monday, April 6, 2009

The antithesis of rock 'n roll

The word antithesis is defined by Webster's dictionary as: "the second of two opposing constituents of an antithesis , the direct opposite 'her temperament is the very antithesis of mine'".

The antithesis of rock 'n roll music has got to be "You Found Me" by The Fray. Very close seconds to this horrid song include anything by the Dave Matthews Band and "Your Body Is A Wonderland" by John Mayer. Actually, make that anything by John Mayer. The most ironic antithesis to rock 'n roll is the song woefully titled "Rock 'N Roll" by Eric Hutchinson. VH1 - PLEASE stop playing that awkward video. I've seen better singer-songwriters in subway stations.

But, back to "You Found Me". Now, I actually like The Fray. I met them briefly when they opened for Ben Folds in October 2005. They were nice and signed my concert ticket. The song "Fall Away" is absolutely beautiful and "Over My Head (Cable Car)" was quite the catchy hit. But really guys? "You Found Me"???

Here are some sample lyrics from this hideous song:

"
Lost and insecure, you found me, you found me
Lying on the floor, surrounded, surrounded
Why'd you have to wait? Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late, you found me, you found me.

But in the end everyone ends up alone
Losing her, the only one who's ever known
Who I am, who I'm not and who I wanna to be
No way to know how long she will be next to me"

When did rock 'n roll become so whiny? Can anyone picture Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, or hell, even Bono complaining that they were "lost and insecure"? Even Kurt Cobain might have actually been lost and insecure but he sure didn't come across that way. Aren't rock stars supposed to be confident and sexy? Yes, it's okay to be a little vulnerable on your signature (power) ballad - see "Angie", "Crazy", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" and "Sweet Child O' Mine" for examples - but "You Found Me" is no signature ballad, power or otherwise.

Whatever happened to sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll? I would prefer the much-mocked Lord of the Rings and/or biblical references of heavy metal to this garbage.

Also, isn't rock 'n roll supposed to be an escape? Do I really want to hear that "everyone ends up alone"? I'll turn on "Everybody Hurts" if I want to wallow in it. I do understand that rock music has served as an outlet for protests, social change, and history in the making over the past 50 years - but this song is none of that. Listen to Bob Dylan's catalog for that.

Now as I read these lyrics, it becomes apparent to me that this song has a religious meaning as well. For some reason, I never picked up on this when it played on the radio. Maybe that was because I changed the station so fast the full meaning of the lyrics never sunk in (haha).

Much to my dismay, this song has peaked at #7 so far on the Hot 100 and sold one million downloads (RIAA certified). And I'll leave this entry with a quote from the TV show that made The Fray's music so popular: Seriously?

2 comments:

Andrew said...

I agree with this post 100%! All these songs by The Fary, John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band, and plenty more, are by no means rock and roll. They are whiny and people don't really want to hear about your girl problems. You're lonely and insecure, so is everyone. Sing about something with meaning that is not found on every teeny bopper tv show. Lord of the Rings characters and Biblical stories make much better ideas for rock songs.

Anthony said...

I never heard this song on the radio until I read your post. Thanks, Meghan.