Re: Question For Everyone RE: Lyrics

Author:Matt Johnsen
Date:2020-01-16 15:59:15
In Reply To:Re: Question For Everyone RE: Lyrics by Nosferatwo
Thought experiment: take the song you love most, lyrically, and imagine those lyrics were written in a language you don't understand, but with an equivalent measure of poetry (as it is generally understood to speakers of that language.) Has the music lost all value?
All value, no. Much of it, yes. I'm thinking on a fundamental level, it's harder (for me, at least) to have a tangible connection to a guitar solo as opposed to a well-articulated thought. I can take the words and apply them to myself, even if I interpret them differently than the author intended. A purely instrumental bit lacks the humanity of a shared language and an expression of life's realities.
So basically, you can't find the worth in classical music, most opera, most jazz, etc. It's pretty clear then that there's no almost no room for discussion on this topic with you, so I'm curious as to why you even brought it up? Do you get mad when the singing stops in, say, a Meatloaf song? Do you think, "Why did they even bother including these sections where no concrete language is being expressed?" I kind of doubt it, so where do you draw the line? By what metrics do you judge music that has no singing, and by what justification do you extend the significance of the meaning in the vocal parts to the parts without vocals?
A great lyric can say something I had been thinking in a way I wouldn't have come up with. I can't say a drum beat will ever stir my mind to deep contemplation.
Firstly, they MIGHT care, and they MIGHT think their lyrics are great!
Which brings me back to the fight in the thread below: If lyrics are important to a band, why would they present them in a way where they can't be heard or understood? Burying them implies, to me, they don't care if we hear them or not.
Because for one, while you're not capable of understanding atonal vocalists, lots of people are! And even if the delivery makes it difficult or impossible to parse the words in real time, it's usually quite simple to read the lyrics while listening and to then actually understand what is being sung! I was actually just talking about this song with my 10 year old son this morning:

The singer here is Martin van Drunen, who later went on to front Asphyx, Comecon, and Hail of Bullets, and who is, in my opinion, one of the two best death metal vocalists of all time (the other being John Tardy of Obituary, who I mentioned yesterday). I got this album when it came out in 1989; I was 15. I hadn't been listening to death metal for very long, and while I can't remember for certain, it's almost a sure thing that I wouldn't have been able to make out what he was saying. But, I read the lyrics in the cassette j-card, and now I know them by heart. I have absolutely no difficulty in following EXACTLY what he's saying in every line. And while the lyrics might not be your cup of tea (although correct me if I'm wrong, but you write for a horror magazine, right?) they're viscerally terrifying, and there is not a melodic singer on earth who could better capture the abject horror of the described experience than van Drunen does. That last verse! He makes it feel real, like he's actually experiencing this abominable suffering. That's fucking art, dude.

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