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Best lyricists


drillkicker
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Lyrics that don't try to hard work for me. It could be lyrics that are vague enough to convey a lot of different meanings or emotionally resonate with a lot of people for different reasons. Or maybe just ones that paint an excellent visual narrative or story (lot of old country songs are this way, like Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson...the lyrics are moving and captivating they don't have to even raise their voices in any way, that says a lot).

 

I've always been picky with lyrics in the sense that it's hard for me to remember song lyrics for the most part, they just have to be memorable. I've always been flabbergasted by people who can sing every word to Top 40 hits, especially wordy pop country or emo stuff, where it's literally just paragraphs of words.

 

Weird stuff works too, if it's not blatantly up it's own ass with pretentiousness, irony, or bullshit. I've always liked Radiohead, Interpol, and R.E.M. for those reasons.

 

 

 

Neil Young and Bob Dylan for me. Maybe cliched but those two in their prime have always been unbeatable imo. Agree with Ian Curtis as well.

 

Never been a huge fan of Dylan's recorded music but yes, this for sure. There's a real testament to this based on how excellent covers have been done of his songs. "All Along The Watchtower" is a good example.

 

 

I've always been in awe of Neil Young's output considering the sheer volume of it has never hampered his consistency.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-b76yiqO1E

 

He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wondered
With the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects
gathered 'round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood
straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

They carried them
to the flatlands
And they died along the way
But they built up
with their bare hands
What we still can't do today.

And I know she's living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can't remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer.

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Guest MetalFaced

Sigur Ros. Jonsi has the voice of an angel and paints with made up words. It's genius.

Definitely, He is an amazingly good musician.

I think Jeff Magnum and Isaac Brock are my favourite lyricists though.

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^^Yeah Floyd lyrics are pretty fucking great. Waters is a genius. Have no idea why I didn't mention them first time round tbh.

 

Time in particular just resonates with more and more power as I get older. To write a song like that as a twenty something (almost thirty) is remarkable. In fact Floyd lyrics are top notch to the highest degree. So much so, I'm off to listen to them right now!

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^^Yeah Floyd lyrics are pretty fucking great. Waters is a genius. Have no idea why I didn't mention them first time round tbh.

 

Time in particular just resonates with more and more power as I get older. To write a song like that as a twenty something (almost thirty) is remarkable. In fact Floyd lyrics are top notch to the highest degree. So much so, I'm off to listen to them right now!

 

Damn straight. Waters was always the better lyricist, and Gilmour the better musician, imo.

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^^Yeah Floyd lyrics are pretty fucking great. Waters is a genius. Have no idea why I didn't mention them first time round tbh.

 

Time in particular just resonates with more and more power as I get older. To write a song like that as a twenty something (almost thirty) is remarkable. In fact Floyd lyrics are top notch to the highest degree. So much so, I'm off to listen to them right now!

Yeah, Time is an all-round beautiful song. I have a lot of good memories with Dark Side of the Moon, as it was the first time an album had really clicked like that. The first time I heard it, I listened to it four more times without break. It's one of those albums where every single transition and sound effect is permanently engraved into my memory.

Edited by drillkicker
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I'd like to mention Captain Beefheart as well, since he (surprisingly) hasn't been brought up yet. He has some beautiful lyrics, and even the ones that don't make sense at least sound very nice.

 

I was expecting more mention of Jeff Mangum, too. He's worth mentioning when it comes to lyrics.

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GZA - Labels

 

Tommy ain't my motherfuckin' boy
When you fake moves on a nigga you employ

We'll all emerge off your set, now you know God damn
I show living large niggas how to flip a def jam
And rough up the motherfuckin' house cause I smother
You cold chillin' motherfuckers, I still warn a brother
I'm ruthless my clan don't have to act wild
That shit is jive, an old sleeping bag profile
The soft comedian rap shit ain't the rough witty
On the reel to reel it wasn't from a tough city
Niggas be game, thinking that they lyrical surgeons
They know they microphone's a virgin
And if you ain't boned a mic you couldn't hurt a bee
That's like going to Venus driving a mercury
The capitol of this rugged slang is Wu-Tang
Witty unpredictable talent and natural game
I death row an mc with mic cables
The epic is that I rush associated labels
From east west to atco, I bring it to a next plateau
But I keep it phat though, yo
I'm hitting batters up with the wild pitch style
I even show an Uptown MC a style
Who thought he saw me on 4th & Broadway
But I was out on the island, bombing MC's all day
My priority is that I'm first priority
I bone the secret out a bitch in a sorority
So look out for A&M, the Abbot and the Master
Breaking down your pendulum
As I fiend MC's out with a blow that'll numb the a-
-ppendix, I'm holding more more weight than Colombia
Index Interscope, we RCA, clan
That's coming with a plan to free a
Slave of a mental death MC don't panic
Throw that A&R nigga off the boat in the Atlantic
Now who's the bad boy character, not from Arista
But firing weapons released on Geffen
So duck as I struck with the soul of Motown
My central broadcasting systems is low down
And dirty, like that bastard
It's getting drastic

Edited by jellyrajah
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A man conceived a moment's answer to the dream
Staying the flowers daily, sensing all the themes
As a foundation left to create the spiral aim
A movement regained and regarded both the same
All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you

Changed only for a sight of sound, the space agreed
Between the picture of time behind the face of need
Coming quickly to terms of all expression laid
Emotions revealed as the ocean maid
All complete in the sight of seeds of life with you

 

 

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They dumped her body into the molten light

Floated to the surface and it did not ignite
She rose up slowly and walked to the shore
She stood up on the bank and whispered
Ill find you and Ill kill you
Ill find you and Ill kill you
Ill find you and Ill kill you

They ran back into town and hid in the church
They explained their situation and they feared for the worst
The priest told the brothers that she could not be killed
She flew out of the stone cold ground and
Shell find you and shell kill you
Shell find you and shell kill you
Shell find you and shell kill you

Oh oh oh oh...

There was a knock at that door that shook through their hearts
She blew it right open and put it apart
She shot a string of flame from the center of her chest
As she watched their bodies burn she whispered
I found you and I killed you
I found you and I killed you
I found you and I killed you

Edited by Goiter Sanchez
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Jeff Tweedy's one of my favorite lyricists still actively writing music. I love the surreal imagery in this one, and the ideas they evoke.

 

Born Alone

 

I have heard the war and worry of the gospel
Ferry fast across the void
I have married broken spoke charging smoke wheels
Spit and swallowed opioid

I am the driver at the wheel of the horror
Marching circles at the gate
Mine eyes have seen the fury
So flattered by fate

Tonight, I'd rather count the warm fuse internally
Subtract the silence of myself
I would rather choose the middle mind of mystery
Reverse a riddle for my health
I'll unwind strange rinds overpowering
Toss the chimneys in the sea
I believe I've seen
The finger divine extremity

Please come closer to the feather smooth lens fly
Sadness is my luxury
Will you weather, join the cold, come before I die
More aware of it than me
The valves are blowing stone
The kids are unabashed
Loneliness postponed
Mine eyes deceiving glory
I was born to die alone
Alone

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTqEB0MyGdY

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