The other day, Mom and I were in the car on the way to the airport when we were meeting Marlayne. I had brought along “Josh Groban: Awake – Live” CD to listen to, and aside from enjoying his beautiful voice, I found myself constantly laughing at the screams we got to listen to thanks to the ‘live’ recording. Apparently there were a bunch of teenage girls in the front row…
But while we were listening, Mom said “Do you have any idea why teenage girls like his music so much?” I said “No, it’s funny, isn’t it?” and we mused over why the twenty-nine-year-old singer would have become such a big hit with girls ages 14+. It hit me on the way back – I now have a theory. What he sings is about love – not the ‘you broke my heart, now I’m gonna break yours’ type – the only one I can think that comes close to that is ‘Broken Vow’. Much of his music is about pure, romantic love – here are a few lines from some of his songs.
From “When You Say You Love Me”
When you say you love me
The world goes still, so still inside and
When you say you love me
For a moment, there’s no one else alive
From “Don’t Give Up”
Everybody wants to be understood
Well I can hear you
Everybody wants to be loved
Don’t give up
Because you are loved
From “In Her Eyes” (one of my favorite)
I am not a hero
I am not an angel
I am just a man
Man who’s trying to love her
Unlike any other
In her eyes I am
And then I started thinking about Owl City. Here is what Adam Young himself said in a Christianity Today review:
Did you set out to write music to appeal to teen girls, or is that just how it turned out?
Haha, I’m afraid I didn’t really pay attention. I just write the music I would like to hear as a listener myself, so needless to say I was pretty shocked when teen girls connected with my music so well. Somehow I feel it’s a bit too “random” for that age demographic. But I’m certainly not complaining!
Why did it turn out to be such a big hit with teen girls? After all, it really is ‘random’ music. Here are a few lines from some of his songs…
From “Butterfly Wings”
Asleep in a warm cocoon
We dream of lovely things
We’re both gonna wake up soon
So we hope that tomorrow brings us our butterfly wings
But when her smile came back and I didn’t feel half as horrible
She gave me a heart attack just because she looked so adorable
We both put our sunblock on, played on the beach and
Vowed that we’d live and we’d learn
Yeah, but she got a tan, and I got a sunburn, I got a sunburn
From “Vanilla Twilight”
I’ll watch the night turn light-blue
But it’s not the same without you
Because it takes two to whisper quietly
The silence isn’t so bad
‘Til I look at my hands and feel sad
‘Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where yours fit perfectly
His lyrics are quirky, cute, and abstract – and often focus on innocent, childlike love.
Now compare these two to Hannah Montana’s song, G.N.O –
I’ll dance with somebody new, won’t have to think about you/cuz I don’t and I won’t see you… hey boy/doncha wish ya coulda been a good boy/try to find another girl like me, boy/cuz I am fine and it’s time for me to draw the line’
Considering she was ‘then but fifteen years old’, those lyrics are ridiculously sad. If you read the rest of the lyrics, you would piece together that
1. A fifteen-year-old girl (assuming the girl is the same age as Miley was when this song came out) broke up with her boyfriend and is out for a night on the town to have fun with new guys and ‘dance’ – implying she is at a club or a party. (By the way, do you know how hard it was to find a picture of Miley C./Hannah M. that was modest enough to put on this blog!? Sheesh! Of course, after I’d FOUND one, I had the bright idea to cover most of it up… alas, alack, and Alaska..)
I never hear anybody talking about that song, do you?
But I DO hear Josh Groban and Owl City being talked about quite frequently.
I think I see a hopeful rise in good, clean music popularity among teenagers – let’s hope it keeps on coming!