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31 December 2010 @ 10:01 am
btr song meta series: oh yeah  
BTR Song Meta Series: “Oh Yeah”
Or That Song Of Which I Could Not Make Heads or Tails
Or That Song That Moment When I Finally Said “Oh Yeah.”
Or, throwing all that out, The James Diamond song


Hello there. Here at metamusketeers we are big fans of dissecting Big Time Rush’s simple pop songs into something character driven, and honestly, rather ridiculously perfect in a way that constantly has us wondering how BTR can exist. In fact, we even went so far as to have a whole tag dedicated to this specific series of meta. And now, I make my introductory post with the song “Oh Yeah.” As always I thank my cohorts and companions, technicallysane and folkloric_feel for allowing me to bounce these ideas off of them. ♥


(For those that do not know, I am Kait, the silent musketeer. Okay. I’m not silent, but I’m still at high school and no one but my English teach really wants to read any essay I’ve written. Also, by way of being in high school, my time is not my own. So this is my post where I finally begin to talk to you, my darling readers. Really. I love you all. I question your sanity almost as much as I question my own.)

It is worth mentioning that I downloaded the BTR album when I was in a fever-induced delirium. And in that delirium, I had decided that “Oh Yeah” was not a love song at all. I had no reason, and I promptly forgot all about it. (See aforementioned flu.) This was the first time I realized that nothing was going to sit well with this song and me. Not for a long, long time.

I kept playing with this idea of it being a fight song, or a simple lust song. But still nothing sat right. That is, of course, until I was hit like a truck with the idea of this song being so much bigger than a person, or even a moment. This song had to be all about a concept.

James

So tell me who I am I supposed to be?
What I gotta do to get you close to me?
If I run away tonight will you follow me?


It’s not like BTR songs are opposed to the idea of the boys changing themselves for a significant other. Actually, that’s the entire idea of “Any Kind of Guy.” It’s actually the entire unhealthy, slightly eerie theme of the song. (Which, erm, may or may not be a terrible lesson for twelve-year-old girls that does not sit well with me whatsoever… But that is an entirely different meta essay.) But BTR has never talked about running away together. Ever. It’s never brought up in canon or a song. Camille and Logan never talk about running away together to avoid being separated. Neither have Jo and Kendall. Or even OT4 boys, even in just a platonic friendship way. The boys have never talked about running away to avoid facing a screaming Gustavo or an unfortunate effect of a scheme.

So maybe “Oh Yeah” isn’t about getting the girl or boy after all.

James and Logan, sing most of this song (other than the chorus, which is, as usual, all of the boys). The song is all about pure and simple drive in the way of a career. It makes sense that it would come down to just James and Logan. In fact, Logan only sings the bridge. (More on that later.) So, since this song is sung in a different vocal arrangement than anything else BTR has ever released, there must be a reason. Since Big Time Rush is incredibly detail oriented and character specific, the meaning of the song would change wildly if it was put in any other arrangement. If, say, Carlos were singing this song, it’d be negative. (See “Famous” meta for more on that.) If Kendall were to sing this song, then it wouldn’t be this song at all (it would be about family values and being Everything to Everyone.) But it isn’t Kendall or Carlos. This is a James Diamond song.

James Diamond, who wants fame more than anything. James Diamond, who would make himself into anything to have that fame. James Diamond, who is willing to do whatever it takes (except betraying his friends) to achieve that fame. James Diamond, who wants fame and fans and paparazzi following him.

Oh. Yeah.

Cause when the lights go flashing everybody knows
It's on


Fame doesn’t start until you can’t escape it. This is actually an extremely positive thing for James in his goals. As talked about in the “Famous” song meta, it isn’t that positive for anyone else. In fact, Carlos’ line in the song is “ all day, all night, the camera's on and it never lies/ you're under the spotlight twenty-four-seven till the end of time, which is extremely negative in a “Carlos is insecure” way. But in “Oh Yeah,” is a song James craving fame (see every episode of BTR that has ever been aired.) Right now James is beginning to quench his thirst for stardom. But he is nowhere near his goal. Goals that are explained pretty clearly in the chorus you know, if you take out the ten thousand repetitive “oh yeahs.”.

And now it's time I gotta make a move
We could be together if you only knew (only knew)
Cause life's too short, and we got nothing to lose


Okay, this was actually the whole reasoning behind coming to Hollywood. Life is short. You gotta live it big time. For James (and at the current moment, for all of the boys) it is time to make a move and leave behind the risk. It’s worth the price, whatever it may be.

