WP 1- Final
“Living your life to the fullest” takes nothing more than stepping out of your comfort zone and living your dreams. Unfortunately, a large portion of society struggles with this concept, for they are fearful of losing an unfounded sense of security they have found through building mental boundaries around themselves. Many people search for relief, turning to songs and blogs with messages pertaining to their troubles. Messages, such as living your life to the fullest, tend to shift for certain audiences depending on the genre. Through the genre of song, this message is exhibited by the band AWOLNATION, through their use of lyrics, repetition, and melody in “Kill Your Heroes.” The main points of this song urge listeners to shed inhibitions and irrational fears, and instead embody the spirit of carpe diem, experiencing all the greatness life has to offer and eventually become a hero in their own eyes. The concept of seizing one’s full potential remains also through genre of blog, in Celestine Chau’s “101 Ways to Live Your Life to the Fullest.” Although the same message exists in both of these genres, the choices made within them regarding tone, and the writing conventions they utilize to reveal their point to their respective audiences differ, thereby altering the conveyed message.
AWOLNATION uses powerful lyrics and an electrifying melody to get the message across to its listeners in the song, “Kill Your Heroes”. AWOLNATION, as a band, falls into the indie-rock genre of music, thereby satisfying specific writing conventions that categorize it as such (Willschick). To be indie-rock, a song must be influenced by experimental or otherwise “unpopular” music styles. Generally, an unpopular music style has not been heard by a majority of the public. Unpopular music styles include: Electroacoustic Improvisation, Ambient Techno, or Dark Psytrance (Willschick). An indie-rock artist must stay true to his/her unique sound and build success entirely on pure talent and a loyal fan base, without the support from powerful outside sources. AWOLNATION is a solo project of Aaron Burno, and was signed to Red Bull Records in 2010. The record company still lets Burno be independent by allowing him to explore sounds, emotions, and subjects of limited appeal (Willschick). In effect, the song, “Kill Your Heroes,” is tremendously upbeat and hip. One major thing about Burno’s song “Kill Your Heroes,” is that although the message changes from depressing to inspiring, the melody is the same. Throughout the song the melody has a constant joyful tone, so even if a person cannot speak English, or simply does not know the words yet, they will still be left in an uplifting mood after hearing this song. In numerous songs by Burno there are a multitude of synthesizers involved as part of the background noise and the vocalist is often screaming the lyrics. The artist also accentuates key points by making particular lines louder than others, such as: “Kill your heroes” and “Never let your fear decide your fate” (AWOLNATION, Kill Your Heroes). According to these conventions, Bruno created “good writing” within his genre.
Typically, songs have a main hook that grips the audience’s attention. “Kill Your Heroes” main hook resides within its lyrics. Burno, the lead singer of AWOLNATION, catches the attention of his audience with the use of shock appeal by starting the song with morbid words: “Well I met an old man dying on a train.” In the chorus, Burno presents another depressing line: “Kill your heroes and fly, fly, baby don’t cry” and repeats this throughout the song (AWOLNATION, Kill Your Heroes). The band is not instructing its audience to take these lyrics literally and kill their heroes, but instead, to stop idolizing them. This is merely the metaphor of an old man at the end of a life’s journey, with no more pain or tribulation. He is telling...