The beautiful game down in Brazil

I like to predict trends in music. Sometimes I’m right, like when Elle King’s Ex’s and Ohs made it huge. Sometimes I’m wrong, like when I thought Imagine Dragons’ second album would turn out better than their first.

My next prediction is that Declan McKenna’s “Brazil” will be the next alternative/indie track to inexplicably get popular on the pop stations. Following in the lovely trend of bands like 21pilots becoming mainstream, I think this song is well on its way. It’s so catchy, with a smooth rhythm and great guitar line. The lyrics are wonderful, snippets get caught in my head all the time, but so many didn’t seem to make sense.

I rarely give up and look up the meaning of a song, but with this one I had to. I’m glad I did.

Obviously, all art is subjective, and none of this is fact, just interesting to think about. According to a few interpretations on genius.com (http://genius.com/8437744) , it’s about how Brazil treated its poor terribly while preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It begins by chastising the ironic choice to cut down the Amazon Rainforest to (in the end) promote tourism, when the rainforest is what many tourists want to see. It goes on to spin several allegories about rich people treating the poor terribly, and about how people actually died to appease FIFA.

I get the lines, “It gets me down,” “He talks like an angel but he looks like me” and “Don’t you want to play the beautiful game down in Brazil” stuck in my head over and over, one after the other. Now, these phrases are injected with meaning. I love songs about difficult subjects. In a world full of fluffy songs, it’s nice to have one every now and then that makes you think.

It’s not a new development. After all, as one of my friends used to bring up quite a lot, “Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake your booty.” Not all songs are, nor should be, poetic and thinky, or music would be more work than is necessary.

It was the fun beat about “Brazil” that caught me first, then its well-written lyrics, and finally its deeper meaning. I love how digging can bring out such wonderful details.

This post is all over the place. But it’s been awhile since I’ve just rambled at you all. It’s nice. Ironically, a post about deeper meaning in songs results in a rather fluffy piece overall. Ah well:)

Anyway, please! Go check out “Brazil:” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39r0QFD1oPM.

Declan McKenna is only 16, I just found out while searching for a photo of him. Wow, this song is fascinating.

 

Passion vs. Success through the lens of Maroon 5

I like old Maroon 5.

I don’t think I could write a more hipster sentence if I tried. It’s practically a cliché, now, to say that you only like “old” songs from a popular band…but it’s so often true!

Old Mumford and Sons, old Imagine Dragons, old Maroon 5, old old old.

It annoys me when people follow success over their passion, whether it’s musicians following fads to stay relevant or regular people following fads to seem cool and in the loop. However annoying it is, though, I understand where they’re coming from.

After all, convention often leads to success, right? Maroon 5 took off once they started making cookie cutter pop. I might like Songs About Jane, but if 99% of the world prefers V, they’ll keep making songs that match V.

I can’t help but wonder if Maroon 5 misses their old style. Do they feel passionless? Do they feel like their money is unearned?

Conversely, Mumford and Sons dropped the folksy music style because they felt like they were a rock band at heart. I didn’t like the switch, and reviews were pretty mixed, but hey, they’re following their passions. It’s not fair for me to be angry at Maroon 5 for following success over passion if I’m also angry at Mumford and Sons for following passion over success.

Which is the right path to follow? Passion or Success?

There’s no correct answer. The dream is to find a path that involves both, but often we find we must make sacrifices, one way or another. Either we keep our passions buried in our stomachs or we constantly battle failure.

Which fight are you prepared to take on?