Essay: Everybody Talks is awesome.

Why is “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees the most perfect
set-them-up-and-knock-them-down pop/rock song? 
Here are 11 reasons:
·        
Amazing
catchy chorus
.  It wormed its way
into my brain after hearing the song only once and before I knew it I was
googling lines of lyrics to find out what song it was.*
·        
Slight
inability to understand exactly what the singer is saying in places
.  Back in the day, when I needed to sing the
exact lyrics I had to rewind and transcribe lyrics and listen to the
unintelligible parts again and again, never really sure if I had it right.  Now, however, I can find the lyrics online
and discover he is singing “everybody talks back” instead of “everybody talks,
babe.”  Before, mush mouth lyrics
inspired debate, now they just fuel insider knowledge.
·        
Reference
to drugs
.  Every good rock and roll
song should have some reference to drugs, however mild.  This one seems to lean toward prescription
drug abuse.  Bonus points for implying
the person being sung to could be the drug. 
Who doesn’t want to be someone’s drug?
·        
Mild
profanity
.  Just like reference to
drugs, mild profanity is always welcome in a classic pop/rock song, the better
to imagine the scandal if one’s parent heard it.  That the mild profanity could be interpreted
as “not a swear” makes it that much better.
·        
Implied
sex, but of a very innocuous strain

We now have drugs, profanity and sex! Awesome! We know there was a kiss,
but there’s also discussion of a love shack. 
And really, is everybody talking just because they kissed?  I think not. 
However, tweens might have a different interpretation.
·        
Classic
structure: verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus
.  It is a setup that has been working well for
more than half a century, and it still works now.
·        
Short
(2:59) so you can hear it often

When it takes less than three minutes, commercial radio can play it
every hour.  Or I can hear it three times
in 10 minutes.
·        
Self pity.  With lyrics like “I’m the sorry sucker and
this happens all the time,” don’t you want to just snap up the singer and tell
him he deserves so much better?
·        
Lyrics
need a bit of interpretation musically.
 There’s that “oh my my” section in the second
verse that requires a bit of ballsy singing, making this a tough karaoke
song to pull off successfully, despite its simple construction.
·        
Not too
many words
.  Though a lot of
repetition can be bad (see “Lean on Me”) it can also be quite good because it
means that the lyrics can be learned quickly.
·        
Slightly
nonsensical video that is quite fun

They are watching the zombie movie and in the zombie movie? Huh?  Also, there’s a bit of backup singer-type
choreography in the cars, which is delightful.
You want to hear it again, don’t you?
ps.  Female drummer!  Awesome!

*Not only did the internet tell me, I then listened to the
song three times in a row on YouTube.  This
is why I love the internet, though I acknowledge that it is causing a shift in
the economics of being a musician.

2 thoughts on “Essay: Everybody Talks is awesome.”

  1. God, I love this band. It's almost embarrassing how much I love them. I need to download more of their songs. The drummer and the singer are both so hot, too! /sigh

    P.S. I also love this video & the one for "Animal."

  2. I had not seen the video, but oh how I enjoyed this song this summer. The fact that the video is a bit retro and I think the song has a teeny bit of that vibe too. So fun! I LOVE that the drummer is a woman. So cool!

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