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Old February 17th, 2008, 02:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
Nebulous
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Lyrics

Lately as I get closer and work more at getting some original music together for my first metal band, I find myself struggling with lyrics, not only my own, but those of other artists. Some songs I can really connect with, others I will get what's being said, though without much connection and other times I find a total lack of connection or interest. It can be even worse with cheesy lyrics.

How do you all fair with lyrics, especially in heavier music?
No problems? Too much of the same thing? Boring? Are there certain things you prefer to hear about in music, or does it all depend on how it sounds in the context of the song?
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Old February 17th, 2008, 02:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Lyrics are SO important. Totally underrated. They are at least as important as the music. To ignore them or not consider them important is like watching a movie with the sound muted.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 03:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't really care to much about lyrics, most of the music I do hasn't got any singers in it anyways. But for me if there are lyrics they don't have to mean anything, as long as they sound good, I prefer the way the words work together and how they form melody. But everyone is different.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 03:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cro4eva View Post
But everyone is different.
Hence this thread
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Old February 17th, 2008, 04:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Bad lyrics do nothing to turn me away from a song but great lyrics really add an extra something special, some more depth. For me, lyrics can make a song better but not worse.

Unless it's like.... Christian conversion lyrics or something else I completely disagree with, but that's rare. But even then, it doesn't make the actual song bad, I just refuse to listen to it on principle.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 04:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That was one point I forgot to add to the original post and was just thinking about. How do people find preachy or consistently positive/ negative lyrics?
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Old February 17th, 2008, 04:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Lyrics are important to me. I don't mind preachy stuff - I listen to a lot of Living Sacrifice, As I Lay Dying, Believer, etc.

But I also listen to stuff that is insanely negative, like Demonoid for example

So yes, I like to read the lyrics booklets when I buy a CD. And I like to read about the inspiration behind songs too.

As long as the lyrics work with the music, is whats important to me. For example, I love Dragonforce - YES, the lyrics are cheesy, but they match the music perfectly
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Old February 17th, 2008, 05:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebulous View Post
Lately as I get closer and work more at getting some original music together for my first metal band, I find myself struggling with lyrics, not only my own, but those of other artists.
Personally, I would advise that the first step to writing good lyrics is to figure out what you want to say. Instantly, that will bewilder most people, but everyone has something they want to say, you just need to think of what makes you feel - whatever emotion, happiness, sadness, anger, whatever. Get in touch with what moves you, and the rest will flow.
Oh, and do me a favour, avoid writing about love , unless you have some wildly original angle, its been done to death.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 05:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Get in touch with what moves you, and the rest will flow.
Oh, I think I just did.

Oh wait, wrong forum.

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Old February 17th, 2008, 06:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Lyrics are very important to a good song. To me, nothing ruins a great song more than absolutely cringeworthy lyrics.

Like everyone said, find out what you want to say and say it, basically. If you want to achieve a certain goal, be it shock or an emotion or conveying a message or just a dumb adventure story, then go for it, but find an angle in the way you do the lyrics that are fitting to the music and will strike an emotional chord with the listener. I also tend to like to write in a lot of metaphors rather than saying "the girl went to the shop to get milk" straight out, so to speak.

What are some of the lyrics that inspire you? Why?

That's a good place to start looking for your answer.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 08:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with that too. Sometimes it's not what's said but HOW it's said. Is a certain word stronger or does it give the line a better flow or impact, even if another word is better poetically? The drama and phrasing of lyrics really are important and it's amazing how many bands I've worked with that have no idea about that..!
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Haha, I was expecting discussion more than advice, but thanks anyway

What are some peoples' favourite lyrics/ writers?

I'm pretty sure my absolute fave would be Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquillity. Pure Awsome.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It's interesting actually.. becuase i find that lyrics don't have to be particularly awesome with some bands, particularly ones like Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd (some would dispute this, but a lot of their lyrics weren't anything that special in themselves) are able to get away with creating awesome songs, with great feels. Steve Wilson is by no means a poet, but his lyrics REALLY fit his songs, i find even more-so on the more chilled out ones, like even less. Then again, there are some genres that i find need good lyrics more-so, like rap and hip-hop. Nothing pisses me off more than that gutter trash hip-hop that is basically churning out morons rapping about bullshit. However, artists like Tupac and Nas really knew/know how to write some decent passages.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 11:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My fav' lyric writer would have to be Simon Le Bon. The imagery he creates through metaphors and the really off beat yet balanced phrasing really works well, I think.

Surprisingly, I also like some of Phil Anselmo's lyrics for the more aggressive style of lyrics. It was a lot of "tough guy" shit when you get down to it in some songs, but when you really do break it down, there's again a lot of really clever use of imagery to tell the story rather than blatantly saying "then the cat sat on the mat".
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Old February 18th, 2008, 12:02 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I find that a lot of songs I listen to have really crappy lyrics. But the way they are sung is spectacular. It is another instrument in the band. Why should it not hold as much or less importance as every other instrument.

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Old February 18th, 2008, 01:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Bahh, Stefano! If lyrics aren't important, then Christina Aguilera is awesome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nebulous View Post
Haha, I was expecting discussion more than advice, but thanks anyway

What are some peoples' favourite lyrics/ writers?
The dude from Chalice, Mustaine in political mode, Demaio (ref: Mountains), Tracii Guns, Chuck Billy.

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It's interesting actually.. becuase i find that lyrics don't have to be particularly awesome with some bands, particularly ones like Porcupine Tree and Pink Floyd (some would dispute this, but a lot of their lyrics weren't anything that special in themselves)
I understand what you mean about PT, IMHO I think Wilson concentrates much more on the production than the lyrics, so they can be a little bland sometimes, but Pink Floyd have written some of the most amazing lyric passages ever. Time? Wish You Were Here??
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Old February 18th, 2008, 01:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Oh yeah, Chuck Billy is definately at the top end of my list too.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 03:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Bahh, Stefano! If lyrics aren't important, then Christina Aguilera is awesome.



The dude from Chalice, Mustaine in political mode, Demaio (ref: Mountains), Tracii Guns, Chuck Billy.



I understand what you mean about PT, IMHO I think Wilson concentrates much more on the production than the lyrics, so they can be a little bland sometimes, but Pink Floyd have written some of the most amazing lyric passages ever. Time? Wish You Were Here??
]
Noted, they have; and i agree that Pink Floyd have written some great lyrics and of course they have enhanced the song, though they have also written a lot of average lyrics... I think Pink Floyd are a bit harder to classify becuase so many band members write songs and lyrics; it probably wasn't the best example.
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Old February 18th, 2008, 09:04 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I forgot the Boss.

Quote:
In the day we sweat it out in the streets of a runaway American dream
At night we ride through mansions of glory in suicide machines
Sprung from cages out on highway 9,
Chrome wheeled, fuel injected
and steppin' out over the line
Baby this town rips the bones from your back
It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while we're young
'Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run
Oh, and Lance, rhythm has been part and parcel of poetry for millennia, its just the same. As far as I'm concerned, Springsteen is up there with Keats and Byron.
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Old February 19th, 2008, 02:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Yeah dude Springsteen is amazing. My favourite lyricists are Springsteen, Alice Cooper, Nick Cave, Phil Lynott and Chris Cornell.
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