Define 'Lite FM'

Pink_lI saw a TV commercial the other day for a Lite FM radio station, and Pink’s "Who Knew" was playing in it. Is Pink (pictured) "Lite" now? Who wants to be the one to tell her?

That got me wondering how we define Lite FM. When I hear the phrase, I think of songs like Michael Bublé’s "Everything" and Keith Urban’s "You’ll Think of Me." They’ve got those easy melodies that make you feel like nothing could possibly happen in the world for the next four minutes. It’s like time moves, but it doesn’t.
I suppose "Who Knew" could lull me onto auto-pilot with its repetitive beat. (Just to be clear: I’m pro lulling.) What makes a song Lite to you?   


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  • Ceballos

    To me, it’s stuff that our receptionist can play at work without offending anyone in the office. The music can make you sway slightly and even mouth the lyrics, but it can’t make you want to rock out. For some reason, when i think Lite FM, I think Sade.

  • oxy

    There is this tough spot for artists who are not rap and not soft rock. I mean, around here, the pop station is pretty much a rap station, b/c I guess that’s the only thing that is popular right now. But then you’ve got Cailey Callout or whatever her name is, and Corinne Bailey Rae and Feist and John Mayer and they just don’t deserve getting thrown into the lite rock mix, reserved, for, I’d say, Celine Dion and all that other 90’s crap. A station around here changed their format to get away from the rap and play the other pop music that people like, but they’ve slowly crept back to the rap b/c that’s what is out there. We need a new genre that a radio station can play that is not alt rock or lite rock or whatever. But I guess it’s called an Ipod…

  • Suzanne

    I think of Lite FM as Celine Dion or Whitney Houston, maybe a Michael Bolton song or twon in there. Stuff you hear in the background at a dentist office. I have no idea how that Pink song goes, but I wouldn’t think of her in general as a “Lite” artist. I was equally perplexed when I was listening to the Adult Alternative radio station through Yahoo Messenger yesterday and the first song to come up was Fergie’s Big Girls Don’t Cry or whatever that song is called. So not only is Pink Lite, but now Fergie is Adult Alternative? Weird.

  • Phil

    Mandi darlin, don’t get me started on radio format wackiness these days! Lite Fm is obviously an Adult Contemporary oreitned station that’s playing hits like Pink’s “Who Knew” as well as Colbie Caillat’s “Bubbly”. Ceballos, certain Sade songs will ALWAYS be “gold” selections on Adult Contemporary stations, but I think you were thinking more along the lines of an Adult R&B format. But yes, this debate goes on daily about what exactly fits into a certain format and what doesn’t, but for MOST Lite Fm-oriented stations, their basica rule is NO rap or hip-hop songs, but today’s fickle music biz does leave some room for interesting choices. A prime example of a Lite FM playlist should be:
    1.Colbie Caillat “Bubbly”
    2.Lifehouse “First Time”
    3.John Mayer “Waiting On The World To Change”
    4.Sarah Bareilles “Love Song”
    4. U2 ‘With Or Without You”
    6.Alicia Keys “No One”
    7.Matchbox Twenty “3 A.M.”
    8.Timbaland feat. OneRepublic “Apologize”
    9.Pink “Who Knew”
    10.Celine Dion “Taking Chances”

  • Gringo

    It’s not the artist that necessarily defines a song’s classification as ‘LITE’. Case in point – P!nk and Fergie. Both have songs that are big on the Adult Contemporary charts right now, but these are two artists you wouldn’t normally consider as AC artists. Occasionally, though, they do produce a ballad or kind-of depressing slowed down track that garners them cross-over appeal. So, in these cases, it isn’t that P!nk is necessarily LITE, but her song ‘Who Knew’ is.

  • Tyler D

    I’ll be honest, when I think of Lite FM, I automatically think of whatever awful music an upper-middle class Caucasian soccer mom with 2-3 kids would enjoy. I would say it’s usually non-offensive stuff, but half the time these women don’t even pay attention to the lyrics, so they have no idea that they’re “grooving” to stuff that they should be offended by. Maybe I’m just jaded from having been stuck in a car with one of these women while I was still a student heading to a summer job every morning and having to endure some awful music.

  • Bobby Rowe

    I love that Pink song for just this reason. Its warm, got a great hook, and is about how much she loves her husband. In this package, she’s able to sneak in her underrated growl (who’s with me?) as well as lines that only Pink can pull off: “If someone said three years from now/ we’d be long gone/ I’d stand up and punch them out/ cause their all wrong” Ohhhh Pink.

  • Stephanie T.

    I found out in a hair salon that Pink’s “Who Knew?” is about an ex who had died of a heroin overdose. How is that “light”?
    I was a pre-teen when Light FM made it’s debut. Before that if you wanted “Light” you turned to the AM dial to listen to WPAT aka: the Muzac station. Lawerence Welk, John Denver, Ann Murray, and Muzac. Anyway, when WLTW began it was just seventies and eighties soft rock with a hint of Babs and Barry Manillow. Now LTW and and 102.7 just play adult contemporary and what has become “adult alternative”, aka: Pink. They are popular only because if you walk into a doctors office, I really doubt that you’d want a phycisian to perform a medical procedure while listening to something like The Klaxons.

  • Stephanie T.

    I found out in a hair salon that Pink’s “Who Knew?” is about an ex who had died of a heroin overdose. How is that “light”?
    I was a pre-teen when Light FM made it’s debut. Before that if you wanted “Light” you turned to the AM dial to listen to WPAT aka: the Muzac station. Lawerence Welk, John Denver, Ann Murray, and Muzac. Anyway, when WLTW began it was just seventies and eighties soft rock with a hint of Babs and Barry Manillow. Now LTW and and 102.7 just play adult contemporary and what has become “adult alternative”, aka: Pink. They are popular only because if you walk into a doctors office, I really doubt that you’d want a phycisian to perform a medical procedure while listening to something like The Klaxons.

  • cranky

    Two words: Josh. Groban.

  • Crystal

    I LOVE Who Knew, and it ain’t lite. Lite is something you can have on on the background of your office and ignore. P!nk does not fall into that category.

  • JoeC

    Lite radio has changed so much. Growing up, it used to be Barry Manilow, Air Supply, Babs Fleetdwood Mac, the Eagles, etc…Now the station in town(Tampa) which would be known as ‘adult contemporary’ will state that it DOESN’T play Barry/Babs/etc…as that is ‘too light.’ And yes, they do play that Pink song. I prefer it the old way, but that’s another example of how Clear Channel has ruined radio. Sirius satellite radio, on the other hand, has genuine ‘Lite radio’ stations. Clear Channel sucks.

  • Heather

    I think Lite music is whatever you can play at a dentist’s office without having people complain about the noise. I love the Pink song and while I don’t think it’s background music, I think the particular song would probably go down easy with the waiting room crowd.

  • Michael Berg

    Does anyone else here think the opposite is true as well – How the hell is Colbie Callat’s ‘Bubbly’ considered to be Contemporary Pop? That song screams Lite FM, yet the same station that has me grooving to Timbaland will suddenly plop me in my mother’s car with Bubbly. That song just makes me sleepy. Formats are all screwed up these days.

  • Michael Berg

    Does anyone else here think the opposite is true as well – How the hell is Colbie Callat’s ‘Bubbly’ considered to be Contemporary Pop? That song screams Lite FM, yet the same station that has me grooving to Timbaland will suddenly plop me in my mother’s car with Bubbly. That song just makes me sleepy. Formats are all screwed up these days.

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