|Kendrick Lamar – The Art of Peer Pressure Lyrics||6 years ago|
i had heard the name kendrick lamar being thrown around for a while now, so i was aware that he was on the rise in popularity as a rapper, but i so rarely listen to any type of rap that i hadn't actually heard any of his music. then a couple of weeks ago i decided to click on this link that was posted on the pitchfork.com website that directed you to a video of lamar freestyling over some different beats. i was really impressed so i made it a point to download and check out his major label debut album (good kid, m.a.a.d city). unfortunately, the album didn't strike me in quite the same way as the freestyle session had. i was expecting something more thoughtful, but instead the album just hits upon too many of the same, tired rap cliches, so it didn't really catch my interest.
this track, "the art of peer pressure," is no exception--it uses many of the reference points you come to expect from a rap song (blunts, chicks, guns, fights, cops)--so from a lyrical standpoint i think it's passe and moronic. but the actual music used in the song absolutely floored me. the intro with the vinyl crackle is really cool, and then the main beat used throughout the song is so minimalistic, yet that's what allows you to pick out all of its intricate subtleties. i especially love those echo-y synth notes. so i really wish the lyrical content on this track were different, because then this would be a song i'd be listening to years from now, but as it stands, i'll probably forget about it in a couple months once my initial infatuation with its musical production fades.
|Morrissey – Let Me Kiss You Lyrics||6 years ago|
when i first bought this record, this was my favorite song, but it soon became hard to listen to because it was so self-pitying, whether tongue in cheek or not, without being clever (which is usually the saving grace of other morrissey songs in this vein). but i just heard this song while listening to 'live at earls court' and it was such a joy to hear it again for the first time in a few years.
i don't know if this is something i noticed before but never processed, or whether i'm only just now realizing it, but the chorus of this song is a guitar passage. that guitar riff is what endeared me to the song to begin with, but it just now struck me as incredibly cool how that riff was utilized as the song's refrain.
in reading through the comments other people have left, i noticed multiple people perceiving the song to have two concepts--platonic love and negative body image--that i don't think really pertain to the song at all. for a platonic friendship to exist the relationship must be non-sexual, so if you are attracted to someone and want to kiss them then that basically negates the platonic concept. And if someone happens to not be attracted to you, then that doesn't automatically mean you have a negative body image. it's just the law of averages: you could be incredibly beautiful and completely pleased with the way you look, yet there is still going to be a small minority out there who find you completely disgusting. after all, attraction to other people is such a strange beast. it's not something you can wholly rationalize since part of it operates on a chemical level.
|Simon and Garfunkel – At The Zoo Lyrics||9 years ago|
i had a really interesting experience involving this song recently. i have lately been going to starbucks whenever i want to read because i just can't seem to get myself to read at home. so i was sitting there reading 'how soon is never?' by marc spitz, and i had just read the following passage: "then i said it. i don't know where it came from. from the docks...from my want of puberty...from the passenger seat pit of dick's silver fiberglass corvette rolling off a cliff while paul simon sang, 'someone told me it's all happenin' at the zoo.'" and as soon as i paused reading for a second to try and remember how that song went, it started playing on the starbucks sound system.
i shit you not. the time span between me reading the last line and the song starting to play was no longer than two seconds. i was so bewildered that i actually started looking around the cafe as if someone was playing a prank on me. then logic kicked in and i realized that this couldn't be a joke because it would require some incredibly meticulous planning to pull something like this off.
so what had basically happened was pure coincidence. but what a crazy coincidence, right? for a couple days i just thought it was one of the coolest things that could have happened, but once the novelty kind of wore off i started thinking that i wished it could have happened with a song that i like considerably more than 'at the zoo.' the book i was reading is a novel that revolves pretty heavily around one of my favorite bands: the smiths. so i started thinking how cool it would have been if i had just read about 'there is a light that never goes out' or 'please please please let me get what i want,' and for that song to start playing. that would have been exponentially more thrilling.
song choice notwithstanding, though, i still have to say it's a pretty awesome coincidence that transpired. i'm also aware that this whole comment has nothing to do with the song 'at the zoo' itself, but i really just wanted to record this bizarre little life moment for myself so i could read it some time in the future and remember those few seconds which at the time seemed like magic.
|Moby – Sunday (The Day Before My Birthday) Lyrics||9 years ago|
i took a gamble and just purchased '18' on a whim. the only album of moby's that i had been familiar with was 'play'; i had been looking for that record for a while, and i finally found it at a record store earlier this year. well, they also happened to be selling a copy of '18,' so i decided to pick that album up as well. and i couldn't be happier that i did so, because this song alone was worth the price of admission.
