Saturday, November 10, 2012

Those Who Put Effort Into Their Lyrics Are Rewarded


So, I’m sorry I did not get this post up last night, but I’ve been sick all week with strep throat and honestly, I was absolutely miserable last night. I’m trying to be punctual and keep to my promise of a new post every Friday, but I needed one more night to rest. I’m doing better today, still sneezing like crazy, but at least I can think clearly. J

Health issues aside, this week, I’m writing about my favorite lyrics. As a music conisseur, I like to pay as much attention to the lyrics as I do the music. This sometimes ends in disappointment due to the kiddie-pool-depth of most songs, but occasionally, especially in these five instances, I am pleasantly surprised.

Without further ado, I present to you my five favorite songs that boast beautiful lyrics…

Plastic Jungle by Miike Snow- One of my favorite European-alternative bands! This song makes it on my list because I have no idea what the heck they’re talking about. It opens with “I was born into money/and sold down the river.” What? It goes on to say “I was choked by a jailor and f***ed a gorilla.” And I have to hope that’s a metaphor for something J I love the fact that their lyrics are so confusing. I know that’s kind of weird, but it makes you think. It’s different from other groups where their lyrics are simple and you know exactly what they’re trying to say. It is impossible to decode this song without doing some research. And from what I’ve gathered, everyone else is confused too, but a few people have hazarded a guess that the singer is telling his own personal story about how he hates his evil ways. That may be true, but I’m going to keep appreciating these crazy lyrics for what they are: creative.

Cousins by Vampire Weekend- Another song with equally confusing lyrics. Unlike Miike Snow’s song, I think there is an actual meaning to this one. J The song is essentially a slam against critics who are putting Vampire Weekend down because of their wealthy backgrounds. And VW, ironically, showed those critics that just because they’re rich, it doesn’t mean they can’t write amazing songs. Do you think those snot-nosed, hipster critics could write beautiful lyrics like these? Nope, didn’t think so. I chose this song because it’s the ultimate diss track, yet they do it with style and end up looking even better than they did before. Not to mention, it is literally lyrical poetry and that, most definitely, deserves a place on my blog. J

Dance Dance by Fall Out Boy- Oh, Fall Out Boy. While I cannot say that I am a big FOB fan, I do like several of their songs and truly love their lyrics. You may be sitting at home thinking, “Wow, Bella, ‘Dance Dance’ is one of FOB’s most mainstream songs. Why’d you pick that one?’” Well, thanks for asking. I chose it because, in my opinion, it’s one of their best songs, showcasing their lyrical originality and ingenuity, so that’s why I’ve included it on my list. Now, I can make sense of these lyrics, so that’s good. J It’s about a failed relationship, though, like the other two songs, it takes a little bit of digging to discover that. My favorite line is “Why don't you show me/ A little bit of spine/ You've been saving/ For his mattress, love?” It’s a completely squirmy, pervy line, yet, due to their syntax, it comes across as slightly beautiful. I don’t condone using that as a pickup line, but it goes to show why FOB was/is so popular.

Mercenray by Panic! At the Disco- Yes, my favorite scandalous band. This song came off the Batman: Arkham City video game, so, yeah, this song is about Batman. It would have been easy to just write a song like “He’s a superhero/you don’t know his history/his parents are dead/he be fighting the man with bad makeup/yo, he’s Batman.” Instead, Panic! At the Disco rely on bright diction (word choice) such as “collateral damage,” “mercenary,” and “dodge.” Laugh all you want, but I’m including “dodge” because how often do we really use that word in every day conversation? Never. So, diction aside, I love the phrasing as well. “I dodge the blast/and apologize for collateral damage” not only sums up Batman, but it could also fit into any other PATD song because it’s different and unique. My other favorite line is “I can only recall/and spend some time” because it straddles the line of sounding conversational and formal. A truly fantastic track.

Pins and Needles by MuteMath- One of the best alternative bands of our generation! And, understandably, their lyrics are incredible as well. The lyrics are much less confusing compared to “Plastic Jungle,” yet there is a great depth to them. This is hardly a fluffy pop song. At first, the instrumentation caught my attention, but there is more to this song than just Darren’s incredible drumming. The lyrics are quite breathtaking. The song is about facades and how the lead singer, Paul, is tired of people pretending to be someone they’re not and eventually comes to the realization that he is “broken.” I love the brutal honesty and laments contained within these lyrics. More than that, this song makes my list because of the vivid visual imagery. My favorite examples are “facades are a fire on the skin,” which one can easily picture, “I get tired of pin and needles,” a beautiful metaphor, and “paper thin conviction,” which is a very true observation. MuteMath always creates such stunning musical masterpieces and it is so refreshing to find a band, like all the others highlighted on my list, who puts as much emphasis on the lyrics as they do the actual music.

Alright, that’s about it for this week. Next week, I’m hoping to do another edition of “What’s on my Spotify” or something along those lines.

Until then,


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