"State Of The Art" as written by and Walter Andre De Backer....
When the cotillion arrived
We threw out the television
I'm Model D 575
Has custom flute presets
And Harmony-Plus in addition

Now for an arm and a leg
We get three half-dozen beats to choose from
So now we can pretend
That there's an orchestra in the lounge room

I put the genie bass on
So my left hand can play the choir
With sixteen foot Diapason
And Lowrey's patented Orchestral Symphonizer

Banjo's great on repeat
The kids want to play but they'll have to be patient
The wife can't help tapping her feet
It's a genuine home entertainment revelation

State, state, state, state of the art
(State of the art)
(Hold the phone, it's so)
State, state, state, state of the art
(Listen to the difference!)
State, state, state, state of the art
(By use of a computer)
(Oh my God, it's so)
State, state, state, state of the art

Now we don't want to go out
When we could spend the night at home with the cotillion
Invite the neighbors around
Start the boss a nova beat and limbo from the living to the kitchen

Enjoy the state of the art
The magic swing piano really is astounding
Now we can't tell them apart
But these amazing simulations end up sounding even better than the real thing

State, state, state, state of the art
(State of the art)
(Hold the phone, it's so)
State, state, state, state of the art
(Computer controlled tone color)
State, state, state, state of the art
(The marriage of music to computers is quite natural)
(Oh my God, it's so)
State, state, state, state of the art
(It is time to hear the results)

(Hold the phone, it's so)
(Oh my God, it's so)


Lyrics submitted by liquidsky

"State of the Art" as written by Walter Andre De Backer

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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State Of The Art song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +7
    My InterpretationThis song was definitely created with an extra helping of postmodern irony.

    I get a feeling that, on one hand, he is lamenting advances in music technology ... all these original instruments (flute, organ, piano, etc.) have been replaced with "amazing simulations" that "end up sounding even better than the real thing". Consider the title, "State of the Art", a term generally used to describe the latest top-of-the-line technology. But it can also refer to the state of music as art, and how that state is affected by the replacement of physical instruments with digital simulations.

    On the other hand, the ENTIRE song (with the exception of the bass track, I think) is created with vinyl samples and digital simulations. Despite the lamentation, he has grown to embrace -- even obsess over -- the use of technology. After all, "the marriage of music to computers is quite natural".

    As a reflection of the "state of the art", this song is truly a great work of art in its own right.
    calculusdorkon July 04, 2012   Link
  • +5
    Lyric CorrectionReally small lyric correction:

    So my left hand can play the choir
    With 16 FOOT Diapason

    This refers to the 16' Diapason flute pipe sound available on some organs.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    Kalgarion November 03, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song is so addicting.
    Adelieon August 30, 2011   Link
  • +4
    General CommentDid you hear at the end it says "incidentally on the track you just heard there were no keyboard performances, just the occasional pressing of buttons"

    I really think that sums up the meaning/point of the whole song.
    ericbielleron May 14, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI believe "Start the nossanova"
    should be "Start the bossa nova" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…)
    Loxmyfon December 13, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationI think the subject matter/message of this song is really blatant. Simply put, it's talking about synthesizers becoming so advanced that it begins to become better and more variable than actual instruments.

    The video is showing the consequences of embracing synthesizers, making real instruments and the talent/skill with playing them obsolete and/or unnecessary, losing an important part of culture.
    NoCowLevelon January 12, 2012   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationAs calculusdork has mentioned, we are missing a huge bit of irony here. The lyrics talk about how State of the Art has become music itself -- almost eclipsing the musician.

    And then to showcase this, Gotye goes ahead to create a song that might have been entirely synthesized.

    Closing line: Incidentally, on the track you just heard, there were no keyboard performances. Just the occasional pressing of buttons.
    lookheremron August 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIt's about an electronic organ that this nice couple, Frank and Mimi DeBacker, bought as a gift for their son Walter
    CuteSparkinaon July 04, 2015   Link
  • 0
    Lyric CorrectionYeah it's bossa nova not nossanova.
    Also, it should say "these amazing simulations" instead of "there amazing simulations"
    brainisinthedirton December 15, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI just love this song - it is so much FUN! And that's how I see this song - it's simply about the wonderment of playing a cool instrument that is capable of playing a bunch of unique sounds. I personally don't derive from the lyrics that synthesizers in and of themselves are contributing to a loss of culture where good old-fashioned instruments are concerned. (To me, the loss of such culture comes, for example, when people see "talent" in the excessive use of Auto-Tune by otherwise crappy "singers"!)

    Here's a cool link where Gotye talks about the Lowrey Cotillion organ, as well as "State of the Art" ...
    drownedinsound.com/in_depth/…
    stacatalinaon January 30, 2012   Link

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