Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Are Lyrics Less Important?

I had a thought today, considering that the average person doesn't read as much, the average attention span is lessening more and more, people are consuming larger amounts of music, and that people are buying cd's digitally more often now and therefore not getting the cd booklet, how often do people read or pay full attention to the lyrics? I'm talking about full song's to full albums, not the lyrics plainly heard as catchy hooks in the song. For plenty of bands the vocalist does nothing but write lyrics (sometimes they don't even do that) and scream. Not to say screaming isn't difficult; it can take a huge toll on your throat, and it takes a good amount of talent to get a great sounding scream, growl, or what have you. Oh, and clean vocals are a vital part of some bands.

Now, I'm not trying to say there aren't great lyrics out there, and I know plenty of people actually look up the lyrics to songs online. I'm more or less just trying to get other peoples opinions of today's lyrics. I know many people criticize bands for have simplistic music, both lyrically and musically. The '-core' genres get a lot of flak for having simple or boring lyrics, although I feel great bands like As I Lay Dying and August Burns Red makes good use of their lyrics, and are able to evoke great imagery.

I took the picture above, from my cd booklet of A New Era Of Corruption, of which I've listened to many many times, and know a good majority of the lyrics by heart. (I listened to the album a few times through without reading the lyrics and had a bunch of the lyrics wrong, and some of the wrong lyrics still pop into my head to this day.) The lyrics on this album are by no means groundbreaking, but I love them. They work very well with the tone and atmosphere of the album and if you do some research you'll find that each song has ties to Phil Bozeman's life. The lyrics have a lot of great meaning behind them and they fell well thought out and well written.

On the other hand we have the likes of Emmure's latest offering, Speaker Of The Dead which offer some of what I call 'bro-core' lyrics. The first track has about 5 or 6 lines that are just repeated. A good number of the tracks are very short overall lyrically, and often repeat themselves. Actually a good majority of the album  barely breaks ten short lines of lyrics. It really seems like they wrote the lyrics over lunch, and called it a day. One song is about Ryu from Street fighter. These lyrics are definitely not going to be thought of as great prose, and will not be remembered for years and years to come. Yet regardless of simple lyrics, Emmure is still a hugely popular band. (For the time being at least.)

For a middle of the road lyrics band I'll give you The Acacia Strain. I love these guys, and their music is both heavy and fun. The lyrics are ridiculous, but they are so over the top, that it works. They clearly put more thought into it, but at the same time they aren't trying to impress anyone, they are writing fun, absurd lyrics that work well with their style.

I'm not the greatest fiction writer, and obviously my opinion of lyrics is just that, but I just want to know, in today's world do people place less importance on lyrics? Agree, disagree, or just have a thought? Share below please!

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