Another snappy thread title I'm sure you'll agree. I posted a thread a while ago asking whether people considered lyrics particularly important in music and was surprised when quite a few people said no. For me lyrics are damn important and can improve an otherwise poor song or conversely ruin an otherwise good song. I'm not a fan of the modern urban observational lyrics that blight a lot of music at the moment, if a song mentions a mobile phone or a fight in a kebab shop then it's not really for me nor am I a fan of cliche ridden angst.
One lyricist who I think is head and shoulders above everyone else is Andrew Bird. Not only is he the most annoyingly talented musician about but his use of language and wordplay sets him apart from everyone else in my opinion. Some examples (though I'm aware lyrics don't translate that well when just written down without context but humour me):
Masterfade - Well it sure didn't look like you were having any fun with your heavy metal gaze they had to measure in tonnes
Scythian Empire - Five day forecast brings black tar rain and hellfire
while handpicked handler's kid gloves tear at the inseams
their Halliburton attache cases are useless
while Scotch-Guard macintoshes shall be carbonised
Fake Palindromes - My dewy eyed disney bride what has tried
swapping your blood with formaldehyde
Measuring Cups - Get out your measuring cups and we'll play a new game
Come to the front of the class and we'll measure your brain
We'll give you a complex and we'll give it a name
Get out your measuring cups and we'll play a new game
Can't have the cream when the crop and the cream are the same
Liquid or gas no more than the glass will contain
When you talk about the hand of glory
A tale that's rather grim and gory
Is it just another children's story that's been de-clawed?
When the tales of brothers Grimm and Gorey have been outlawed
Who do you consider the best lyricist around at the moment?
Thanks for reading.