Cover Your Ears: Repercussions of War
April 9th, 2003


Right now, it's hard to ignore that a war is waging. A growing threat lingers in our presence. Waiting to strike at any opportunity. Prepared to unleash a hellish fury upon the American public. I'm talking, of course, about musicians. As is standard during these trying times, artists are stepping up to do their part...By writing horrible songs. Once-respected bands like the Beastie Boys, Lenny Kravitz, and REM have released songs during this time. And they all suck. While soldiers are sacrificing their lives overseas, these people are sacrificing their integrity as artists. Let’s take a look together at how musicians are committing suicide attacks on our ears.

Download Beastie Boys’ crap "In a World Gone Mad"
Download Lenny Kravitz’s crap at "We Want Peace"
Download REM’s crap at "The Final Straw"

*** Beware: These downloads are merely suggestion so that you may better understand this post. Download only if you are willing to subject yourself to sheer terror***

I’ll start with the Beastie Boys, perhaps the most interesting and respected of the bunch. It’s been three years since the Beasties have released a song. They used to fight for the right to party, now they fight for a rhyme in a protest. Their anti-war train wreck is called “A World Gone Mad,” which battles against blood for oil, crack-smoking politicians, and waffles. The song begins with perhaps the most poorly crafted chorus in the history of choruses. The lines “in a world gone mad it’s hard to think right” are the curb I place my teeth upon before getting kicked in the back of the head. It’s not so much what they’re saying as how they sing it. Let’s get something straight. Beastie Boys are rappers, not singers. So when I hear a hoarse, distorted voice trying to hit higher notes, it makes me want to end careers. Though I think they’re doing a nice job of that themselves.
Okay, so the Beastie Boys have something to say. What is it? Well, let’s delve into some of the wisdom the Beasties bestow on us. Check this line of power:

       Now don't get us wrong 'cause we love America
       But that's no reason to get hysterica

Now, I’m not going to debate whether hysterica is a word or not (it’s not), or that they couldn’t come up with anything else to rhyme with America (Erika?), but they put themselves in a horrible position. They could have easily wrote the line as, “We love America, don’t get us wrong.” That would have solved so many problems for them. Think of the rhyming possibilities available to them now! They could have followed it up with, “But Bush annoys us like a butt with a thong.” If you think the line I made up is horrible, take a look at this pearl of wisdom placed upon our ears:

      George Bush you're looking like Zoolander
      Trying to play tough for the camera

The beat actually drops down for that line, so we can understand more clearly what they’re spitting at us. Ohh, those Beasties got Bush, telling him he looks like Zoolander and all. Next thing you know they’ll be talking about crazy pills and grandmas! Oh wait…

      What am I on crazy pills? We've got to stop it
      Get your hand out my grandma's pocket

Wow. It becomes glaringly obvious these guys should have stayed in the studio a little longer when we get this gem:

      They're layin' on the syrup thick
      We ain't waffles we ain't havin' it

That’s right. They ain’t waffles. Waffles have butter smoother than this forced verse. And they’re tasty. I could do this for hours, but we need to move on. The point is, Beastie Boys have lost their minds, their voices, and their talent.

Lenny Kravitz also released a Pro-Peace song. Oh Len. I lost all respect for him when his songs became SUV commercials. He also rocks the vote by not voting. The song he wrote is called, intelligently enough, “We Want Peace.” His message is clear, but I read the music is lifted from a previous release he had called “Dig In.” He just changed the words and added an Iraqi and a Palestinian for emotional effect. It’s a typical Leonard Kravitz song, important sounding guitar, commanding drum intro, and an outstanding use of boring. Wrap your head around this chorus:

      we want peace, we want it,
      yes we want peace, we want it
      yes we want peace, and we want it now.

Amazing. I heard Lenny say in an interview that the song is not anti-war or anti-Bush, it's pro peace, and if you actually listen to the song, you'll understand that. Let’s read between these lines:

      Do Doodoo Do Do Do Do, Do Doodoo Do Do Do Do
      Do Doodoo Do Do Do Do, Do Doodoo Do Do Do Do

When you first hear the song, you may think it sounds like he didn’t have any more words to write, so he just sang some happy “do do’s.” Or maybe he blew his songwriting load on the 75 lines of ‘We want peace.’ Or MAYBE we aren’t really listening to the song. Maybe by singing ‘do do’ over and over, he is comparing the human race to the dodo bird, which is now extinct. Perhaps he is saying if we don't have peace, we will be extinguished ourselves! I’ve done it! Lenny is brilliant!

Okay, one last line from this cookie cutter:

      We’re on the eve of destruction my friends
      We are about to go too far
      Politicians think that war is the way
      But we know that love has the power

I think for the sake of peace, Lenny should show us what he means. He needs to head over to Iraq and give Saddam a big hug filled with love. Maybe that’s all this guy needs and no one thought to do it until now. On second thought, Lenny should demonstrate the power of love, Huey Lewis-style, and disappear from the charts.

Finally, there’s a new song from R.E.M., straight the studio. It’s being described as a rough mix attempting to deliver raw emotion. Usually when you hear the word raw, it actually means the production quality is shitty. And when you hear emotion, it’s often bullshit. So what R.E.M is actually giving you is shitty bullshit. Instead of taking their time to craft a masterpiece, mix the sound properly, and get the vocals just right, Mike Stipe released it prematurely, saying it felt right. It may have felt right to him, but it sounds wrong to me. I had asked my roommate, who is the biggest R.E.M. fan I’ve ever met, what he thought of the song. He told me it was the absolute worst R.E.M. song he’s ever heard. I then asked him if that’s hard for him to say, and he replied with, “I’ve never had to say it before.” Well, when a song owns the quality of a 5 year-old singing “We Built This City” into his Plaskool recorder, everyone feels things they never have before.

I have presented undeniable evidence that musicians are posing a major threat to us. My only hope is that these songs will fade away as fast as possible. But we must never forget the sacrifices they made on behalf of their careers. Never forget the eardrum crippling lyrics. Never forget the stale guitar riffs. And never forget the laziness that allowed rough-cuts to escape the studio. Never forget horrible anti-war songs. Seriously, don’t. I’m serious.

If you have an anti-Steve song, send it to

© 2003 The Decking Crew