The songs I’ve decided to choose for the podcast both address the issue of abuse of power and the political climate we’ve been experiencing recently in this country. “Commander in Chief” by Demi Lovato and “Burn the House Down” by AJR are both songs that openly question and criticize those who are making decisions for others in this country and those who have influence to make significant changes. I believe they are good songs to go more in depth learning about because I think it means a lot to have people with influence, like popular artists, create these kinds of songs and make these statements. For them to recognize the influence of the platforms they have and to use them to make a stand about the kind of issues that negatively affect others everyday through such powerful songs is really important. I feel like it is common to see people like celebrities sit back and stay quiet about certain issues and movements so that they come off neutral and not controversial or because they are scared of offending the wrong people or worried about saying the wrong thing. So I think with songs like “Commander in Chief” and “Burn the House Down,” which call out the highest people in power and address the serious issues affecting our nation instead of trying to keep it light and stay likeable, has a lot of power. Although both songs address the same kinds of political issues, they are very different lyrically and musically, and are both powerful in their delivery and in much different ways. Demi Lovato’s “Commander in Chief” focuses more on other people’s power and responsibility whereas “Burn the House Down” focuses more on personal responsibility and impact. Commander in Chief sets a serious tone being a slow song that seems quite simple musically, stripping down elements, making a very raw and vulnerable song especially through her delivery and tone.. And “Burn the House Down” is powerful and empowering not only because of the lyrics but also because of the choices made musically creating an energetic and loud song. For either song I will focus on how the lyrics, the music, the artist’s delivery, and the music videos all add to the power of the songs and the message. 

Through the research I do for this project, I think I will learn not only how these artists have been involved with political issues and movements, but how artists in general and people with platforms take to addressing the big issues and then go even further to help in creating actual change. I think it’s really important to highlight artists who feel inclined to use their platforms to address certain abuses of power and injustices because it’s what they believe instead of just staying quiet and making music unrelated. There is a lot of power in music and people use music and relate it to their own situations so it’s important to hear songs that address those situations instead of brush past them because they are issues that so heavily and negatively impact so many people’s lives. As we’ve talked about in class, music is a way to unite and connect people, so to have songs that address these political issues and connect people through that it’s very powerful, especially in strengthening a movement.  I’m excited to learn more about the creation of either of these songs and all of the different elements that go along with them that make them such powerful political statements.

AJR’s “Burn the House Down”

Demi Lovato’s “Commander in Chief”