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Thread: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

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    Coachella Junkie malcolmjamalawesome's Avatar
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    Default Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I saw Arcade Fire on Sunday night and it occurred to me that, while I've listened to AF since Funeral, I barely know any of the words to their songs. This then led me to the realization that I hardly know the words (or at least ALL the words) to any songs released in the last 10 years.

    I feel like from a production perspective, vocals are a lot less distinct in mixes now and it's generally harder to tell what is being sung. Do any of you feel this way? Do you take the time to look up lyrics and learn them? I feel like I generally enjoy songs more when I stop and learn the words.
    Quote Originally Posted by ruetheday View Post
    I don't fucking care. I don't even know who the hell Dave Wang is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devin the Dude View Post
    you used to be that guy that just Dave Wang's everybody. that guy. he's gone now, and whoever you really are showed up, and that was utter disappointment.

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    Coachella Junkie stinkbutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I think this has more to do with iPods, shuffle, spotify, etc, and less to do with production.
    Quote Originally Posted by roboto View Post
    And stinkbutt leaving a motorhead set when you know he's dying just to talk shit ? Your a shitty person as well .please let mja give you an anal love disease .

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    Coachella Junkie malcolmjamalawesome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    In the sense that the quality of MP3 or streaming doesn't allow for the same clarity? Or are you making a point that since we're not buying physical copies any more we aren't getting lyric books like we used to?
    Quote Originally Posted by ruetheday View Post
    I don't fucking care. I don't even know who the hell Dave Wang is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devin the Dude View Post
    you used to be that guy that just Dave Wang's everybody. that guy. he's gone now, and whoever you really are showed up, and that was utter disappointment.

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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I think it has to do with all the bands you are listening to having really fucking stupid lyrics
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    Coachella Junkie stinkbutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmjamalawesome View Post
    In the sense that the quality of MP3 or streaming doesn't allow for the same clarity? Or are you making a point that since we're not buying physical copies any more we aren't getting lyric books like we used to?
    Lack of physical albums/lyric books and just general skipping around. A lot of folks, myself included, don't give things as many listens as we used to. Back when you had to buy cds even if it sucked you were still gonna listen to it a couple of times because you paid 14 bucks for it. I'm not trying to get all Henry Rollins, but I think it's pretty safe to say that music is way more disposable now.
    Last edited by stinkbutt; 04-29-2014 at 12:04 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by roboto View Post
    And stinkbutt leaving a motorhead set when you know he's dying just to talk shit ? Your a shitty person as well .please let mja give you an anal love disease .

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    Loveable Curmudgeon TallGuyCM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Interesting thought. For me, it has to do with not intentionally memorizing lyrics like I did when I was younger. I still know the Fresh Prince theme song and Ice Ice Baby by heart I'm sure, but mainly because I memorized them like it was homework as a wee lad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by getbetter View Post
    I finally made it through a listen of Sun Kil Moon - Benji and had put it on maybe 4 times til I could finally feel mentally like, "just fuck it just let this guy blabber on" while I'm doing paperwork .
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    Loveable Curmudgeon TallGuyCM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drinkey McDrinkerstein View Post
    I think it has to do with all the bands you are listening to having really fucking stupid lyrics
    Go outside. You're just going from thread to thread being crabby today (as someone who's done this before, I recognize the signs).
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    Quote Originally Posted by getbetter View Post
    I finally made it through a listen of Sun Kil Moon - Benji and had put it on maybe 4 times til I could finally feel mentally like, "just fuck it just let this guy blabber on" while I'm doing paperwork .
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    Chest Rockwell Gribbz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    To be fair, Arcade Fire's lyrics are not their strong suit.

    EDIT* Or what Drinkey said. Whatever.
    Quote Originally Posted by nathanfairchild View Post
    Has Pitchfork revealed it's top 200 covers by Arcade Fire yet?

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    Coachella Junkie stinkbutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by TallGuyCM View Post
    Interesting thought. For me, it has to do with not intentionally memorizing lyrics like I did when I was younger. I still know the Fresh Prince theme song and Ice Ice Baby by heart I'm sure, but mainly because I memorized them like it was homework as a wee lad.
    This too. As I get older I could give a fuck less what any greasy haired art student has to say.
    Quote Originally Posted by roboto View Post
    And stinkbutt leaving a motorhead set when you know he's dying just to talk shit ? Your a shitty person as well .please let mja give you an anal love disease .

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    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I'm kind of dense with lyrics in general. Something about the way I hear things makes it hard for me to decipher individual words some times, both in real life and when listening to music or watching something. I almost always keep subtitles on for movies and TV show if possible. I also kind of let words wash over me when listening to music. Good lyrics are great and can make an incredible song even more special, but I think anyone who listens to rock & roll knows how meaningless lyrics ultimately are for the enjoyment of music. Then again, it all comes down to the artist.

