Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lilly Allen Wants Us To Take Responsibility

Pop artist Lily Allen's song, "The Fear" is full of satire speaking to the idea of pop artists making songs just for the money and fame. There is obvious irony in the fact that Lily Allen is an extremely wealthy artist and will ultimately make a ton of money off of her song insulting the frivolity and wealth of artists, but her message about the consumption of media goes even deeper than just tearing down the work of others.
The opening lines of "The Fear" say, "I want to be rich/I want lots of money/I don't care about clever/I don't want to be funny". In a pretty straight forward way, these lines lay out the idea of the entire song. Allen is emphasizing the fact that many artists have turned into people that are hungry for fame and money and ultimately end up putting bad messages into the world because they don't care what kind of image they portray, as long as it gets them a lot of attention.

"I'll take my clothes off and it will be shameless/cuz everyone knows that's how you get famous" 

Although they rhyme, Allen's lyrics are in coherent sentences and not completely consumed by the melody or auto-tune, making the message and development of her ideas about the poisonous qualities of shallow artists nearly impossible to not pick up. Beyond forcing listeners to hear the message spelled out through the words, the simplicity of the structure of the song opens the eyes of listeners to the fact that lyrics in general are an important part of a song and are meant to be interpreted. In this way, Lily Allen's song does not just bash artists for being rich or desiring it fame, it encourages consumers to pay attention to the content of what they are consuming.

Titling the song "The Fear" is another way that Allen brings the song away from artist bashing and towards the idea of creating change. Bringing fear into the equation, and not explicitly saying who should have the fear, makes a listener think. Of course, the surface meaning of the title, especially when looking shallowly into the lyrics which mock the modern day pop artist by saying, "I don't know what's wrong and what's real anymore/I don't know how I'm meant to feel anymore" seem to be focused on the artists of the songs. These lyrics could easily be interpreted as jab at pop artists getting lost in the desire for fame and wealth. However, who is to say that that fear Allen mentions should rest solely on the shoulders of those producing music? The song makes the audience think about the fact that they are a part of the system. They are the people blindly consuming the shallow work of artists that only want money. The direction that the music industry goes in, whether that be towards placing more value on and enforcing positive messages through lyrics or continuing down the road of shallow and negative material, is in their hands. The fear of getting lost and absorbed in shallow products with negative meaning is something that people should be conscious of as consumers. It is our responsibility as listeners to place value on the quality of the work we are consuming and how it effects society. 

1 comment:

  1. I definitely agree with you that there's a lot of situational irony surrounding this song, given that it was written by a rich celebrity about the dangers of being a rich celebrity. I also really like that you talk about how the song is just as much satirizing the consumers who just go along with this trend.