New Study: Narcissistic Culture Leads to Narcissistic Lyrics

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pop lyrics seem to have taken a turn towards the "me" and "I" variety, according to a new study. The study analyzed three decades of songs, and concluded that song lyrics have become more narcissistic in recent years, reflecting current youth culture. Is that really true? Maura Johnston, music editor for The Village Voice, lends her thoughts on this topic.

We want to know: Do you believe you are narcissistic? Take this test and find out.

We asked listeners to help us come up with a playlist of today's narcissistic songs.

Monica Rodriguez wrote to us via Facebook: 
“It might be because music (mostly pop and hip hop) now is marketed to mostly teenagers ... and teens are very self-centered! Adult contemporary, country, alternative and even electronic music doesn't seem really narcissistic. My favorite song that's 'all about me' is 'Brass in Pocket' by The Pretenders”


Maura Johnston

Produced by:

David J Fazekas

Comments [4]

Scott Burrows from NY, NY

Your guest cited "New York, NY" as being an older example of a narcisstic song - (not a particular fav of mine - but)..while it does mention being "A #1; top of the heap; king of the hill"... It also says "I wanna be a part of it..; the city that never sleeps; the very heart of it" so, it's talking about the city, community, scene; if you will. Coincidentally i wrote a song chorus on precisely this topic - that is:
"World of Narcissists". Maybe some of your listeners could contribute to the verses!
Thanks for another fun topic;-)

Apr. 27 2011 03:23 PM
Erin Wilcox from Dearborn, MI

As part of the "me" generation I find it refreshing to hear from a band who pokes fun at this narcissism. The Fleetfoxes have a new song out called "Helplessness Blues" that is an anthem in opposition to self centered pop stars.

Apr. 27 2011 09:03 AM
Mark H. from Boston

Isn't the whole musical experience today about the individual? Let's not forget about music listening devices themselves; in the 80's and 90's portability was the theme. Now the 'i' is everywhere. I can now operate under the premise that I'm unique in practically every aspect of my life.

Apr. 27 2011 06:52 AM
Sarah Chick from Quincy, MA

I'm 22 and I think a big part of the narcissism in our society today is due to our ability to share our unique qualities with EVERYBODY! It's a kind of freedom and bonding to share the things about ourselves that are strange and unique and to hear about those qualities in other people.

Apr. 27 2011 06:51 AM

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