    There's certain albums I know just about every word, and then there's albums I've heard hundreds of times and probably only know a stray line or chorus. Especially hip hop. I'm always amazed at people who know entire verses by heart. I can't count how many times I've heard 36 Chambers, and I still just know lines here and there. Couldn't recite a full track if my life depended on it. I don't know if recent music is any different from older stuff. There's definitely been a trend in indie music for this kind of tribal shouting vocal approach (think Animal Collective, Yeasayer) that emphasizes the sound of the words over the actual words themselves. That definitely lends itself to hard to distinguish vocals. Ultimately, it's probably a good thing if you don't know the lyrics for a band you love, because if they aren't interesting enough to stick out in your mind, they're probably kind of embarrassing.
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    old school ThatGirl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    When I was young I'd get a new cassette or CD and listen to it over and over, and learn all the words. Now when I download albums I put them on shuffle on my iPod or phone with everything else and they literally get "lost in the shuffle" and I don't get to know them the same way.
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    Coachella Junkie Miroir Noir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    ZHHHUUUUH CITY IS MY CHURCH
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    To you guys I say Wat?????????? Off to ?????? ....... cr****
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by malcolmjamalawesome View Post
    I saw Arcade Fire on Sunday night and it occurred to me that, while I've listened to AF since Funeral, I barely know any of the words to their songs. This then led me to the realization that I hardly know the words (or at least ALL the words) to any songs released in the last 10 years.

    I feel like from a production perspective, vocals are a lot less distinct in mixes now and it's generally harder to tell what is being sung. Do any of you feel this way? Do you take the time to look up lyrics and learn them? I feel like I generally enjoy songs more when I stop and learn the words.
    I think a lot of this is based on production like you said (coming from genre style especially). I listen to a lot of singer/songwriter and acoustic music now in which the vocals are showcased and lyrics are important. When I was 13-18 I listened to a ton of punk music, often like Stinks said making sure I got my money's worth from a 14 dollar disc by listening to an album 20+ times. I never knew half the words to that shit, even after all those listens. A lot of genres now are more focused on instrumental/electronic tonalities, bass, etc. but listen to Beach House (and a lot of dream pop bands just to toot my own genre comment) and you can see some bands have incredibly distinct vocals in their mixes.
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    Coachella Junkie Miroir Noir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I think there may be something to the idea that a lot of the signature songs of the last decade have big non-lyrical hooks and/or a lot of reverb on the production. Arcade Fire is actually a good case-in-point; the most memorable part of almost every Funeral song is a "whoa ohhhhhhh." The part of "Two Weeks" that everyone remembers is the multipart "ohhh ohhhh ahh ahhh" harmony that's not even one of the song's actual lyrics. Everyone mishears the lyrics of most M83 or Phoenix songs. I've probably listened to Beach House as much (and as carefully) as anything in the last five years, and I can't get the lyrics most of the time unless I'm reading a sheet ("it is happening again?" What's happening again?).
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    To you guys I say Wat?????????? Off to ?????? ....... cr****
    Quote Originally Posted by TomAz View Post
    It's hard to argue with that.

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    old school york707's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I only knew the Funeral lyrics. I'm amazed I remembered them, since it's not like a sing along to those songs in my car and I don't really see them live a lot.

    As a rule, I am not a "lyrics guy". The impact of the music is way more important to me than lyrics. That being said, I totally agree with previous commenters that the WAY we currently listen to music nowadays has a lot to do with it. I think most of us listen to a ton MORE music ona daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis than we did 15 years ago, so the there isn't the time in the day (or desire) to listen to one album 3 times a day for a week when there are other new things to explore and listen to. That and being older and having a job and family and kids and way better tv shows to watch and not being able fuck around all day just listening to music because your a goddamned adult with important shit to do.

    I also think if you see a band live a lot, you may* be more likely to absorb the lyrics.

    *just a theory at this point.
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    Coachella Junkie chairmenmeow47's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    i am a lyrics person, but i also love singing along to music. i look things up if i have trouble understanding, but am fairly good at memorizing after listening enough times.
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by TallGuyCM View Post
    Go outside. You're just going from thread to thread being crabby today (as someone who's done this before, I recognize the signs).
    This is literally the only thread I posted anything like that in, and I actually believe it's true. I am in a fantastic mood today.
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    old school nosurprises12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    When listening to music I generally pay the least amount of attention to the words being said. What grabs my attention in terms of the vocals are the melody/delivery and the interaction between the melody/delivery and the instrumentation of the song itself, and it's really only clever turns of phrase which will cause me to look up a lyric. I know this isn't the best approach, since lyrical content can certainly add a lot to the impact a given song has, but there you go.

