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“I Am America” by Krista Branch

Yeah, I Am America!  Love that book!  Thank God somebody made a song about it – it’s probably the most awesome song ever!

If that’s what you were thinking, you now have two choices.  Read no further, and spare the embarrassment and disappointment that this essay will make you feel, or continue reading, and get a good chuckle out of the absurdity of this song.  (Any combination of the two also applies).

Ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I present for your consideration “I Am America” by Krista Branch (formerly of American Idol).

Pay no attention to the people in the street,
Crying out for accountability.

If this hadn’t been written in mid-2010, I’d say she was dishing on the Occupy protesters.  Instead, I’m going to take it as a bit of sarcasm, based on the fact that the first fifteen seconds of the video is NOTHING BUT TEA PARTIERS PROTESTING.

Make a joke of what we believe,
Say we don’t matter cause you disagree.

Now here comes the first in a long line of misstatements, under-appreciations, and downright distortions of truth (would you expect anything else from a Tea Partier?).  Ms. Branch, I for one, and most of my friends and left-leaning colleagues, don’t say that you don’t matter because we disagree.  We disagree because we are able to make jokes of what you believe.

Pretend you’re kings, sit on your throne,
Look down your nose at the peasants below.

More Tea Party oppression bullshit.  Moving on:

I’ve got some news; we’re taking names,
We’re waiting now for the judgment day.

Uh huh.  Well, here come the Christian overtones (come, now, you had to know they were just around the corner).  But, um, when the judgment day comes, God will come up to you, Ms. Branch, and ask for a list of names of those who ignored you, looked down on you, and “sat on their throne”?, and deny them rapture?  Pretty sure that’s not how it works.  (For the record, I’d much rather not be raptured, so if that is how it works, add me to that list!  Right now!).

I am America, one voice, united we stand.
I am America, one hope to heal our land.

No.  Just.  No.  First off, Krista, you are not America.  Nor are we all “one voice, united we stand”.  You admitted that yourself just a few lyrics ago when you said that there are people who don’t take you seriously and who “sit on their throne” and look down upon others.  In any event, that’s not how democracy works – good democracy is built on debate and disagreement, not everyone falling into line and becoming “one voice”.  This isn’t Stalinist Russia, for God’s sake.

Further, if we’re one voice and united, why do we need our land healed?  By the way, Ms. Branch, I hope you realized that you just ripped off Obama’s campaign slogan from last election.  Is it becoming more clear why I joke about your like?

Moving on:

You preach your tolerance but lecture me.
Is there no end to your own hypocrisy?

I can honestly say I don’t know any liberals who lecture conservatives and claim to be tolerant.  Those who do lecture don’t claim to be tolerant.

Your god is power, you have no shame,
Your only interest is political gain.

Well, at least you aren’t…wait, doesn’t this describe Sarah Palin?  And Michelle Bachmann?  And, uh, just about everyone who funds the “grassroots” Tea Party movement?

I’m not going to go on.  There are more lyrics, all in this vain, that I could analyze, but you get the idea.  So what about the music?  My trusted colleague, friend, and co-blogger pointed out that this song has a really, really strong contemporary Christian feel to it.  I can’t put my finger on it, and I don’t care enough to tear the music apart and point at the bits of theory and the intervals and whatnot to see why, it just does.  Listen for yourself or take my word for it.

Man, this review frustrated the shit out of me.  For Way Back Wednesday, I’m going to do a song that takes considerably less out of me, but which I’ll be able to give considerably more to – a real emotional tour-de-force.


Well, then.

I overthink music because I love it and because I want to see the society in which we produce music become a better place.

I can’t make any statements as to how often I will overthink music here; however, inbetween writing papers for school, which takes up approximately three hundred percent of my time, and spending time with my family, I’ll hop on here and maybe write a few things about my preferred atrocious abominations against music.  I have a lot of them.  Not all of my analyses will be of pop music, either, since I have at least a passing interest in most genres.  There will also sometimes be some minimal analysis of the videos, but I’m nowhere near as strong at visual analysis (and don’t think that means anything about my lyrical or musical analysis, either).

I’d like to promise a thorough semiotic analysis of every song, but I can’t because my attention span is short and, alas, sometimes the posts will regard the color and texture of the music instead.  Perhaps I’ll just post how much I love some songs some days.  WHO KNOWS

Next week (or whenever I get to it): E.T. by Katy Perry (f. Kanye West).