THE NOISEY GUIDE TO ROY ORBISON, POP’S ORIGINAL SAD BOY
By Bryn Lovitt
The last thing the internet needs is another thinkpiece on the sad girl in pop music. From Leslie Gore to Lana Del Rey, the trope has been sourced, dissected, and written about to the point of no return. What’s cropping up more and more in the world of popular music these days is actually the sad boy. Let me clarify: this extends beyond dudes simply singing about feeling sad. Every pop singer’s gotta have a sensitive single or four—Bieber’s billion dollar apology songs surged up the charts like a wellspring of tears—but that in itself is not all that interesting. Rather, this distinct rebrand towards a more sensitive, emotional Bieber—one who cries on stage in all black—represents a significant shift in our leading male pop performers. And he’s not the only one. Look at Sam Smith. Ed Sheeran. Drake even (he may not be sad per se, but he sure is mopey). The sad boys of pop are here to woo you, lose you, and ultimately croon you back into their arms. And it’s a trend that’s on the rise.
But who is the godfather, the sad boy originator? Swivel your ears to the 60s and remember Mr. Roy Orbison…