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Music You Should Know: They Sound Happy But They're REALLY Upset
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Both sound so happy and dancey, but really, their lyrics tell another story...


Katy Perry - Chained to the Rhythm


You'd think this was just another party song from our girl Katy Perry.  Then again, Sia helped write the song, and she's a critical hit machine.  So, just like Chandelier and The Greatest - Chained to the Rhythm is another deceptively fun sounding song... until you listen to the lyrics.  Katy is talking about white privilege in this song, about how people are in their bubble of white picket fences and living happily numb to what's wrong with the world.

If you missed her Grammy Awards performance, she was more than happy to illustrate the meaning behinds her words.  Katy has been one of the most vocal celebrities in last year's election and cheered relentlessly for Hillary Clinton.  I wonder if this lyric is a jab at electing Donald Trump.

"Are we tone deaf?
Keep sweeping it under the mat
Thought we could do better than that
I hope we can
So comfortable, we're living in a bubble, bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, trouble"

To illustrate people living in a bubble and not seeing the ills of the world, her lyric video is of a man cooking tiny food for hamsters, a popular video series on YouTube.  Again, you can be distracted from the lyrics because you're looking at cute fuzzy hamsters eat hamster-sized pasta and burritos. 

Then again, considering the emotional climate of America with people expressing fear their rights will be taken away versus those saying they didn't deserve those rights to begin with, people are probably paying close attention to what's being said in this song.  Or, maybe because it's catchy, people are downloading this single at neck-breaking speeds.   It's already smashed Spotify's streaming record, getting over 3 MILLION hits, and the song has only been out for three days!

Anyways, if this song is any indication about what her 5th album will be like, we're in for a fun ride.



Jon Bellion - All Time Low


 Again, another song that sounds happy and upbeat... until you listen to the lyrics.  Unlike being angry at politics and the world, Jon is angry at himself for letting his first love get away from him. When speaking about what the song meant to him, he told Idolator:

"It's an illustration of what it feels like to be three days into a break up — the really heavy, emotional, 'I don’t even know if I want to continue living at this point.' I'm just being majorly honest and letting you know how horrible everything's been since you left. I don't think it's a specific situation but I want it to be broad so everyone can relate to that. I think everybody's been in that situation at least once in their life. Your first love… when that ends that's a devastating thing to feel."

And how this song became to be, the story becomes even more interesting

"I finished the song two years ago and said no matter what song I made after that, that was going to be my single. It was written so fast. I finished the song and wrote it so quickly. I think that's usually a telling for myself. [...] I was like, 'This has to be a sign'. I fought for it, for about two years, for it to be the lead single. Now that it is, it's great to see that it's really working."

His songwriting skills are nothing to sniff at, either!  He wrote the chorus to Eminem and Rihanna's smash hit "Monster" in 2013.  He also produced Jason Derulo's "Trumpets" in 2012.   But for his own music, it's all him.  He writes and produces everything - which is something of a rarity in the music industry considering all the geniuses out there ready to lend you a hand.

And, I'm not gonna lie, I'm not huge into EDM, but All Time Low is an earworm.  I don't know if it's the beat, the lyrics, or how he's always repeating the world "Low" in various octaves.  Either way, I was hooked the second I heard it.  And so were many MANY others!

The 26-year-old's song has sold over a million times, earning it a shiny RIAA Platinum certification.


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