Monday, April 13, 2015

The musical key

I'm increasingly convinced that one can learn a great deal about the socio-sexual hierarchy through popular music. Music is a force multiplier for emotions, and emotions are, to a great extent, a reliable indicator of socio-sexual rank. And what I find particularly interesting is the way in which men of one rank find it difficult to correctly mimic the thoughts and emotions of a different social rank.

Now, Adam Levine of Maroon 5 is a high Alpha. And the Maroon 5 lyrics often reflect that predatory alpha dominance.
Baby, I'm preying on you tonight
Hunt you down eat you alive
Maybe you think that you can hide
I can smell your scent from miles
That's from "Animals". Then there is "Moves Like Jagger", in which he claims to be on par with one legendary Alpha.
My ego is big
I don't give a sh*t
I don't even try to control you
Look into my eyes and I'll own you
Want to know the alpha mentality? That is it in a nutshell. "I will own you without even trying to control you." This is all very obvious. But where it gets interesting is when Levine tries to mimic what he thinks is the Delta perspective in a song that has dutifully tame relationship overtones, "Sugar".
I'm hurting, baby, I'm broken down
I need your loving, loving, I need it now
When I'm without you
I'm something weak
You got me begging
Begging, I'm on my knees

I don't wanna be needing your love
I just wanna be deep in your love
And it's killing me when you're away
Ooh, baby,
'Cause I really don't care where you are
I just wanna be there where you are
Now, this is all very well, albeit tending more towards Gamma, but the note is false. The word "weak" is wrong. That's an Alpha term. The "deep in your love" note is a little off too; Alphas sing about sex and fucking, the more romantic Deltas and Gammas sing about love and kissing and hugging. Even so, Levine holds it together right up until the last verse, when the Alpha shows through again.
Don't let nobody touch it
Unless that somebody's me....

Don't give all that shy shit
No make up on, that's my sugar
Notice that it's not a jealous desire, but an open expression of control, followed by a direct order of how he expects the girl to behave. This tends to indicate that a self-confident Alpha attempting to play Delta/Gamma will be as unconvincing as a self-conscious Gamma trying to act the smooth Alpha with a girl on his arm.

Of course, given that the song plays off Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me", another Alpha song, it's possible that the entire song is sarcastic Alpha ridicule. The simplistic music, with its dah-dah-dah-dah-stop rhythm does tend to strike me as being possibly indicative of a musical expression of contempt.

45 comments:

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I don't know who this is, but watching Vox analyse some popular teen hit songs with presumably a straight face is pretty amusing.

Van Halen [David Lee Roth]: Alpha, or not? We're seeing the band in July. I always found their music to be pretty much all about sex and fucking.

matuckermm said...

Very good topic; one of my favourite topics in fact.

As I've reflected on my journey up through the hierarchy, I've realized more than once that one of the only things, one of the *only things* that rescued me from permanent omegatude was that I grew up idolizing alpha hard-rock/metal bands. Growing up, these rock stars were my *only* alpha-masculine role models, even though I would never formerly have endorsed their asshole characteristics.

Hence, when I began encountering the red pill, it was actually fairly easy to put a lot of the "game" behaviours into practice because I was able to say to myself, "Well, gee, if I want to be an Alpha, I guess I just act like Vince Neil." Or whomever. And it wasn't that hard to do, because I already grew up idolizing those guys.

Conversely, something that comes up all the time (it came up literally last night, at a friend's get-together) is why, oh why do dudes listen to effete Top-40 music instead of manly stuff. But I think the OP answers the question.

deborahann15 said...

Very interesting take on Maroon 5's "Sugar." I love, love the song. I also saw Def Leppard perform "Pour Some Sugar On Me" in concert. I didn't make the connection between the two songs until now. I miss heavy metal rock bands. The last one which had really good play on the air waves was Nickelback. Adam is definitely an alpha male although some of his antics on "The Voice" lead me to think otherwise sometimes.

Alpha males and control---my husband---Being a good wife, I've learned that asking permission equals freedom. I respect my husband enough to ask permission in many things and he can't say "no" to me. It works. Now you know my secret--don't tell my husband!

