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How much do words or message affect your musical tastes?

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Showing 1-24 of 24 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 2, 2012, 11:45:06 AM PST
I was a poet who learned to play guitar but had a friend who was so good musically and still is. I've written songs (poems and prose) and he's turned it into rock, blues and his own sound. I am not talking about rap and I should probably listen a little more closely to some of today's younger music, but what I have heard and granted some is Disney, Majors Pushed, I haven't seen much depth in the message. Somebody give me something new other than James McMurtry who says a lot very well.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 11:54:28 AM PST
jully says:
I'm a big America fan, lyrics are not to deep but I love them. For great lyrics I like John Michael Talbot, a Christian singer songwriter ... just blows me away. Hope this helps.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 12:24:25 PM PST
Gena Chereck says:
To answer the question in the thread heading: I'm more likely to notice the music and performance first -- if that stuff doesn't appeal to me, I'm less inclined to pay attention to the lyrics no matter what the message -- but a song that sounds good to me can definitely be made better with clever or moving lyrics.

As for recommendations: I think Nick Lowe is one of the very best lyricists still working today; his recent albums have featured a decent mix of wit, introspection and sharp storytelling. I also love the band Fountains Of Wayne for their lyrics -- smart, funny and occasionally touching character sketches -- beyond their hooks and harmonies.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 12:34:15 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 6, 2012, 10:36:01 AM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 2, 2012, 12:43:24 PM PST
Gena Chereck says:
Ah, "Graceland." Great song; love that whole album too... :D

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 12:48:43 PM PST
My first attraction to the music is the melody; the instruments, the voice..... after all that and I really love the song, then I delve into the lyrics.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 12:56:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 2, 2012, 12:57:31 PM PST
Barry Smith says:
I was watching a video about the legendary super group Cream (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce) which documented their final performances at the Royal Albert Hall in 1968. In the video, the narrator stated the motto of the band: "Forget the lyric, forget the message, and just play."

I was able to identify with the motto. To me, the music that most appeals to me is the kind that is well performed, and musically adept. The lyrics and message are of secondary importance.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 1:21:08 PM PST
Barry; I love conviction and you have it, I'm fairly new to these forums but; you know that bumper sticker, "Music makes your children smarter" There are so many intelligent souls out there. Well performed, musically adept. Bravo. There have been times when I have liked the tune and performance across the board to the vocals, but have been a bit put off when I really listened to the lyrics. Kinda like John Lennon saying, "but if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you're not going to make it with anyone anyhow". but you are so right in that if it makes you feel good, turn it up. I love concerts and good performances. Alice Cooper-6 times over the years. Makes me 21 again. I'm a tangent looking for a conversation. Thanks.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 1:27:09 PM PST
Songs that focus on themes like love, everyday life and relationships appeal to me most.

Posted on Feb 2, 2012, 1:52:41 PM PST
Chazzzbo says:
While his style and vocal abilities will always be an acquired taste, I maintain Dwight Yoakam is one of the best writers we have. Also agree regarding Nick Lowe.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 6:31:25 AM PST
Barry Smith says:
My favorite part of music is a great 30 minute jam. No vocals and lyrics of any kind.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 6:38:43 AM PST
I saw the Allman Bros. do a longer jam. Duane Allman and Dickie Betts did a 10 minute harmonic lead spot on during it with a 5 minute crescendo. I was in tears but that was many years ago. Then they had "Jessica". Beautiful instrumental. I love music and I only said this because of Leonard Cohen's release. There is some fine subtle playing in there but he really is all about the poems and lyrics. Nonetheless once again, great piano, and guitar work although generally distant. Play on

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 7:39:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2012, 7:39:43 AM PST
vivazappa says:
Early on in the 70's words affected me more ...because I had more time to sit down and really learn the lyrics...
Albums were great for that when the lyrics were on the inner sleeve...

Nowadays who can read that small print...

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 8:38:18 AM PST
Savage Lucy says:
Like a lot of people I'm attracted to the sound first. I can be turned off of a song or artist if the lyrics are something that I totally disagree with. Which is why I'm never a huge fan of really politically/issue charged bands.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 8:40:53 AM PST
Gena Chereck says:
"I love music and I only said this because of Leonard Cohen's release. There is some fine subtle playing in there but he really is all about the poems and lyrics."

