Thursday, December 15, 2011

I get all my life advice from pop songs

Watching SNL over the weekend, I was exposed for the first time to Robyn and this song. Yes, I know, I live under a rock. A rock with a Radiohead-themed Pandora station. Watch the video if you want to see someone wearing what appears to be the shrunken pelt of Muppet dancing even worse than me, but I want to talk for a moment about the song. It's called "Call Your Girlfriend," and according to Pitchfork, it's a "soaringly tuneful electro-pop ballad" with Robyn "tell[ing] her boyfriend exactly how to break it off with the other woman to inflict the least emotional damage."

Sure. So I listened to the song several times after I first heard it, because apparently a soaringly tuneful electro-pop ballad really hits the spot right now. I was really enjoying the lyrics like "Call your girlfriend/ It's time you had the talk/Give your reasons/Say it's not her fault," and it took me 3-4 listens before I realized the actual scenario was that Robyn was the new woman. Before that, I just heard it as a song full of helpful life advice, as if this particular Swedish pop star is just honestly invested in seeing other people end relationships with grace and maturity. I was so tickled by the idea of a Top 40 pop song about something other than the singer's own heartaches that I instantly started of thinking of other sorts of solid life advice that could make great songs in this genre of "pop music for responsible grown-ups":

Wash The Dishes (..."it's time you took your turn")
Stop Speeding ("'s time to obey the law")
Stand Up Straight ("'s time to see a chiropractor")
Pull Yourself Together ("'s time you dealt with your issues")

And, of course, Call Your Mother ("it's time she heard from you").