The atrophy of Rock & Roll (Originally Posted 6/27/05)

While the heavy rotation period of Hoobastank’s "The Reason" has died down, I’m still surprised to hear this song being played on the radio.  At the very least I’m surprised it’s still being played on "men’s" radio stations.  You know, the kind of stations with crude 14 year old humor in their station IDs.  The kind of stations you don’t expect to have a large female audience.

Why?  Because this has to be the least manly song ever written, that’s why.

The song would normally fit my tastes in complexity.  It has lots of key changes, especially between major and minor chords.  It shows a decent adherance to the verse/chorus/verse/chorus/break/verse/chorus formula.  Finally, the singer’s voice does not make me want to claw my ears off by being too whiney or otherwise unpleasant.

So why do I hate this song?  It’s the lyrics.  These are the least testosterone-fueled lyrics ever penned by a male… or at least by a heterosexual male.  In all the time this song has been on the radio, I’ve never paid that much attention to the lyrics, having been caught up in the chord progressions up to this point.  This weekend, the song was on the radio while I was making lunch for the family in the kitchen, and it STILL made me feel more manly than normal in contrast to its mere presence in the air.  I listened to the lyrics for the first time, and I kept hearing a whip-crack sound effect in my head as each successive line of the song was delivered.  I certainly hope there’s a wedding ring involved in whatever relationship inspired this song because if you’re THAT whipped while still in the dating phase you can forget any plans you had to watch sporting event of any kind in the future… except figure skating of course.

(Actually I rather like figure skating, but in the same way I like auto racing… I’m just watching it for the crashes.)

The only explanation I can come up with for this song is that it was an assignment or condition of some kind of "counselling" session.  Yes, that’s right, I suspect that this song was an assignment handed down by an argyle-cardigan-wearing, Yanni-listening, Tofu-eating caricature of a marriage counsellor in a sentance that undoubtedly ended with the words "…if you are truly committed to making this relationship work".

Now I’m not saying that there’s no validity to making an effort to keep a relationship together, but that’s just not Rock & Roll.  Rock & Roll means hyper-masculine songs about using people up and throwing them away, even if those songs are written by the very same people attending relationship "workshops" in their private lives.  Keep that stuff private will ya?

Rock & Roll is about ugly guys getting groupies because they’re in a band.  Geddy Lee, Gene Simmons, Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Noddly Holder (Look it up), Ronny James Dio, do I really need to continue?  I think you see what I’m driving at.  Our "Rock" stations are playing music that more and more is starting to sound like boy bands for adults.  Make it stop, for God’s sake MAKE IT STOP!

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