Shamefully saddled with three little pests?

All that I wanted was the freedom of a new life,

So my burden I began to divest.

Jason DeRulo: The black Dr. Phil.
Jason DeRulo: The black Dr. Phil.

All right, all right, all right.

Charlotte I buried after feeding her foxglove.

Dawn was easy; she was drowned in the bath.

Eziah fought but was easily bested,

Burned his body for incurring my wrath.

All right, all right, all right.

And that's how I came, your humble narrator,

To be living so easy and free.

Expect you think that I should be haunted,

But it never really bothers me.

All right, all right, all right.

Creepy, right? It's all part of an epic story, I know, but it's also a little disturbing. Maybe The Decemberists are just going beyond the bounds of popular music at this point. Singing about infanticide through foxglove poisoning is arty, sure (and I can appreciate that), but their work is certainly not in any way useful to someone who drunkenly texted another woman in a vile attempt to make his girlfriend jealous.

If you think popular music should be escapist, taking you through stories far removed from your daily life, The Decemberists are doing a great job. If, however, you believe popular music should mean something to the people who hear it, you're going to have to concede that guys like Jason DeRulo are doing a great job by comparison.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that I can relate pretty much any relationship-based conflict I've ever had to an R&B song, though I'll mercifully spare you any other examples. I'll bet you can, too. Hell, I'll do it for you: Think of a fight with your significant other, e-mail me a synopsis, and I'll name your song — probably either R&B or country.

I'll be damned if I can think of much in the way of contemporary indie rock that means anything to me when it comes to the most important issues we face in our lives. A lot of it is willfully oblique; most of the rest is too emo for grownups.

The point is this: I'm over my aversion to R&B, thanks to Jason DeRulo. As should anyone who finds a catchy song that encapsulates life's problems as perfectly as DeRulo's did mine. Think about it: Is there an R&B song that describes your last serious fight with a significant other? If so, can you possibly not appreciate it on a deeper level than "The Rake's Song?"

Mmmm whatcha say?

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