I like the girls with the boom

9/20/02

I’ve always agreed with David Byrne’s quote about lyrics: they’re a trick to get you to listen to a song longer than you normally would. Most song lyrics are reprehensible to me, some are vaguely unnoticeable, and only a tiny fraction of them are brilliant. I realize I’m in the minority on this one, as most people find a great deal of meaning in their favorite songs, but to me, lyrics fall under the following categories:

– badly-forced rhyme (most boy bands, No Doubt, Britney, Pink, etc.)

– incomprehensible and pretentious (Alanis Morrissette, some Fiona Apple, etc.)

– nihilistic bullshit (Bush, Creed, Matchbox 20, and all college moaning rock)

– lame aphorisms ending up as high school yearbook quotes (Dave Matthews, Jimmy Buffett, the Dead, Phish, Widespread, etc.)

I mean, give me the indiscernible vocals of the Cocteau Twins, the Sea & Cake, Stereolab and early R.E.M. any day of the week – at least those guys understood that vocals were meant to be another instrument, not a bullhorn for whatever dime-store epiphany the lead singer happened to have during fellatio the night before. I loathe country music, but at least they understand the ludicrousness of their lyrics; someone in Murfreesboro, Tennessee thinks “Drop-Kick Me Jesus, Through the Goalposts of Life” and then writes a song around it. There’s only three or four rap bands I can stand (Outkast, Wu-Tang, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul

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