What do pop songs have to say about love? Surprisingly, this book shows that most popular love songs express much more about alienation, infatuation, estrangement, jealousy, and heartbreak than about love. Scheff takes the reader on a tour of popular lyrics from 80 years of American song to reveal the emotional and relational meaning of lyrics. He shows that popular love songs typically steer listeners away from a healthy connection to the emotions surrounding love. Readers will gain a deeper understanding of love songs while appreciating the author's suggestions for how listeners and artists could enrich the art of the love song.
“The great strength of the book lies in the simple idea that popular media provide the psychological pulse of a culture in a way that has the potential to reflect enduring truths about human nature. Such media content in analysis is rare in psychology (cf. DeWall et al., 2011) but has great potential…We thank Scheff for reminding us that love is all around us – love is in the airwaves.” —Contemporary Psychology Vol. 57, Release 20