I'm getting this one out there early this morning, because I've been distracted the last few days and didn't release it when I originally intended. Recently I had the honor of getting an early (now 3 days late) look at the second single from the fearsome foursome outta Belgium; Time To Act. Their mission is to target today's global issues in their lyrics and spread the word as far and wide as possible to get people to understand that a change is necessary. While their first single dealt with racism and violence, this new track, released December 18th, discusses global warming, pollution and extinction.
Sonically, "30 in 2050" reminds me very much of USA For Africa's "We Are The World" with a Thunbergian update to the lyrics. Rather than serving as a call to aid, this is more like a cry for help. The lyrics imply that by 2050, whales, bears, fish, and possibly more will be extinct. I hate to think about how accurate this assumption may or may not be. The specific lines that made me think the most was "Your leaders let you down / But there's no hiding here / Blame is on you 'cause you failed to act" These lines got me the most because individually, one person might be better at recycling and reducing their carbon footprint than another, but collectively we as people tend to take the lazy way and just do what the leaders tell us. So often when things go wrong, we blame our leaders for having the bad ideas, but who were the people that followed along?
In the first verse of the song, there are a couple audio samples that demand attention. In the line where they mention the last whale dying, you hear the faint cry of a whale. Kinda chilling, kinda odd, I'll take it. The following line when they say she had too much plastic in her belly, you hear the pop of a soda can. So it looks something like this "The last whale died yesterday... *whale cry* So much plastic in her belly... *soda can*" Now I don't love having two audio samples like this coming line after line, but luckily that pattern stops here. My biggest issue with it is that the second sample isn't necessary, and it doesn't exactly land the way the group wanted it to. The line references plastic, yet the sample is that of an aluminum can. I see what they were trying to do, but it didn't work.
While I don't love each individual line of the song, I do sincerely appreciate the overall message that they are trying to convey here. The "We are 30 in 2050" theme is saying to the audience that we are creating a damaged and dying planet for our children, and they will be powerless to stop the decay and destruction that their parents are leaving behind. Therefore, it is up to us to make the changes necessary to leave a healthy world for our children and our children's children to grow up in.