as someone has already pointed out, the comments on here about september 11th are hilarious. the lyrics aren't even moby's. he simply sampled some snippets from someone else's song, so since these are merely small parts taken from a greater whole, there's really no room to make inferences due to the fact that we're missing at least half of the original song. i'm not trying to be a smart-ass. someone could make the (far-reaching) argument that by trimming the lyrics, moby has given the song a new and different context. but ultimately, i think the actual lyrics themselves aren't meant to have much weight here; it's the way the notes are sung, rather than the words themselves, that really grabs me.
musically, though, moby did create a very different context for this song. there will be detractors, but i like sylvia robinson's vocal better in moby's song than in her own. her version has a meandering acoustic guitar and string accompaniment that (to my ears) doesn't provide the right frame for her vocals. moby's instrumentation, on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic (at least in my book). he keeps the string section but his score is not at all the same since the strings add a very different harmonic counterpoint. and his version contains a radically different guitar part as well; the guitar is a lot less pronounced in the mix since it only comes in to provide a few accents here and there, but i think it's quite a bit more interesting. the piano, though, is what delivers the major coup. i fucking love the piano in this song. it's got an awesome rollicking rhythm to it and the chord changes are simply beautiful.
to me, this song is easily the highlight of '18.' and it's also a song that i relish all the more when listening to the album because it's the lovely rainbow after the abysmal storm that is "jam for the ladies."
|Semisonic – The Prize Lyrics||9 years ago|
i'm fairly new to posting on this website, and this song has been around for years now, so i was kind of surprised no one else has commented here. and it's been a few years since i've listened to this song but i recently got an incredible urge to hear it again.
i have never actually heard any of semisonic's proper albums (shame on me, i know); i only own a greatest hits compilation of theirs. it's a damn fine collection--that band has a knack for churning out catchy power pop songs--so it's weird, now that i think about it, that i never made an effort to hear more of their discography.
from their best of collection, though, this is easily my favorite song. this track has a very unique tone that none of the other songs on the compilation have--it has a much darker sound. there's a tension in the verses because it feels like there's no resolution to the melody.
...which is why i absolutely fucking love the chord change into the chorus. it provides the release that the verse before had built up.
and i also have to say i love the drums in the chorus--the cymbal work provides the coolest accents to the beat.
i was hoping someone here would have some intelligent insights regarding the lyrics, but alas, there were no comments. and i, unfortunately, am not very perceptive when it comes to the reading of lyrics. i definitely see some religious overtones here, but i can't seem to form any eloquent, substantial thoughts on the matter.
hopefully other people will have left some comments by the time i get the urge to hear this song again in the distant future.
|Pete Yorn – Vampyre Lyrics||9 years ago|
this is easily my favorite song off of 'nightcrawler.' not only does it kick off the album in a bang-up style, it is a very unique composition compared to every other track on the album, as well as in relation to everything else in the pete yorn catalog. pete has written quite a few songs that could be classified as rockers--and this song would definitely fit in that category--but there's something about it that makes it stand apart from the rest.
"vampyre" has such a sinister sound; the song's tone is very apropos of its title and fits nicely into the album title as well. vampires are generally described as dark, sinister creatures that emerge and move about at night. it might, though, just be a coincidence that "vampyre" fits into the framework of the 'nightcrawler' title because i don't see any of the other songs on the album being consistent with that same theme of darkness.
i've always been really curious as to why the song was titled "vampyre." it's obviously a play on words, but what's the idea behind the combination of vampire and pyre? i'm assuming the "it's too hot to handle" lyric is supposed to provide some clue, but ultimately i'm left clueless.
i can't draw any conclusions from the lyrics because they make no sense to me. i generally don't buy into the school of thought that most songs are about one particular thing--i see the majority of songs being multifaceted when it comes to interpretation--but i can't make heads or tails out of any part of the lyrics here.
luckily, having no comprehension of the lyrical content does not act as a deterrent. i love this song anyway. it not only has a unique sound unlike anything else in the pete yorn songbook, but i especially love that the entire song is structured as one giant build. by that i mean that there's no rising and falling action at various points; instead, the duration of the song is spent building to a giant climax, and then it's just over.
