Editorials

Why DeRulo Is Better Than Dylan

There’s no shame in liking Derulo wholeheartedly. I even think that he’s better than IYAZ.

We all agree that the song is as catchy as an STI; the melody clings to your mind and provides a bouncy accompaniment to your most mundane moments. Yet, I am not here to praise the slick production of this song; we’ll have plenty of time to appreciate it as is continues to be repeated over, and over, and over again. It’ll continue to be a mainstay of Tay FM well after I’ve stopped going to the gym.
What we find is that, unusually for a man mainly famous for singing his own name, Jason Derulo has touched on a profound point in this song. Beyond the schmaltzy ‘I love you’ banality which is ten-a-penny in pop tracks, here we are presented with a much more serious analysis of our inter-personal relationships.

Desrouleaux (yes, that is his real surname) has managed to explore the way in which we are so affected by the culture with which we engage that we cannot disassociate our lives from this culture. Basically, when we see beauty, manifested in a lover, we can do nothing else but relate their beauty to some pop hit or film scene. There is something inherently tragic in someone who, when faced with the beauty he sees in the eyes of his lover, thinks “of a Coldplay song”. Maybe it is just the way in which we access beauty; we draw comparisons, and the ones which we know best are the chart hits we hear daily. Although it does seem that Derulo’s perception has actually been changed subject to the songs he relates to. He sees his lover through a prism created by “Katy Perry” and Chris Martin, and we are all guilty of the same. Look up Cultivation Theory if you’re interested.
Derulo’s lyricism goes beyond the prosaic and into the poetic, as he creates a beautiful contrast, relating sexuality to the divine. He hears ‘angels every time that you moan’, a delightful debasement of the divine. It captures our modern feelings in which sexual interaction has become more akin to religion than procreation. Most people’s divine experiences nowadays involve sex, modern experience of the sublime happens in the bedroom, and Derulo captures this.

Also, I’ve never seen such a sublime merging of lyrics and music. The chorus doesn’t rely on a complete sentence, allowing the musical riff of the trumpets to complete the meaning. It is a seamless change which allows the listener to experience the manifestation of Derulo’s emotional response to his lover. We see direct emotions represented by a catchy riff, we can take Derulo’s infatuation and absent-mindedly hum it whilst making a cuppa. This means that the trumpets that encapsulate his love are both uplifting and meaningful, whilst being quite annoying, a bit like a cat clawing for attention when you’re busy, or being poked in the face repeatedly by your girlfriend.

Basically, what I’m saying is that Jason Derulo is a better lyricist than Bob Dylan, whilst being far more attractive, and a far better singer. Critics can get ready with their pot shots, Jason killers can get their pistols ready, and haters are gonna hate. I think this song, amongst many others in his back catalogue, is fantastic. There’s no shame in liking Derulo wholeheartedly. I even think that he’s better than IYAZ.

Words: Ed Martin

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