Hi, guys! It's time for the new PHF Song of the Week! I know how excited you are!
This week I have been thinking about a lot of stuff - mostly reflecting on my life. I've recalled all of the bad things that happened and all the good times. One day I finally realized that I am at a good place right now. But then I started thinking about other people. We read the news every day. Sometimes it's about Korea threatening the USA and sometimes it's about Selena Gomez hitting x number of likes on her new photo on Instagram. One day, I was scrolling down my Facebook feed because I was bored and I bumped into an article about Venezuela.
If you aren't familiar with what's going on there right now, let me tell you. There was a so called Venezuelan Constituent Assembly election in which the Venezuelan government chose to take a step closer to dictatorship. What does it mean for poor Venezuelans? The country will become fully communist. The government will have total control of international and national media. Even internet access will be regulated by the government. Furthermore, the new president Nicolás Maduro will stay in control of the country until the day he dies or selects a successor. Finally, the government will take over all private properties. From stores and businesses to people's own homes. It seems like an abstraction for us, inhabitants of civilized, democratic countries. However, that stuff really happens on Earth.
Nevertheless, we don't really have to look that far to see examples of a person trying to take control of their nation. Let's not forget who the president of the USA is. Donald Trump has been signaling his authoritarianism for some time now in various ways - ranging from his fear-mongering demagogy on immigration and crime, to the ways in which he praised Putin as a more effective President than Obama.
And what about all of the recent terrorist attacks? ISIS tries to spread fear among us when they launch their attacks. They want us to believe that we can't be safe anywhere. That they are stronger and much more powerful than we are. Seeing the ways in which the media speculate about new probable attacks, ISIS continues to achieve their goal.
Here comes a question: should we actually fold under the pressure? Should we allow the fear to take over our brains and make us afraid of being shot or persecuted?
Considering all these facts and trying to find the answers to these questions, I had one one song in mind. Not even the whole song, but a verse. It goes like this: "Tell me what we're fighting for. I don't wanna fight your war right now." Alexz Johnson in her new song 'Right Now' seems to give us the answers.
She strongly opposes the "superiors" who try to rule over us. She says, "I never knew the situation. Didn't think that it was one of those kinds. From a different generation, you can't deny this is a stranger time." Just like me, Alexz seems to be lost somewhere in this world. When I was a child I never paid too much attention to what was going on in the world. The world seemed to be a much more joyful place where I always felt safe. That's why, now that I am older, it strikes me how much cruelty, hatred, and hostility we can encounter on a daily basis. It is no longer Arcadia - the land of luck and happiness. That utopian vision turned into chaos at some point.
Later, Alexz mentions an issue which she can personally relate to which is immigration. The singer is a Canadian native who is currently living in the US. She sings: "You think you're safe behind a passport. You were shaking in the airport line. Telling stories you were hearing. You can't deny someone could lose their mind." She gives us a taste of how uncertain an immigrant's life must be in a world that builds up borders. Then, in the chorus, she says she doesn't want to play somebody else's games. She is a human being and not a counter. The song is truly poignant and relatable to the days ahead of us.
The song itself perfectly showcases Alexz's soft crooning. Her voice is not filled with anger as we might have expected from an antagonistic song. It is rather melancholic and soulful. What really amazes me in Alexz' music is her astounding ability to express certain emotions through her voice. Whether she sings a powerful break-up song (like 'Skipping Stone') or a broad love song (like 'Back Of The Room'), you don't have to even pay attention to the lyrics to know what emotions she wants to convey. Noteworthy is the fact that she is also a genius songwriter. Her lyricism is something which has touched my heart since the first day I heard any of her songs.
Alexz Johnson's new album A Stranger Time is out this Friday! Buy a physical copy in her official store or pick it up on iTunes!
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