the drums are key here. i don't know how good of a drummer pete yorn is from a technical point of view, but he plays exactly what's needed here in terms of the song. the drums help the song build and then propel it along to its apex. i also really like the simple, yet very effective, synth part (or it might be a programmed percussion loop). it sounds like some sort of glitch-y, mechanic heartbeat, and i think its inclusion is one of the main factors that contribute to this song's uniqueness.
the aspect of the song that i'm most curious about, though, is whether pete's voice breaking at the very climax of the song was an intentional move or not. i've watched youtube clips of him performing this song live and he replicates that vocal affectation of making his voice crack, but that doesn't answer if it was originally intended to sound that way or not.
i like to think that it was a happy accident in the studio--his voice broke when he was reaching for that note while laying down a vocal track, and it sounded so much better in the context of the song compared to the "correct" vocal take, so he just opted to use it. and if that's not the exact scenario of how it happened, i still hope he came upon that vocal tic accidentally. i just think it's so cool when a supposed "mistake" actually improves something.
|Atlas Sound – Lightworks Lyrics||9 years ago|
glorious. just fucking glorious.
that is the word that constantly comes to mind when i listen to this song. i'm really enamored with the 'parallax' album as a whole right now, but to my ears "lightworks" is the standout track that gets my neurons firing--it just really makes me happy.
it is such an unabashed pop song; and i don't mean that in a bad way. in fact, i really love that bradford cox is embracing his pop sensibilities more and more, be it with his atlas sound records or with the band deerhunter. i haven't really heard any of deerhunter's pre-'cryptograms' material, but every release that cox has been a part of since that album (solo or otherwise) has shown a shift where the focus seems to be more on songwriting and arrangement, as opposed to simply texture. that's not to say that texture and mood have been sacrificed, i just think the songwriting has become a lot tighter.
and this last track on 'parallax' appears to be evidence of just that. in a slightly different musical climate, i could see this song being played on the radio. it is so catchy and usually forces me to dance--something about its rhythm makes me gyrate side to side in a thom yorke fashion.
i just absolutely love everything about this song's arrangement. rarely will a song's drum track capture my attention, but there is something fantastic about the drums on this song that i can't quite verbalize (and it wasn't simply the drum intro, though it is good, that made me pay attention to the drums); i think it has something to do with how they interact with the rhythm guitar part. and speaking of guitar, the guitar tracks in this song are just great. they all have a good functionality and tone individually, but the way they combine and interact make them add up to being more than the sum of their parts. what really surprised me though, was the use of a harmonica during the bridge section. it's obviously not one of cox's go-to instruments, but it fits seamlessly and it's exactly what the song needed for that part. truth be told, the first handful of times i heard the song, i didn't even pick out the harmonica--that's how natural it sounded. but the song's real kicker is the chorus, especially the vocals. it's a wordless chorus, but by god does it work; that vocal melody is just joyous.
what i ultimately think draws me to this song is that it's the anomaly on this album--it just radiates with positivity (making it a good note to end on). and like i said, i really love the record as a whole, but i just see this song being the orgasmic release that the rest of the album spent its entire time building up to.
|Carla Bruni – Quelqu'un m'a dit Lyrics||9 years ago|
for the longest time i had no interest in finding an english translation of this song. i assumed i would just be disappointed with the lyrics (after all, it's a model trying her hand at a music career) and never be able to hear the song the same way again. eventually, though, my curiosity got the better of me, and i went in search of some translations.
the two translations found above are fairly indicative of the other ones posted elsewhere on the internet (even though i did find a couple others out there in cyberspace that i liked somewhat better). of the two found here, i'm more partial to the one posted by ooominhooo because that translation shares the same sensibility as the other one, but comes across as much less clumsy and awkward-sounding.
anyhow, the lyrics aren't first rate or anything--though i'm sure there's something that gets lost in the translation--but i was pleasantly surprised by them nonetheless.
the basic trend i've noticed from the user comments on this site is that people generally think just about every song is written in reference to one of three things: love/relationships, drugs, or some combination of those two. this song has the word love in it quite a few times so most people immediately took off running with that idea and steered right into relationship territory (though i would love to see someone try and interpret this song as being about drugs).
i'll admit i could be totally wrong, but from the way i processed the lyrics, i see the main theme of this song actually being hope.
the lyrics outline how bleak life really is and imply that we should really all be cynics and/or nihilists--we're born only to die, happiness seems always just out of reach, our lives aren't worth anything and ultimately they're essentially meaningless in the grand scheme of things anyway.