C'mon c'mon c'monn (Oh yeah)
I can't seem to get you out of my mind (oh no)
And I ain't gonna stop until I make you mine (make you mine)


Obviously, this is very James centric. Back in Audition, James spews on about the life of fame he’s going to live. The boys all groan, like they’ve heard it ten thousand times. James is ambitious. James also has a one-track mind. He’ll go after what he wants. And he isn’t going to stop until he reaches his goals.

I just gotta make it to you by the end of the night

This is actually one of the saddest lines in the entire song. James isn’t dumb. James knows that fame has a time limit. James knows that he could lose everything in the blink of an eye. (In concert, he did.) James has to find this while he’s young. He has to still be “The Face” if he wants to achieve stardom. In essence, he has to find the spotlight before the sunsets on his dream.

Logan

I know the night is ending
And time just keeps on running out
I gotta find my way to you
Oh yeahhhhhhhh


While it could easily stay on the fame track, because as part of Big Time Rush, Logan would obviously have feelings about fame. But, with the current way that the show, and Logan as a character, is progressing, it seems more likely that this is about a different sort of dilemma.

Logan’s dream has always been to become a doctor. It’s canon. That is what he’s always worked to accomplish. And what canon is telling us is that the two paths that his life could take are wrenching him in completely different directions. Logan has already thought seriously about what his destiny is. The ease and freedom of his life—this fame and friendship—is ticking because he has to make the choice of his life soon.

Chorus

Say anything you want
I turn the music up
'Cause baby we ain't going no-oh-oh-where


Of course, this covers the negative aspects of fame (which, is, interestingly enough, covered by all of the boys, lumping all of their feelings, positive and negative together). Gossip rags and TMZ and kids at the Palmwoods pool have to say negative things about James. Of course, James is beautiful and well groomed and flawless, so James has probably been hearing these things all of his life. But this is a different level. This is the world talking about it. And there is no such thing as bad publicity. So James just reverts back into himself, like he has always had to do. He focuses back on music and tures out the noise.

I'll leave it all behind
To be with you tonight


All the boys left Minnesota. They all left their families and their friends except for each other. (With the exception of Kendall, which, again, is a different essay.) But James was the only boy willing to leave everything. James left the boys for fame, however briefly, in Concert. James has always been willing to leave everything for a chance to be with fame, no matter how short a time his spot light might be. He was never willing to sabotage his friends, or take a dream that wasn’t his like with Camille in Break. But, from the very beginning, James was willing to abandon everything. In Audition, had Gustavo wanted James instead of Kendall, the band would never have become a band. The original plan was never to take all four of them. The original plan was for James to go and try to catch his dream.

And everybody's screaming oh oh oh oh oh yeah
Oh yeah oh yeah
Is screaming oh yeah
Oh yeah oh yeah
Is screaming oh yeah
Oh yeah oh yeah
Is screaming oh yeah yeah


Again, fame isn’t always limos and posters. Sometimes it’s hoards of screaming fan girls. Or press screaming about your affair with the Austrian ambassador’s son. Or your producer is screaming about your performance. Your mother is screaming at you for not being home for Thanksgiving. But still, you’re in the spot light. Everyone wants you.

All in all, it’s right that the boys sing the majority of this song are the boys that are most concerned about what door they are going to walk through. But, what is also right, is that this song is never about doubting your friends, or even yourself. Oh Yeah may be the most unexpected song on the album, but in a way, it is the most true to canon.
 
 
 
Ellie: BTRlyricsandhearts on December 31st, 2010 05:26 pm (UTC)
Honestly? I don't know how you do this. My brain has officially exploded and I just. I'd never thought about this song like this, but it makes absolute perfect sense in so many ways. You are brilliant. ♥ ♥ James, addressing what's probably supposed to look like a love song to fame itself? Seriously, flawlessly in line with his character. Asdfgjhljuqownd omg I don't even know. Brilliance.
dylansbuzz: Cat ahhhhhhdylansbuzz on December 31st, 2010 06:49 pm (UTC)
I love these kinds of posts - always amazes me to see deceptively simple songs or concepts broken down to their most basic levels and analyzed. :D
pinkpanther20pinkpanther20 on December 31st, 2010 07:02 pm (UTC)
I'll post a coherent comment once my brain is back in my head but OH, KAIT.
eviljellybean88eviljellybean88 on January 1st, 2011 01:25 am (UTC)
i've never thought about the song like that before, thanks for the different POV :D
sarah.captchathat on January 1st, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
there's also the really interesting point that real life Kendall and James wrote the basis of the song which amuses me to no end, considering how much the fight on he show too.