Rules are rules: I listened to R5 and lived to tell about it

I listened to R5. I get why teens love them.

I listened to R5. I get why teens love them.

So during last night’s American Idol I had the audacity to tweet this:

Well, the R5 fanatics came out in droves. They kept it peaceful though; no cussing, no name-calling, just telling me in kind fashion that I don’t know what I’m talking about. One teen told me I should listen to them before I judge. So I told her to give me three songs to listen to and I’d blog about them today.

So here we are.

My life hasn’t changed from listening to R5, but here’s my quickie review on the three songs that were recommended to me:

1) Pass Me By

Lyrically, this song is as complex as LFO’s “Summer Girls,” aka the worst song ever written. Musically, there’s nothing going on – anyone with any discernible musical talent could play these notes and riffs and if you’ve got half a voice, it’s not hard to digitally enhance voices to make yourself sound good. So let’s get this out of the way – these guys aren’t some sort of legendary artists.

This is still catchy. I mean, the chorus is burned into my memory for life and I listened to it once. Once. If you think I’m going to let my 2-year old listen to this so she can get hooked on it like cocaine, you’re insane. Stupid catchy music.

This is definitely the kind of song I would make fun of if I was a teen, then when I went to college I’d listen to it with friends and laugh about how it’s kinda awesome. But since I’m married with two kids I want this song as far away from my daughters as possible.

2) (I Can’t) Forget About You

Oh no. This beat has potential.

Musically, this song is atrocious. Just atrocious. You could probably teach someone for a couple months and they could play like this.

But again, this is musical heroin. It’s brilliant. It’s marketed so perfectly I’m jealous. There is no way these guys – all super hunks, BTW, if you dig their Children of the Corn look – aren’t going have teenage girls drooling all over them.

I’m gonna say this song is something that would come on the radio and I wouldn’t change it and BOOM and I know the words within days. Again, no chance I’m letting my kid listen to this because next thing I know she’s in her car seat screaming “Daddy, play the Forget song!” and I’m screwed.

(PS What’s up with the parentheses in the song title? And I don’t mean just for them; I mean in general. Never made sense to me)

3) Loud

Hmm. I don’t hate this. I do hate that I wrote that.

I kinda wish this was a little more fast paced. I like my teeny-bopper songs to be faced enough I can party to when I’m drunk or slow enough I can scream when I’m drunk. This is a few RPM’s away from being something I’d be all over.

I wanted to give them a chance to prove something to me, plus I’m a glutton for punishment, so I then listened to a live acoustic performance.

Way better. It sounds good and they can sing a little. Musicianship isn’t great, but they’re not 100 percent studio creations, so I’ll applaud them for that.

Liked acoustic 1,000 percent more than the regular version.

So they’re not complete garbage. I’ve listened and purchased way worse music than anything R5 has done and I’m not bragging about it, but I’m not proud about it either.

My take on them is this: they’re kinda caught in between. They want to be real artists, but they (or Disney) also want to make a boatload of money. I think once they get out of Disney’s grasp, they could do some things. But I like my pop songs a little more catchy and a little more poppy. For example:

-“MmmBop” by Hanson
-“Summer Girls” by LFO
-“Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen
-“Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus
-“Complicated” by Avril Lavigne
-Anything by the Backstreet Boys
-Anything by Enrique Iglesias

So now I know they exist. They’re not my cup of tea, but as you can see by my list, I’ve listened to some pretty bad music so who am I to judge, right? Listen to whatever makes you happy.

I used to crap on One Direction; picking on them and their fans was much too easy because teenagers are easy targets. Then they were on Saturday Night Live, I didn’t change the channel and I realized “Holy shit these superhunks can sing.” I think “Story of My Life” is brilliant and when Alex Preston covered it on American Idol it only proved as much. So if R5 comes out with a huge hit that gets a ton of radio play that I can sing when I’m hammered, I’m probably gonna turn into a huge fan.

But for now I’m going to smash my head into a wall and try and get “Loud” out of my brain.