and yet...we always find something to reach for; we continue to hope. that sentiment may be completely irrational but it's what keeps us going. we know we're fated to die yet we choose to try and keep focus on possibilities--maybe, just maybe we can be happier, or find someone that loves us, or score some really great drugs (just kidding).
so i don't really see this song being about the subject of love. i see the idea of love merely being used as one of those beacons of hope for which we are constantly on the lookout.
this song expresses a really interesting sentiment by, in my opinion, describing the human condition, but it's the musical aspects of it that actually strike a chord within me (hey, i liked this song long before i knew one word of it).
truth be told, i don't find carla bruni to be an impressive vocalist by any means--she really has no range to speak of--but her voice has a great smoky, sexy quality to it. plus it doesn't hurt that the french language just sounds great to begin with (to me anyway).
but it's the stringed instruments on this track that make it stellar. the acoustic guitars are given a great treatment and the orchestral strings float beautifully in the background, punctuating certain moments with great accents. i really love how the different guitar tracks weave and interact with each other, especially the dueling guitars during the solo section.
the album credits state that it was the albums producer who not only laid down all the guitar tracks, but also arranged the guitars and strings for the song (wow!). so as usual, it's the man behind the curtain who's mainly responsible for the great creation yet doesn't get any of the deserved accolades.
|The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey Lyrics||9 years ago|
say what you will about the movie and/or its accompanying soundtrack, but 'lost in translation' introduced me to a pair of amazing songs, and led me to love the bands they were created by as well. the two killer tracks i'm referring to are: "sometimes" by my bloody valentine and "just like honey" by the jesus and mary chain. don't get me wrong, i love the rest of the soundtrack as well, but to my ears these are clearly the outstanding tracks.
and just as in the "sometimes" song thread, there are a few people here who are for some reason miffed by the fact that a film introduced other people to a song they like. maybe i'm wrong, but i have always been under the impression that most bands want their music to be heard by as many people as possible. plus, i would be willing to bet that just about everyone who visits this site has come to love a song as a result of being introduced to it from its inclusion in a film.
enough about this song's pop culture status, though. what ultimately makes most people like "just like honey" is the way it sounds. and what a great sound it is. if i had to characterize it, i would say that it is the aural equivalent of a euphoric haze from a morphine drip. also, the song's title is very appropriate in that it describes the sound fairly accurately: the simplistic, down-tempo drum pattern gives the song a funereal pace, and the feedback treatment on the guitars makes the reverberating notes seem like they are languidly cascading along, causing the song to flow just like honey.
finally, i won't try to deconstruct this song lyrically, but i will say that, just like most any other artistic endeavor, this song is not simply about one thing. could you convince me that this song has sexual overtones? sure. but i think to say that this song is about oral sex would be totally amiss. true, there are songs out there that are completely one-dimensional, but most songs are abstract and multifaceted--they're meant to be interpreted in a variety of different ways. so just as 'the godfather' is about more than just the mafia, this song is about more than just oral sex.
|The Jesus and Mary Chain – Just Like Honey Lyrics||9 years ago|
|ignore the incredulous response posted by sandglider. there is a terrific demo version of this song which uses acoustic guitars on the box-set titled 'the power of negative thinking: b-sides and rarities.' i'm surprised no one else on here has made reference to that version because it's really damn good; not on the same level as the album track found on 'psychocandy' but still very good nonetheless.|
|Kaki King – Jessica Lyrics||9 years ago|
i just arrived at the kaki king page of this site unintentionally (i was curious so i hit 'view all staff picks' from the homepage and this is where i ended up). i had never bothered doing a search on this site for kaki since she isn't really known for her lyrics. in fact, i've always had the impression that she doesn't really spend too much with lyrics and vocals, and that she only started singing on some of her songs just to give them a different coloring as opposed to her instrumentals. i'm not trying to marginalize her singing--though she's not a good vocalist by any means--but her voice definitely works in the context of her songs.
anyway, the reason i chose to first check out the thread for "jessica" was to see if anyone had mentioned the two instances in the song where the beat stutters (first on the word 'perfume' and the second time on 'drinking'). turns out, yes, the last two people before me who posted mentioned that in their comments. it's nice to know that someone else also identifies this song by those two little, minor parts. i used to be bothered by them quite a bit because i considered it poor songwriting to just skip half a beat on two occasions in order to maintain the rhythm of the lyric. but now i've come to like those two parts because they give the song a cool affectation and i can't help but notice them every time i happen to listen to this song.
