I remember driving with a girlfriend the year before last and a song came on, I believe it was by Finger Eleven and the lyrics went thus:
Well I’m not paralyzed/But I seem to be struck by you/
I want to make you move/Because you’re standing still.
She squealed and turned up the radio and I was dissapointed at my lack of enthusiasm. Because while the tune was catchy, it was ultimately the lyrics that angered me. I feel the same now when I hear a popular hip-hop tune which has maybe a great sample from another artist, a fantastic beat.. aaand then the lyrics are urging me to slap that all on the flo', slap that give me some mo'. Or pointing out that "who's a ho? she's a ho? I said that you's a ho."
(Apple Bottom Jeans, Boots With the Fuuur...I'll save that for later)
I'd been dwelling on what makes a great song nowadays with the re-influx of pop driven hits and I remembered reading a column by John Mayer (yes, surprisingly) maybe 4 years ago...I want to say GQ. Whatever. - anyways his premise was this: chord progressions, studied hi's and lo's, it's fairly predictable what will moisten the underpants of the cookie cutter masses (see: 30 Seconds to Mars)
A fun side note is if you look at Disney songwriters you couple brilliant lyrics with brilliant composing and voila, who hasn't belted out a hearty rendition of "Part of Your World" while drunk with friends? If you haven't, I haven't either.
Back to topic, it's always the words that snag me. I'm a big fan of language and I've had fairly monotone tunes become favorites because of interesting lyricism. Two that come to mind and not even close to inclusive:
Broken One - Luke Doucet and
Sorry Hearts - Blue October
I'm interested in opinions here. If you don't feel the same, argue your case. They may or may not be laughed at.
Divulged by Liz