This came up when I started to do karaoke in private karaoke rooms where I could pick songs by Radiohead and the Stone Roses and Patti Smith. Loving a song doesn't mean I know the lyrics. Or can parse them. Or can sing the part.
So there's a decent chunk of stuff I've learned the lyrics for to sing at karaoke, though I tend to do best at stuff I listened to a ton anyway (including a lot of stuff I listened to in the mid 90s when I was 20ish), but this has caused me to really look into/pay attention to lyrics of newer songs, too.
Also there are artists like the Mountain Goats, Gillian Welch, and Sun Kill Moon that write great, thoughtful lyrics and really work those lyrics in their songs. For artists and songs like this I often need to care about the lyrics or I won't like them much.
I don't think I'm hosting a 2016 collaborative playlist.
I have so many bad lyrics from bad 70's and 80's songs clogging up my hippocampus.
When my Alzheimer's advances and I can't remember the last time I farted, I will be singing Come Sail Away in perfect pitch.
Well, that sip of coffee was a waste...
Originally Posted by TomAz
Yep. exactly. Feels like the first time, feels like the very first time.
...the fuck if I can even remember the first time... Like York mentioned, way back then, the lyrics were like an anthem. They rocked me through good times and helped me roll through all the bad. Hell, I watched The Song Remains the Same for the umpteenth time the other night and impressed the shit out of Pete singing along through the whole movie, word for word. (With an occasional air guitar rift thrown in for fun.) At this point in my life, I don't need any lyrics to help guide me, I just wanna dance until I drop.
"Who is this doing this synthetic type of Alpha Beta psychedelic funkin'?" CHEMICAL BROTHERS
To me, the vocals have almost always been just another instrument. Unless your listening to a Dylan, Springsteen, later Beatles, or, more recently and just as an example, Courtney Barnett, the emphasis is usually on how the vocals, phrasing and sounds of the words contribute to the overall sound of the song. Beach House, REM (especially in the early days), Grizzly Bear (again just examples) seem to embrace this.
I think it's specific to each genre though. Country puts vocals front and center, especially commercial country, because the message of the song is being sold. Same with hip-hop.
I have been to concerts. I will go to concerts in the future.
Well, I'm 26 and I agree with what's been said about music being more disposable these days, and I also think that a lot of music today just doesn't emphasize strong vocals in general. I grew up listening to hard rock and industrial bands like Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins, and Bush, and the vocals (and as a result, the lyrics) really stood out from the music. It was easy to memorize the lyrics without even trying because they really carried the songs. These days, it seems like a lot of bands put more emphasis on the music than the vocals, and even when they have really great, well written lyrics, they're either sang unintelligibly, or the instruments drown them out. They become just another instrument, rather than the focus of the song. Of course it depends on the genre, but this seems to be typical of recent indie music in general.
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.
Some lyrics definitely make me cry! I am such a sappy person, so some lyrics hit home. For example, for my school's mariachi ensemble, I sing the song "Paloma Negra" by Lola Beltran, and basically what the song is says is "I'm sick and tired of waiting around for you. I'm conflicted whether I should keep waiting because I love you so much, or whether I should just forget you, period. You shouldn't be out and about with other girls, you should be with just me and give me your attention.