In 1983, the youngest Boomer was 19 y/o, the oldest, 37, and Bryan Adams, at 24, was loosely in the middle; his break-up song (male point of view) “Cuts Like A Knife,” went deep into the depths of emotional pain, hitting a generational sweet spot, so he and his song were relatable to both ends of the Baby Boom age spectrum.
Today’s “break up” song sensation (male point of view) is “Without You” by 17-year old Australian singer, rapper, songwriter and record producer The Kid Laroi, born Charlton Kenneth Jeffrey Howard, who was mentored, not by a rocker, but by the late rapper Juice Wrld, when he was on tour in Australia.
“Without You” is raw, too:
You cut out a piece of me, and now I bleed internally
Left here without you …
And it hurts for me to think about what life could possibly be like
Without you …
I can’t believe that you wouldn’t believe me
The Kid Laroi’s interpretation, mannerisms and style are appropriate for his generation, and its different than ours: The delivery is more rap than rock, he fondles his crotch, and reminds me of Justin Bieber.
Last year, his debut mix tape hit #1 on the Australian ARIA Charts, making him the youngest Australian solo artist ever to reach the top. It also reached number three on the US Billboard 200.
I’m an early Boomer, and listening to new music connects me to the zeitgeist, for which I am grateful, and I’m glad to be aware of “Without You,” but I don’t relate to it musically or emotionally.
“Without You” is charting on three formats. On Alternative, it’s #7, on Top 40 it’s #10 and on Adult Top 40, #23.