Lorde/Electropop/The Love Club
George Michael/R&B/One More Try
Growing up, I’ve always listened to a wide range of music genres. Depending on my mood, I can listen to classical, rap, rock, hip-hop, Latin—practically anything. I think my older brother was the one who had the most influence on my music taste. That might be because I had the mentality that the oldest sibling is the “coolest” so the younger sibling must follow in their footsteps in order to achieve said “coolness.” The rest of my family is fairly the same way, enjoying various genres of music, but bossa nova and samba was the preferred genre since they’re all Brazilian. In elementary school, I remember pop being my favorite music to listen to, but that shifted when I began middle school and started listening to rock. When I began high school, I started listening to more classical rock, rap, and electronic dance music. Now at 19, I try and appreciate all genres of music, with no specific favorite.
II. “The Love Club” Musical/Lyrical Analysis
Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, but more famously known as Lorde, is an electropop-esque artist from New Zealand. “The Love Club” is a lesser known song from her album Pure Heroine released in 2013, but remains one of my favorites to this day since its release. The song tells a story about Lorde’s longing desire to become a part of the “cool kids” in order for her to gain popularity and be liked by everyone. Eventually she discovers how “The Love Club” will make you forget who you truly are and make you feel lost. The song begins with a harmony of “Oh’s” and a simple drum beat. I believe the two harmonious voices are symbolic of the two identities Lorde struggles with in the song—her true self and her “cool” self. This harmony is frequently heard throughout the song and is one of the parts that stands out most when you listen to it. The one reason I really love this song is because I can really relate to it. When I first heard this song, I was a freshman in high school and struggled with what and how I wanted my image to be, all dependent of who I hung out with. I feel that this song has to do with my identity at the time. Befriending the right people is a struggle that most young teenagers go through. Ironically, the song isn’t depressing, slow, or soft; it’s very upbeat and the melody is catchy. It’s almost as if Lorde made the song for others to listen to how she felt for the “The Love Club.” Joining the cool kids sounds too good to be true and joining would be something a naïve teenager would fall for. The chorus, “Be a part of the love club/Everything will glow for you,” is how Lorde, myself, and many other teenagers would think popularity is like. Popularity carries this façade of how everything will suddenly be amazing and nothing will matter. The second verse, “I joined the club and it’s all on/There are fights for being my best friend/And the girls get their claws out/There’s something about hanging out with the wicked kids,” shows how when someone is popular, everyone wants to befriend them because they become so jealous. I remember in high school how all my peers knew everyone in the popular crowd, but not vice-versa. If the popular crowd knew who you were, it meant you were more important than everyone else. My favorite lyrical part is in the bridge when she sings, “The only problem that I got with the club/Is how you’re severed from the people who watched you grow up/When you’re a member, go on your great adventure again/And we’ll be waiting at the end.” Because of popularity, most of the time those who were once closest to you become the most distant. You view yourself so highly that the only people you want to be around you are the ones who desire your popularity and your attention because of your reputation. That last line of the song before the final chorus, “And we’ll be waiting at the end,” symbolizes how a person’s popularity will ultimately end and those who truly care about you will be waiting when your time in “The Love Club” ends.
III. “One More Try” Musical/Lyrical Analysis
Since I can remember, I’ve always had this idea that the purpose of life is finding the love of your life. I don’t know where I got these values from—maybe from watching too many romance movies. The first time I listened to “One More Try” by George Michael, it automatically became one of my favorite songs ever even though I didn’t understand what he was singing about. Now that I can read through the lyrics and try to piece together what the song is all about, it still remains in my top choices of songs. The song tells the story about how George Michael is tired of giving away his love to people who essentially use it all up and then leave. This song is about vulnerability and being in love: “So I don’t want to learn to/Hold you, touch you/Think that you’re mine/Because it ain’t no joy/For an uptown boy/Whose teacher has told him goodbye.” These are two things that I’ve grown up to realize are a big part of my life and who I am. I really love the melody of this song in particular. You can tell by the way George Michael sings the song that there is some sort of pain because of the dynamics. The song also begins with conjunct motion and builds up to disjunct motion throughout. I love how at the very end of the song the last line he sings is “Maybe just one more time,” which ties into the title of the song when he decides he’ll give love another try because perhaps it’s worth the risk again.
Music makes up a large part of practically everyone’s lives; we hear it everywhere and anywhere we go. It makes us emotional, it comforts us, it brings us together. Music expresses our deepest emotions through sound. I do believe music has the power to influence our behavior. That must be why there are so many stereotypes of people who listen to certain genres of music. Its rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, form, texture—all the musical elements can shape us into who we are. Music is so powerful that it can take our minds someplace else and evoke emotions. And that’s why I appreciate all forms of music.