The Pop Ain’t Poppin’

The Pop Aint Poppin

Mylee Mayne, Reporter

Modern music isn’t what it used to be. Even growing up in the 2000s, where not everything was melodic, music still had structure and meaningful lyrics. Now, I would compare music to corporate stock images: sure, you can see the meaning of the song, but it’s just boring.


Miley Cyrus recently came out with the song “Flowers”. The song is a parody of Bruno Mars’ song, “When I Was Your Man”. “Flowers” isn’t necessarily bad, but Cyrus didn’t come up with her own concept. Listening to the song, I feel like it was a snarky response to Mars. While he was singing a song of regret, Cyrus took that and twisted it like a mean ex. In Mars’ song he sings, “That I should have bought you flowers And held your hand Should have gave you all my hours When I had the chance,” he’s singing about regret, but he has learned from his past mistakes and better himself. While Cyrus sings ”I can buy myself flowers Write my name in the sand Talk to myself for hours, yeah.” Yes, it’s good to treat yourself, but she took a beautiful song that had soul and made it soulless. There’s a right way to do a parody and a wrong way. For example, Weird Al Yankovic does parodies many different songs. The lyrics may be similar, but the backing vocals, instruments, and the way Weird Al sings just bring the song to life. This is not found in “Flowers”. The backing track is the same drum loop and a small bassline that is repeated over and over. There is no build-up to the climax of the song, then when the song is supposed to be at its highest the music goes silent. There are occasionally great newer songs, but most recent pop follows the same formula of sub-par lyrics, the same drum loop, and a simple bassline throughout the song.


Though not pop, there is a song that has been released recently that is much better than Miley Cyrus’ “Flowers”. It’s Luke Combs’ “The Kind of Love We Make”. These releases of these songs are seven months apart, but the level of complexity in these songs is vastly different. Cyrus has been making music for twenty-two years, but Combs has only been making music for nine years. For the amount of time Cyrus has been in the industry, there is no excuse for her music being so watered down. 

At the start of “The Kinda Love We Make”, there is a beautiful guitar riff that sounds rustic and calming, as well as harmonizing guitar to go with the main riff. Then an electric guitar amplifies that original riff, but the song has only begun. Combs starts singing, his voice mid-range, much like Miley Cyrus, but he is able to add an interesting backing and interesting lyrics to complement his voice. The instruments do repeat their melody for some time, but then they switch up as each verse is sung. As Combs builds up to the climax of the song, the instruments build up with him, which Cyrus made no attempt to do.

Overall, music is a hard industry in which to navigate and succeed, but that doesn’t excuse poor music. If Cyrus had given the song thought and kept different concepts in mind, she could have made an amazing song. That’s why the pop ain’t popping.