How important are lyrics to you?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jantzen, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. Jantzen

    Jantzen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I recently have gotten into DVD-A and SACD and find myself enjoying music like I never have before. I find myself with eyed closed really absorbing the music now.

    One thing I noticed in these high rez formats is how much more natural and life-like vocals are. Another thing I noticed is that I tend to view (or hear) the vocals as another insturment. I don't try and hear what they are saying lyrically - I go for the "feel" and "emotion" of the vocals. Of course there are no ignoring some lyrics - like catchy choruses - but I don't go out of my way to try and hear what they are saying.

    I usually go through the lyric sheet (if it is there) the first time I listen to a CD / SACD / DVD-A but rarely do I find anything too interesting. Now I mainly listen to rock music - from classic rock to hard rock to modern rock. So maybe this genre doesn't have much to say to me? I dunno.

    Anyway, I was just wondering if I'm alone. Do most actually listen to the lyrics or just listen to the vocals as an insturment?

    I think the reason I do this is that about 12 years ago I started to play guitar as a hobby. Ever since then I really started to concentrate on the music whereas I think I actually used to care about the lyrics. Now I'm more interested in things like how tight the drums and bass sound together.
     
  2. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 7, 1999
    Messages:
    2,921
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    110
    VERY important to me!

    I tend to like music that moves me----like Billy Joel, and India Arie
    or excites me----like The Tragically Hip.

    75% of the music I listen to moves me. That mean that I feel what the person is trying to say.

    The rest excites me.

    Sometimes I'll get lucky and I'll get both --- Rush "Red Barchetta", and "Trees" come to mind.

    Brent
     
  3. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2002
    Messages:
    1,937
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very important, but I'm more of a writer than a musician.

    Interesting and beautiful, or disturbing but valid, lyrics always are my main interest. Like Dylan, or Zevon, the best artists to me are poets or raconteurs, who amplify their thought with the music.

    I think that if the printed lyrics on the album or cd booklet don't do anything by themselves, its a bad sign.

    The music, and other things, can carry banal lyrics a long way tho.

    "Love me do" by the Beatles is an impoverished lyric, but I still go for it with the flat voice, the harmonica, and early Beatle crudity, in spite of it all.

    Histrionics like Celine Dion's do nothing for the worst lyrics.
     
  4. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2001
    Messages:
    2,210
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Either incredibly important, or not important at all. If I'm listening to a band like the Offspring, I couldn't care less what they are saying because most of it is in jest anyway or just for fun.

    However, if I am listening to Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime, you become easily aware of how powerful well crafted songwriting can become. Here is an album that tells a story from the first note until the last, very rarely uses the typical rhyming format found in most music, and still managed to maintain a cohesiveness and lyrical prowess found in very few albums today.

    I guess it depends on what you are looking for from the music however, I have to say I usually prefer something by someone who has something to say rather than the other way around.
     
  5. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Nothing can undermine an otherwise fine theme more than poorly-suited/ill-conceived lyrics. So, if words are resorted to, then they'd damn well better be worthy of the melody!
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    4,703
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Location:
    Knocksville, TN
    Real Name:
    Rachael Bellomy
    There's artists that we listen to for their lyrical content, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, ect. But, I've always favored instrumental rock and jazz music. I just like to hear people play. I've heard hundred, maybe thousands, of songs that would of been way better without banal lyrics. They would of been better to me as intumentals. I favour artists that do play alot of instrumentals.
    Great music needs no lyrics. Examples:
    Frank Zappa - PEACHES EN REGALIA
    Allman Brothers - IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH REED
    Dixie Dregs - PUNK SANDWICH
    Herbie Hancock - CHAMELEON
    Brand X - UNORTHADOX BEHAVIOR
    Friends of Dean Martinez - FRESCA
    Years ago there was always a hit instumental on the charts. It was usually played, on the radio, right before the news so it could, maybe, fade out if need be. Radio mostly sucks these days and politically active lyrics have mostly disappeared. If Neil Young wrote a protest song akin to OHIO tomorrow, odds are it would not be allowed to be a hit or be on radio.
    Don't ya'all wish that the Backstreet Boys would start doing all insrumentals? [​IMG]
     
  7. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    jantzen -
    i'm with you pretty much all the way. i very rarely listen to the lyrics anymore. for me, it's all about the "overall sound" of the music more than anything else.
    i can recall in my younger days eagerly opening up a new cassette tape (yep...i just gave my age group away) and reading all the lyrics. i remember being disappointed if none were provided. i reveled in the prophetic and wise words i read. [​IMG]
    then, as i started getting older, i started to find myself thinking more and more often....wtf are these guys talking about?
    also, music has changed so much. most of the music i hear now is unintelligible. the artists are screaming and yelling and not really making much sense.
    although, in reality, i think i'm just growing old. :sigh:
     
