It's quite a word, isn't it? Summons up a lot of imagery. More often than not I hear it used in the perjorative sense, a dismissive term applied to something with emotional content, or someone expressing something considered too sensitive. It's a symptom of societal pressure to never wear your heart on your sleeve - nobody wants to know, it's awkward, don't be so emo about it.
I asked a bunch of folks on Facebook - what's the last song you heard that you'd describe as emo?
There were some joke answers of course. I'd expect nothing less from my friends. (My personal favourites were Elmo's Song from Sesame Street and Rod Hull & Emu.) Then the serious answers came out, things like Linkin Park, early Fall Out Boy, bits of Evanescence, so on.
What I was waiting to hear, never came out - but then, perhaps my definition of emo is a bit different.
Folks, the most emo song I have heared in recent times is Hotline Bling.
Let's take a look at some of the lyrics:
Ever since I left the city, youGot a reputation for yourself nowEverybody knows and I feel left outGirl you got me down, you got me stressed outCause ever since I left the city, youStarted wearing less and goin' out moreGlasses of champagne out on the dance floorHangin' with some girls I've never seen before
...so basically Drake...left. And now this girl that apparently used to message him is having fun and living her own life, and he feels she shouldn't be or that he has the right to stop her or...something?
I mean that's just sad. Like at least Simple Plan and their ilk are talking about being actually hurt. This guy is whining because a girl he had some kind of relationship with actually has friends that he doesn't know? ...really?
I mean this is bordering on creepy control-abuse territory.
Fact is though, seems like this girl left him in the dust, and so he's whining to himself. He's so sad that he's forgotten how to dance - an artist usually so filled with swagger and confidence, a man who deliberately tries to surround himself with beautiful women as symbols of his success, reduced to whining about his ex having a life.
THAT is pathetic.
So shout-out to my pimply rock gods who are sad because a girl left them but don't dance like an idiot to demonstrate their chagrin.