Conscientia Republicae said...

Rocky soundtrack FTW

AmyJ said...

Adam Levine is also a great example of how having a high pitched voice - singing voice, too - doesn't necessarily lower one's SMV.

If he sang anything other than his alpha songs, he wouldn't be as popular.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

So I looked him up. He's only 6' tall, therefore: no Alpha. Also, Jewish.

I know some guys who play in indie bands in LA and OC. Cool guys, but definitely not Alphas. In fact, playing in a band is a classic Beta [or lower] move to increase one's SMV.

Oak said...

So I looked him up. He's only 6' tall, therefore: no Alpha.

You keep using this term Alpha.. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Conscientia Republicae said...

Deborahann,

I'm sorry but did you say Nickelback was a metal band? Please apologize to the gods of metal and pray you never meet Lemmy in a back alley somewhere.

The Original Hermit said...

"Van Halen [David Lee Roth]: Alpha, or not?"

Eddie Van Halen, can't get much more alpha than him. David Lee Roth is also alpha, but less alpha than Eddie Van Halen.

I don't really care for Maroon 5's music (especially Animals, so repetitive), but I wouldn't be surprised if Adam Levine's (alpha) personality was a major reason for their success.

cailcorishev said...

Something I mentioned in another thread on this topic: I think one problem for men of my generation, growing up in the 1970s and 80s, is that while the bands were Alpha, many of them sang Gamma. You had all these groups who went on stage and crooned about how "I Can't Stop Loving You" and then banged groupies by the dozen afterwards. So if you followed the bands themselves (which I guess back then you had to do through magazines) and imitated their actions, you were in good shape; but if you took your lead from their lyrics, it was much more of a mixed bag.

I don't know how Alpha rockers were able to produce so many Gamma songs; I assume someone else wrote them.

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

Van Halen [David Lee Roth]: Alpha, or not?

I presume that any man that has "made it" in the arts or athletics has so much pussy being flung at him that if he isn't a natural alpha he becomes one due to the abundance mentality such a situation creates. Its like all those 50 year old hollywood actors that say "sense of humor" or "somebody that challenges me" but then are never photographed with any girl over a size 4, unless the girl is pregnant with his child. They know where their money comes from so they aren't going to alienate their fans, but their actions don't lie.

Natalie said...

I'm curious about Toby Keith v Trace Adkins. One seems kind of skeezy to me, and the other one seems like one heck of a guy.

xrayinpa said...

Do the majority of people pay attention to the lyrics of a song or key in on the music for the mood / feeling of it?

Corvinus said...

I know some guys who play in indie bands in LA and OC. Cool guys, but definitely not Alphas. In fact, playing in a band is a classic Beta [or lower] move to increase one's SMV.
@Fogey
I agree in general -- most band members are Gamma hipsters and Delta stoners -- but I think all sociosexual ranks produce band members.

I think one problem for men of my generation, growing up in the 1970s and 80s, is that while the bands were Alpha, many of them sang Gamma. You had all these groups who went on stage and crooned about how "I Can't Stop Loving You" and then banged groupies by the dozen afterwards.

@cailcorishev
That would quite obviously tie in with Vox's point about Alphas being unconvincing Gammas. Unfortunately, it gives completely the wrong impression to young men listening to these bands.

Noah B said...

Something I mentioned in another thread on this topic: I think one problem for men of my generation, growing up in the 1970s and 80s, is that while the bands were Alpha, many of them sang Gamma. You had all these groups who went on stage and crooned about how "I Can't Stop Loving You" and then banged groupies by the dozen afterwards. So if you followed the bands themselves (which I guess back then you had to do through magazines) and imitated their actions, you were in good shape; but if you took your lead from their lyrics, it was much more of a mixed bag.

I don't know how Alpha rockers were able to produce so many Gamma songs; I assume someone else wrote them.


Good observation. I've found myself thinking this too -- it really is surprising how many pop songs have lyrics that are outright Gamma.

Conscientia Republicae said...

Vox did a post on this a while ago, using an NSync song. The songwriter through lyrics lets the female listener identify with the song.

badwhite said...

