So I was driving home from work this morning listening to my custom CD when on came the song Problem by Ariana Grande ft Iggy Azalea. If you haven’t heard the song and seen the video, how’s the rock you’ve been living under for the past month or two? Anyway, if not I’ll link it now because I’ll be referencing it quite a bit in this post.
Before I get started, I realised as I was writing this that I had a lot of pent up anger about this song, so much so that I didn’t want to fit it all into one post else it would be as long as Katie Price’s list of ex boyfriends. Therefore, I’ve decided to split it up into several (hopefully 4 or 5) parts so that I can post one a day over the next week or so. I’m hoping that this will give me something to aim for so that I can motivate myself to write more frequently. I hope you enjoy part one, keep an eye out for the sequel!
Now don’t get me wrong, I love this song. I chose to put it on the CD, and I chose to learn all the words, and I choose to sing it out loud while driving because yes, I am that sad. However on the other hand, I fully acknowledge that it is so terribly bad, you could record a donkey’s cries of pain interspersed with the sweet, sweet sounds of a mother in labour and come out with a better song (granted you may need some autotune first but who doesn’t these days?). Today though, I won’t be discussing whether this song should or shouldn’t win a Grammy or a VMA or whatever the important awards are these days. I’m going to go through (a semi detailed, completely unprofessional) breakdown of the song, highlighting the areas that strike me most. I plan to do it in as ‘teachery’ a way as one can manage whilst typing to people who can’t instantly respond. That being said, please feel free to raise your hand in the comments afterwards and ask questions – assuming that they’re not “May I go to the toilet please sir?”. I’ll start each paragraph with the time of the video I’m referring to so you can follow along if you wish.
[Side note – I have no musical knowledge whatsoever apart from a silver award in Year 9 cornet (apparently that’s an instrument now) and an attempt at learning the drums which culminated in me having to sell my kit because it was ‘too loud’ for my poor neighbours at 11 in the night. They just didn’t understand the power of rock ‘n’ roll!]
What an earth is this guy doing? Has Paul McKenna told him to be act like a crab in the presence of 80s music or does the floor just smell really good today? Also, what purpose does his toplessness serve? I am none the wiser as to the meaning/nuance/genre of the song/lyrics/video because of his decision to be topless, therefore why is it at all necessary? It makes me feel physically ill when music videos encourage men to be topless when it serves no purpose to the plot whatsoever.
(0:04 – 0:06)
Let me get this straight, I love Ariana Grande. I think she’s beautiful and (relatively) talented however in this scene she looks about 12. I have a problem with that, as should you, because well y’know, I’m not a paedophile. I’m all for women being attractive and everything but only when they look their age (or at the very least, over 16) because otherwise it’s just weird. I’m only 17 but seriously, if me and her walked down the street and she looked like that, I’d be met with countless pairs of eyes staring at me, wondering “is that his daughter?” and that’s just not okay. Not at all. Also Iggy isn’t looking her best here as she tries (and fails) to pull off a Rich Man’s classic Bonnie Tyler. However I love Iggy Azalea so I’ll let it fly for now . . .
I don’t even wanna know what this man uses that talent for or how he discovered it but it’s weird. Dear weird arm man, stop using your arms weirdly. Sincerely, people who have normal limbs.
(0:12 – 0:17)
So she starts singing however unfortunately as it’s within a range only dogs can enjoy, it doesn’t make for a pleasant intro. Also, because she’s:
- Singing at such a high pitch and
- Trying to sound as breathless as a marathon running asthmatic, it means that no human can possibly understand what she’s saying.
After months of trying and countless Google, Bing and Yahoo searches I’ve got as far as “Baby even though I hate you, I wanna blah blah, I want you-ooh-ooh”. I know that the first rule of song writing club is (
never talk about song writing club) to keep your lyrics vague and open to the imagination but this takes the concept to a whole new level don’t you think, Ariana?
I think that about covers the intro of this God awful yet catchy and brilliant song so I think I’ll leave it there for Part One. Thanks for reading, please notify me of anything wrong with this song that I missed from the first 17 seconds!
– Snarky Cynicism