Pop music’s obsession with sex

Checked out the iTunes Singles or the ARIA Singles Charts lately? You won’t be surprised to know that many of the songs that feature in the top 20 are just about sex with not much subtlety.

Let’s look at the iTunes Singles Chart (as of January 30). First place is taken by Rihanna’s S&M. In case you weren’t aware, that’s short for sadomasochism. Number two is Wynter Gordon’s Dirty Talk. No prizes for guessing what that song is about. Katy Perry’s Ryan Tedder-esque E.T. takes fourth place, and it’s basically a song about Perry’s sensual love for an extraterrestrial alien who she begs to “take me…wanna be your victim, ready for abduction”.  Enrique Iglesias’ terrible track Tonight (I’m F***in’ You) comes in at number nine. (The censored counterpart that replaces the f-word with Lovin’ is at number 25.)

Then there’s Avril Lavigne’s single What The Hell at number 10 and from the surface you would not even guess that the song was related to sex at all. Well, if you google the lyrics – as you do with all songs – you notice that the ex-sk8er girl is telling off her boyfriend for wanting a monogamous relationship. “You say that I’m messing with your head All ’cause I was making out with your friend. Love hurts whether it’s right or wrong I can’t stop ’cause I’m having too much fun”.

What else is there? Oh, there’s Usher’s More at number 13. I haven’t actually heard this particular track but upon doing a quick Google search, I found that once again it’s just like the songs I’ve already mentioned – sex, sex and more sex in wonderfully descriptive language: “I’m a beast, I’m an animal, I’m that monster in the mirror, the headliner, finisher, I’m the closer, winner. Best when under pressure one second’s left I show up.”

I’m not done yet and I am only at number 15, which is taken up by The Lonely Island’s I Just Had Sex. No explanation needed again. Little Red occupies the 18th spot with Rock It, a track that isn’t quite clear about what it’s on about. Is the band singing about dancing all night long or something else? Hmmmm.

Lastly, Britney Spears’ new single, Hold It Against Me is at number 19. The song has no artistic quality at all, but as a pop music enthusiast, I quite like it despite its shallow lyrical content courtesy of Max Martin and Dr Luke. It’s like her last single, 3 – complete trash, but terribly catchy and addictive.

That rounds up the iTunes Top 20 Singles Chart. I hope you won’t hold it against me – definitely not in the way Britney is insinuating – and think that I hate pop music because I think it’s all sex-driven. I confess that I do enjoy pop music. I even admitted that I liked Britney’s single. But perhaps you will be a bit more conscious of the lyrical content of songs you listen to when you turn on the radio or iPod.

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About Brendan
Journalist

2 Responses to Pop music’s obsession with sex

  1. Nicole says:

    I agree, a lot of songs are about sex. But when hasn’t it been?

    You should listen to this “acoustic” version of Britney’s Hold it Against Me – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdXbVqYgh6s

    I would love to sing chart toppers with you again, Brendan! lol

  2. Brendan says:

    Yeah, this definitely isn’t new. What a shame it’s just the norm.

    Thanks for sharing the acoustic version of Hold It Against Me. I like it!

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