Good Point: Many of Today’s Pop Songs Are About ME, ME ME!

Andrew Romano of The Daily Beast has been listening to the radio a lot and he’s noticed something about today’s hits.  The man has a point.

I like to call it Selfie Pop: the sonic equivalent of those smartphone self-portraits we take and upload to Instagram for all of our followers to ogle. Songs that are all aboutme, the singer, and/or you, the listener, and how we’re going to overcome every obstacle we encounter because we’re strong and beautiful and unique and empowered and we have really great self-esteem.

To get a sense of how odd Selfie Pop is, from a historical standpoint, try to imagine any of the bestselling acts of the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, or even 1990s announcing, like Perry, that they have transformed “from zero to my own hero” or declaring that the world is “gonna hear me roar louder than a lion ’cause I am a champion.”

It’s basically impossible. The Beatles? No. Elvis? Please. Michael Jackson? Not quite. Sure, Madonna, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston may have sounded more Katy-Perryesque than, say, Led Zeppelin, The Eagles, or U2, but even they were too busy belting out lyrics about less narcissistic subjects—preaching papasdreamlovers,dancing with somebody—to obsess over their own awesomeness all the time.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “Good Point: Many of Today’s Pop Songs Are About ME, ME ME!

  • December 3, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    in modern rock, I call the Mowgli's of the world "posit-rock" or positive rock. I feel like its a reflection of the "you can do whatever you dream" culture we live in.

    Everyone wants to be inspirational.

  • December 4, 2013 at 3:54 am

    And soon, the bubble is going to BURST, BURST, BURST

  • December 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Good story makes a good song. Good luck to any songwriter who forgets that.


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