Friday, July 12, 2013

95 More Songs of Summer - "Blurred Lines"

I don't think there's any question that this is one of the two songs of summer 2013, along with Daft Punk's "Get Lucky." 

Thanks to the video (and this is the "safe" version), it's also generated backlash from women and others who see the song's message - particularly as that message is conveyed by the "not safe for work" version of the video - as blatantly sexist and encouraging of violence against women. 

It's a fair point, particularly when all of the men in the video are fully clothed and the women - depending on which version you watch - are scantily clad or not at all, but it's also an age old story that goes back to the very beginnings of rock 'n roll.  The example that always comes to my mind first is the protests against the Stones in 1978 over the song "Some Girls," which led to Mick Jagger's hilarious (if dismissive) comment, "f*ck 'em if they can't take a joke."

As a 53-year old male, I'm not sure that I'm entitled to an opinion on something like this, but for my part I find the video so ridiculous and campy (in a "Sharknado" kind of way) that it feels almost as if the women are making fun of the men.  And man, this is one hell of a catchy song - I defy anyone who hears it to try and force themselves to stand still for the entirety of its length.

There's been some good writing on the topic, so if you have a moment, please check out these thoughtful pieces about the song and what it means by a couple of outstanding writers, Ann Friedman and Ann Powers.

"Blurred Lines," Robin Thicke (featuring Pharrell and T.I.), from the summer of 2013.

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