Lyrically incorrect

Today I feel as if I should rant a tiny bit. As we all know there are many elements tied together in the composition of a good song. You have the beauty of melody that whispers unknowns to the inner man, the rhythms of bass and drums which help produce mood and direction, and finally the explicit description of an artist’s feelings or thoughts expressed in the form of lyrical notation. I realize that this is a very general view on the composition of a good song, but know that my purpose is not to explain the depths of the song writing process. My purpose is to rant about the lack of thought that is put into the lyrics of most bands we see on television or hear on the radio. They’re just awful. Let’s go into example land and pull some up, shall we……..
Fall Out Boy “Sugar We’re Going Down Swinging”

Is this more than you bargained for yet
Oh don’t mind me I’m watching you two from the closet
Wishing to be the friction in your jeans
Isn’t it messed up how I’m just dying to be him
I’m just a notch in your bedpost
But you’re just a line in a song

Wishing to be the friction in your jeans??? Don’t mind me I’m watching you two from the closet? Obviously this guy is a peeping Tom who wishes he was another man instead of a notch in his ex-lover’s bed post. I don’t like bashing people, but come on this can’t be for real. I don’t know who to be more upset with; the consumer for not demanding higher standards or captain friction. Okay one more example from example land……. we are now swirling,spinning, anything but swinging….

Hinder “Lips of an Angel”
Well, my girl’s in the next room
Sometimes I wish she was you
I guess we never really moved on
It’s really good to hear your voice say my name
It sounds so sweet
Coming from the lips of an angel
Hearing those words it makes me weak

First, it is important that I begin with the history I have with this song. Three times a week I drag myself from bed and force my body to workout at the local gym. Three times a week I hear this song played at the local gym. And finally, three times a week this song drives me crazy insane. Why not just wear headphones you say. Well, because I workout with my younger brother and can not simply plug my ears into the ipod you see. Okay,I’m done with the history. In “Lips of an Angel” we find the singer of Hinder in quite the predicament; a predicament similar to that of Rob Thomas in that “everyone here is in love with somebody else” song. Here we see a guy that desperately desires to be with a woman, a woman whose lips are as those of the angelic type, but is torn by the complex of his current girlfriend in the next room. Quite the conundrum I must say. Come close and listen carefully(I am speaking to the Hinder singer, and you, if need be)……dump you current lover and enjoy the solitude that is produced from being single. No matter how angelic her lips may appear to be now, those lips will turn on you an pour out poison that is more potent than that of a sea snake. Trust me.

Now that the house has fallen on the evil witch, lets take a walk on the yellow brick road with a witch called Wanda. Let us go find, at least in my completely subjective opinion, some lyrics that are masterfully poetic and perhaps even thought provoking…….

Mineral “ For Ivadell”

early 90’s indie-rock band from Austin,TX

Ivadell you held us in your arms that day
But look at how tiny me n’ Matthew both were
You so strong and full of grace

What stories these pictures can tell
Of days when we bathed brightly in the sun
The medicine of laughter everywhere

Ivadell I held you in my thoughts that day
And wish that they were arms when you were frail
And passing from this place

What stories your paintings told boys
Of hills too steep to climb ascended
And hearts that were not afraid
To flap their wings and fly

But you are safe now and effortlessly breathing
Where new weather will fall on you
Your fears break like waves
Foaming into themselves
Disappearing into the sea

What is this? A guy writing about something other than friction and angelic lips, blasphemy. Chris Simpson, the lead singer of Mineral, wrote stories that pertained to memories of his youth and the feelings that each memory invoked. His lyrics were always very open, honest, and even sincere. In this song Simpson writes a story about Ivadell, a women he thought of with great admiration, and the memories that he shared with her before she died. I would think of her as an aunt or a close friend of the family. I really like the way Simpson describes her fears as “breaking like waves foaming into themselves disappearing into the sea.” In these last line he insinuates the lovely Ivadell has passed into a place in which fear is non-existent and breathing is no longer a chore. Lovely. Anyway, with all this I am not saying that Mineral is the greatest and everyone should worship them, but I am simply stating that you as the consumer have options. Don’t just listen to the radio because you believe only the best songs and artist are being played there. Look around because you have options, that’s all I’m saying.

p.s. Simpson is still writing great music in a band called Zoo keeper. Phenomenal.

-Love Jord.

2 Responses to “Lyrically incorrect”

  1. greymatter says:


    I hear ya!

  2. Grendylmetal says:

    I agree with you in principle, but everything on the radio is not totally useless. Remember that the radio is what brought you to music in the first place. With that being said, radio has become a veritable smorgasbord of mediocrity. The true lyricists are no longer offering their wares to consumers, so we receive the left-overs. As far as Chris Simpson’s lyrics, they are poetic, but certainly not the best I’ve seen. But they are better than most of what you hear on the radio these days. Radio caters to major labels, and major labels cater to kids, because they are the ones who actually buy the majority of new music. And kids, however much they try to be adults, are still kids. They don’t really know what good music is. It’s not their fault though, they are spoon-fed a steady diet of mediocre songs on the radio from the time they are born. And if the parents are mere listeners, and not music lover’s, the children will never know the difference until they discover it for themselves.

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