Bye Bye Bye by NSYNC (2000): On its surface, this song is about a toxic relationship and having the strength to cut that person out of your life. However, this song is clearly also about one’s relationship with God, and how, when everything in your life goes wrong, it can be tempting to blame some deity for your problems. However, as the song suggests, it’s time to leave that notion behind and “make it alone”. Because you’re the only person who can control your life.
All Star by Smash Mouth (2001): Okay, this one’s got so many layers to it, so we’ll go a bit fast. On one hand, there’s a clear theme of remembering to live life to the fullest because, if you focus too much on work and not enough on play, “your brain gets smart but your head gets dumb”. Honestly, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Your name’s Jack, right? Anyhow, on the other hand, this song is prophetic about the dangers of our reliance on gas setting our world “on fire” and making the ice we skate “pretty thin”, and how “we could all use a little change” before we have to swim.
Hey Ya! By OutKast (2003): Alright alright alright alright alright, now fellas, this one brings new meaning to the phrase “I love you 3000”. In all honesty, this song deals with themes of loss and bittersweet memories. Sometimes, we all need to slow down and appreciate the little things in life, shaking those memories in our heads “like a Polaroid picture” so that, when we’re older and we think we’ve got it, we aren’t surprised to find “there’s nothing at all”. Powerful stuff.
Hips Don’t Lie by Shakira (2005): This song is about being wary of what people say. Oftentimes, people will tell you whatever they think you want to hear to avoid a confrontation or just to get you to like them. Though their words may lie, their body and their actions, represented by the “hips” in the song, don’t. People show their true selves through their actions, so one should always…ok, I’m sorry, but HOW IS SHAKIRA’S BODY MOVING LIKE THAT?!?!
TiK ToK by Ke$ha (2009): The only Tik Tok that matters, Ke$ha’s 2009 party anthem holds up to this day as a poetic reminder of the fleeting nature of life and ceaseless passage of time. With the DJ serving as a metaphor for time itself in the bridge, I think we’re constantly being built up and broken down with each pound of our hearts, which is why Ke$ha will be revered alongside Shelley, and Baudelaire, and Horace in the annals of history.
Evacuate the Dancefloor: You wanna know why they had to evacuate the dancefloor? It was because of the diseases. No masks, no distance and an infectious “sound” is a recipe for disaster.