The Whistle Trend

Not to toot my own horn, but I consider myself a keen observer of pop music. A trend I have noticed in the past few months is that several newly released pop songs incorporate whistles in their music. If it were just two songs I would be more dismissive of it, but I can think of four songs that have whistling and I haven’t even been looking hard for such songs.

When I say, “whistling,” I don’t mean blowing a whistle. I mean, something that sounds like a human being using his or her mouth to whistle a series of notes in a melody. It may or may not be digitally generated.

The four songs are “I Wanna Go” (Britney Spears, released Feb. 2011), “Good Life” (OneRepublic, May 2011), “The Lazy Song” (Bruno Mars, Feb. 2011), and “Moves Like Jagger” (Maroon 5, June 2011). They are all accessible through playlist.com, a free site.

I enjoy these songs and the whistling in them, except for the Britney song which I find to be a hot mess. I wonder what the whistling means. I associate whistling with feeling relaxed and carefree. It can also be sexual, signaling arousal. I hope it doesn’t become overused and trite.

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