You’ve probably heard dozens of people say – music isn’t what it used to be!
In this cynical modern world, there are those who will find any excuse to decry modern music and explain how nothing is like it was “back in their day”.
While I don’t agree that music has gotten worse, I think it’s a shame that one lyrical ingredient seems to have all but vanished from modern pop.
Humour, whimsy, nonsense – call it whatever you like but I miss songs in the charts that were funny!
When ‘Sexy And I Know It’ by LMFAO was released in 2011, there was an intake of breath. It was refreshing to see a satirical, tongue-in-cheek song climb to the top of the charts.
The irony is that it’s now so ubiquitous in nightclubs that dancers barely notice the outrageousness…
Since that release we’ve had ten years of hit records without that same playfulness.
Have you heard any of the biggest current music artists write a silly hit? Adele, Rihanna, The Weeknd, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Coldplay, Rudimental have all taken a no nonsense approach as their careers grew but I think they’re missing a trick.
The all-time greatest songwriters were unafraid to show their funny side:
Joni Mitchell joking around at the end of ‘Big Yellow Taxi’.
John Lennon writing the surreal lyrics to ‘I Am The Walrus’.
Bob Dylan’s frivolity on ‘Rainy Day Women #12 & #35’.
Bands like The Kinks, Madness, Squeeze, Oasis and The Sex Pistols all understood that you could be funny in music (and even downright ridiculous) without staking their credibility as serious artists.
Luckily, outside of the charts, there are still musicians that are writing witty lyrics. Songwriters like Brad Paisley and independent artists like Courtney Barnett, Matt Maltese, Baby Girl and Father John Misty still carry a wonderful dry wit in all of their songs.
Hopefully we’ll one day see that sense of humour back in the Top 40 charts!
Until then, I’ll be dancing around to Gangnam Style in my living room with a wry smile on my face…
If you’d like to go a little deeper towards the world of comedy music, I’d highly recommend this playlist:
British Comedy Music Playlist