The Greatest Love of All: not in today’s music

Victoria Niu, Staff Writer

Ah, February, the traditional month of love, when the familiar shades of pink and red peek into our convenient stores and advertisements. It is no surprise that love appears all over our radio channels as well…except for on the airwaves, it seems to be Valentine’s Day every day, all year long.

Even for the most casual listener, it seems that all the songs are about love, and not much else. We are all familiar with channels full of love, like KDWB or KS95, and it’s hard getting by these days without getting one of those distressingly catchy songs stuck in your head. This isn’t a new pattern; love has been the central emotion songs have been revolving around even before radio. However, over the past few decades, songs have become increasingly more sexualized. The theme of love is less explored and more beaten with a stick with the same subliminal and objectified messages.

Take, for example, S&M by Rihanna. At one point, she sings, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me.” Apart from being disconcerting due to her incident with Chris Brown, it serves to promote violence as a form of pleasure among couples. In a more recent hit, I’m Sexy and I Know It by LMFAO, one can tell just from the title that it is a song about vanity and lust rather than love. Certainly, there are plenty of songs that aren’t explicit or hypersexualized, demonstrated by artists such as Adele, Owl City, and Taylor Swift. However, for every number that goes beyond objectifying women and harmful behaviors, the music industry chooses three others about partying, narcissism, or sex to blow up. Clearly, songs about real and healthy love are in the minority on mainstream radio.

So next time you turn on the radio, really think about what the lyrics are saying. You might want to change the station and listen to something else.