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[OPINION] "Blurred Lines": Harmless Fun or Blatant Sexism?
"Blurred Lines" has been reigning the charts as an early summer anthem, with the help of a ridiculously catchy beat and Robin Thicke's falsetto. But what does the song really say? Many people have pointed out how misogynistic the song really is, in addition how the music video portrays women (in the original version, the supermodels are topless). Zayda Rivera of the NY Daily News says Robin Thicke has "blurred the line between respect and derogation toward women." River also cites Tricia Romano of The Daily Beast, who wrote that the song “positing that age-old problem where men think no means yes into a catchy, hummable song.” Controversial include: “Talk about getting blasted, I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it, but you’re a good girl, the way you grab me, must want to get nasty.” Robin Thicke responded to this backlash, saying the song is ironic because he, TI, and Pharrell are all married with kids, it's okay to make fun of this attitude towards women. This quote made it even worse for some, while for others, confirmed that the song is just fun. Romano says in her Daily Beast article that Frannie Kelley, an editor at NPR Music, "feels more violated by people trying to tell me that that song and video is problematic than I do by that song and video. Honestly.” Others say that nudity is the farthest thing from being offensive, citing that it's actually beautiful and that it's an artform. Justin Timberlake's "Tunnel Vision" has been facing a similar backlash. Policy Mic says: "Both the "Blurred Lines" and "Tunnel Vision" videos cast their respective females in extremely similar roles. The women don't seem to be doing anything. They seem to simply be. They have been cast to gaze at and admire." Basically, the women are being objectified, their roles in the videos simply reduced to showing off their bodies. So what do you think? Are people overreacting, or do they have a legitimate reason to be offended?
Exploring the 2014 Grammy's Album of the Year Nominees
The Grammy's have released their nominations for 2014, and I wanted to offer my thoughts on the four albums nominated for Album of the Year. I won't comment on the actual process of picking these albums, but rather just focus on the nominees as they appear. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments! Album of the Year "Beyonce" - Beyonce Beyonce stunned the world with her secret release of this album, complete with visuals to accompany each track. This album really makes us look into how the music industry and the world of the physical CD will change in the very near future. Album format aside, she also recorded a seriously great collection of songs. The sequencing of this album with songs crossing and creating genres was not an easy task, and the Queen B team managed it flawlessly (pun intended) "x" - Ed Sheeran This album is filled with songs that I always find myself asking my friends 'who is this?' when I overhear it on the radio. I don't know whether that is a good or bad thing when it comes to a relatively new artist. Sheeran is experimenting with new sounds (dare I say rapping?) and is taking his acoustic singer-songwriter title and setting it on fire. While I much prefer his lyrics over his music, I loved what I heard of the album. I hope he continues to grow as an artist and while I don't think this is his year, I look forward to more work from him. "In the Lonely Hour" - Sam Smith I fell for this album fast and hard. Sam Smith busted on to the scene with 'Latch' and that ridiculously catchy chorus, but his solo tracks have the ability to cut through you. Songs like Stay with Me and Restart have actually put me in fetal position before - mainly because Sam Smith has the uncanny ability of telling the whole ugly truth of emotions. I can't speak more highly of this entire piece. "Morning Phase" - Beck This album has already picked up Best Album at the World Music Awards this year and continues to find a strong place on charts all over the world. This is actually the only album on the list that I haven't delved into, so forgive me for not having any comments on it. I'll put this high on my to-listen list! "Girl" - Pharrell Williams Pharrell Williams has music running through his veins. For someone who has been in the industry for as long as he has (check for yourself, you won't believe it!) and to still be able to reinvent himself as an artist is incredible. While many of these tracks sound like a music supervisors dream (very commercial friendly) I can't say this was my favorite album of the year. I appreciate Pharrell more as a whole than I do taking his work as separate entities.