"Good observation. I've found myself thinking this too -- it really is surprising how many pop songs have lyrics that are outright Gamma."

Women want the alpha that is romantic, or so they claim. So when an alpha sings some sappy song, they love it, and when they see him in real life and he's actually an alpha it completes it for them.

alphaisassumed said...

Vox is correct in that men can often be unconvincing when attempting to portray somebody of a different socio-sexual rank IF the observer is somebody objective like most of the people reading this blog.

However, the disjointedness plays out differently when a lower guy plays something higher than vice versa. Namely, whereas a gamma playing an Alpha makes no sense to anybody, an obvious Alpha acting lower can still get panties wet.

It's a female fantasy for the guy who can't be touched by emotion to fall head over heels for HER and her only. Thus, the cornball Alpha caricature douchebag can make his girlfriend swoon with some crappy poem written on a napkin. "He's human! I've touched him!" Then the next day he stops returning her calls again. Levine being awkward in his professions of love might strike US as ridiculously disingenuous, but to his female fans not so much.

However, regarding fictional portrayals in novels and the like, entirely true, men of all ranks are pretty bad at getting into the heads of others. Still, we'd all much rather be the Alpha crappily faking it than the gamma. Alphas can get away with it.

Regarding David Lee Roth, Alpha all the way. Read the lyrics to "Women in Love..." for starters:

"So honey leave me alone, or lady, you're staying the night."


~Martel

cailcorishev said...

I presume that any man that has "made it" in the arts or athletics has so much pussy being flung at him that if he isn't a natural alpha he becomes one due to the abundance mentality such a situation creates.

Maybe, maybe not. If you follow golf at all, Tiger Woods lately seems to be a case study of a Gamma whose success made everyone think he was an Alpha. His enormous wealth and fame got him a hot Swedish wife and pussy in every town, and anyone would have assumed he was plenty Alpha; but now that he's struggling, his Gamma insecurity is obvious. It's so clear now that he's putting on a show -- and that probably means he was all along. So even being the best in your field and having women flock to you may not change who you really are; that's something you have to decide to change for yourself.

alphaisassumed said...

I'll amend my earlier comment.

An Alpha won't be able to convince others he's a gamma if he's not. However, he WILL be able to convince women of the sincerity of whatever sappy blather he spits out. Or at least he will enough to get her even more hooked. She'll believe him because she wants to.

~Martel

cailcorishev said...

Women want the alpha that is romantic, or so they claim.
The songwriter through lyrics lets the female listener identify with the song.


I suspect both these factors play into it. I caught part of a song (can't remember which one) this morning that made me think, "Women have to be identifying with that to like it." Maybe the hair and makeup of the hair bands, as well as the androgynous look that was popular for a while, contribute to that too. But there's also the fact that a rock star is so Alpha by default that singing something Gamma only brings him down to earth in a girl's eyes. It may even increase his attractiveness by making him seem more approachable.

Namely, whereas a gamma playing an Alpha makes no sense to anybody, an obvious Alpha acting lower can still get panties wet.

And the Alpha who turns out to be "too Alpha" with none of the Nice Guy traits he sings about may frustrate a woman, and she may even be forced (reluctantly) to leave him, but she won't be disgusted by him. When a woman finds out the guy she thought was Alpha is really a Gamma faking it, she'll turn on him like a bad cheese.

alphaisassumed said...

@ cail: "I suspect both these factors play into it. I caught part of a song (can't remember which one) this morning that made me think, "Women have to be identifying with that to like it." Maybe the hair and makeup of the hair bands, as well as the androgynous look that was popular for a while, contribute to that too. But there's also the fact that a rock star is so Alpha by default that singing something Gamma only brings him down to earth in a girl's eyes. It may even increase his attractiveness by making him seem more approachable."

I think a lot of it's a question of that unpredictability Heartiest always talks about. If we look at 80's rock, there are three basic categories:

Group 1, too hard: AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Metallica, etc.

These bands got plenty of female attention, but their posters weren't lining too many female walls. They had all the Alpha swagger, but there weren't any soft mushy love ballads. Girls usually were into them because their boyfriends were.

