Posi-Hardcore versus Pop - Who Is More Positive?
Positive hardcore, also called posi-hardcore or posicore, is a style of hardcore punk whose lyrics are meant to be uplifting, inspiring, and generally positive. These band often follow the positive mental attitude idea that positive thinking is a key to success and happiness. Many Youth Crew bands have positive lyrics.
Posi-hardcore was a response to the overly negative lyrics and attitudes of many early hardcore bands. The music is just as heavy as other types of hardcore, but the lyrics are different.
Some of the bands that are often called positive hardcore include:
- 7 Seconds
- Good Clean Fun
- Gorilla Biscuits
- Have Heart
- Kid Dynamite
- Sick Of It All
- Strike Anywhere
- Youth Of Today
If you are familiar with these bands you know that they don't necessarily sound alike. But they all have songs with positive messages.
How Positive Are They Really?
I wanted to see just how positive these posi-hardcore bands actually are. Are their lyrics actually positive, or are they just less negative than other hardcore bands?
I gathered the lyrics of the above mentioned bands along with some popular pop musicians:
- Foo Fighters
- George Strait
- Justin Bieber
- Justin Timberlake
- Taylor Swift
- The Village People
These were just random pop musical acts that I thought of as generally being positive in their lyrics.
I then ran a sentiment analysis on the lyrics of all these musicians.
Posicore: Not So Positive After All
The results were very clear. While positive hardcore bands might be more positive than other hardcore and punk bands, they are not overly positive.
Out of the hardcore bands I looked at, only three bands had more positive sentiment lyrics than negative lyrics. These were Good Clean Fun, Youth Of Today, and Have Heart. All the other hardcore bands I looked at actually had more negative lyrics than positive lyrics.
When comparing this to pop acts, the lack of positivity is even more striking for most of these hardcore bands. Some of the pop musicians I looked at were similar to the hardcore bands. They had more negative then positive lyrics. This includes the rock acts Creed and Foo Fighters.
All the other pop acts were far more positive than negative. The Village People were a remarkable 5.8 times more positive than negative.
It certainly seems that all the hardcore bands that I thought were positive, are not that positive. The one real exception is Good Clean Fun. Hats off to them for being a genuinely positive band.
Also, checkout my sentiment analysis of punk band lyrics.