Markham 1 Kristin Markham Ms.
Caruso ENGL 1101 20 September 2011
What is music? “Music is an art of sound in time that expresses ideas and emotions in significant forms through the elements of rhythm, melody, harmony, and color,” (Music 1). Yes, music can be defined in a dictionary but is that was music really is to everyone? Music may be someones job, a hobby, a way of self expression, a way of motivation or music could be just purely a form of entertainment and fun. People listen to music when they are happy, sad, depressed, grieving, in love, or maybe even when they are broken hearted. Music does not just have one meaning for one person, if so, there would be one song and it would have the same meaning for everyone. For some there may be one song that means more to them than any other. People like songs for different reasons, there are so many elements to music that make every song unique. Every song has a singer or artist, next come lyrics, then there are instruments, a beat, band members, etc.. Songs may be liked because they are fun to dance to or the lyrics are really meaningful and if you’re really lucky a song has both. Having good lyrics and a fun beat separates good music from great music. One song that has a great beat and excellent lyrics is the song “Stereo Hearts” by The Gym Class Heroes. There are many categories that this song could be put into because it can appeal to many different audiences. This song is definitely a love song but it is different than most. Most love songs are slow or have a softer melody but this song is upbeat, it is a song that
Markham 2 makes people want to get up and dance. The genre of this song is hip hop which is why it can appeal to many different types of people. Most men do not really enjoy love songs like girls do but to like this song you don’t have to just listen to the lyrics. When a song first starts to play the first thing you hear is the beat and melody, then the singer comes in and starts sings the lyrics to the song. Everyone has an opinion on what they find more important in a song but the lyrics make a song a story. Lyrics are the most important feature to a song. A good beat may make a person’s hips sway side to side but good lyrics make a person sing along to the words and fulling understand what the artist is singing about. What happens when you take away the instruments, singer, beat, etc.? Well, what happens is you get lyrics, the heart and soul of the song. The lyrics of a song tell a story and make a song go from just being a beat to being a story. People always compare music to poetry, even though most people would agree that music is more entertaining. Most good music is poetry on steroids. To determine if a song is really good you have to take away the music and everything else about the song and just look at the lyrics, that will tell you if a song is good or not. In “Stereo Hearts” the lyrics are what really make the song unique and different from others songs. The lyrics compare the artist/singer’s heart to a stereo which is really creative and it has never been done before. The first reason this song is really good is how catchy the lyrics are. The chorus of the song is, “My heart's a stereo it beats for you, so listen close hear my thoughts in every note, oh oh. Make me your radio, turn me up when you feel low. This melody was meant for you, just sing along to my stereo,” (Gym 1). This song is unique because the artist/singer’s feelings and thoughts are made so clear, there is no questioning how the singer feels about who they are singing for.
Markham 3 This song can be compared to other love songs or just other songs in general but this one stands out among them all. For example, if you take the lyrics from a rap song there is not as much meaning from it. It is so hard to understand what the rapper is rapping about so all you have is the beat. The only way you would know what the lyrics are would be to look them up and that defeats the purpose of having them in the first place. In the song “Look At Me Now” by Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes, there are only a few lines in the song that you can understand. When you look up the meaning of the song the lyrics do not even make sense and they do not seem to have a meaning. In todays rap music the most important part of the song is the beat and if its fun to dance to, or maybe people just think they are cool if they listen to it. In “Stereo Hearts” all of the lyrics make sense, as if there is a story being told. The main topic of the song is about love and relationships but the entire song is one big metaphor. The comparison to a heart being a stereo makes perfect sense and the two things go together so perfectly. When “Stereo Hearts” is compared to another love song there is a huge tone difference between the two. Many love songs can come across as being depressing or winey. Love songs can also seem too sappy and it makes them come across as being untrue or unrealistic. The lyrics in “Stereo Hearts” are not overdone, they get the point across without having to be cheesy or cliche. One really good line in the song is, “If I was just another dusty record on the shelf would you blow me off and play me like everybody else?” (Gym 1). This line is really clever because it relates to people in relationships being played but it also goes along with the theme of the song being about how the singer’s heart is a stereo. Another up to date loves song that many people like is the song, “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. This is a good song because it is not as cliche as others but I still do not find it to be as good of a song as “Stereo Hearts”. “Just the Way You Are” has good lyrics but the beat and actual instrumental part about the song is lacking.
