This reflection was originally posted on July 29, 2013.
So after a lot of listening and a lot of thought, I have concluded that the reason why “Love You Like a Love Song” is so grating is not the fact that the title doesn’t make any sense (why would I compare my love for somebody that I love to anything like a love song, which while potentially beautiful and captivating, is not something I would spend any significant amount of time obsessing over), the fact that the entire song except for the bridge is simply a circle of fifths progression (and the bridge is just repeating the latter half of such a progression twice), the fact that the chorus is just the same line three times followed by a line about repetition, the ridiculous nonsense of the rest of the lyrics (“Every beautiful thought’s been already sung/And I guess right now here’s another one”—uhhh/”There’s no way to describe what you do to me[…]/And it feels like I’ve been rescued/I’ve been set free/I am hypnotized by your destiny”/”You stand alone to every record I own”), or the attempt to make every single female artist’s voice sound like Britney circa 2000 (because apparently that’s the only proper way to do pop music when a woman’s vocals are involved…but no it’s cool, glad this is how it’s done for men too).
What it really comes down to for me is the fact that the hook, which is supposed to be what sticks in your head, is completely ruined by the fact that she pronounces the word “baby” like “baeh-bee”. It’s not even that the word has a single acceptable pronunciation when other people think it can be pronounced other ways. Consider the third repetition in each chorus, where the word “baby” is drawn out and she pronounces it a completely different (and more understandable) way. It’s not that she can’t pronounce it any other way, it’s just that she thought that that was the optimal pronunciation for that situation. Maybe I need to defer to the artist on this one, but my guess is that this wasn’t intended to be this much of a distraction.