Group 2, too soft: Nelson, Europe, Stryper, etc.

Pretty boys, lots of chick-friendly ballads, but not a whole lot of badass Alpha swagger. Groupies? Sure (and probably more than group 1), but they weren't quite on top.

Group 3, just right: Guns N' Roses, Van Halen (Roth era), Def Leppard:

Alpha swagger, lots of songs about debauchery and getting laid sprinkled in with soft and sweet ballads. Lead singers strutting around like they owned the world singing about a "Sweet Child" or how a "Photograph" drove him to "Hysteria." On those same albums there are lyrics comparing their tongues to switchblades. These were the bands that kept the women guessing, and the bands that the women wanted the most.

~Martel

automatthew said...

The "deep in your love" note is a little off too; Alphas sing about sex and fucking

Led Zeppelin did it right:


Way, way down inside, I'm gonna give you my love
I'm gonna give you every inch of my love

Corvinus said...

If you follow golf at all, Tiger Woods lately seems to be a case study of a Gamma whose success made everyone think he was an Alpha. His enormous wealth and fame got him a hot Swedish wife and pussy in every town, and anyone would have assumed he was plenty Alpha; but now that he's struggling, his Gamma insecurity is obvious.

@cailcorishev
Likewise with Obama. I think we can take it to the bank that any Hot New Mixed-Race Part-Black Celebrity is bound to be a paper-alpha Gamma.

When a woman finds out the guy she thought was Alpha is really a Gamma faking it, she'll turn on him like a bad cheese.

Crazy Gammas such as Lubitz are extremely dangerous for that reason. (Because their erratic, whacko behavior comes off initially as alpha.) But it also explains the shocking implosion of many marriages. Gammas make a show of being all that, but there's really no scaffolding actually buttressing their inflated self-regard.

And unfortunately, I think this type of Gamma will become even more common going forward, what with the hollow self-esteem boosting in the public skools. And also unfortunately, many girls will be fooled into thinking this behavior is what they should want, and that a man who doesn't act like that is "weird". The whole concept of Sigma helped me immensely in that it showed me that not only is it possible to be both "weird" and "hawt", but also that it's pretty much the exact opposite of Gamma, which I've always found loathsome and despicable.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Speaking of Van Halen and height, I see Michael Anthony around town. He lives in Newport Beach. Super nice guy--but shockingly short. Rockers seemed so much bigger on MTV.

I used to see Tiger Woods and his entourage at Javier's in Newport Coast. He always seemed humorless, dull, and unsmiling. Alpha? I don't think so.

Noah B said...

"Women want the alpha that is romantic, or so they claim. So when an alpha sings some sappy song, they love it, and when they see him in real life and he's actually an alpha it completes it for them."

Yes. So in many cases you have alphas saying the same thing the gammas are: the difference being that the gammas mean it with every fiber of their being while the alphas are mostly full of shit.

alphaisassumed said...

@ Noah: "So in many cases you have alphas saying the same thing the gammas are: the difference being that the gammas mean it with every fiber of their being while the alphas are mostly full of shit."

During a quasi-gamma phase of my life, I was accustomed to giving women too many compliments. However, I discovered that to an extent I could get away with telling women really nice things so long as I made an effort to sound like I was lying. I'd say "Seriously, you look sooo beautiful right now" exactly how I'd envision some slimeball like Bill Clinton saying it, and it would work. If I said it like I meant it, I got nexted immediately

Go figure.

~Martel

Earl Thomas said...

' If I said it like I meant it, I got nexted immediately.'

Yeah it does something to a woman's brain the minute you start taking it seriously. Meanwhile the relationships I've been around that worked well when it came to my friends...it was the woman that always brought up taking it to the next level.

Ron said...

@Vox

Can you (or anyone else who is alpha/sigma) please recommend bands with alpha lyrics? I know that a great deal of the damage was from the poor messages I received from the media. Maybe if I listen to lyrics with healthy (->more towards alpha) lyrics and music it might be able to have a positive effect on my unconscious mind.

Thank you

alphaisassumed said...

