Friday, April 08, 2011

Grenade by Bruno Mars

I have a confession. Now, I don't want to frighten anyone off, and I don't want you to think less of me. (Not, really, that anyone who knows me could actually think less of me...)

But I listen to pop music.

I know. It seems shallow. But really, I've always been so shallow that if you tried to dive into me, you'd probably break your neck. And I'm OK with that; I have no real depth. I am what you see. (Or, in this case, what you read. But I digress.)

So I was driving along yesterday listening to the radio, and this song that I'd never heard came on. The melody was OK, if a little formulaic. And his voice was... well, frankly, his voice was just a little bit terrible (I've never been a big fan of the high tenor). But I think that it was really the lyrics that bothered me the most.

I forced myself to remember a couple of phrases (in this case "catch a grenade" and "throw my hand on a blade"), so that I could google it when I got home. Because it was just that bad.

It turns out that this song has been around for six months or so, and I'm just behind the power curve. (To be honest, I'm used to that.) It was from a guy calling himself "Bruno Mars" (apparently, "Peter Gene Hernandez" was too... I don't know, too common for him or something), and it's from his first album, Doo-Wops and Hooligans (yeah, I don't know what that title is supposed to mean, either).

Now, I assume that somebody had to write the words to this song, right? And Mr. "Mars" is willing to claim them, so let's take a look at his lyrical prowess, shall we?
Easy come, easy go, that's just how you live (oh)
Take, take, take it all but you never give.
So apparently Mr "Mars" is having problems with a girl. (Or a boy - I don't judge.) That seems obvious, right?
Should've known you was trouble from the first kiss,
Had your eyes wide open. Why were they open?
Let's stop right there. Because, really, how would he know that his partner had his (or her) "eyes wide open"? It presumably means that somebody else's eyes were also open, doesn't it?

I'm just saying...
Gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash.
You tossed it in the trash, you did.
To give me all your love is all I ever asked,
'Cause what you don't understand is
OK, this is where the chorus kicks in. And we're seeing that Mr. "Mars" definitely has some issues with his relationship here, right?

Well, now it starts to take a disturbing turn. The video? Well, apparently he's suffering because he can't afford a moving company to drag his piano across town, so he does it on foot.

Honest, that's what's going on. I guess it's supposed to show how much he's suffering. (And at one point, I think you see another guy in the room with the girl he's seems to be singing to. But to be honest, I'm not watching it again to find out.) But it isn't the video that bothers me. Let's get back to the lyrics.

So, as I said: the chorus.
I'd catch a grenade for ya;
Throw my hand on a blade for ya;
I'd jump in front of a train for ya;
You know I'd do anything for ya;
OK, a little creepy. (And, really? "Throw my hand on a blade"? Who says that?) But all this "I would get hurt to prove I love you" stuff has a long history in romance novels and bad poetry, right?

Not that it doesn't get worse...
I would go through all this pain
Take a bullet straight through my brain.
Yup. I think we've established that you're creepy already.
Yes, I would die for ya, baby,
Been there, OK? You're weird. But let me just say, now is the point where the lyrics go straight downhill.
But you won't do the same.
What?!? Suicide pacts are romantic now? Is that where we are as a society? Pop music wants you to kill yourself to prove your love?

But having driven that horse off a cliff, he keeps on going. You know that part of so many love songs where they say something like "you're so mean/you put me through hell/you left me a wreck/a broken shell." Yeah, see, "Bruno," that's supposed to be a metaphor.

Either "Bruno" really sucks at poetic imagery, or he doesn't see it like that.
Black, black, black and blue, beat me 'til I'm numb
Tell the devil I said "hey," when you get back to where you're from
Mad women, bad women, that's just what you are
OK, we've established that he's dating a girl. So there's that. But let me just emphasize this next line:
You'll smile in my face then rip the brakes out my car.
He goes on to repeat the chorus a lot. A lot. There's only one more brief verse, where he whines that she wouldn't put him out if he were on fire. Oh, and she never loved him.

So, that's what we have here. Either a guy who completely failed at Metaphorical Imagery 101, or a song about a masochist, in love with a sadist who's tried to kill him at least once, and who believes that a double suicide is the height of romance.

That's what I'm getting out of this song. And it made it to #1 in a lot of countries. If Mr "Mars" is found dead sometime, with a dead woman nearby, I think the coroner should have a copy of this song in his report.

And to that end, I submit for the court, Exhibit A.

1 comment:

Sheria said...

LMAO! I listen to all kinds of music including pop and I make no apologies for it. Own it. Love songs have always been extreme, why do you think Cupid shoots arrows? A red rose is a traditional symbol of love dating back to the 14th century when courtly love was all the rage. Why a rose? Because it has thorns that bleed the unwary heart. Speaking of bleeding hearts, that classic symbol of love, the heart--it has an arrow through it! As another pop song states, "Love Hurts." Btw, this is the funniest review I've ever read.