Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Let's get Lyrical (part I)

Can you blame the aliens in War of the Worlds for biting the dust after catching a cold? It's fucking horrible. My tonsils feel as if they have been left to marinate in bear vomit. It didn't stop me from drinking heavily a couple of nights ago though. Few things do actually. I was watching the original Day of the Dead that night, and found myself admiring the attitude of the character that bore a striking resemblance to Rowan Atkinson. Every time he sees or hears something particularly disturbing he mutters "Jesus Mary and Joseph" and takes a strong swig of his brandy filled hip flask. Disturbing events are fairly commonplace due to the fact that the characters are in the middle of a zombie apocalypse situation. So at least he doesn't have doctors grumbling down his neck that he should maybe not drink strong spirits every 5 minutes or so. And besides, who cares about the state of your liver when there is constant risk of it getting pulled out of your body and shoved into the mouth of a walking corpse? Bring on the zombie apocalypse.

Upon hearing the lyrics from the latest Bruno Mars' song -
If you are reading this, then you are probably alive. And if you are alive you have probably heard music. And if you have heard music then you probably know that music often contains vocals, which will contain lyrics or some nonsensical babble (admittedly there can be a fine line between the two things). So yeah, love em or hate um, lyrical content is pretty commonplace. I've already discussed how irritating generic lyrics about love and heartbreak are, especially when your more infuriating facebook pals insist on spamming them everywhere in the hope that some idiot will comfort them with poor grammar. But then again, I have to be wary myself. I'm pretty guilty of thinking that a particular lyric is very witty and clever. Then I'll see it written it down and it may just look like stupidity. And there are bands like Mogwai that manage fine with very little in the way of lyrics. On Radiohead's Kid A, Thom Yorke's lyrics received critical acclaim. The singer later revealed that he'd pulled words and phrases out of a hat at random to come up with the words. Not that I'm slagging that sort of thing. Abstract stuff really floats my boat. If you look at the works of Van Gogh, much of his work was based on emotion and expression rather than simply creating a realistic image. I can really understand if you are rolling your eyes and muttering darkly about how shit modern art is. But I have a wild imagination and surreal nonsense grabs me. I think it's interesting to see how different people interpret different lyrics.

"I was a Jugular vein in a juggler's girl
I was supposedly leaking the most interesting colors
While half of my fingers are dipped in the sand
You progress in letters, but you're used to cooking broccoli
The other side of take out is mildew on rice"

Is it about childlike innocence? Is it about an acid trip? It may be nonsense, but I could care less. The feeling of wonder and experimentation is clearly shown in the lyrics, which moves the melody onto a completely different level. It's a weird sort of vibe but I love the colourful images and emotions that play out in my head as the surreal little tale unfolds. Now lyrics don't necessarily make or break a song for me. But isn't it nice to hear  something that maybe isn't as quite as generic and obvious as "Girl I love you" or "I'm in the club, I'm on the floor"? I think so. 

That was a bit of a hipster-ey post, sorry if that isn't your thing. I didn't want to do this half arsed, so I'm going to make a part 2 on this. The lyrics are from Animal Collective's Peacebone by the way, I suggest you check it out. Thanks for reading!

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