  8. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2002
    Messages:
    4,007
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think that lyrics are critical, but a 'good' or 'bad' lyric has nothing to do with polysyllablism, the use of clever metaphors, convoluted wordsmanship or anything of the sort.
    A good lyric, as has been stated above, is one that moves you. For me, that ranges from the pure, beautiful simplicity of Coltrane chanting three simple words over and over ('a love supreme') to the exquisite words of Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Lennon and McCartney(note to Sir Paul: back off on this authorship stuff, you're starting to sound bitter) etc and so on.
     
  9. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,597
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    CJ
    i listen to what i hear, and i dont usually try to listen to the lyrics seperately from the music, or vice versa. although there are songs that i love that sound terrific musically, but i hate the lyrics. a song with terrible lyrics can certainly ruin a song for me.
     
  10. Andy Olivera

    Andy Olivera Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2000
    Messages:
    1,303
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Lyrics are incredibly important, which is probably why I prefer stuff that's outside the mainstream...[​IMG]
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To me, lyrics are like any other musical tool: you don't need to have them there, and they don't necessarily need to be great, but I'd prefer a better one than not. More importanly, the best lyrics are those that fit the music. No one would consider AC/DC's lyrics to be poetry, but no other words belong there.

    I guess that's why I have a problem with some of the more political music. It just seems odd to put topical, serious verse to what is essentially dance and entertainment music.
     
  12. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
  13. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2000
    Messages:
    5,712
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't listen to a lot of lyrics. I "grew up" as a guitarist, so maybe I just focus more on that instrument. But luckily, still doesn't prevent me from enjoying Rick Wakeman, Tangerine Dream, Kate Bush, etc. [​IMG]
     
  14. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 22, 2002
    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    very important---------Roger Waters is a damn lyrical genius in my opinion----
     
  15. Danny Tse

    Danny Tse Producer

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2000
    Messages:
    3,185
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I consider lyrics to be extremely important. As important as any other part of the song. Lyrics means different things to different people at different times. Sometimes I finally get the meaning (to me anyway) of the lyrics, even though I have heard it a million times before. One reason why we can go back to a song time after time, which can not be said for a movie.
     
  16. Zane Charron

    Zane Charron Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2000
    Messages:
    458
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hmmm, good thread.

    I think about this topic often. I'll be listening to something that I've listened to 50 times before, and then suddenly realize that I never really listened to the lyrics before and have no idea what they mean.

    I'm on the side of not being overly concerned with the lyrical content. I appreciate good lyrics, don't get me wrong, but being a guitarist and musician I've always listened to the music more. Words so often get in the way (isn't that a Hallmark card greeting?). I'm a terrible lyric writer and always admired really great lyricists.

    So overall, I'm in it for the feelings conveyed, though lousy, stupid lyrics I just can't abide.
     
  17. Brian Burgoyne

    Brian Burgoyne Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2001
    Messages:
    325
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I got spoiled listening to a lot of very clever and insightful songwriter/singers in Austin during the late 70's and early 80's, so lyrics are very important to me. Most of these artists had their own unique voice and style, much different than some of the pop/country singers today with pretty voices and pretty faces and flashy shows, but not much personal depth.

    Townes Van Zandt, Nancy Griffith, Butch Hancock, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Delbert McClinton, Marcia Ball, Billy Joe Shaver, Bobby Bridger, and a few others I can't quite remember just now, were not as well known as say, Willie Nelson or Kris Kristofferson, but were incredible talent. Their stage presence, lyrics, vocals and just general karma made you feel you were experiencing something special. Of course a lot of these folks are still performing (RIP Townes) and have lots of recordings I would love to hear in hi-rez. If recorded well, I would hope I could close my eyes and feel I was there in the club again (without the smoke of course).

    Are there any other fans of some of the above named artists?
     
  18. Van Patton

    Van Patton Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To me lyrics matter little. The main thing I look for in music is "soul." I like to call this the "x-factor". This is one reason I'm so into people and bands such as Hendrix, Allman Bros., and old blues. The main type of music I listen to is the jamband category. This music has so much soul and the music itself can tell a story and convey emotions. The x-factor can not be found in 99% of current music. Try going to a Blink-182 show, no xfactor there. Phish exempliefies what I mean by the "x-factor." Phish, Hendrix, all the bands I listed above played with their heart and soul. This may be a tad long and a tad confusing but it's hard to explain. BTW I'm only 17.
     

Share This Page