@ Ron: (may be duplicate, feel free to delete either): AC/DC from the first album through Back in Black. Standouts include "Shoot to Thrill", "Bad Boy Boogie," "Walk All Over You," "TNT," "Given the Dog a Bone," and my personal favorite, "Squealer."

alphaisassumed said...

@ Ron: If your musical style isn't heavy enough for AC/DC, I recommend the album Southern Harmony and Musical Companion by the Black Crowes (Chris Robinson was very Alpha before Kate Hudson). The whole album is Alpha attitude (esp the first three songs and My Morning Song), and Thorn in My Pride does a great job at being a sappy Alpha love song.

Earl Thomas said...

Plenty of AC/DC songs to choose from in that category...Live Wire is one of my favorites. The one that makes me laugh is Shot Down in Flames.

Corvinus said...

Meanwhile the relationships I've been around that worked well when it came to my friends...it was the woman that always brought up taking it to the next level.

Two conditions, actually: the woman always brings up taking it to the next level, and the man doesn't take her seriously. ("Yeah, right... sure, she said she loves me, but girls always say that to their friends!")

Trust said...

Seems the best songs would be the ones that frame a pump and dump as something more. Separate Ways by Journey comes to kind.

I also chuckle when I hear the song "Crazy Bitch." The lead singer of Buckcherry isnt the best looking guy on the scene, but I bet he has better options than Shmuley "women are holier than God" Boteach.

ajw308 said...

I've seen pics of Adam's fiance leaning away from him. This isn't the one that waved big red flags, but is shows the body language. This one looks like he's the one leaning into her, playing her game, cause she's to good for him.

I'm not a fan of Adam and I'm seeing this so I figure there's a lot more. My hunch is he's as Alpha as Billy Joel,but he's getting a big boost in status due to him being on The Voice.

ajw308 said...

Does he write his own songs?

RambleAround said...

I guess you gotta see who all the pansies are every once in a while, eh?

Ron said...

@alphaisassumed

Thanks!

Michael Maier said...

ALPHA? Him? Really? Levine seems gay to me. I've only watched The Voice when it's been on at my brother's place but that was my initial thought seeing his mannerisms. And every scene with him in that Keira Knightley movie about indy music made me think the same. Makes me glad that I don't know a single Moron 5 song. Those two pics with the cute blonde are almost cringe-worthy. Sure, context and maybe unkind timing. Maybe not.

Which raises another question: if a homo has a good enough cover, is he still Alpha?

hank.jim said...

Adam did a beta move. He apologized to his exes.

Artists that only have songs with alpha moves is tiring. Desperation is a useful tool in song writing. You can't just be happy.

OGRE said...

"My hunch is he's as Alpha as Billy Joel..."

Billy Joel is Alpha as fuck.

He dated multiple super models. Married the ultimate super model of all time (shes still hot in her 60s), and had her spit out a kid that is obviously his. He bangs women half his age, apparently he just knocked up a 33 year old as hes staring down at 70. All the while looking like an orphaned three legged pug.

Perhaps Sigma is a more accurate descriptor. But there is no denying his ability to bag hot tail.

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Eric Jimenez said...

@Michael Maier, no homo can cover up their effeminate genetic mannerisms, someone will point it out and their cover will be blown. How does anyone take someone lime that seriously after that?!

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tyrannoranger said...

Vox, while I agree with your general assessment of Levine as Alpha even though he often comes off as Beta, or even Gamma, you don't have to look farther than Maroon 5's first hit, "Harder to Breathe" to read his core persona, which reveals itself in the song's breakdown:

Does it kill?
Does it burn?
Is it painful to learn?
That its me that has all the control.

Does it thrill?
Does it sting?
When you feel what I bring,
and you wish that you had me to hold?

^^Perhaps Levine's most Alpha lyrics, right out of the gate in his career^^

Only an Alpha, or perhaps a Sigma, would have had the personal experience to feel this. Despite all the general whining that goes on throughout the song, describing a somewhat tumultuous relationship, at the end of the day he inherently knows "that its me that has all the control". Even further, he knows that this alone simultaneously "thrills" and "stings". "and you wish that you had me to hold" is heartise101 for framing as the prize. Classic Alpha.

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