Dear Mr. Kroeger
Look, I don’t care for your music. I’ll come right out and say that. I think your lyrics are awful and your power chords sound like someone asked a Metallica cover band to “play it shittier” and they jumped at the chance. Sure, a long time ago I absolutely paid money to see your band perform live but that was only because I was an impressionable teenager in a northern podunk town who had yet to discover any music outside of what the local radio played and desperately sought the approval of his peers. The way I look at it, I gave you forty dollars about 13 years ago so you can give me ten minutes of your time while you sit and listen to your personal assistant read this letter out loud to you*.
I moved to a more blue-collar, red-necky sort of town over the summer and with the acquisition of my own personal automobile, terrestrial radio is back in my life. This is where I first heard your new single “Edge of a Revolution”, and trust me when I say I couldn’t smash the dial to left fast enough. It needs some work. I wish to submit my humble critique and rewrite. Perhaps when your agent calls Pharrell’s agent about a possible collaboration and remix, this will come in handy.
All I ask for in compensation is one million dollars cash and to be a fly on the wall at your inevitable divorce proceedings.
Let’s begin with a very informal discussion of the lyrics to the song in question:
Head high, protest line
“Freedom” scribbled on your sign
Headline, New York Times
Standing on the edge of a revolution
Wow, it’s fucking terrible already. I guess someone told you about Occupy New York three years ago so good for you for writing about it in the least polarizing way possible. The problem with this is not only is it a weak opening line, it’s missing a lot of words. How many of your fans do you really think have been to a political protest? Flesh it out a bit; add some descriptives and paint a picture**. Try this:
“My head was held high as I walked down the line/
Freedom from tyranny scribbled on my sign/
Tomorrow my name will be in the headlines/
STANDIN ON THE EDDDGE OF THE REVOSHION!!”
See? It’s already better. To the next stanza!
Hey, hey, just obey.
Your secret’s safe with the NSA
In God we trust or the CIA?
Standing on the edge of a revolution
Yeah, we’re standing on the edge of a revolution
Revolution, revolution, revolution
That’s a lot of revolutions. I bet you’re the kind of guy who hears a word for the first time then shoehorns it into his vocabulary so he seems learned. What a stroke of luck that NSA and CIA rhymed, eh broheim?!
And PS, you guys are Canadians. It should be CSIS.
No, we won’t give up, we won’t go away
‘Cause we’re not about to live in this mass delusion
No, we don’t wanna hear another word you say
‘Cause we know they’re all depending on mass confusion
No, we can’t turn back, we can’t turn away
‘Cause it’s time we all relied on the last solution
No, we won’t lay down and accept this fate
‘Cause we’re standing on the edge of a revolution
At this point I’m starting to question if I hit CTRL-P one too many times because a lot of the lyrics are repeating themselves. Upon further review, I have not hit CTRL-P more than once and the lyrics are repeating themselves. Oddly, it doesn’t feel this way when you listen to the song. Suddenly this idea of reviewing a pop song seems trite and wasteful. So here’s a picture of a bear chasing a wolf:
* I am not implying that you cannot read, Mr. Kroeger. I was simply assuming that a man of your wealth and reach would have no time for reading all of his fan-mail and thus would require assistance from a hired hand.
** I do however enjoy your AAAB rhyme scheme: Simple yet elegant.