A Peek at Today’s Music

Posted on: 08/18/12 10:17 AM | by Jonathan McKee

Have you looked at the music charts lately? Allow me to give you a quick glimpse.

This weekend I’m flying to Albuquerque, NM to teach my Parenting the Texting Generation workshop. During the beginning of those workshops I always give parents a peek into the world of youth culture. Headlines often use scare tactics and talk about the minority of teenagers, so I focus on what the majority of kids are actually doing, which risky behaviors are prevalent, and what media sources have the biggest impact on young people. Then I spend the rest of the workshop helping parents not overreact, but instead “interact” with their kids and build lasting values.

Since most of you don’t live in New Mexico and can’t attend this workshop, let me give you a quick tour of what’s happening on the music charts at the moment. (Some of you have seen the YouTube video from early 2012, my little “tour of today’s iTunes”. This fun little segment of the workshop changes every time… simply because the charts are always changing.)

A Glimpse at the Most Popular Songs Today

Can You Blow My Whistle Baby?
Yeah, that is the chorus to Flo Rida’s hit song Whistle, and it just hit #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100. It’s been #1 on iTunes for a while now, but recently got bumped down to #2 by Taylor Swift. (Thank you Taylor!)

If you want to know what the song is about, check out my post on Whistle HERE.

A New Music Video from the Biebs
The ever-evolving Justin Bieber has a new music video, featuring Big Sean, and it is sitting at the #1 music video spot on iTunes right now. The song is titled As Long As You Love Me, and the video shows Bieber attempting to run away with his girlfriend, but overprotective dad (played by tough guy Michael Madson, who will forever be “Mr. Blonde” in my mind) tries to stop that from happening.

You can watch the music video on YouTube for free, just like teenagers do. My Twitter followers will recall a tweet from me this week noting Nielson’s report that more teens (64%) listen to music through YouTube than through any other source.”

Brace yourselves for typical Bieber sappy pop. Is it as racy as the typical popular hip hop music videos? Not even close, but parents would be turning a blind eye to not call parts of this video sensual.

Personally, I watched the video with my 14-year-old daughter this week and asked her what she thought. She agreed that it was a little sensual, and that the Biebs was getting pretty provocative with his recent videos. (“Swag! Swag!”)

Some Nights
The group ‘Fun’ is slowly becoming a household name. Most people recognize them from their recent hit song, We Are Young (heard in the creative Chevy commercials featuring cars being dropped from planes, etc.); but now they have a second song moving up the charts, Some Nights.

The song is already #3 on iTunes, #8 on Billboards and teenagers love it! If you have no idea what this song is about… you’re not alone. I just wrote all about this song and music video on my guest post on DougFields.com today.

One More Night
Now #4 on iTunes, this Maroon 5 song has sprung to popularity in recent weeks. One More Night is the opening track on their July 2012 album Overexposed, the album that young people know well because of the song Payphone, featuring the perpetually stoned Wiz Khalifa.

One More Night is another song about two people who don’t get along who can’t seem to “untie” the knot… not so much because of true love, but because of lust (and do teenagers really know the difference between lust and love?). In the lyrics, he admits:

So I cross my heart, and I hope to die, that I’ll only stay with you one more night
And I know I said it a million times
But i’ll only stay with you one more night

Trying to tell you no, but my body keeps on telling you yes
Trying to tell you stop, but your lipstick got me so out of breath
I’d be waking up, in the morning probably hating myself
And i’d be waking up, feeling satisfied but guilty as hell…

This song isn’t downright explicit, like the band’s earlier hit Payphone (which still rides at #5 on Billboard’s Hot 100), but it’s the typical pop messages that teenagers are hearing, convincing them that one of the most important parts of a relationship is in the bedroom, and that temporary thrills are worth pursuing.

Final Thoughts
All the experts say that blogs should only be about a page long… a discipline I really struggle with. But in effort to keep this short (I’m already bleeding into 3 pages of a Word document right now), I’ll offer some final thoughts.

Is everything in the charts negative?

No, not at all. Taylor Swift is currently riding the #1 spot on iTunes with We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. Taylor’s music is always fun, real and clean. Refreshing, really. Phillip Phillips’ song Home is also refreshingly pure. It hit #1 for a while, now riding at #7 on iTunes and #9 on Billboard’s Hot 100. And I have to give a shoutout to Katy Perry for Wide Awake, currently #4 on Billboard’s Hot 100. As I mentioned in my letter to Katy, I think she’s at a crossroads right now. I’m eager to see which way she decides to steer her career.

So there we have it. Music is a powerful medium that young people can’t seem to live without. But it’s just one of many influences on teenager’s today, the most powerful of which… is a caring parent!