I’ve lately been trying to figure out why LMFAO feels different from their predecessors. Dumb dance music is a known quantity in our culture. Tag Team and Lou Bega made songs that everyone danced to once upon a time. But for reasons that I think have a lot to do with the era of their popularity, it feels (to me at least) that LMFAO isn’t going to go the way of Coolio.
Comparing the brilliance of any lyrics among typical dumb dance songs would lead ponderers to nothing but headaches. Their collective words are more about the consonant and vowel sounds they make rather than their meaning. These types of songs ignore your neocortex completely, preferring to take aim at your hips. Most of these songs feel like lightning in a bottle though. If you can name off the top of your head (without cheating) another song by Bega or Tag Team, I’ll give you my whole collection of old McDonalds Monopoly pieces.
LMFAO songs feel lived in. It may have more to do with the era in which they gained popularity, but I think the duo project authenticity, as silly as that sounds. They remind me of those two, often funny, sometimes obnoxious guys who show up to a party and can make it or bury it depending on their mood. They sound like a bit of our pop music past, even though the industry as a capitalistic juggernaut seems to be crumbling, but more unpredictable.
Now, according to my fifteen minutes of research, these guys are somehow related to the founder of Motown record, Berry Gordy. I don’t know if this means that they have a natural talent for knowing what the masses want or if they have access to resources that pushed them on the public. My hips want to believe the former.
Any music that gains popularity during this time of industry change has to possess a smidgen of democratic integrity. I’m not sure what LMFAO’s lowbrow message says about the virtues of democracy, but with the stakes this low I’m fine with it. If people want a whiff of the past, then the youtube counter has spoken. Thus it must be.