Review by Emily Smith
We’ve all heard the complaints about millennials and 20-somethings, whether it’s from major media outlets or your uncle who doesn’t quite understand smartphones yet. With that, we’ve also heard some powerful statements in defense of millennials, even in the music world. One of these comes from up-and-coming pop musician Emma Zander on her latest single “My Generation,” a smart, spunky take on millennial stereotypes and the current state of the decade as we know it.
Zander doesn’t outwardly sing about how great millennials are, but instead focuses on dissecting the generations new and old critiques. The first lyrics of the song are “My generation doesn’t wanna feel anything,” which almost makes it seem like the track will be another complaint about the generation. However, the lyrics following quickly subvert this assumption as Zander sings, “Always breaking our screens/ They say we’re slaves to our screens,” which is a reference to how millennials apparently use their phones too much.
“My Generation is a song about navigating life & love in the Instagram-crazed world of 2018. Lyrically, I really wanted to explore the relationship between self-obsession and self-awareness in the selfie age,” comments Emma Zander.
There’s another subtle reference to a reliance on technology with the line, “My generation knows nothing and everything,” which points out how many people think millennials simply aren’t smart enough, while also referencing how they’re a generation with a wealth of knowledge readily available at their fingertips in the age of the internet.
And it wouldn’t be a song about millennials without referencing how entitled people think they are. Zander sings, “My Cooper is a jet plane/ My choker’s made of diamonds/ This decade I define it,” which has a hint of arrogance attached to it, as if millennials only want and deserve the best.
The anthemic chorus is a defining moment of the track that has a distinct catchiness to it. Zander triumphantly sings, “Ain’t no use getting sad now/ Blazing til’ we burn down this decade/ It’s a party/ And we are the turnout,” showing that 20-somethings will be making an impact in this decade no matter how negatively they may be perceived. She sings over some delightful, yet restrained, piano chords, an all-encompassing beat, and some other vocals to create a memorable section of the song.
The overall sound is very animated, youthful, and zany, combining the vibrant sound of 2000’s pop music with a beat and accompanying hand claps that allude to this decade’s pop, and even a bit of 80’s synth attached to it. It overall adds to the anthemic quality of the song and emphasizes the party-like vibe of the decade that Zander portrays in the chorus.
“My Generation” is definitely a song that millennials can latch onto and identify with as a song of positivity in a decade with so much scrutiny surrounding the generation.
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