Markham 4 The two most important parts of a song are the lyrics and the second most important part is the beat and melody. What sets “Stereo Hearts” apart from other songs is how it has amazing lyrics and a beat that makes you want to get up and dance to. “Just the Way You Are” has the lyric piece of the song but not the instrumental part. “Look at Me Now” has a beat that makes people want to dance but when the lyrics are being rapped everything is too hard to understand and the meaning of the song is lost. Good music can be so hard to find which is why “Stereo Hearts” is one of the better songs out there. A good song can not be defined because it is all about the audience’s opinion. One person may love a song and there could be another person who hates it. There is really only one way of telling if a song is good or not and that is to answer one question. That question is, did the song do its purpose? Every song has a different purpose that the artist is trying to get across and it’s the audience who has to figure out what that purpose is. The tricky part about this is, some songs can be taken in so many ways that it is up to the listener to decide what they want to take out of the song. In “Stereo Hearts” the artist of the song is trying to convey his emotions to a certain loved one. The artist successfully did this because he made it obvious about how he feels for whoever he was singing to. Not only does this song get its point across but it also has great lyrics to sing along to and a beat that makes the listeners want to get up and dance. “Stereo Hearts” by the Gym Class Heroes will always be a song that people look back on and remember as being one of those unforgettable songs.
Work Cited Page Bruno Mars. Just the Way You Are. The Smeezingtons and Neediz, 2010. MP3.
Chris Brown Ft. Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes. Look at Me Now. Diplo Afrojack, 2011. MP3.
Gym Class Heroes. Stereo Hearts. Benny Blanco, 2011. MP3.
"Music | Define Music at Dictionary.com." Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. Web. 04 Oct. 2011. <http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/music>.
Text "Stereo Hearts" (feat. Adam Levine) [Adam Levine:] My heart's a stereo It beats for you, so listen close Hear my thoughts in every no-oh-oh-te. Make me your radio Turn me up when you feel low This melody was meant for you Just sing along to my stereo [Travie McCoy:] Gym class heroes baby! If I was just another dusty record on the shelf Would you blow me off and play me like everybody else? If I asked you to scratch my back, could you manage that? Like it read well, check it Travie, I can handle that Furthermore, I apologize for any skipping tracks It's just the last girl that played me left a couple cracks I used to used to used to used to, now I'm over that Cause holding grudges over love is ancient artifacts If I could only find a note to make you understand I'd sing it softly in your ear and grab you by the hand Just keep it stuck inside your head, like your favorite tune And know my heart's a stereo that only plays for you [Chorus:] My heart's a stereo It beats for you, so listen close Hear my thoughts in every no-oh-oh-te Make me your radio Turn me up when you feel low This melody was meant for you Just sing along to my stereo Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh to my stereo Oh oh oh oh to sing along to my stereo [Travie McCoy:] Let's go! If I was an old-school fifty pound boombox
Markham 7 Would you hold me on your shoulder, wherever you walk Would you turn my volume up in front of the cops And crank it higher everytime they told you to stop And all I ask is that you don't get mad at me When you have to purchase mad D batteries Appreciate every mixtape your friends make You never know we come and go like on the interstate I think I finally found a note to make you understand If you can hear it, sing along and take me by the hand Just keep me stuck inside your head, like your favorite tune You know my heart's a stereo that only plays for you [Chorus:] My heart's a stereo It beats for you, so listen close Hear my thoughts in every no-oh-oh-te Make me your radio Turn me up when you feel low This melody was meant for you Just sing along to my stereo Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh to my stereo Oh oh oh oh to sing along to my stereo [Bridge:] I only pray you'll never leave me behind (never leave me) Because good music can be so hard to find (so hard to find) I take your hand and hold it closer to mine Thought love was dead, but now you're changing my mind [Chorus:] My heart's a stereo It beats for you, so listen close Hear my thoughts in every no-oh-oh-te Make me your radio Turn me up when you feel low This melody was meant for you Just sing along to my stereo Oh oh oh oh, oh oh oh oh to my stereo Oh oh oh oh (Gym Class Heroes baby!) to sing along to my stereo Yeah