I'm seriously digging his new album ('Old Ideas') -- I pre-ordered the CD from Amazon, but I've streamed it online a few times already. :)

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 11:30:02 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 3, 2012, 11:38:24 AM PST
I think if you are a serious writer with an acoustic guitar, you are into lyrics, but if you are a lead or bass guitarist fan or player you pretty much ignore words....ooops I'm on my wife's site again and super jerk oops... Paul McCartney, Sting Bass/words, 2 of the best writers in rock history. I promise not to generalize again; Please don't kick me out, I'll be good Barry and Gena and everybody. Bob and Tom always telling Bass guitarist jokes I guess. My bass player in the 80's probably could have made it anywhere; sadly illiterate. Gena, wait till you here the lyrics of Saint Leonard: I think your intelligent for ordering but I downloaded it. I am going to order a copy and keep it sealed. Give it to my grandson. I have kids 10 and 12; probably to son or daughter first and then a family heirloom. "Crazy has places to hide deeper than any goodbye." I can't stop thinking about it. He must have been monitoring my 12 year stint in hell on earth with my ex.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 11:42:44 AM PST
I said "wait til you here" instead of hear. There goes 4 and 1/2 years of Language Arts education. Now I shut down in embarrassment (sp?) Colin

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 3, 2012, 12:22:49 PM PST
Gena Chereck says:
Judging from what I've picked up on so far, the lyrics seem pretty impressive as usual (especially on "Going Home," "Show Me the Place" and "Different Sides"). :D But yeah, I'm looking forward to seeing a full lyric sheet.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 2:45:16 PM PST
I love anything which is complex and makes me think. So, a well crafted song that has a substantial message that questions the motives of people or what is going on in our society certainly makes me enjoy the song even moreso than normal. So, lyrics can be extremely important and help you to relate on some level.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012, 5:25:48 PM PST
A metalhead so fluid and flowing; I've really got to get out more; What is going down?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 4, 2012, 11:51:05 AM PST
A. Strong says:
On the early records of R.E.M. the words of Michael Stipe are very low in the mix and far from being understood but, from Chronic Town To Document those are some great records. Words, can be important to a song but for R.E.M. they are there only as sounds that add to the enjoyment.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012, 12:41:31 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012, 12:41:43 PM PST
Johnny Bee says:
Depends on the artist(s). Would people still be listening to Cohen, or Dylan if the lyrics were crap - I doubt it. That said, I also love the Ramones - the dumbest smart band ever. And I think that Murmur was REM's best album, despite having difficulty understanding what Stipe was banging on about.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012, 3:23:56 PM PST
I've never written much poetry, prose has always been more my style, but, I know that without good lyrics, many songs would not have much appeal. Try listening to Pink Floyd in muzak form and the music is very pedestrian. The same goes for much, though admittedly not all of Dylan's music. What makes a great song great is a combination of words and music. Songs such as The Beatles' "In My Life" and The Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" are good musically, but the lyrics are really necessary to make them great! If you listen to instrumental versions of songs like "The Fool On The Hill", or "Grazin' In The Grass", you tend to actually think the lyrics in your head. That shows you just how important lyrics are to the impact that a song has on your psyche.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012, 3:27:27 PM PST
Music is and always was my first love. I tried to learn to play but had no musical ability whatsoever. I liked lyrics too and gradually drifted into poetry. I have been writing poetry for 34 years now and I love it. So, I DO like songs with good lyrical content. However that does not mean I don't or can't enjoy songs that are not that good lyrically. I like songs like Be-Bop-A-Lula too. But I do tend to lean towards artists with good lyrics, John Lennon, Al Stewart and of course Bob Dylan just to name a few. There are many different ingredients that go into a song. Maybe I like the lead guitar the most, maybe another song I like more for the production or whatever the case may be. That is the same way I feel about lyrics too. Then you have what kind of lyrics appeal to you which is a whole other ball game.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Feb 2, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 4, 2012

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