Is it just me or is this song about a school shooting? This "cowboy kid" goes on a rampage with a gun he got from his dad's closet. Why is this not a big deal to anyone? I don't understand how we can mourn tragedies like Columbine and the Virginia Tech shootings and then love this song. It just boggles my mind. This could almost be akin to writing a hit song about 9/11 from the perspective of the terrorists, putting it to a snazzy beat, and then having Americans dance to it. Talk about irony.
This doesn't stop me from loving the song though! In fact, I just got the album and it is amazing. It's sincerely one of the best albums I've gotten in a long time. All the other songs are less tragic and controversial in my mind. But I can't get rid of this sense of guilt I have for liking "Pumped Up Kicks." Call me a hypocrite.
However, for the writing of this post, I did a little more research. Come to find out that Foster the People's leading man, Mark Foster, who wrote the song said he wanted to get inside the killer's mind. He was going to do it about the victim's perspective but thought that would be a copout. It's all about saying f**k you to the hipsters, yet these are the kinds of kids listening to and loving this song. He said there isn't actual violence in the song and that it's an internal dialogue in this kid's mind. So, in a sense, it is a commentary on the isolation and detachment our youth feel today. Aha! Another great ingredient for a hit.
We all love a good controversy, and maybe that is why this song is popular. It seems to reach a part of everyone, the rebel inside each of us. I'm not saying I condone the thoughts portrayed in it, but I'm finding that it was not meant to be taken literally. Foster wanted to understand another side of the story. And, as a writer, I can respect that. It's a fun song to dance to and it also has a chill aspect to it. Foster the People is not just another pop band. I tend to think they will be around awhile now because of the depth, fortitude, and genius behind their madness. There's more to them than meets the eye. FtP, you have made a fan out of me.
Paige and I love to dance to this song so much that we've almost got a choreographed dance to it.