You know Gavin DeGraw.
He doesn't need to be anything other than a prison guard’s son. No matter what he says, he's not over you.
He’s never spotted without a fedora on. If Michael Jackson was the King of Pop, he's the King of Modern Snoozy Soft Rock.
And now, after getting the shit beaten out of him in an anti-bore-core hate crime, he's back and ready to rock.
Coming back from a shopping trip with my friend yesterday, we scanned the radio for something decent to listen to. I heard Gavin DeGraw’s latest single, and I told her that this was the only Gavin DeGraw song I liked so far, which was interesting, because his other singles made me desire to gouge my eardrums out.
“Didn’t he like, get the shit beaten out of him?” she asked.
I knew nothing of this, so I ran a quick Google search of “Gavin Degraw beating.” Sure enough, there were plenty of articles chronicling a hate-crime-like incident that occurred about 2 years ago.
The 36-year-old crooner said of the incident, “Somebody said something to me I didn’t like. I let them know I didn’t like it.”
“What do you think they called him?” I asked my friend, assuming it was some sort of homophobic slur or maligning of fedoras.
“Jason Mraz,” said my friend without pausing.
Whatever it was that went down, it has Gavin DeGraw coming back as a new man, ready to cut the soft-rock shit and cut to the core. At this point, he’s basically the male Rihanna.
The lyrics of his new song are caustic and insightful. He hates us almost as much as we hate ourselves: “Night sky full of drones/ This neighborhood of clones/ I’m looking at the crowd and they’re staring at their phones.”
They are not the lyrics of your mom’s Gavin DeGraw: “I read that soda kills you/ And Jesus saves/ On the bathroom wall/ Where I saw you naked.”
They are mildly political in a very vague way: “We’re at war again/ Save the world again/ You can all join in/ But you can’t smoke inside.”
They are trying to prove to the world that he’s wasting away in the same way that you tried to prove to your ex that you were wasting away when you were 13: “I’ve been medicated with cigarettes and alcohol.”
They are the urgently confused lyrics of a man beaten within an inch of his life for being Gavin Degraw: “But I passed the longest sign on the interstate/ Saying, ‘Find someone before it gets too late’/ You’re the best I ever had.”
I don’t want to jinx my newfound appreciation for Mr. DeGraw by trying to listen to any other new tunes (let’s not get ahead of ourselves) but I will say this: there is a phrase that says you shouldn’t beat a dead horse. That phrase doesn’t necessarily apply to pop music.