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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I have noticed I remember lyrics to songs I listened to in my childhood/adolescence much more than anything I have listened to in the last 10 years. I have always wondered why this was, but assumed my mind was just more prone to memorizing what I heard when I was younger. There are some bands that break the mold though, like Titus Andronicus and the Black Lips, and I'm not sure what makes these bands different than the rest of the stuff I listen to.
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Congratulations: you've all now participated in a malcolmjamalawesome Music Lounge thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by ruetheday View Post
    I don't fucking care. I don't even know who the hell Dave Wang is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devin the Dude View Post
    you used to be that guy that just Dave Wang's everybody. that guy. he's gone now, and whoever you really are showed up, and that was utter disappointment.

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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    You've almost got all of your merit badges by now.
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I pay attention to lyrics. If I really like a song and can't understand them, I'll look them up. I tend to listen to new albums obsessively, so I end up memorizing lyrics inadvertently.
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by LickTheLizzard View Post
    I have noticed I remember lyrics to songs I listened to in my childhood/adolescence much more than anything I have listened to in the last 10 years. I have always wondered why this was, but assumed my mind was just more prone to memorizing what I heard when I was younger. There are some bands that break the mold though, like Titus Andronicus and the Black Lips, and I'm not sure what makes these bands different than the rest of the stuff I listen to.
    Probably because you had more time to obsess over an album and didn't have instant access to literally millions of other songs you could be listening to. You were also making emotional connections to albums when you were 15, 16, 17 that you are physically and neurologically incapable of making now. The hormones just aren't there to support those connections and you aren't having sex for the first time or getting drunk or high for the first time anymore, so those major "connection" moments just don't happen as much any more. I would venture to guess that in the abscence of hearing a song in the context of a loved one dying or trying a new drug for the first time at this later stage in your life, you will never make those connections again. There is a reason that the vast majority of people cite an album that was released when they were 16-21 years old (or were obsessed with at those ages) as their favorite album of all time or the one that they go back to and listen to the most.
    Last edited by york707; 04-29-2014 at 03:34 PM.
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    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Sound of silver talk to me makes me want to feel like a teenager . . .
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoulDischarge View Post
    Sound of silver talk to me makes me want to feel like a teenager . . .
    Exactly. Ironically, that album spoke to me on a deeply emotional level at the age of 30 when it came out.
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    old school york707's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    I guess that's not really ironic, but completely predictable.
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    perhaps your hearing isn't what it used to be

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    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Quote Originally Posted by york707 View Post
    Probably because you had more time to obsess over an album and didn't have instant access to literally millions of other songs you could be listening to. You were also making emotional connections to albums when you were 15, 16, 17 that you are physically and neurologically incapable of making now. The hormones just aren't there to support those connections and you aren't having sex for the first time or getting drunk or high for the first time anymore, so those major "connection" moments just don't happen as much any more. I would venture to guess that in the abscence of hearing a song in the context of a loved one dying or trying a new drug for the first time at this later stage in your life, you will never make those connections again. There is a reason that the vast majority of people cite an album that was released when they were 16-21 years old (or were obsessed with at those ages) as their favorite album of all time or the one that they go back to and listen to the most.
    I disagree with this in some respects. As someone who wasn't actively or critically listening to music during all of my "first times," there were still albums and songs with lyrics that had a very significant neurological impact and became imprinted on my memory quite seriously throughout my 20s. I think that malc is right in regards to lyrics not necessarily being at the forefront of an artist's work today as much as they used to be, and thus there isn't as much urgency for the listener to know the lyrics. I don't know, I had pretty much all of Courtney Barnett's "Advent Gardener" memorized after just a few listens of the song, because they are so good and because the narrative form features so prominently in the structure of the song. For me, at least, lyrics that are made accessible by the artist are easy to remember and tend to become what keeps drawing me back (if I enjoy the instrumentation as well, of course.)

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    Coachella Junkie stinkbutt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    Arcade Fire is a bad example though. They are the quintessential voice of a generation.
    Quote Originally Posted by roboto View Post
    And stinkbutt leaving a motorhead set when you know he's dying just to talk shit ? Your a shitty person as well .please let mja give you an anal love disease .

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    Coachella Junkie malcolmjamalawesome's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do You Still Know Song Lyrics?

    We need some youngsters in here to tell us if they care about lyrics.
    Quote Originally Posted by ruetheday View Post
    I don't fucking care. I don't even know who the hell Dave Wang is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Devin the Dude View Post
    you used to be that guy that just Dave Wang's everybody. that guy. he's gone now, and whoever you really are showed up, and that was utter disappointment.

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