|Morcheeba – Blindfold Lyrics||9 years ago|
|as this song demonstrates, the godfrey brothers definitely know what they're doing in the studio. they recruited a singer with a nice, smooth voice to complement their mellow grooves. and apart from writing a catchy song for skye edwards to sing, it's their craftsmanship as producers that really makes this song great for me--there are so many immaculately recorded layers of different sounds that complement each other incredibly well. take the guitars. there's nothing special about the guitar playing on here, but all the guitar tracks are well constructed and just sound phenomenal: the rhythmic acoustic guitar is played with a nice punch to it, the electric guitar during the chorus has a great crunchy sound that really articulates the rhythm, and there's a great dual guitar solo where a second guitar uses the first guitar part as a jumping off point. i also really like the samples and scratching effects that punctuate this song, but the real icing on the cake for me is the string section, especially during the chorus. whoever scored the strings wrote a really nice counterpoint to the vocal melody and guitar rhythm. in fact, the strings are so awesome that "blindfold" is one of only two songs that make me look like a dork when i rock out to it because i'll be playing air violin (nico's "i'll keep it with mine" is the other song that makes me want to bust out the air violin, in case anyone was curious).|
|R.E.M. – E-Bow The Letter Lyrics||9 years ago|
as with most others who have made comments on here, i too have heard that river phoenix was an inspiration in the writing of this song. but does that subsequently mean that this song is about celebrity/fame and drugs? maybe it is--only an r.e.m. band member could say definitively--but it's just irritating how many people on this site look for connotations of drug use simply because they're listening to a rock song. take your pick of any elliott smith song and look it up on this site. chances are that one person at the very least will mention something about drugs. i'm not trying to discount the fact that rock songs don't contain drug references--they certainly do--but many people often jump to that conclusion a little too quickly. in an earlier post someone said that this song contains overt references to obscure drugs like spanish fly, cherry mash, and kerosene. seriously? spanish fly may be considered a drug in the most broad sense of the word, but no one ever ingested it for the purpose of getting high. there is no drug called cherry mash; it's not even a slang term referring to any particular drug. and true, kerosene can be used as an inhalant, but if you just see the word kerosene and immediately think drug use then you have probably huffed a bit too much of it yourself.
i'm sorry for harping but it's frustrating when people reduce a great song to something so trite. as someone also previously mentioned, the verses in this song are some of the best in the r.e.m. catalog. now that is a statement i can get behind. the verses sound incredibly poetic to me. regardless of what they mean or imply, the words just sound good in the way they're constructed--they flow together beautifully.
there's also something to be said for the song's musical backdrop. it definitely creates a mood and sets a tone (haunting and ominous are words that frequently come to mind). the use of the e-bow creates a great effect, and patti's background vocals really round out the song, but i'm surprised no one has mentioned the bass on this song. the bass part has some really good movement to it, and mike mills busts out a number of superb fills. also, there is definitely an organ used in the song (check the album credits on the sleeve--in fact, it's mike mills who plays the organ part as well), because i just love the stabs of organ sound during the chorus. it's not super high in the mix, but it's certainly audible, so try and listen for it next time.
|My Bloody Valentine – Sometimes Lyrics||10 years ago|
this song is such a wonderful piece of production. i can't make out more than half the words in it, but then again, i've never really bothered to since my appreciation of the song lies in its texture. i seem to recall it was billy corgan who said, in his praise of the 'loveless' record, that this album was unique in that no one up to that point had been able to produce the effect of swirling guitars quite like kevin shields. that idea has definitely stuck with me because the word swirling frequently comes to mind when i hear "sometimes."
and congrats to the people that heard this song "like... at least two years before the movie." but even in 2001 (which is two years prior to the movie's release), you were still beaten to the punch by plenty of other elitist snobs, since that year marked the tenth anniversary of the song's release. so i guess you're basically as behind the times as the rest of us.
needless to say, 'lost in translation' definitely turned me on to this song. it's a fantastic movie and the fact that it had great music in it made it all the better. and i don't understand why certain people need to have a sense of superiority when a movie turns other people onto a song or artist that they're already familiar with. there have been so many great songs/artists that i've been introduced to as a result of seeing certain films: "alone again or" by love from 'bottle rocket,' elliott smith from 'good will hunting,' the beta band's "dry the rain" from 'high fidelity,' aimee mann from 'magnolia'... it would be quite the list if i actually mentioned every instance of a movie turning me on to music i liked. so don't hate on 'lost in translation' or sofia coppola--she just brought a lot more, much-deserved attention to my bloody valentine. nothing wrong with that.
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