“So, baby, pull me closer / In the back seat of your Rover / That I know you can't afford / Bite that tattoo on your shoulder.”
You might recognize these lyrics from the Billboard Hot 100’s number one song “Closer” by the Chainsmokers. Similar songs include “One Dance” by Drake and “Into You” by Ariana Grande. A common theme among these and other trending songs today is how they sing about infatuation rather than real love.
Country, on the other hand, can be seen as a genre more focused on ideals.
“H.O.L.Y.” by Florida Georgia Line, “From the Ground Up” by Dan + Shay, and “I Met a Girl” by William Michael Morgan are country love songs popular enough to make the Hot 100.
“H.O.L.Y.,” the highest ranking country song, was only rated number 30. Common themes among these songs is to speak of a higher form of love–an enduring love.
For example, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, members of Florida Georgia Line, believe in the power of their music. According to their website, “They’re always ready to get the party started and keep it going all night, but as married men with legacies beginning to take shape, it’s now time to dig deep into the things that really matter.”
The group’s newest album, “Dig Your Roots” (2016), features songs about family and love, the roots that made them into the men they are today.
“Lifer” from the album is about the love these two men have for their wives. The chorus contains the lyrics, “I'm your man and you my lady / Baby I'm a lifer I ain't goin' nowhere / Told you since day one I had to wife ya / Show the world that I just wanna love ya.”
On the other hand, Taylor Swift started out as a country artist and strategically made the transition from country to pop music.
She started out with love songs like “You Belong With Me,” “Love Story” and “Our Song.” As she drew closer to pop music, her love songs turned into tragic break up stories and eventually culminated into the songs “Blank Space” and “Style.” In her transition into pop music, Taylor Swift catered to popular demand to maintain her stardom. Keeping in fashion, she stopped singing about love and started singing about dating around.
Kaylin Thurber, a senior English and linguistics major, says, "I like indie and singer/songwriter genres more than pop because I feel like a lot of pop songs, especially club music, focus on the physical side and the infatuation with the girl across the dance floor, whereas in indie music, I see a lot more emphasis on quality, emotional depth and the realistic, gritty, sometimes unsuccessful side of love." Country music could be seen as similar in style.
What’s popular in media right now is not an ideal for true love, instead it’s an ideal for meaningless relationships. Pop music may lay claim to some popular love songs like “Treat You Better” by Shawn Mendes, but the majority of songs are saying the opposite.
Country is by no means perfect as a genre, but the argument can be made that country has a higher majority of songs that uphold a positive picture of love.
Sara Roberts is a junior studying business administration