To compare lyrical prowess is akin to comparing members of the opposite sex; what might look positively delicious to some, can seem hellishly ugly to others. Over recent years none the less, there have been a handful of artists that highlight the continuing importance and raw power that truly great lyrics still posses.
Lyrics are often the bones to the music’s meat and serve to help translate what a wash of guitars or heavy production actually ‘mean’. They have the strength to influence, control and rule both the heart and mind; but also tell wonderful stories in a matter of just two or three lines.
Like authors, songwriters have the ability to make us laugh and cry, empower us or encourage us, the listener, to do wonderful things. However, who on earth do we turn to once we’ve worn out name checking Bob Dylan, Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker and Shaun Ryder (yes, really) etc. Well, I’m glad you asked so politely, because here at Shakey Times we have just this second finished discussing which artists we put on that imaginary lyrical pedestal. Here we have a look at two largely contrasting styles:
Eugene McGuinness: A whirlwind of rhyming couplets and surreal imagery, Eugene’s songs are like air miles that give you the opportunity to travel somewhere a little bit different for nothing. The simple pleasure in listening to McGuinness’s lyrics I only recently figured out, lies is not trying to hard to figure out what they mean, but merely letting them entertain you.
‘And remember not to forget, that I am as subtle and as playful as a hammer headed shark. But I could name you every service station On the M6 off by heart’
Liam Fray: Love them or loath them Liam’s band The Courteeners created a stir in 2008 with their everyday insight into modern day mediocracy. Praised by fellow Mancunian, Morrissey, the band are in fact set to tour the states with the former Smiths lead singer in 2009. Proof that the everyman still often reigns supreme over the intellectual, Liam Fray’s version of 2009 will be heard all over the radio we’re sure- but for good reason.
‘you’re not nineteen forever, pull yourselves together
I know it seems strange but things they change’