The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

The Student News Site of Illinois Wesleyan University

The Argus

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Love is a muse grown “stale” since Sinatra

Erik Novak, Columnist

Love is a powerful thing. Some people base their entire lives on the pursuit of love in all of the wrong places, and others spend their entire lives in loneliness, believing love has wronged them.

Regardless of one’s perspective on love, you can’t escape it in the music world. We have been listening to songs about love and love lost as long as we’ve been alive.

This is how Frank Sinatra and Justin Bieber come to be essentially the same artist at their very core. They sing songs of love and how it is wonderful and awful.

I know there will be people reading this disgusted by the comparison. I’m a little sick myself, but whether I think Justin Bieber is a good musician or just a waste of everyone’s time is a completely different story.

What Justin Bieber has in common with Frank Sinatra he has in common with a multitude of famous musicians. Even critically acclaimed popular artists such as Adele sing largely about love. You’d be hard pressed to turn on the radio and not find a song about love on every station.

This is because everyone has either experienced love, or is waiting to experience love, and can easily relate to a song about it. Then come the easily remembered lyrics, catchy choruses, and processed instrumentation that heighten the attraction.

People are comfortable with love songs—it’s not likely to change anytime soon. Although, with comfort, eventually comes stagnation. In order to break free of this static the music industry is stuck in right now, people need to be able to accept something new and experimental that will break up the lull they are in.

Artists like Frank Zappa, Captain Beefheart, or the gross-out songs of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins are some of the early examples of deviation from the typical topic of love in modern music. But these artists aren’t all that mainstream.

Our society is afraid of change, or something completely original, and this fear keeps love songs at the top of the charts.

I encourage people to look past the superficiality of Justin Bieber, or even the classics of the great Frank Sinatra or The Beatles and see how many possibilities lie, untouched, in the music world.

While I don’t deny there have been many great songs written about love, the subject has become extremely stale and annoying. I find it hard to believe there are still fresh love-centered ideas to sing about.

Let’s face it; it has been done to death. Sinatra has done it, The Beatles have done it, hard rock bands like Led Zeppelin have done it, and even rap artists have attempted some songs on love. But Love is not the only subject worthy of being written musically.

Looking past our musical comfort zones will not only create a fresher take on music, but it will make us more well-rounded and accepting of change and experimentatio


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