Unfortunately, we at the Clog have to collectively take responsibility for the radical views of one of our members, who is not allowed to use first-person singular and believes that electronic dance music, or EDM, is worse than Ebola. This music, which could more appropriately be described as the diegetic sound of a robot porno, has castrated the galvanizing essence of live music and has tattooed our generation with a technicolor identity, inevitably linking us to the phenomenon of flitting around in fields, getting high and selling our souls, all to the bleeps and blips of our electronic anthems.
We could take it further and argue that it has fostered a culture of ignorant narcissism, in which obnoxious drops and artificially induced ecstatic smiles somehow justify this machismo, neon-bro tank culture where sweaty dudes fist pump in unison while chicks, who are thrown around on their shoulders, mindlessly finger point and worship the god on the stage wearing headphones and manning a fancy remote control.
By pressing the right buttons on his computer, the DJ has complete control over the hypnotized mob of DayGlo and sweat and, with enough skill, can synchronize its smiles and dance moves, ultimately conjuring an epic crescendo peaking at one massive, kaleidoscopic orgasm of the collective listener’s mind.
We could say all this. But it would, at best, speak to few and only make the rest of you mad. We can’t really attack what you value as art, and we can’t tell you to stop enjoying it. But we can present some basic facts. Admittedly, this Clogger doesn’t know a lot about EDM (other than that it sucks). We don’t know much about the subgenres, we don’t know all the tracks, but we do know that the art, if any, in EDM cannot be found within its lyrics. On the one to 11 scale of a Nigel Tufnel amplifier, lyrics in EDM songs plateau at three.
We pulled from the Spotify Top 40 EDM playlist and polled you guys on campus about the best EDM songs and then excerpted and ranked the most ridiculous, mindless lyrics that are representative of the shallowness and lows standards defining the generation that we’re all a part of. In order from least cringing to Owen Wilson “Wow” worthy, here is the list.
- “Sex” by Cheat Codes and Kriss Kross Amsterdam — “That was unbelievable/ I wanna do it again/ I’ll eat you like a cannibal/ You’re sweet like cinnamon.”
- “Lovers Friends” by MÖWE and Daniel Nitt — “Still my bestie but more/ you’re my baby/ Cause love is whatever we want it/ However we need it/ To be/ So I say/ Yeah, yeah, yeah.”
- “Into the Light” by Sander van Doorn, Dubvision & Mako feat. Mariana Bell — “Out of the shadow, into the light/ Come to the music, into the light.” Then repeat until end.
- “AutoErotique” by the Sound feat. Major Lazer — “When the sound bang we gon’ party/ Till the sun come, oh aye! We go all night when we raving/ And we don’t stop no way!”
- “Feel the Volume” by Jauz — “The person next to you! Give him a high five/ Give him a hug/ Because we’re for one reason/ Music/ Music brought us here.” “Feel the volume” and “Feel the vol’” collectively appear 16 times.
- “Waterbed” by the Chainsmokers — “Make your ass shake like a waterbed” (x14)
- “Calavera” by Hardwell and KURA — “Everybody come on put your hands up/ Put your hands up/ Put your put your put your put your hands up,” sandwiched in between two lines of “Y esto es una fiesta bien loca.”
- “Hey”—Fais feat. Afrojack — “I said hey.” (x24)
- “Vindicate” by Datsik and Excision — Entire song: “Drop the bass/ We’re getting down with it/ Drop the bass.”
- “Tonight” by Don Diablo — “Tonight it’s party time/ It’s party time tonight.” Repeat until end.
We know EDM isn’t about the lyricism — it’s about the dance, the culture, the innovation, the freedom, whatever. Many tracks don’t have lyrics, but the ones that do are unimaginative, stupid and glorifying of an unromantic culture that celebrates money and substance use in a culture without substance and image. And sorry — that’s not art. Art needs to say something, mean something or evoke some type of emotion that cannot be crystallized by a fist pump or mind orgasm.