I’m gonna need you to psyche into your inner-teenage-girl for a minute ’cause, let’s face it, this seems to be the age of guilty pleasures. Let us cleanse ourselves of denial, and temporarily accept the tunage that makes us feel the way we do. Trust me, you won’t forget the music that’s actually good. Step inside society’s bubble—let us admire anything on the radio. Sure it’s crap, but its catchy crap, and you know it’s rubbing you in a way that’s unexpected. That’s the bittersweet ideal of mainstream music, my friends. Now on the other side of the spectrum, there is the hipster, who sticks their nose in the air to mainstream music only because it’s mainstream music. The philosophy of the hipster has blazed like wildfire the past few years and now it seems to be common sense, “To be cool, one must look effortlessly cool. To have good taste in music, one must spit on mainstream and only listen to obscure bands. If one’s obscure indie band goes viral, one must brag that one knew such band before they were cool, and move on to the next band.” And so on and so forth. Despite physics, the polar opposites of the hipster and the mainstream can connect. The rules slightly bend if one artist is actually hipster enough to go viral and remain cool.
In this case, a 16 year old New Zealand singer-songwriter, Lorde, has pushed her way to the top with her sleeper hit “Royals” but she seemingly just appeared on the throne of pop, ’cause she definitely wasn’t there yesterday. Royals became the number one song iTunes for a minute, number two on Spotify for a while, and number three on Billboard. And on the tranquil days, you can almost feel the intensity of sour grapes radiating off of Miley Cyrus fans. In a way, I almost feel bashful to admit that I fell, not in love, but in obsession with Lorde. But what I can say, electro-pop music matched with a thick voice musing what’s exactly relatable for our generation is honestly refreshing.
In “Royals,” the music’s cute but that’s not necessarily what makes the song appealing to the ear. The hook of the song literally does its job, and the lyrics grab your attention.
And I’m not proud of my address
Tn the torn-up town; no post code envy.
But every song’s like ‘gold teeth, grey goose, trippin’ in the bathroom
blood stains, ball gowns, trashin’ the hotel room.’
We don’t care, we’re driving Cadillacs in our dreams.
But everybody’s like “Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece,
jet places, islands, tigers on a gold leash.”
We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair…
Because we’ll never be Royals.
Within entertainment these days, the imagery of the privileged continues to mark its territory. Although these are lyrics aren’t exactly bold, Lorde’s statement in “Royals” simply isn’t said enough. In the mainstream music scene, the last great reminder to enjoy the lives we were born into was Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” in 2006. However, more than ever, we consistently throw ourselves into fantasies—unhealthy and alarming. Reality shows about the beautiful and the rich aren’t dying soon, music about the luxurious is an epidemic, and the photos we reblog on Tumblr is all about the lives we’d rather live. But with the popularity of Royals, it’s much obvious that many see it for the daydream that it is.
Now I can shake my finger and say this isn’t healthy, but the next time I catch my uncle watching a marathon of The Hills, I might just join him. We all know we’ll continue to indulge in watching the stars play, but when in need of a reality-check in the style of “empathetic pat on the back,” Lorde’s got you, and your inner-teenage-girl, covered.