uSelena Gomez told the world that she “couldn’t keep her hands to herself.” Isn’t keep your hands and your feet to yourself one of the basic rules taught in every elementary classroom? Regardless, Gomez’s lack of control perfectly captures the sentiment of the 11 songs selected on this playlist that lack control of their sexual appetites. The innuendo is front and center and inescapable, even if the particular song has more transcendent aspirations. One Direction say it best: “No Control.”
1) Fifth Harmony featuring Ty Dolla $ign, “Work From Home” (7/27, 2016)
There’s no covering it up in the least; Fifth Harmony’s “Work From Home” is drenched in innuendo from start to finish. Liken “Work From Home” to mashed potatoes smothered in brown gravy, or gravy of preference. How absurd is this irresistible pop hit? Absurd as your choice of a four-letter word. These girls essentially tell their boyfriends they “don’t gotta go to work” – a source of bread mind you – because they can “work from home.” UGH, really? It’s further illustrated in the official music video with construction workers and parodied in hilarious fashion in Bart Baker’s twisted interpretation.
Sure, what guy wouldn’t want to oblige Fifth Harmony’s suggestiveness in an ideal, utopian world? Still, no matter how much “work” Fifth Harmony are willing to do with their bodies, is it realistically going to pay the rent, the car payment, the electric bill? “Bills, Bills, Bills!” Destiny’s Child emphasized that back in 1999 with their The Writings on the Wall classic! “Can you pay my bills…If you did then maybe we could chill / I don’t think you do / So, you and me are through.”
Get real Fifth Harmony – “tighten up” those harmonies! Lacking in substance or authentic emotion, “Work From Home” is the exemplification of sex on the track, built upon slang and swagger, and ultimately constructed tastefully if ridiculously and unrealistically. It’s good for flirty, and suggestive fun, but prominent innuendo inhibits it from being transcendent.
2) Rihanna, “Kiss It Better” (Anti, 2016)
Simply say the title “Kiss It Better” to yourself. Then, ask yourself, doesn’t it totally sound like child’s play? Of course it does because as children, many of us can remember mommy saying that she’ll “kiss it better,” referring to a “boo boo!” BUT the all-powerful innuendo gods and/or the pop songwriting/producing gods definitely weren’t writing an innocent pop song. Are there many innocent pop songs anymore? That’s a big, fat, bloated NO. Innocence in modern day pop? NEVER!
“Boy, ya know that you always do it right” definitely isn’t referencing morality but rather the quality of “the act.” Face it, the double entendre is amplified to the nth degree, causing every lyric to be “read into.” “Do” simply isn’t do anymore, it’s “doing it.” “What are you willing to do? / Oh, tell me what you’re willing to do / (Kiss it, kiss it better, baby).” Translation – that three-letter word, sex. Yeah, Rihanna’s “Been waitin’ on that sunshine” alright!
3) One Direction, “No Control” (Four, 2014)
After a while, don’t all boy banders get sick of all the sweet bubblegum mess? Still, every boyband has to save face, particularly if it’s at a transitional point of their career – the great in-between of the tween years and young adulthood. That young adulthood means that they are just dying to sing about sex, likely something many have already been “doing” beyond closed doors. To cut to the chase, if “No Control” is supposed to be masking One Direction’s horniness, it does a poor job.
It’s clear lyrically that One Direction mean business. They aren’t singing about emotions but rather lust and the physical reactions, rather stimulation behind it. There’s no way that One Direction gets an “innocence” pass on lyric, “Waking up, beside you I’m a loaded gun, I can’t contain this anymore / I’m all yours, I’ve got no control.” “Loaded gun” hey? Doesn’t seem to be one that shoots bullets…
It gets even more sensual, unsurprisingly. “Taste, on my tongue / I don’t want to wash away the night before.” What is that taste, pray tell? Maybe there’s less sexually-oriented activities that can be interpreted from such a line, but does that even seem possible from twentysomethings? Nah! This is Generation Y after all.