Welcome to the companion thread for the Who Are The Best Live Acts of 2011.
In this thread, we'll be discussing who the best songwriters from the 2011 lineup are. Perhaps I'm just a cantankerous old bastard, but it seems to me that we live in an age in which songcraft is not as valued as it was in the past. I'm not saying it isn't valued at all; just that production and arrangements are at least as equally, if not more important, to the success of a modern day musician. It seems that as audiences we are engaged by compelling "soundscapes", shall we call them, over well written songs. Again, broad generalizations here, I know. I'm as guilty of this as anyone. Furthermore, this isn't intended to be some angry condemnation of the state of things in music; just an observation.
With that said, who do you think are the best songwriters on the lineup? The artists whose songs have the best shot at posterity. Whose songs could be stripped down to just a voice and a piano or guitar and still make an impact. Here's what I'd ask you to do. Strip away any of the arrangements/orchestrations, the special stage effects, lighting, costumes and just concentrate on the craft of songwriting.
I recognize that this discounts the talents of the majority of Sahara acts. Again, not my intention. My only intention is to honor the true songwriting talent on the lineup. What prompted my creation of this thread was listening to PJ Harvey all weekend and being struck by how little of the new music I listen to these days can compare to her ability to write an absolutely devastating song. Yes, she's got stage presence, yes she has amazing vocal abilities, yes she has interesting concepts for her albums and yes she often has great arrangements, but at the core of her work are stunningly well crafted songs.
- Include the artist's name.
- Include 1 or 2 (not seventeen!) embedded youtube examples.
- Include a brief description of what makes him/her/them such compelling songwriters.
- If your answer is The Bloody Beetroots; you're doing it wrong.