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Posts Tagged ‘lyrics’

Quality lyrics courtesy of Avril Lavigne

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Idly browsing through the archives of this blog (reading anything from about 2001 and earlier is kind of painful), I was surprised to come across an entry in which I admitted that I liked Avril Lavigne’s debut album. Heh, I thought I’d kept those kinds of guilty pleasures under wraps until recently. In any case, it’s funny because I recently heard her new album, which is absolutely hilarious. She’s 23 years old now and married, but more than ever she sounds like a snotty 17-year-old. If she was a manufactured and neatly packaged product back in 2003, she’s even moreso now — and judging from her popularity, it’s working.

Well, so, the story of this new album — the title, The Best Damn Thing, is indicative of the attitude within — is that it’s insanely catchy and unbelievably insipid, even moreso than her first album. (I never heard the second album, which was generally panned.) Also indicative is the fact that the packaging of the CD includes no less than a dozen photos of Ms. Lavigne. I’ll let a sampling of the lyrics do the rest of the talking; believe it or not, when sung these sound even dumber than they read on screen:

Hey! Hey! You! You!
I don’t like your girlfriend!
No way! No way!
I think you need a new one
Hey! Hey! You! You!
I could be your girlfriend

…Don’t pretend, I think you know I’m damn precious
Hell yeah
I’m the motherfucking princess
I can tell you like me too and you know I’m right

And that’s just the first song. Ground and Sky: we listen to bad pop music so you don’t have to.

Wilco @ Yale’s Spring Fling

Monday, April 28th, 2003

Is it just me, or does releasing a double live CD/DVD combo after only one studio album seem a bit… excessive? (I’m referring, of course, to the new live release from Star One, Arjen Lucassen’s latest project.)

I recently got back from a live show by Wilco, who played at Yale’s annual (and usually really lame) Spring Fling. They were pretty freakin great. I only have two of their albums, Being There and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (well, and the new EP that they released on their website). I got the former many years ago and hated it, and haven’t listened to it since; but the latter was last year’s indie-critic darling, and with good reason. Wilco’s music is often termed “alt-country”, which I understand (possibly incorrectly) to mean that they have some roots in country music, but have extended their style to include rock and other elements. On Yankee Hotel Foxtrot their melancholy yet catchy tunes are offset by a fair amount of experimentation and even outright noise, so I was curious to see how the Yale crowd would react.

Well, there are a lot of indie-rockers at Yale (and all of them work at the radio station). So there was a sizable and fairly enthusiastic crowd. And even after some of the lengthier instrumental freakouts - some of which I thought were awesome, especially one particularly out-there guitar solo - there was a good amount of applause. I was moderately surprised, and glad that people seemed to be enjoying the show as much as I was. I liked the set a lot - they played for quite a while, almost two hours, and did most of the songs off of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, a few from the new EP, and some older stuff that I didn’t recognize (except for the one song I seem to remember not disliking from Being There, “Misunderstood”). Good stuff.

A friend of mine here is a huge Wilco fan. She sent out some lyrics through e-mail before the show, and I’m glad she did. I’d never really heard them before, despite liking the song, which is a shame, because they’re beautiful -

don’t cry
you can rely on me honey
you can come by any time you want
i’ll be around
you were right about the stars
each one is a setting sun

tall buildings shake
voices escape singing sad sad songs
tuned to chords strung down your cheeks
bitter melodies turning your orbit around

Wilco, “Jesus, etc.”

I don’t have much to say about them, I just agree that they’re worth sharing…

Fusion is a bad place to look for good lyrics

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2003

No, I haven’t forgotten about my lyrics project. It’s just that I’ve been listening almost exclusively to fusion for the past week or so, and there aren’t any lyrics to listen to. I was reminded of the lyrics thing because I just lent my copy of Beck’s Sea Change to a friend - there’s some great wordsmithing on that album. It’s a gorgeous work, sad and melancholy in a beautiful way. It’s also hard to find comparisons; at least, I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Actually, I have a hard time describing it in general - “sparsely orchestrated vocal pop/rock” is accurate but makes it sound like a really cheesy adult contemporary album. Which it’s decidedly not.

Hip-hop in which lyrics are secondary

Wednesday, March 26th, 2003

Hmm, interesting counterexample to my assertion from the last entry that hip-hop lyrics are paramount in importance for me: Outkast. I don’t place much stock in their lyrics, but I love the music as a whole. Probably because it’s so energetic and, to risk misusing (or inventing) a term, maximalistic.

Eh, and another one is Anti-Pop Consortium, maybe. Although I really dig the flow of the rapping, which is generally absolutely amazing in its speed and cadence, the words themselves are too damn stream-of-consciousness to mean anything to me. So maybe that assertion just bullshit, and lyrics don’t necessarily take primacy for me even in hip-hop.

I might replace it with a somewhat modified contention that in hip-hop, vocals (not necessarily lyrics) are far more important than in most other genres. But that just seems like a truism. Rapping, after all, could be considered in its most basic form spoken word poetry. So obviously the voice is the key element.

Listening to the words

Wednesday, March 26th, 2003

Seeing as how I’ve been listening to prog rock as a genre for some five or six years now, and bands like Pink Floyd and King Crimson for many more, I definitely tend to consider my musical “background” (as a listener) to be grounded in prog idioms. As a result, I think I definitely tend to give short shrift to lyrics in the music I listen to, focusing mostly on the instrumental side of things. (The obvious exception is hip-hop, where generally I have to be interested in the lyrics in order to be interested in the music.)

With that in mind, I’m going to start trying to pay more attention to lyrics, and to help myself with this little project I think I might occasionally post and comment on some lyrics that mean something to me, or that at least pique my interest for some reason. To start -

feeling so strong
i feel so inspired
like a man with all the words
i could move the world
if i weren’t so tired
Fates Warning, “So”

I feel like this verse pretty much describes my entire college experience. There’s so much stuff that I’ve encountered here in the past four years that have caught my interest and inspired me to action, and yet in the end I feel like I haven’t actually accomplished anything. I’ve spread myself too thin, particularly intellectually, and in the end I can’t focus on any one thing enough to actually achieve something meaningful. Perfect example right now is my senior essay, a paper which is should be something I’m extremely excited about and interested in - and yet I’m just too tired, too busy with other things, too unfocused to really pour all I’ve got into it and make it something I’m proud of in the end.