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Some Song I Can't Get Out of My Head
By Gloria Diaz
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Fort Wayne Reader
I’m not a huge fan of what’s going on in music right now, but even I can’t escape the phenomenon (or scourge) of “Somebody That I Used to Know.” I have very mixed feelings about this song right now. The quirkiness kind of reminds me of 80s music, the xylophone gives it a creepy vibe, as if it were being played by some psycho man-child who refused to give up his first ever instrument, made by Fisher-Price. And those lyrics. THOSE LYRICS. I think a lot of couples fall into two camps after they break up. Either they hate each other and engage in tire-slitting and Facebook name-calling, or pretend the person doesn’t exist. And Gotye wrote down what a lot of people feel, and now his song is a hit.
I’ve never really been a fan of love songs. Gotye’s hit to me comes off as being way too whiny and the line “now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over” as being awkward. Most of the song lyrically comes off as being beautifully sad, but throwing “screwed me over” into it is like rewriting Shakespeare and saying, “to thine own self keep it real, dawg.” I would have preferred another term other than “screwed over” but who am I to criticize? I’ve never written a hit song in my life. Still, that part really annoys me.
Before I met them, I totally loved Barenaked Ladies. I loved their style of rock; it seemed reminiscent of 70s rock and roll. They took various issues in life and set them to music: getting your shit together, wanting to amount to something in life, the death of a loved one, and yes, love. However, BNL seemed to be able to write about love and not be whiny about it. They wrote about feelings that I’ve had about certain people. “Call and Answer” really hit home for me in a number of ways. I thought it ironic that a band looked at as a novelty act could write a love song I could relate to, but then again, BNL does have a geek appeal going for it.
But getting back to love songs, I can get into the ones that basically say, “you’re asking me for something I can’t deliver; we need to call it quits and move on.” But the angsty, “why don’t you love me any more, I’m going to slit my wrists until you come back to me and bandage me up” type of songs I regard as reeking of low self-esteem. I am not a huge fan of Adele, but “Rumour Has It” has sort of a 60s vibe of “you don’t know what you got boy, but if you leave me, you’re a fool” that I can groove with. Another break up song that I really enjoy is “A Little Bit More,” which I discovered in a Target commercial. A quick check on the Internet, and I found out Jamie Liddell was the artist. Stupidly, I assumed his music would be available at Target, but I had to special order the CD because ironically, he wasn’t mainstream enough to be sold at Target, even though he was good enough to be in one of its commercials. The rest of the songs on there are okay, but “A Little Bit More” is the kind of song you have blasting on your speakers with the bass turned up to eleven. It’s a rap beat paired with lyrics from a man who just can’t give any more. He wishes his girl the best, but he’s had enough. It’s one of the few songs that grabbed my attention within a few seconds.
Yet Gotye’s song keeps running through my head. There’s something about it that bothers me, and fascinates me, and gets on my nerves. That in itself makes me think the song is a work of art if it grabs the attention of someone as picky as I am. But Gotye should look out. He may have a few somebodies that he used to know, but as rich as he probably is right now, he shouldn’t be surprised if some of his former loves hit him up for a loan. As popular as this song is, I’m looking forward to some funny parodies on YouTube. I can see bankruptcy attorneys coming up with new lyrics (Now those are some creditors you used to owe) bitter men (Now that my ex-girlfriend is a stupid ho) bitter women (Now he’s just some stupid guy I used to b---) and little kids (There’s no school today we can go play in the snow) and so forth.
When it all gets to be too much and I can’t get the sound of a wailing Australian/Belgian musician out of my head, I’ll look up some Parry Gripp videos to cheer me up. Can’t wait until Gripp writes a song to cheer Gotye up.