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Who Charted?

Songs about Songs [Oof, Who Charted?]

I brought back my “Oof, Who Charted?” series for a new installment on songs about songs! Some songwriters run out of ideas for their songs so they just write about a different song, or maybe even the song they’re writing, like some kind of musical Escher drawing. In the video I break down some recent offenders.

First we get into Selena Gomez’ “Love You Like a Love Song” in which she basically admits there are already enough love songs out there. Unfortunately that doesn’t stop her from attempting this one. Then we get into Kid Rock’s nostalgia track “All Summer Long” in which he reminisces about singing “Sweet Home Alabama.” What happens in 20 years when someone writes a song about how great it was to sing “All Summer Long”? Thankfully, that will never happen.

Next is Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” which cracks me up because she just flat out says “this is my fight song” in the chorus. She should do a whole album of songs that just tell us what they are: “This is my workout jam!” ”This is my song for rainy Sundays.”

And then there’s a country song by Brett Eldredge called “Wanna Be That Song” which, as far as I can tell, is told from the point of view of the song itself expressing the desire to be a popular song. And the only reason I know about this song is because the video was shot at Wrigley Field and as a long-suffering Cubs fan the internet algorithms threw it at me several times.

There are many more examples but I kept it to these 4 for the sake of video brevity. Hope you like it!

[Oof, Who Charted?] Summer—Calvin Harris

Get out your glow sticks, we’re talking about EDM! I don’t want to say that dance music is repetitive, but I don’t want to say dance music is repetitive.

I also don’t want to say dance music is repetitive but (quieter now) I don’t want to say dance music is repetitive. (Bass Drop!) I don’t want…

Well, you get it. And it doesn’t even feel that contemporary to me. The “rave knave” keyboard sounds, the saw wave synth leads, are all very cheesy 80s relics that somehow have survived. All of that could be forgiven if it weren’t so dang repetitive. Did I mention how repetitive it is?

Electronic sounding music can be done very well. Mark Mothersbaugh’s soundtrack for the Lego Movie is amazing and shows how good music can be when you have an actual musician/composer working the dials of all of the electronic gizmos. But when DJs and dance enthusiasts are behind the controls it gets pretty repetitive. Did I mention that?

[Oof, Who Charted?] Break Free—Ariana Grande

Max Martin, the Swedish songwriter who had Britney Spears telling everyone to hit her one more time, continues his tradition of garbled lyrics with Ariana Grande and Zedd’s hit song “Break Free.” In what sounds like a first draft of lyrics complete with phrases that practically say “lyrics to come” we are treated to bad verb conjugations and more.

Remember, these are professional songwriters, they make money doing this. It’s enough to convince you that no one is actually listening.

[Oof, Who Charted?] Trumpets

Frame Cap from [Oof, Who Charted?] Trumpets video

I first heard this song at a Key Food grocery store in Brooklyn and I thought maybe one of the manager’s 10-year-old sons was playing a Garageband project he was working on, but no, it was an actual song that’s on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. From it’s empty lyrics to the falsetto singing, to the grating horn loop that’s not in time with the music, this song is an amazing achievement. Enjoy!

© Paravonian