About Jennifer (OverthinkingMusic):
I am a twenty-eight year old (as of 2012) writing and rhetoric undergrad with a minor in women’s studies, and I plan to pursue a doctorate in a luscious combination of rhetoric and gender analysis with a focus in masculinities. I’m fascinated by words and the way that our use of language shapes our culture.
One tidbit about me that will make more sense out of why I want to analyze music is that I was (and sometimes still am) on the verge of being a vocal performance major instead of an English major. I love music with every bit as much fervor as I love writing because it’s all about communication to me. I am at least fond and familiar in passing with most genres of music.
Part of the reason that I want to analyze music is that, in my head, I do not separate music from writing from cultural analysis, much in the same way as I don’t separate other things which most people consider to be discrete entities. I am a synaesthete, you see, and I experience the world very differently from most of the people around me. Voices speaking around me pop like multicolored confetti, music flows in vibrant ribbons and curves, and letters and words stand out from the paper in my mind with vivid intensity. Of course music is writing. I experience them similarly.
I enjoy overanalyzing the world around me, and I think that there is very little in society which does not warrant a closer look. I do not group myself in with the class of pedant that considers itself above the interests of the masses because, like it or not, the masses are the majority of people and shape the culture that we live in (on top of which, a fun fucking song is a fun fucking song). So, with some inspiration from Todd and Rap Critic, I’ve been listening to more pop music and rap lately than usual, and I find myself constantly vomiting analysis at my poor patient partner-in-crime. After talking to him about how disappointed I was that we were not getting to do a paper on a song in one of my writing classes, I realized that fuck it; I can do that on my own time.
So, let’s overthink music. Music and lyrics are about who we are and what we value and undervalue as a society, and pop music in particular reveals a great deal about these things since it is the most popular medium of music. I think that the masses matter, and I also think that the masses like some catchy goddamn music. I’ll be damned if I’ll be told that it’s actually possible to overthink this sort of thing, since this is one of the most important ways that we transmit culture to people at large. This matters, and I want to talk about why.
That being said, my analyses will not be restricted to pop music. I like all sorts of music.
I have another compatriot here, and he will tell you whatever he wishes about himself when he gets around to it.