Some Music and Some Spelling Angst

One of the primary reasons I love Facebook so much is due to my customized news feed. In the span of one half hour scroll, I read about Donald Trump reneging his pledge to support the republican nominee (surprise), read about North Carolina’s atrocious signing into law a blatant anti LGBT bill,  watched an NPR short video about James Alex entitled ‘A Punk Who Never Grew Up’, and somehow, I suppose out of sheer curiosity, clicked on an NPR review of Zayn’s BeFoUr. Spoiler alert: They loved it.

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m getting older. Thirty-six is looming. Mid thirties, ugh, it just sounds so adult. I don’t understand things like the allure of dub step, phrases such as ‘I can’t even’, (can’t even what, finish that sentence?), I had to Google YOLO, and I will never understand living my life via social media. Living a life with social media, yes. I have a Facebook, and now I have a blog. I have a MySpace out there somewhere in the internet dead lands, and two unkempt Live Journals, as well as one unknown to anyone Dead Journal, none of which have existed too far beyond 2004. And yes, a Dead Journal. (Insert emo joke here). I have never been able to have more than one of these coexist at the same time. I deleted my Instagram app, haven’t been on pinterest since that one time I created an account, and still don’t understand Snap Chat or Twitter. But Facebook’s news feed, I’m in. Simply following NPR offers me a wide range of articles and music reviews, and I adore the Tiny Desk Concerts.

And then they brought me Zayn’s BeFoUr. Why would you do that to me NPR?

I watched about a third of this video before (hah!) I had to stop. My son asked me to please turn the music down and I quickly obliged, embarrassed that my six year old might hear the stuff that is being passed off as music emitting from my phone.

The lyrics were banal, his voice was kind of whiny, but it wasn’t just the lyrics and overall generic poppy R&B sound that rubbed me the wrong way. Oh no. BeFoUr? What the hell? (Side note:  that name is a bitch to type). I am a grammar and spelling stickler. The Oatmeal comic about grammar and misspelled words is about my most favorite thing ever. I am that person struggling not to correct poor grammar. I loathe on purpose misspelled words that aren’t for the sake of a good pun. Is this a pun somehow? Is there a hidden meaning somewhere in there meant to dis his former boy band mates One Direction? Well, maybe I’m just getting old, but I don’t get it.

My coworkers call me out on being a music snob. I try so hard not to be, but not only am I a music snob and an asshole one at that, it’s not like I’m listening to the most obscure indy listen to their deep lyrics music or anything. You will even find Uptown Funk and Thrift Shop in my Spotify dance playlist. These songs are catchy, they’re fun, they actually make me want to dance almost as much as ska music. Currently, my tastes in music, though diverse, primarily consist of an Austrian punk band that just disbanded, The Forum Walters, the no longer in existence Cobra Skulls, Streetlight Manifesto (always Streetlight), Frank Turner and Skinny Lister. Every time something by one of these artists comes on I declare it to be my favorite song ever. It turns out I says that a lot in one day.

Okay, this went completely sideways. Here is a review of Zayn’s BeFoUr: it was awful. It was boring. There was nothing that set it apart, made it original. He is not owed a music career because he was in a famous band. The Nelson twins certainly didn’t make it in mainstream music for long simply because the famous Ricky Nelson was their father. And I can acknowledge that words such as color may be spelled colour due to being from England. Before is not one of those words.

I am probably in the minority here, but honestly, there was just nothing that made me go, ‘wow, even though typically I don’t like pop or R & B music, this is something else’. No, instead I just became slightly one track minded about the spelling and format of song title BeFoUr.


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