Why simplicity is sometimes superior

Don’t think, just listen.

The final installment of Gunna’s “Drip Season” series, DS4EVER, was released a week into 2022 on January 7th.

The final installment of Gunna’s “Drip Season” series, DS4EVER, was released a week into 2022 on January 7th.

Brendan Wells, Web Editor

Music is and always has been a pretty big part of my life. I find beauty in its subjectivity; what’s awful to you may be awe inspiring to me and what’s unbelievable to you may be uninspiring to me, that’s just how it works. Looking back, I used to be an absolute snob. I was so transfixed with the notion that music needs to be poignant, and every word uttered by an artist that wasn’t pushing a boundary or saying something of great importance was nothing but a waste. With some time, I’ve come to realize that the opposite is true, and sound is what makes music as wonderful as it is.

 

For this article, I’m going to use some pretty stupid examples. Names will be brought up and eyes will be rolled, sighs will be sighed, and x’s at the top of your computer screen may be clicked, but bear with me. With this in mind, let’s start with a milder topic; EDM and dance music. No lyrics, just sound in its most unique and pure form. EDM is a prime example of lyrics being unnecessary in the quest for music to draw emotion. Plenty of artists utilize eccentric and uncommon melodies that cause even the strongest of the strong to “get in their feels.” Katryanada, Disclosure, and the Father of them all, Daft Punk, have mastered this, with the strength of their cult fan bases proving it. 

 

With pure sound out of the way, let’s move to lyrics that are important, but essentially impossible to understand. My examples here will be two of my personal favorites, and two who are notorious for their lack of clarity when it comes to annunciation—Bon Iver, and SZA. I’ll again reiterate that these are two of my absolute favorites, but boy are they hard to understand sometimes. In this case it’s incredibly unfortunate, as I feel like listeners are easily turned off from them because of how hard they can be to understand, causing them to miss out on what I think are some of the best breakup songs ever (check out “CTRL” and “For Emma, Forever Ago”). Again though, their music always sounds good to the ear, regardless of what may be coming out of their mouths.

 

Finally, I’d like to finish with focus on an aforementioned word; regardless. Let’s talk about Gunna. Probably the first to have fingers pointed at him when the idea of “soulless” or “effortless in the bad way” comes up, Gunna is an Atlanta rapper whose lyrics, to put it nicely, aren’t among the most thought provoking or intelligent out there. I won’t give you examples, but I do encourage/caution you towards listening to some of his music, I’m sure you’ll be left asking “I didn’t even think you could say that in a song.” This brings me to the distinct difference between the previously mentioned artists, and artists like Gunna; some artists require you to focus on what they’re actually saying to get the point, where the enjoyability of Gunna’s music hinges on your ability to completely drown what he’s saying out. However, I seriously from the bottom of my heart think his music is amazing. The opportunity to essentially turn my brain off and become completely encapsulated with the sounds coming through my AirPods is scarce, and Gunna provides that opportunity like nobody else does. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Playboi Carti, Future, and the artist who put out my favorite release of 2021, Pi’erre Bourne (The Life Of Pi’erre 5). 

 

The overarching theme here is that music is two things and two things only: subjective and simpler than our over-critical world makes it out to be. I firmly believe that it’s so all of us take a great deal to sit back and relax every once and awhile; analyzation isn’t always the answer. Take advantage of the wealth of music available to you, across all of the genres the world has to offer.